Emirates - Worst hunting airline experience ever

rookhawk

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@Philip Glass maybe I just have Stockholm syndrome? I have platinum status on American and fly coach weekly. In the past 20 years I've been upgraded maybe twice. The US carriers seem to universally suck real bad.

So Emirates feels so good after feeling so bad for so long! I'm sure BA, Air France and other premium long - leg carriers do a good job too. Frankly, it's just shocking how cheap emirates is for what you get. Last week they had 2 for 1 coach and biz fares for $1600 and $6000 to Jo'burg. Now that is just getting silly. That's roughly coach on SAA prices for emirates business. And the coach tickets, heck, I paid that for a coach ticket to Dallas last month and here they move you around the world for that same money.

All piling on about the pampered treatment was meant in a humorous light but it was all absolutely true benefits/features of the fares. Beats warm nuts on American!
 

sierraone

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Let's hope our beloved Trump doesn't place some type of "tariff" (my word, I believe there is another business related requirement that the U.S. airlines want), on them as our American, Delta and United have requested.
As is we have a choice, if you don't want to fly with them, don't!
 

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Thank you for your post. It was nice to see an opinion that from the other side that wasn't condescending or berating. I certainly did learn a lesson here and your third paragraph does sum it up nicely. Now I also know to inspect everything more carefully when picking up from SAPS and take the time to really go thru it there. I know this type of damage would have been hard to see there as shooting told the story, but my scopes will be in my carry on for my next trip over.
In reference to baggage and automated baggage delivery systems. I work for an airline in Boston and have seen baggage get stuck or caught on the belts. I was returning from a hunt in Namibia, back to Boston and because my gun case is considered an oversized bag, I was expecting it to come to the oversize baggage area. After it didn't show, I walked back to where my travel companion was standing, waiting on the luggage and there was my gun case on the belt in baggage claim. No damage, but could have been.
 

Hogpatrol

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I don't know what each individual U.S. airport's protocol is regarding firearms baggage but my experience has been sometimes it comes up the belt to the carousel and other times someone hand carries it to that area and checks the ticket numbers and my identification.
 

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I don't know what each individual U.S. airport's protocol is regarding firearms baggage but my experience has been sometimes it comes up the belt to the carousel and other times someone hand carries it to that area and checks the ticket numbers and my identification.

I don't think there is a standard protocol just varies by airline and airport. Like your experiences, I have had pretty much had everything in between.
 

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I've had my guns miss 2 connecting flights and once my gun was held up in Johannesburg because the ticketing twit wouldn't do her job right. Got them all back though sometimes later than would be preferred

I've also had my gun case dropped and damaged. It's a good, sturdy SKB. It must have been dropped from some height by United or SAA as it's bowed out on one end about where the gun barrel would have hit. I use Delta now

These things happen with some frequency. Some of the pro hunting writers talk about going through a gun case every couple of years
 

rookhawk

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I think it's a numbers game. How few hops can you take on your trip?

I pay the premium to avoid Jo'burg as I view hops as odds of loss or damage.

That's probably why I'm most antagonistic to Delta and SAA from my origin location: lots of hops. Add to that, you have to overnight in another USA city waiting for Delta and SAA, and if you miss your flight or it's delayed, you're in serious legal trouble at JFK or Dulles since you cannot possess weapons for longer than a brief connection without their local gun permit, which you cannot have. Then you have to overnight in Jo'Burg and do SAPS before going to he final destination.

Emirates:

Chicago-> Dubai -> Africa (either Lusaka, Harare or Jo'Burg)

SAA / Delta:
Chicago-> Another US city -> Senegal or somewhere in West Africa -> Jo'Burg -> Final Africa Destination if not JB

My personal bias is I fear American baggage handlers with greatest concern, Jo'Burg second. The US because people have strong political opinions and may want to ruin your trip, Jo'Burg due to apathy or insufficient bribe. Hence, I'm happiest if out of the States as fast as possible, as few flight changes as possible, as few carriers as possible.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I think it's a numbers game. How few hops can you take on your trip?

I pay the premium to avoid Jo'burg as I view hops as odds of loss or damage.

That's probably why I'm most antagonistic to Delta and SAA from my origin location: lots of hops. Add to that, you have to overnight in another USA city waiting for Delta and SAA, and if you miss your flight or it's delayed, you're in serious legal trouble at JFK or Dulles since you cannot possess weapons for longer than a brief connection without their local gun permit, which you cannot have. Then you have to overnight in Jo'Burg and do SAPS before going to he final destination.

Emirates:

Chicago-> Dubai -> Africa (either Lusaka, Harare or Jo'Burg)

SAA / Delta:
Chicago-> Another US city -> Senegal or somewhere in West Africa -> Jo'Burg -> Final Africa Destination if not JB

My personal bias is I fear American baggage handlers with greatest concern, Jo'Burg second. The US because people have strong political opinions and may want to ruin your trip, Jo'Burg due to apathy or insufficient bribe. Hence, I'm happiest if out of the States as fast as possible, as few flight changes as possible, as few carriers as possible.

