Delta through ATL to JNB Firearms/customs question

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by watman, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. watman

    watman AH Member

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    I'm flying from Kansas City to Atlanta then on to JNB and the reverse on the way home. Once I check my rifles in KC it is my understanding I don't have to do anything else with them until I arrive in South Africa, I'm using Riflepermits.com on that end. On the return trip is the same true? Once checked in RSA are the rifles cleared through to Kansas City or do I have to go through something with them and customs in Atlanta? Thanks all!

    Justin
  2. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    watman,

    Welcome, is this your first trip over?

    Make sure you state at check in you want rifle/bags checked all the way through to Joburg you are good. Check the tag to be attached and make sure of it.
    Coming back you will have to collect your firearms and go through customs, they are not checked all the way through, make sure you have your 4457 form, this is a must or your firearms can be confiscated. Then when checking in again, make sure you tell ticket agent to check rifle/ bags to KC.

    Have fun.
    ArmyGrunt likes this.
  3. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Tips for saving time for your connecting flight in Atlanta

    Justin

    You have to collect your guns and other checked in luggage in Atlanta as it is the first port of entry into the US. You have to go through Immigration first and then go down to the baggage area to collect the rifle/luggage. Your rifles will be separated from your luggage. Your regular luggage will come out of the carrousel like any other checked-in bag. HOWEVER, your rifles will be brought into a small glass room that is right next to the luggage carrousel. You wait outside in a line (with other hunters on the same flight) and as your guns come in, they call you one by one so that Customs may inspect your firearms and this is where you have to present the 4457. Once they clear your gun, they let you lock it back up and take it with you. This could take a while depending upon their mood and how many agents they have. They take the blue customs form that you already filled out and give you a card that you have to present to the other Customs agent when you exit the area. This could take a long time, especially if you're in the back of the line of hunters waiting for their guns. I always try to take care of this first and then get the rest of my luggage. So I would wait first in front of the glass door and then worry about your luggage afterwards.

    THEN ... you have to take all of your stuff and then RECHECK it in for your connecting flight. You have to also separately check in your firearms on one side and the your luggage across the hall.

    THEN... you have to stand in line again for TSA....

    THEN.... go to your connecting gate.

    The first time I took this Delta flight coming back from Joberg, I barely made my connecting flight. I think I had about an hour and change in between flights. What saved me was that I had Global Entry and a Customs agent saw that I looked like a hunter and told me where to wait for my guns.

    I hope you have at least a two hour connection with your KC flight. Having Global Entry will save you time by being able to whiz through Immigration so that you can get your bags quickly and take care of the firearms/Customs ordeal.

    One last note, outside of the Customs glass room (before or after you get your guns), they make you take out your hunting boots to spray them (for Hoof & Mouth, I think). So either wear them or have them very accessible in your bags. Again, another time saver for your connecting flight.

    Good luck and be sure to report on your hunt!!

    Best
    ArmyGrunt and buckcurtin like this.
  4. watman

    watman AH Member

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    Thank you both. Yes first time. I've got an hour and 20 minutes on the way home through Atlanta... its a bit close from the sound of things, when I booked I had 1:35, and they pushed back arrival by 10 minutes but on a flight of that distance 10 minutes plus or minus isn't much... oh well I'll rush through and see if we make it. Nice note on the boots, I wasn't planning on wearing them on the plane... so they actually make you get them out of checked bags eh?

    Well they don't make this easy do they!
  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Do the best you can, if you miss your connection, there's always a later flight. If you do miss your connection however, I'd be checking with the airlines to track my baggage especially the gun case.
  6. sierraone

    sierraone AH Member

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    Justin,
    I have never carried guns through the Atlanta immigration and customs process. BUT I have came through there many times from Paris, London, Frankfurt, Dubai and Tel Aviv, on my way to my final destination of Pensacola. My checked backs NEVER make the transfer with less than a two hour transfer and this is without guns. They arrive in Pensacola one day after me. I would think that transporting firearms will only lengthen the process. I would suggest you change you final flight from Atlanta to K.C. and extend your time in Atlanta by at least one hour, and maybe two, or plan on departure without your checked luggage, OR you will miss your flight and have to rebook anyway. Good Luck!
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  7. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    If everything goes smoothly, you should have enough time. If you tend to your guns first, hopefully you'll get through quickly. Don't be shy about asking other hunters who may be in front of you in line at Customs if they have a bit more time in their connection and whether you can jump ahead a bit. We're good people! :)
  8. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I always have more "trouble" coming back home through ATL than going. I always use ATL to JNB with Delta. It's a Boeing thing with me. I don't like Airbus period. I keep my boots in a large plastic bag on top coming back because they will be wet when they spray them.
    I tell all my friends to have no less than 3 hrs transfer each way. Don't chance going there with less than a 3 hr transfer. I'm an old airline driver and I'm telling you, no less than 3 hrs transfer going. You can do it in 1 1/2 coming back but you'll be lucky. Make sure your gun bag tag going reads JNB so it goes all the way there. It's not difficult just time consuming especially on the way back with US Customs. Once in while I find a Customs guy that really takes to customer service but it is the exception rather than the rule in ATL.
  9. watman

    watman AH Member

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    Called this morning and gave myself another few hours. No worries thanks for info guys.
  10. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Justin,

    I guess you can take a hint....

