Illegal possession of a handgun can be prosecuted as a felony in NYC. An airline employee or the airline itself may be aiding or abetting one engaging in a felony by transporting an illegal gun and could potentially be charged as such. As sympathetic as I am to the gun owners, I'm even more sympathetic to some schmoe who sees a crime and reports it.
Jim's Rules of Carry: 1. Any gun is better than no gun. 2. A gun that is reliable is better than a gun that is not. 3. A hole in the right place is better than a hole in the wrong place. 4. A bigger hole is a better hole.