Do you have tips for not losing luggage?

dustyvarmint

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Traveling to RSA in August for bowhunting only hunt.

Do you have any tips that I can employ that will reduce the possibility of lost luggage - especially my bows?

-As far as I know I'll be the only one from my area going so I can't send a back up bow or equipment with someone else.

-Likely flying from Milwaukee to WA via United or sub-carrier and then to RSA via SAA all on one Gracy Travel arranged ticket. Gracy is saying they use special tags that help reduce lost bags.

Thanks and happy hunting, dv
 

TOM

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What type of bowcase are you taking? Are you going to put the bow in your bag or a case?
 

dustyvarmint

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Hey Tom,

I'm taking two compounds, one parallel limb (primary) and one traditional limb (back up). Planning to use SKB Double Case, model 4114A, but haven't purchased yet. I've read a lot about the rolling duffels and from what I've read it seems they've caught onto that trick.

thanks, dv
 

TOM

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Dusty, I've tried it both ways. My first trip i took the exact bowcase you are talking about. It made the flight fine and all the contents were great...BUT, upon arrival in SA the porters and police thought it was a gun case and made me go through the BS at the airport police station. Just like it was a gun. A few $20's later, everything was fine. What a pain though.

The next trip, i ordered a longer rolling duffel bag. I put my bows in it (well padded by clothing) and had no problems whatsoever. I took my arrows in a few MTM arrow boxes which added protection and rigidity to the whole bag. Pretty slick way to go.

I'm not sure what i will do for this year. Probably the duffel thing again. What have you heard negative about it?
 

dustyvarmint

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Yeah, I've heard that about the hard cases. I need to ask Gracy what it costs for their in-airport escort service and compare that to the few $20 bills I've heard it takes to clear up the bow case problem. Just got off the phone with Gracy - $130 to meet you at the gate and hold your hand all the way through. I'm getting more information from them on the service.

I think it was on another forum the guys were saying that they tried the rolling duffel and the people shouted, "bow, bow" or "gun, gun" when it came off the plane just as if it were a hard case and they had to go through the who BS anyway. This was at Jo'burg.

When are you going? Would be nice know how it turns out for you.

happy hunting, dv
 

TOM

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I think the guys on the other forum were using camo rolling duffels. I didn't and had no problem. It sure is a slick way to go. But, you do sacrifice a bit of protection from a hard case. It looks like i'll be going in April or September.
 

dustyvarmint

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Yeah, camo bad.

Thinking about putting Gibson Guitar and band stickers on the hardcase.:)

dv
 

dustyvarmint

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TOM,

What make/model of duffel were you using with two bows?

thanks, dv
 

billrquimby

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If you want to improve the odds of your luggage arriving in JNB with you, be sure you schedule at least two to three hours on the ground before you board that SAA flight.

Too many people run to make connections and arrive at their final destination only to find their luggage didn't make their flight.

The odds of this happening increase when changing airlines or when departing from an international terminal that is not connected to the domestic terminal.

Bill Quimby
 

dustyvarmint

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That's good stuff Bill - thanks.

I didn't think about that, but looks like my travel agent did.

happy hunting, dv
 

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dv, It's legal for hunters to import bows for bow hunting purposes into South Africa and no import permit is required so you don't need an "escort" or permit what-so-ever... Sorry for the confusion.

The tags that Gracy Travel provides to their clients are just large and bright orange which makes the baggage handlers notice them more so perhaps reduces mistakes. That is the only thing that I think is "special" about them but I think there is something to it... and anybody can do that on their own.
 

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Avoid O'Hare like the plague........:stirring:
 

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...I never took bows to Africa, but I did use Gracy Travel both times I went to Africa & they are a top notch outfit! In all my flying I only missed my suitcase on the trip home from Africa last time which showed up a day later. Pretty lucky I guess! I think there is something to that about an hour or 2 before the flight. I think that's what hapened on my connecting flight home last time!
 

dustyvarmint

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Avoid O'Hare like the plague........:stirring:

Thanks for stirring the pot, brudder. I can't avoid O'Hare, but they did allow me quite a bit of time on the ground there. Atlanta is where I really wanted to avoid. On business travel they just can't get it right for me there.

happy hunting, dv
 

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i traveled this year with the same skb bowcase and had no problems at all. they have cracked down on the airport shakedowns. you do not need any porter to accompany you thru the airport and you do not need to grease anyone in the airport for anything. dont play the first time traveller, act like you have been there before. it was my first time this year. i did get a porter to help me. now that i know, this is unnessesary and you will have no problem in the jo-berg airport. my luggage was checked right thru from northern canada to jo-berg with no trouble. even after 4 flights and 2 days travel.
 

billrquimby

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...I never took bows to Africa, but I did use Gracy Travel both times I went to Africa & they are a top notch outfit! In all my flying I only missed my suitcase on the trip home from Africa last time which showed up a day later. Pretty lucky I guess! I think there is something to that about an hour or 2 before the flight. I think that's what hapened on my connecting flight home last time!

An "hour or two" sometimes isn't enough when changing airlines at the larger airports, especially when transferring to an international flight.

Too many of my friends have arrived somewhere without their luggage and guns because their schedules didn't allow enough time for their baggage to make their connecting flights at busy airports.

I won't book if fewer than two hours are allotted for catching an overseas flight. I'd rather spend a leisurely three or four hours in a U.S. airport than several hectic days to a week in a camp waiting for my bags to catch up to me.

Bill Quimby
 

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An "hour or two" sometimes isn't enough when changing airlines at the larger airports, especially when transferring to an international flight.

Too many of my friends have arrived somewhere without their luggage and guns because their schedules didn't allow enough time for their baggage to make their connecting flights at busy airports.

I won't book if fewer than two hours are allotted for catching an overseas flight. I'd rather spend a leisurely three or four hours in a U.S. airport than several hectic days to a week in a camp waiting for my bags to catch up to me.

Bill Quimby

Bill, That's a really good recommendation from someone who has travelled for hunting extensively! Thanks.
 

ndbwhnter

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I agree with the lag time between flights. I have traveled a lot for work, both internationaly and domestically and will not take a connecting flight with less than two hours domestically and 4 hours internationally. So far I have had excellent luck following that rule.

For my trip to Africa next year, I took it one step further. My hunting partner and I are actually staying overnight in Washington between our flights. We felt that this was a good idea since it was international and we were switching airlines. We will also have the names of the nearest sporting goods stores just in case we lose something that we "must have" before our flight the next day.

nd
 

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