    That was a good call in extending the connection time. Now you'll probably breeze through in 20 minutes! ;)
  11. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    Watman ~ sounds like things are under control now and you've got your connection time in Atlanta sorted out. Yes, that airport does take a little time in coming back into the U.S. I like to give clients at least 2 1/2 hours to be on the safe side. If you had booked a "legal" connection by airline standard (I believe 1 1/2 hours) then the airlines will protect you on a later flight if you mis-connect. On the U.S. declaration you'll fill out on the airplane before arrival in Atlanta, I declare firearm if I have one, curious, etc but unless I've been on a property with cattle/livestock then I haven't been on a farm! Have never had an issue with having to pull out boots and have them disinfected. Hope this all helps - enjoy your first safari!
  12. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Veteran

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    I'm heading to Namibia in a couple of weeks. In regards to the return flight, I am under the impression that I can check my bags and rifle through to DFW in WH Namibia. I understand I have to clear customs with them in ATL, but thought I could just hand them back over to the Delta guys and go straight to the gate, instead of having to go back through and recheck them on through to DFW. Is that correct, or what am I missing?
  13. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    Hi JGRaider ~ It depends on the airlines you are using on your return but bags are normally tagged in Windhoek through to final destination if you don't have any overnights along the way. You will clear U.S. customs with everything in Atlanta and then there is a baggage belt that you will put everything on, a security line to go through then off to your departure gate. If they did not get tagged through to DFW then there should be a counter or kiosk inside the secure customs area where you can get bag tags for your flight home.
  14. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Veteran

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    Thank you very much Lori.
  15. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    Lori and all traveling back into the US... Please take every precaution with your boots and clothing coming back. There were a lot of cattle, sheep, and goats in the areas I hunted and so even if not technically on a "farm", many hunters may step in something that could transmit Hoof and Mouth... We do not need that here! It is irresponsible to try and side step the spraying of your boots and when you get home you need to also take extra care in cleaning pants, etc. And I would hope that when you return home, if they did not spray your boots at the airport, you would be responsible enough to do so yourself.

    If you don't think this is important, look at the price of beef now and realize that cattle feeders have just suffered though a terrible price squeese as feedstuff escalated to all time highs the past 5 years and on top of that there were killing storms and severe drougths that impacted the cattle industry and cut the number of brood cows to very low levels. An epidemic on top of this all would be devastating to Cattle farmers and ranchers, consumers, and this country as a whole!

    And I'm sure no one on here would want such a thing to get traced back to hunting and suffering the bad press that would ensue.

    Bob
  16. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    We checked the boxes 11 and 12 on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declaration Form 6059B. This alerted the customs agents who then wanted to spray our boots. We also sealed our boots and hunting clothes in trash bags before we packed up in Africa as we did not want any chance of bringing any "critters" home to the USA or in the house with us.

    Questions on Form 6059B
    11. Mark an X in the Yes or No box. Are you bringing with you:
    a. fruits, plants, food, or insects?
    b. meats, animals, or animal/wildlife products?
    c. disease agents, cell cultures, or snails?
    d. soil or have you visited a farm/ranch/pasture outside the United States?

    12. Mark an X in the Yes or No box. Have you or any family members traveling with you been in close proximity of (such as touching or handling) livestock outside the United States?
  17. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I came back through Dulles and they never ask for my 4457 or even had me open my gun case. They never looked in my luggage either. We filled out nothing on the plane before landing. I have often wondered why they want YOU to open the rifle case in the airport. Seems like they should open it. I don't feel they should want you to have any access to your weapon in the airport. On my first trip when we arrived in Atlanta they were worried about my boots but thought nothing of the bottle of sand from Namibia that the natives gave us. I told my wife we will never keep that dirt but we did go figure.
  18. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    ActionBob - totally agree on cleaning things when home - all our footwear gets cleaned and put away and all clothes in the wash. I've definitely found bugs in my suitcase when in Africa so don't want them in my home.
  19. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    I spray my pants and some light camo cover clothes with permethrin 2 days before leaving. It remains active for 8 washes and 40 odd days. Left in the luggage it nukes any pests that may have hitched a ride
  20. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    Good point lcq - have used permethrin when in Africa for the little pepper ticks but didn't realize it had that long of a residual effect.

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