United Airlines keeping hunters from taking guns
A friend of mine went to fly out of Eugene, OR in June to go Elephant hunting he arrived at airport 2 hours early, the agent at counter Debra would not allow him to check his rifle finally he walked out to the sidewalk haled a taxi gave the cab driver some money and told him to take the guns to his Dad's house. With 15 min to go he boarded the plane as they were ready to shut the door. This is not the first time United caused problems for hunter
below is a article from The Hunting Report
Refusals to Check Through Firearms, and All Out Bans to Some International Destinations
Hunting travel is getting more and more difficult as various US airlines make seemingly random policy changes regarding the transport of firearms. Here at The Hunting Report we have learned of several problems hunters have recently experienced traveling to their international hunts. We distributed Email Extra Bulletins warning about these developments as we learned of them. Here is a listing of the problems we know of and which airlines are behind them:
US Airways will not transport firearms to or from Spain. We learned of this development from Bruno Rosich of Trophy Hunting Spain who obtained a copy of the airlines internal Policy on International Firearm Acceptance dated January 18, 2012. The policy attributes the ban to government requirements by both the United States and Spain, but it does not say exactly what those requirements are. No other airline seems to have this problem, however, including the Spanish carrier Iberia Air. Airline representatives at company headquarters have refused to clarify this policy.
United Airlines has refused to check firearms through to hunters' final international destinations. The airline will only check guns as far as the international gateway in the US, where the passenger must claim the bag and go through check-in and security all over again. We know of at least two hunters who experienced this recently. One was connecting to South African Airways in Dulles and was refused passage at all. The other was checked only as far as Chicago. The first hunter was told this was due to a policy change in April. Representatives with South African Airways say they have cleared up the problem as far as connections with them are concerned. The second hunter was told his treatment was due to a new TSA requirement that went into effect March 1st.
Furthermore, United will not transport firearms to or from Denmark or Turkey. The airline also reminds passengers to obtain a transit permit if flying through The Netherlands.
American Airlines recently refused to check through a firearm for a passenger connecting with Emirate Airlines in Dallas on a trip to South Africa. Additionally, the airline still does not accept firearms to the United Kingdom. This particular policy has been in place since September of 2007, but every year we hear of hunters caught unawares and having their firearms left behind or confiscated in London. (We are indebted to Steve Turner of Travel with Guns for giving us the heads up on United and American airlines.)
The Hunting Report placed an inquiry with TSA (the Transportation Security Administration) in mid-June, but had not yet received a response at press time. We also shared all this with Nelson Freeman, of SCI's Government Affairs & Hunter Advocacy, who was arranging to meet with the airline trade association to learn what's behind these policy changes and, possibly, work out some kind of solution. We'll keep you posted on any developments.
Anyone experiencing problems with their hunting travel this season is urged to send us a report immediately. In the meantime, be aware that the above airlines could cause you serious delays in your international travel this hunting season. Either plan enough time between connecting flights to claim and recheck your hunting firearms or consider booking with a different airline if you can.
This is the letter that my friend wrote to United/Skywest
To Whom It May Concern:
My recent experience with United Airlines, flight 6375 departing Eugene, Oregon, at 5:15 p.m. on June 26, was met with intentional deception by counter check-in personnel employed by United/SkyWest at Eugene. We arrived at the Eugene airport 2 hours before boarding to check in luggage and a firearm. We immediately ran into issues with the counter personnel and after 2 hours and as the plane was being boarded, we were told that South African Airways does not allow firearms on their flights (also told that we would not be able to enter Zimbabwe without yellow fever certificate) and that United would not transport my firearm out of Eugene, Oregon. I was fortunate to find a taxi available and was able to have my firearm sent to my father痴 house. We were barely able to board the plane and I was only issued a boarding pass from Eugene to San Francisco.
Upon arrival at SF, we immediately went to the Lufthansa counter and met with a very knowledgeable and helpful employee of Lufthansa that asked what had happened in Eugene. 添our ticket is all screwed up. I explained to her that we met resistance in Eugene over the firearm. The Lufthansa employee was able to get the seating straightened out for our flight to Munich. At Munich, we immediately went to the South African Airway counter and met another knowledgeable and helpful employee that asked what happened with my ticket. In response, I explained the problems we had in Eugene and that we were told that South African Airways does not allow firearms. His response was 鍍hat痴 ridiculous; South Africa Airways transports more firearms than any other airline in the world? South African Airways straightened out my remaining boarding passes.
All airline firearm policies are readily available on their respective web site. I feel especially aggrieved, as I know that it was an intentional attempt to sabotage a vacation that I had saved up for and cannot easily duplicate.
On July 19, we went back to the Eugene airport to get a name to go with this report. The women covered her nametag yet we were able get the name, Debra L., from another employee. There was also a man involved in the June 26 incident that acted as if he may have been her supervisor who was not seen on the 19 and his name is unknown at this time. I hold both of these people in contempt and feel that United Airlines/SkyWest is responsible for their actions. The only explanations that I can come up with for such behavior is that they are: a) poorly trained b) ignorant c) anti-hunters d) anti-gun, and I suspect a combination of all four. Though she may be very calculating and pulled off exactly what she planed as she 1) stopped me from taking my gun to Africa 2) nearly made me miss the flight out of Eugene 3) make other flights difficult by scrambling my boarding passes, she was pretty successful and accomplished 1 and 3 much to the displeasure of Lufthansa and South African Airlines. Hopefully this has not become a United Airlines policy and these individuals are rogues and acted on their own.
I am compelled to bring this behavior out in public. Hunters should be aware of these problems when flying out of Eugene or possible anywhere with United. I will be sending this report to the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International including the local chapter and Oregon Hunters Association - all organizations which my wife and I are members, along with other hunting web sites and anyone that I can get to listen. I encourage the above-mentioned organizations to make this report available to all their members.
I have written this as an informative letter that outlines the injustices and my grievances against United/SkyWest employees. They should take this opportunity to recognize they have a problem, take action against their employees and reconcile with us, making assurances that this will not happen again.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I await your response.
Randy and Teresa Smith