Flying Ethiopian Airlines with a Rifle

Rick HOlbert

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Hello Everyone,
I am flying Ethiopian Airlines November 8th from Dulles Airport to my final destination in Harare Zimbabwe, with a 2 hour layover in Addis Ababa. I know that I will be checking my rifle in with TSA in Dulles for my flight to Addis, and I have do my 4457, so I am wondering if my rifle will need to be checked in/inspected again in Addis. I read several different experiences here on African Hunting but I don't see any information about it on their website.
I am hoping that someone here can fill me in on what to expect when I get there and if I do in fact need to re-check my rifle. If I do have to re-check it, do I have to seek someone out or will someone contact me??
After reading comments here, it seems that some of you were pleased with the airline and service and a few of you are not.
I would especially like to hear from anyone who has traveled recently.
Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated!
PS I am hunting near Bulawayo for a big Leopard, and with some luck I will be posting a Hunting Report!
Good day, A good friend just flew on Ethiopian Air a week ago out of Dulles going to Namibia. Bags/gun case were checked through to Windhoek and he didn't touch his bags again until he arrived at his final destination. It all depends on the service agreement the airlines have with each other. Sorry but I don't know about flying into Zim. Hope all goes well for you and good luck on your hunt.
 

Rick HOlbert

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Small correction about flying Ethiopian Air. My friend called me from Namibia and advised that to make their connecting flight to Namibia they had to check their guns and baggage again to make the flight to Namibia. Sorry for the incorrect info in my last post.
 

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Flew Dulles to Windhoek on April 22 with 1 hr 20 minute layover. Same on return. We had to do the rifle check both ways in Addis Ababa. Made both flights. If an agent is not waiting upon arrival with your name on a paper sign/white board, you may need to contact an Ethiopian agent ASAP. That happened on our return. Thankfully my brother spoke with an agent plane side and they radioed to have another agent meet us and take us to the firearms inspection area. I was concerned about missing the connection but it worked out for us.
 

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Flew Dulles to Windhoek on April 22 with 1 hr 20 minute layover. Same on return. We had to do the rifle check both ways in Addis Ababa. Made both flights. If an agent is not waiting upon arrival with your name on a paper sign/white board, you may need to contact an Ethiopian agent ASAP. That happened on our return. Thankfully my brother spoke with an agent plane side and they radioed to have another agent meet us and take us to the firearms inspection area. I was concerned about missing the connection but it worked out for us.
Same here, no problems at all
 

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Flew Dulles to Windhoek on April 22 with 1 hr 20 minute layover. Same on return. We had to do the rifle check both ways in Addis Ababa. Made both flights. If an agent is not waiting upon arrival with your name on a paper sign/white board, you may need to contact an Ethiopian agent ASAP. That happened on our return. Thankfully my brother spoke with an agent plane side and they radioed to have another agent meet us and take us to the firearms inspection area. I was concerned about missing the connection but it worked out for us.
Your 1 hr 20 min layover with gun check was OK? I have no problem contacting an agent to speed/assist with process but that short time makes me worry. My layover options are same as yours, 1hr 20 mins or an extended 17 hrs. Would rather have those hrs to sleep in Joberg. Was hoping some who have done would chime in, could be more hunters with firearms in July when I go? This could/may impede check times.

MB
 

Shakka

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Your 1 hr 20 min layover with gun check was OK? I have no problem contacting an agent to speed/assist with process but that short time makes me worry. My layover options are same as yours, 1hr 20 mins or an extended 17 hrs. Would rather have those hrs to sleep in Joberg. Was hoping some who have done would chime in, could be more hunters with firearms in July when I go? This could/may impede check times.

MB
Ill say it again here that my check in AA couldn’t have gone any smoother and the attendant was waiting for me as I exited the plane. It went quickly and he was fully aware of my connection and assured me that I would make it. I offered tips to the personal that helped me and was turned down! The one time I actually wanted to give a tip because I wasn’t shaken down
I was the only hunter on the plane but I wouldn’t worry if there were a few since they really seem to have their shit together and couldn’t have been any nicer to me
 

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Ill say it again here that my check in AA couldn’t have gone any smoother and the attendant was waiting for me as I exited the plane. It went quickly and he was fully aware of my connection and assured me that I would make it. I offered tips to the personal that helped me and was turned down! The one time I actually wanted to give a tip because I wasn’t shaken down
I was the only hunter on the plane but I wouldn’t worry if there were a few since they really seem to have their shit together and couldn’t have been any nicer to me
I like your confidence, thinking I will book with the 1 hr 20 min layover on way over. Return will be as long in Ethiopia as I can get.

Thanks

MB
 

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I like your confidence, thinking I will book with the 1 hr 20 min layover on way over. Return will be as long in Ethiopia as I can get.

Thanks

MB
Go for it brother!

