I fly fairly frequently to teach. When I do I usually carry on a
tupperware container full of work. Most of what I make are brooches,
many long and dagger like. I always sweat it a bit, but have never
really had a problem. I have business cards and some post cards of
work w/ me to show that I am really a jeweler.
My tools, which I always have to check, are in an old samsonite hard
shell suit case and weigh about 50 lbs. In the last 2 years I've had
to leave it unlocked in light of the new directives. It is searched
about 50% of the time. (TSA leaves a printed form inside and little
plastic ties on the locks.) I have never had anything go missing. I
have an inventory sheet clearly taped to the inside of the lid.
Hope this helps, andy