Transiting London on my way to Jo'burg with firearms?

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Ardent, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Ardent

    Ardent GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I've gone through Frankfurt with firearms, a breeze, but how about London? Have heard horror stories like everybody, and it makes me nervous. It's cheaper and more convenient for me to transit through London from my home in Canada, any reason I should avoid doing so and pay a bit more to go through Frankfurt again? Will be travelling with two rifles, in one Pelican case, and one Pelican case for ammunition. Rifles are a .375 bolt action, and a 7x57 or .270 bolt action, we'll be leaving in October this year. Appreciate any insight before I book!
  2. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    It largely depends on who you fly with.

    Firstly, London has 2 airports (LHR & LGW) and if you transit between the two then you need a firearms courier to move your rifles for you. If you stay in one airport, it's a lot easier.

    Secondly, some airlines are more of a pain in the arse that others. BA for example require 72 hours notice that you'll be travelling with 'SPORTING FIREARMS' (be sure to use that exact phrase) and they also usually apply the ex-military calibre rule fairly strictly, so you need to get that sorted out properly beforehand.

    There's also the issue that the EUSSR have a rule against transporting ammo.... technically, they also have a waiver for 'SPORTING AMMUNITION' but all it takes is an anti hunting check in agent to claim they know about the ban but not about the waiver and you could have a problem with that as well. Again, sort it out well before you travel and the best way to do that is to tell the airline in writing what you will be travelling with and have them confirm in writing that everything's OK..... and of course, take that written confirmation with you.

    There's also the issue of where you're travelling to. If it's Zimbabwe, the EUSSR has an arms embargo so you need to have two entirely separate sets of tickets. One to take you to JNB or wherever and another to take you from there onwards..... and obviously read between the lines on what you tell to whom!
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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  4. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    I should have added that some airlines (again, esp BA) are changing their ammo rules almost weekly at the moment.

    My advice would be to pack your ammo into something like MTM boxes that will, if necessary, fit into your rifle case and them pack those MTM cases into a lockable metal box such as a smallish camera case and make sure that your ordinary baggage has enough free space in to accommodate the camera case if necessary.

    Then all you do is ask the idiot at the check in desk where he/she wants you to put the ammo.

    If it's the rifle case, put the MTM cases in that and the empty camera case in your ordinary baggage.

    If they say it can go in the ordinary baggage, put the camera case with the MTM cases in that.

    If they say it must travel in a separate, lockable case, then check the camera case and ammo in as a separate item.

    Do not use a cash box for the ammo because someone is liable to assume it might have cash in it and swipe it.

    Doing it that way will save an awful lot of arguments with check in staff etc.
  5. Ardent

    Ardent GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I ended up booking, decided to go through Frankfurt again (en route to the hunt we were awarded courtesy of Spiral Horn Safaris and AfricaHunting!) as sticking with what I know makes me relax a bit, worth the extra $ and Germany's been very kind firearms wise. Thanks for going to the trouble guys, Jerome, no idea how you find the time!
  6. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Going through London to Namib

    A friend just called to say he is going on his second safari to Namib but in order to use his airline miles he must go through London (American/BA). It looks like he will be having to rent a gun there rather than his trusty rifle that he uses for everything. He gets hit with a double whammy, London transit AND .308 (7.62 NATO) calibre.
    I can't find anyway around it, can anyone?

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