I can only agree with the practice of reducing stops. Less baggage handling, less hassle, less chance of not making your destination as expected. Nothing but good comes of this.

But I'm wondering too about Dulles as LTD brings up. And I'm also wondering about JFK. I've never flown thru JFK and I will do whatever it takes to avoid it. But for some it works. The SAA flight is direct to Joburg from JFK. So if RSA is your destination, then it works. But there is the hassle of dealing with the Port Authority. As I understand it however this should preclude any issue that you bring up. As I understand it they're going to ensure essentially that the rifle case gets to where it should. Now in the case of a cancelled flight and you have to wait until the next day, then I can see it getting sticky. But I would think the Port Authority has a process for dealing with that.

Do you know of anyone who had an unintended extended stay in NY and had a problem due to traveling with weapons?
 

BWH

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I think it is safe to say that each & every airline is only as good as their last trip...... You hear rave reviews from one person one day, and crap from another the next. Just the way it goes. All travel is a gamble nowadays.
 

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I had no problem going through Dulles on my way home other than a inept Customs agent that had no ides of what he was doing.
 

BWH

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Yeah...... sadly, 1 worker/employee has the ability to completely queer a trip..... or at least booger it up.
 

rookhawk

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What permit did they tell you that you need at Dulles? Dulles is in Virginia and you do not need a local permit.

I've not flown Dulles. I was told by one of the three travel agents that frequent this business that you're not allowed to leave the sterile side of the terminal with a gun in DC. And with the strictest gun laws in the nation, your right to travel through there with a gun is for a very brief period of time just like at JFK. Thus, if the plane is delayed, you're in direct violation of local gun laws that are strict.

As to JFK, yes, several people have been charged by them over the years and NRA covers it amongst other sources. Everything goes fine until it doesn't!

None of this is my problem because I fly international out of my home airport on emirates just to reduce those hops and alleviate those risks. It's also all moot to me because I think Emirates is the BEST and even that is irrelevant, because emirates is the ONLY way to get into Zimbabwe with guns from the USA now. Lufthansa, BA, AirFrance and KLM all have an EU embargo on Zimbabwe so you cannot bring guns on their flights if you're hunting in Zim.

So if you don't want to connect in Jo'Burg and you're hunting in Zim...I hope you enjoy emirates!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Dulles is in Virginia. Unless things have changed since I was in school at Va Tech I wouldn't describe their gun laws as strict.
 

rookhawk

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Hogpatrol

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Dulles is in Virginia. Unless things have changed since I was in school at Va Tech I wouldn't describe their gun laws as strict.

Guys, there's some serious misinformation being posted here. It doesn't matter where you are traveling from by ground you won't be anywhere near D.C. to get to Dulles. It's almost 30 miles away from D.C. city limits and all entrance is from the special access road. This road is 13.5 miles long, four lanes and only feeds the airport. There are no exits on on ramps in that length. As far as Chicago, there are a dozen flights a day for Delta to Atlanta and then non stop to Joburg. I don't see any issues with that scenario either. My itinerary is I go from Philly to Atlanta and there are at least five flights during the day in plenty of time to make the Joburg flight. As far as Dulles, I went out of there twice and had ZERO hassles. In fact the customs guys there were more than "cool" to work with. Hell, they didn't even check the serial numbers on the guns. Took the 4457s, checked the computer and our declarations and said have a nice day. Now about JFK or other NY/NJ airports? I would rather paddle a canoe to Africa than deal with them. Rookhawk, those three travel agents don't know WTF they're talking about with that "sterile" bullshit.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Some googling turns this up, haven't read it all as I just opted not to connect in the USA at all.

http://volokh.com/2010/03/30/unexpe...stay-criminal-prosecution-for-gun-possession/

http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/092029p.pdf


That definitely covers New York. And I think that's where one definitely has to be aware that they need to go straight to the Port Authority as soon as something goes awry. That said, I'm not aware of this as a problem at Dulles.
 

rookhawk

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Fair enough, @PHOENIX PHIL

Haven't been there with guns. Was advised against it by Steve Turner, cannot say as to why.
 

Hogpatrol

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Dubai is one of the airports that laptops and other electronic devices such as a Kindle or Ipad are banned from carry on luggage when returning to the U.S. Personally I don't take a laptop but for some that may be a major inconvenience. I hope people like to read the old fashioned way.:)
 

rookhawk

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Dubai is one of the airports that laptops and other electronic devices such as a Kindle or Ipad are banned from carry on luggage when returning to the U.S. Personally I don't take a laptop but for some that may be a major inconvenience. I hope people like to read the old fashioned way.:)

I received notice earlier this week that they have a solution so you don't have to check valuables leaving Africa, insuring they are stolen. You carry on all electronics. When you connect in Dubai you give them to a flight attendant and they store them for you for the return to USA leg and they give them back when you leave the plane in USA.

Reasonable solution for emirates customers encumbered by this new rule.
 

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