Emirates - Worst hunting airline experience ever

TTundra

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@TTundra I believe you had a terrible time on your flight

Roohawk, While I understand your opinions in your post, I really do not see the need for the repetition. I know you fly emirates and have had good experiences. This post is not about the profitability of a company, and if per person treatment is solely based on profitability for said person, Emirates does fail.

This post was a review to bring awareness for the experiences I and my 3 family members had. You can beat that dead horse any way you want, but the fact still remains that Emirates did do wrong and went out of their way to hide and not correct it. I don't care if they were voted #1 or #2. What I do care about is hunters here being able to see actual reviews. Now, my outfitter, was fantastic, so I gave a positive review and am looking forward to posting more about them. I am reviewing and posting about the Good and Bad.

I researched airlines like crazy as I must believe that most first time SA hunters will do, and valued both positive and negative reviews to make my decision. So you can keep posting about ratings and margin but it doesn't make up, justify, nor correct for a customer service nightmare.
 
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RolandtheHeadless

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Sorry to hear about your rifle, and it's horrible to be treated like that. All this is Not what I wanted to hear.... We are flying Emerites in Sept and I am not getting the warm and fuzzy. @RolandtheHeadless is over there now and he is also traveling Emerites. Will be interesting to hear also was he has to say when he gets back.

Emirates is a very comfortable airline to travel with, by today's dismal standards. The stewards and stewardesses--I refuse to use the term "flight attendant"; I do hope it's the pilot and co-pilot who are attending to the flight, thank you very much--are courteous and friendly.

But on my flight from Dubai to Seattle, the co-pilot came back to tell me he was very sorry, but my ammo box had been held in Dubai. Because they had discovered the box contained an explosive, gunpowder.

"But ammunition always has gunpowder in it," I pointed out.

"I know," he said, embarrassed.

"But I got Emirates' approved permit to carry it!"

"I know," he said, more embarrassed yet.

They have promised to deliver my ammo box by tomorrow. We'll see if that promise holds. In any event, their representatives have been professional and courteous, haven't given me the run-around, and appear sincere.

Thank God it didn't happen on my way TO Africa. The lesson I've learned is to carry your ammo box inside a larger luggage piece when traveling Emirates. Then take the ammo box out of the luggage and check it separately on SA airlines, as they require. That's what I did on my way to Africa. My mistake may have been not reversing the procedure on the way home.
 

TTundra

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"But ammunition always has gunpowder in it," I pointed out.

"I know," he said, embarrassed.

"But I got Emirates' approved permit to carry it!"

"I know," he said, more embarrassed yet.

They have promised to deliver my ammo box by tomorrow. We'll see if that promise holds. In any event, their representatives have been professional and courteous, haven't given me the run-around, and appear sincere.

Thank God it didn't happen on my way TO Africa. The lesson I've learned is to carry your ammo box inside a larger luggage piece when traveling Emirates. Then take the ammo box out of the luggage and check it separately on SA airlines, as they require. That's what I did on my way to Africa. My mistake may have been not reversing the procedure on the way home.

My PH just told me of his experience coming back from the US this past February with Emirates. He purchased some empty, new manufacture, brass. had it in his checked bag and was stopped at the gate by emirates. He was asked to come with them and brought to the Dubai Airport police. They questioned him about the brass. He stated it was new, obviously not loaded, and legal by their policies. He was then given a form with no English translation and told he must sign it or stay at the police station.

Of course he signed it, police confiscated his brass, and he missed his flight.

At least you got an apology Roland. I never got even that.
 

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Just resurrected this thread. Interesting read. I am going to make my first hunting reservation on Emirates in a few days. The 2500 difference in price between Delta Business and Emirates is significant. Moreover, I flew them often to the Middle East when I was still working for the defense industry. My corporation flew Vice Presidents in international first, and that has to be experienced in their aircraft to be believed (and during my eleven years in industry, I flew them all - second favorite was Lufthansa). I was always treated with great courtesy both on board and at every ticket counter where I dealt with their staff. Business class is a very nice ride as well - it is much more comfortable than my experiences in business on Delta in particular (one of my least favorite airlines - right down there with American). My favorite US carrier is United with whom I have a million miles (literally).

My only hesitation was the permit which can only be done 30 days out. I would hate to find out that my rifle and ammo were not approved two-weeks out from departure. But then again, any of the airlines could change their weapons' transport policies at any time.