FWIW: Debbie Gracy has been booking my flights for years now and also did my Ethiopian flight. She has my full confidence
 

LivingTheDream

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I like your confidence, thinking I will book with the 1 hr 20 min layover on way over. Return will be as long in Ethiopia as I can get.

Thanks

MB
Its not a very big airport.

Also, as their security person said to me "nothing will make him happier than when me and my gun are on that plane"

I think you should be fine.
 

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I also offered a tip and they didn’t accept it.
There were five hunters (rifle cases) on our flight there. No problem.
 

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Shakka,
When the agent took you into the modern dungeon where your bags there along with your gun case or did you have to go to another location to collect your other bags? Once you had all your bags did you have to transport them somewhere else to check them back in or did they do it right there?
My Wife and I are leaving Friday to end up in Joberg thru Addis Ababa.
Thanks
Mike
 

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Bluestone,
On our recent trip, they took us to an area at ground level and brought (1) the rifle case and (2) one of our suitcases (the only one that contained ammunition) to us there. After checking the serial number on the rifle, we were taken via bus back to an entrance with an escalator up to the boarding gate. They kept us moving at a steady pace. The airline folks took care of the luggage and rifle case transfer. It really wasn't much of a problem even though it's hard to see what the purpose is...
 

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Shakka,
When the agent took you into the modern dungeon where your bags there along with your gun case or did you have to go to another location to collect your other bags? Once you had all your bags did you have to transport them somewhere else to check them back in or did they do it right there?
My Wife and I are leaving Friday to end up in Joberg thru Addis Ababa.
Thanks
Mike
First off, don't worry because it isn't a dungeon. I read that here as well and a think that the poster said that he needed a flashlight too. I assume that that was a while ago, because the office is a well, lit modern looking office, staffed by uniformed professional looking people. A representative met me when I exited my plane holding a sign with my name on it. He took me by bus to the office where my guncase was waiting for me. They checked it quickly and I was back on my way. The rep walked me right back to my plane and took my rifle case with him. Not even one of them would take a tip but I did, happily, palm him a $20. I was glad to do it. I was treated so well. My luggege was checked all the way to Bulawayo from New York.
Just have the required copys of your Eth Gun Permit and make copies of your 4457 as well because I think that they took a copy from me.
Trust me you will be fine!! REALLY nice genuine people.
 

mikecatt13

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Semi related question, is everyone using normal locks for gun and ammo cases for Africa? Or do they have to be TSA approved?
 

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Semi related question, is everyone using normal locks for gun and ammo cases for Africa? Or do they have to be TSA approved?
Mike... Sample size of one, so take it for what it's worth. I had regular locks on the gun case and ammo and that worked fine. I am hunting in South Africa.
 

Shakka

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Mike... Sample size of one, so take it for what it's worth. I had regular locks on the gun case and ammo and that worked fine. I am hunting in South Africa.
Same here...master lock padlocks on my guncase and tsa on my suitcase
 

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That's what I guessed, but only based on domestic flying from personal experience. Thanks for the first hand info!
 

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I would add that the one oddball luggage thing for me was I had a TSA lock on my check in, as recommended by many on here. They cut it off, and in doing so also snipped the hoops the lock passes through. It was unlockable for most of the duration of the trip. Fortunately everything made it there and back.
 

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Sitting in Dulles after returning from 3 weeks in Zim. Flew Ethiopian through Addis Ababa. Going was called out by nice Ethiopian Airlines lady in green jacket just as reaching que to enter airport for transfer and taken to lower level of baggage transfer for flights. No special room, just out on floor with baggage conveyors. Lots of panicky hunters(around 8), but had my 4457 form dated 1992 with copies for their use. Just calmly waited and they got itall handled and done and we were on our way with time to spare with 1 hr and 20 min between flights to Harare.

Return from Zim was a little strange. We immediately asked as we entering Addis airport off plane that we needed to have guns checked. No problem said three different folks, so we proceeded to flight and even boarded. Then the guy comes up to us as we are chilled on plane and specifically ask us to come check guns. 10 minutes before departure time. I complained but remained calm and we were again passed of to green jacket lady and escorted to lower level, checked guns, and then nice friendly gal in green Ethiopian Airlines jacket assured us we would be back on flight and bags would make it. She escorted us up through back way, bypassed security, and took us with same blue police guy who inspected guns through secure door on jetway and back onto plane. We made it, bags made it, guns made it. Apparently from my dialogue with her there was a breakdown with the team that was responsible for gun exams on our specific Harare flight, hence the last minute theatrics. But they did exactly what they said they would do and everything worked with just patience and smiles. So all this to say, I would have no hesitations whatsoever flying Ethiopian and through Addis again, and really the time between flights becomes irrelevant because they do not want your guns left at the airport any more than you want them left.

Dulles was a bigger pain in the ass than Addis or Harare!
 

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