With respect to the comment above, I would be extremely hesitant about packing undeclared brass in any checked bag these days. So much of it is x-rayed and/or hand inspected, one would be simply asking for an interrogation regardless of the country or security service involved. A friend of mine placed an empty pistol magazine in a checked bag to bring to a PH friend in Namibia. He was stopped by German police and given the third degree. The magazine was, of course, seized and instead of a nap in Frankfurt, he just made his Air Namibia flight to Windhoek.

In Dulles I was delayed nearly an hour while a dedicated TSA inspector and his immediate supervisor ran and re-ran explosive residue checks on my ammunition. Finally, their supervisor, a harried but competent fellow arrived, took it in, and sent me and my ammunition on our way.

Be early, be polite, be patient, and don't be stupid.
 

rookhawk

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It's borderline weird how much I like @Red Leg on this forum. Usually similar experiences, worldviews, collections, shooting preferences, decorating style. Someday I'll read a book or take a course on proper internet stalking so I can show my admiration to him properly. :)
 

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I took them in September. The firearm/ ammo paperwork and transfer in Dubai was painless and worked well. They have very good customer service and the planes are also very nice.

The problem I had with them was transferring my firearm between them and Alaska Air. Even though Emerites and Alaska are code share partners they do not have a firearm transfer agreement. Which means that firearms have to be picked up and re-checked in when transferring from Alaska to Emerites and vice versa. Big pain in my... All that said, you won't have that problem if your not transferring to/from Alaska Air.
 

TTundra

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To each their own. I chased the dollar for airfare my first trip, and I payed the price for it. There are good and bad stories for each airline, and this thread was to share my negative experience(s) with Emirates
 

rookhawk

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Well lets not let empirical data get in the way of opinion.

Best airline in the world 4 of the past 15 years since inception. 2016 best airline in the world. World’s Best Inflight Entertainment for a record 12th consecutive year.

http://www.emirates.com/media-centr...-airline-at-skytrax-world-airline-awards-2016

But as for opinion, here is an updated one from July: I can personally attest to the lobster onboard being excellent. The Veuve Cliquot and Perrier Joulet champagne was outstanding by the bottle. The Sancerre was an excellent pairing as were the cordials I had with the crepes suzette for a midnight snack. The gratis Cubans were enjoyable in my complimentary hotel room for the 8 hour Dubai layover. The car service two and from home also included were lovely stretched limos. The private elevator from the business class lounge directly to the gate was a nice feature so I didn't have to wait in line. The radio dispatch notifying the ground crew I'd boarded so they could put the firearms on board was also a nice touch. Catching up on live world news for 20 hours in flight along with all the movies in the theater was pretty okay too. The complimentary shave kits by bulgari with the cologne and after shave and what nots was also a nice touch and each leg got me another so the boys at camp enjoyed them. All in all, I think I drank, ate and smoked them out of about $2000 alone making for a hell of a good time.

Overall, not a bad deal for $4000 compared to a dumpy coach ticket for 2/3 that on other carriers.
 
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TTundra

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Yea...no silver spoons for me. I'm just one of those hunters whom usually values meat more than horns, but wanted a chance to hunt Africa. Thankfully, the Emirates hasnt ruined that desire and I'll be traveling back next year.

Frankly, I hope I never write a review as that 'update'. Just not the type of hunt I'm looking for.

As before, making my experiences known.
 

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I took them in September. The firearm/ ammo paperwork and transfer in Dubai was painless and worked well. They have very good customer service and the planes are also very nice.

The problem I had with them was transferring my firearm between them and Alaska Air. Even though Emerites and Alaska are code share partners they do not have a firearm transfer agreement. Which means that firearms have to be picked up and re-checked in when transferring from Alaska to Emerites and vice versa. Big pain in my... All that said, you won't have that problem if your not transferring to/from Alaska Air.

Pretty much mirroring my experience. I also had to fly to Seattle from Phoenix and do the gun hassle switch-a-roo with Alaska. Not a big deal on the way out, but time was pressing on the way back and we made it to the gate no more than 10 mins before boarding was supposed to start for our flight back to Phx.

I also travel cattle class. I think @rookhawk was at the front of the plane and constantly flying a bit pitched upward as he was always looking down his nose at us riff raff in the back. Nonetheless the service was still very friendly to us low lifes, food plentiful and the best personal entertainment system I've found on an airline. The staff was amazing too with their immense amount of patience dealing with children left to their own devices. Kept things in order but did so without making a fuss.

Traveling with the gun I found was easy though a little stressful getting that email back from them saying it was all good prior to the trip. But it was flagged in their system and they were definitely paying attention without me asking to ensure it was on the right plane. They even held me up on our connection to Jo'burg at the gate until they had confirmation it was on board. Some might find that annoying, I found it quite comforting.

And the fare......couldn't beat it. My only beef was they changed flight times on our way back on the Dubai to Seattle leg. What was originally a 2-3 hour layover became 9. That prompted a stay at the Dubai Airport hotel on the airside of security, that was definitely posh, might even have impressed rook.
 

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The point rook is making with some friendly, fun descriptive license is that there are some really good international travel deals out there for only a bit more than we would pay in steerage. While in the Army, including my time as a General Officer, I flew everywhere in the cheapest seats on the cheapest airlines. You have not lived until you spend 18 hours in a back row seat on an AirAsia flight to and from Korea - I swear they get an extra hundred people on their 747s and the stews wouldn't know a Sancerre (the French do make the best Sauvignon Blancs on the planet - sorry Kiwis) from drayno. And the food - well never mind. The jump seats on a C-130 were more comfortable and MREs were superior dining. So spending just a bit more for international business on what is arguably the premier airline in the world (at least for the moment) is perhaps worth thinking about - and snootiness has nothing to do with it. It really is a different feeling arriving on an overnight flight where you slept prone with a real pillow after a great meal and bottle of wine (not to mention a vintage port afterward:)). Should try it sometime if you haven't.

Can any of these bookings go badly? Absolutely. It is important to bring those to everyone's attention as TTundra has done. Thank you. But it is equally important to get a feel for those who have had other experiences. Those are all important inputs as we make these critical and expensive decisions. N'est ce pas?
 

rookhawk

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Nah, @PHOENIX PHIL , I say it all with much satire. It is a bargain to fly biz class and it actually pays off. Direct flight saves a connection. Saves an overnight at Afton House, etc.

A $4k emirates seat to Africa is cheaper for me than a $2000 delta seat for the above reasons. I've spent a lot of time in cattle class and do so each week. I don't want to be cramped and miserable when I arrive for annual "me time" in the bush. (And I get a third gun with emirates biz)
 

rookhawk

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Great points posted above. Best take away from this thread:

Emirates and others don't transfer guns between airlines well. Nearly ruined my safari two years ago and two other posts had similar peril.

Fly direct whenever possible even if more. Emirates to Joburg or Harare is better than a connector and overnight.
 

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As they say, different strokes for different folks. For me it's Delta non stop from Atlanta, rifles go directly to SAP station at Joburg and I get to blow that extra 2k on 35+ cull springbok. :p
 

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Sorry to hear I feel your pain . I personally will never fly Emirates EVER. But my debacle was with Delta I was charged $200 for a 3rd bag which carried my clothes and ammo .Of which that bag never made it to Joberg WTF right. I use a Boyt case for guns ( Bass Pro brand don't know about Cabelas which I read on previous post) and a Pelican for my bow . ( I have 2 SKB cases and 2 Pelicans and 1 Boyt) all of which have made the jount to Africa. Standing at baggage claim in JNB and file a claim in which they inform me my bag will arrive the next afternoon but I will be catching another flight at 10 am bag wont arrive until 4:50pm. They assure me that they will deliver my bag in the bush next day, spent almost an hour fighting that fight. SAPS was not happy we showed up as they were in shift change and we had to wait a few minutes but we got out of there without a hitch.
Problem with this is ammo is in locked box in checked bag which is legal on our end but when you claim in JNB you must take out and check seperatley as you know , well I want there so they held my bag in JNB we didn't hear anything the next day so we called to get status on the bag and luckily we did as they were about to ship back to ATL as it had Undeclared ammo in it imagine that . So we persuaded them to open box as I left key in the lock so if they needed to look in it they could, told them take the ammo box out and send it on as it had tag on it , they would not do but they were happy to confiscate ammo and send bag. Fine I need my clothes so on day 4 7pm bag shows up at camp and we had to send courier 2hrs one way to retrieve bag.
Upon coming back through customs we checked bags through TSA and they told me they did not need to check bow case leave it locked ( I used masterlocks) which I also carried a set of 4 spare locks in case they removed any. Arrive in Dallas to find my locks were cut off and in the process broke the tabs with metal reinforcement on them which I filed claim to no avail because they denied any wrong doing , but whoever cut the locks twisted as they cut to do damage and then I asked to see said video and was told I had to pay for video. My response was FU%K You . But all in all I understand the lost bag does happen but not after you charge somebody $200 and is 2 hrs early to flight but I will still fly Delta because I have flown SAA also and 4 hr shorter flight and better service it is worth the 200-300 higher price.
Good luck in 2018 as I will be going back also in 2018.
 

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redass, Whew! Sorry to hear about the gun case fiasco. I flew Delta and SA shuttle to Bloemfontein in May of '16 and DID NOT have to separate my ammo from checked bag and ship it separate. This was different than the previous three trips I made. As for clothes, etc., EVERYTHING needed to hunt and wear for two days is in my carryon bag, binos, rangefinder, clothes, hunting boots, jackets, personal products, scripts, etc. If my other clothes and ammo don't show up, my ph/outfitter will supply me with rifles and ammo for the hunt. As far as bags, it goes by whatever class of ticket you buy. Steerage doesn't get you much. On a related note, a buddy that went with me insisted on bringing one of those humongous aluminum caskets and wound up paying more than two hundred dollars in excess size and weight baggage charge and the locking rod got all bent to hell. Ironic, he could have bought a nice Pelican or SKB for less money.
 
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375 Ruger Fan

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Funny BA commercial from several years ago:

 

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The point rook is making with some friendly, fun descriptive license is that there are some really good international travel deals out there for only a bit more than we would pay in steerage

i agree with the fact there are some very good deals out there for business class, where sometimes due to the vagries of airline booking systems the price is equal or even lower than the full fare price of the next class down.

about phils comments below ...i think if you keep coming out with arrogant, pompous, condescending posts people will not bother to think it was "satire", and although rookhawk has obviously eaten many dictionaries not sure if satire is the correct description for his post, but just think its that persons attitude in general.....he could have written it slightly differently with a bit of subtle humour ,so it would have come across as i hopefully presume he meant it to.........

"I also travel cattle class. I think @rookhawk was at the front of the plane and constantly flying a bit pitched upward as he was always looking down his nose at us riff raff in the back. Nonetheless the service was still very friendly to us low lifes, food plentiful and the best personal entertainment system I've found on an airline. The staff was amazing too with their immense amount of patience dealing with children left to their own devices. Kept things in order but did so without making a fuss."
 

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I'm getting this impression.


 

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Well lets not let empirical data get in the way of opinion.

Best airline in the world 4 of the past 15 years since inception. 2016 best airline in the world. World’s Best Inflight Entertainment for a record 12th consecutive year.

http://www.emirates.com/media-centr...-airline-at-skytrax-world-airline-awards-2016

But as for opinion, here is an updated one from July: I can personally attest to the lobster onboard being excellent. The Veuve Cliquot and Perrier Joulet champagne was outstanding by the bottle. The Sancerre was an excellent pairing as were the cordials I had with the crepes suzette for a midnight snack. The gratis Cubans were enjoyable in my complimentary hotel room for the 8 hour Dubai layover. The car service two and from home also included were lovely stretched limos. The private elevator from the business class lounge directly to the gate was a nice feature so I didn't have to wait in line. The radio dispatch notifying the ground crew I'd boarded so they could put the firearms on board was also a nice touch. Catching up on live world news for 20 hours in flight along with all the movies in the theater was pretty okay too. The complimentary shave kits by bulgari with the cologne and after shave and what nots was also a nice touch and each leg got me another so the boys at camp enjoyed them. All in all, I think I drank, ate and smoked them out of about $2000 alone making for a hell of a good time.

Overall, not a bad deal for $4000 compared to a dumpy coach ticket for 2/3 that on other carriers.
Ok you are getting our attention! May have to take a look at them next time. The older I get those coach seats seem to get smaller. I just was on South African Airways so you know what I mean. Thanks for the info.
Regards,
Philip
 

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