Qatar Airways experience

JimP

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Just remember most reviews are done by ticked off customers.

We flew SAA out of NYC and had zero problems. Food was airline food cattle class, movies were fine and the plane was clean. We also flew SAA back to the states with zero problems. As for price SAA was over $1500 cheaper than Delta for the round trip tickets. As for baggage, bags get lost at times I don't care what airline you are on.

I also recommend using a travel agent. They take the headache out of trying to get the cheapest flights. Plus if there is a problem they will be on top of it long before you know what is going on if you don't have a internet connection while you are hunting. We used Travel Express and will use them again if I do go back.
 

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My wife and I flew Qatar airlines from DFW to Doha then Doha to Windhoek. No problems at all. We flew with firearms, at each stop they told us our luggage was on the plane! We used Qatar because of price. It was over a 2000$ savings over Delta. We will use them again in 2020 for our next safari to Johannesburg. Prices now look like we will save 3000$. We bought a day pass to 1st class lounge so we could relax, eat and take a shower. We used Steve’s TWG.
 

Hogpatrol

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One way to avoid a lost bag fiasco is to pack everything needed to hunt in a carry-on bag. It's rare that gun cases and bags containing ammo are lost.
 

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Thanks for posting. Very informative.
 

Mort Hill

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The Delta direct flight baggage reasoning does not hold water for me. I have had bags delayed/lost on direct flights just like connections. I think most delayed bags happen because of too short a layover, or a baggage tag being lost or torn off the bag. I would not hold one airline higher than the other due to the number of lost bag horror stories. As was stated before, pack a carryon with what you need to get through a few days hunting(with the exception of gun and ammo obviously), and then don’t sweat the small stuff. You can worry yourself sick with “what ifs”. I highly recommend Qatar and personally had no baggage issues at all.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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You asked why am I concerned regarding Qatar. It is because Qatar is the only other airline that I am looking at flying due to their reasonable price. Typically we fly Delta nonstop which means the luggage from Atlanta is going to be on the same plane that we are flying. So no worries there. But with Delta's increase in airfare Qatar seems to be the next most reasonable option. Sorry to hear about your experience where SAA lost one of your bags for a week! That's terrible.

Ask @CAustin , @Shootist43 and @Art Lambart II about their experience with Delta and guns/bags getting lost/delayed on the ATL to JNB flight.
 

Archerholic

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One way to avoid a lost bag fiasco is to pack everything needed to hunt in a carry-on bag. It's rare that gun cases and bags containing ammo are lost.
I apologize - I should have mentioned we are bowhunters. If we were firearm hunting I would not have any concern. The PH's always have a firearm for clients to use. We are bowhunters hunting in a bow only concession. If a bow doesn't make it to your destination then you are pretty much screwed. Yes I would take my release and other smaller gadgets on the plane but I can't do a carry on with bow and arrow. So that's why I am concerned.
 

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The Delta direct flight baggage reasoning does not hold water for me. I have had bags delayed/lost on direct flights just like connections. I think most delayed bags happen because of too short a layover, or a baggage tag being lost or torn off the bag. I would not hold one airline higher than the other due to the number of lost bag horror stories. As was stated before, pack a carryon with what you need to get through a few days hunting(with the exception of gun and ammo obviously), and then don’t sweat the small stuff. You can worry yourself sick with “what ifs”. I highly recommend Qatar and personally had no baggage issues at all.
I agree. But certainly seems chances are less on a direct flight as opposed to a connection in another country. Also as I replied in another post, we are bowhunters. I would have no concern at all if we were firearm hunters because the PH will always have a firearm for use. But we are full time bowhunters. If the bow and arrows don't make it then you are out of options until they arrive unless you have the $$$ to go somewhere and purchase all new equipment. I always carry as much of my hunting valuables as I can with my carry on. But I can't carry on my bow and arrows.
 

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One way to avoid a lost bag fiasco is to pack everything needed to hunt in a carry-on bag. It's rare that gun cases and bags containing ammo are lost.
I always carry as much of my hunting valuables as possible in my carry on. But we are bowhunters. Can't carry those on board. If we were firearm hunters I would have no concern at all. PH's would have firearms available if necessary. Bows are a whole other category to deal with. As I'm sure you know they have to fit. Not a place that I would want to wound an animal due to my bow didn't make it while trying to use someone else's bow if there were even one available.
 

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I fly Qatar several times a year and consider them one of best airlines out there. Have flown with firearms without any issues.
 

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This is probably uber expensive but can a bow & arrows be shipped to the outfitter well in advance?
 

Mort Hill

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This is probably uber expensive but can a bow & arrows be shipped to the outfitter well in advance?

If so I would use DHL. They seem to do a good job getting the package to the rural addresses. Probably not as expensive as one would think, plus you can track, and have some breathing room if something should go a missing. Good idea for a bowhunter. Might want to also check on carriers with outfitter.
 

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Well to put your mind at ease Delta didn't load my suitcase on the plane in Atlanta so I had no clothes, no shoes and no ammo for 4 days as I was not in JNB the next day to retrieve my suitcase with ammo in locked box (luckily I left key in lock just in case) they opened box when it arrived after 2 days I told them take the ammo I need clothes. Anyway its a crap shoot with who you fly anymore and we had 3 hr layover in ATL should have made it. So I suggest carry all essentials and 2 days of clothes in carryon and wear hunting shoes.
 

Newboomer

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I have checked with SAA. Their reviews with luggage was way worse than I care to chance.

I've flown SAA for the last three years round trip JFK to Tambo to Pt. Elizabeth and never had a single glitch. I like the nonstop from JFK to Tambo to JFK and my bags are on the same flight. Same for Tambo to Pt. Elizabeth to Tambo. Lori at Travel Express has always got me good rates and schedules. Usually run about 1800 - 1900 USD round trip Reno to JFK to Pt. Elizabeth. Flew Delta ---one time only and never again.
 

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My wife and I flew Qatar airlines from DFW to Doha then Doha to Windhoek. No problems at all. We flew with firearms, at each stop they told us our luggage was on the plane! We used Qatar because of price. It was over a 2000$ savings over Delta. We will use them again in 2020 for our next safari to Johannesburg. Prices now look like we will save 3000$. We bought a day pass to 1st class lounge so we could relax, eat and take a shower. We used Steve’s TWG.

@Beretta391 can you provide details a out the 1st lounge we plan to buy this pss too. What should we expect to find in there and whats ur overall experience of it
 

Beretta391

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@Beretta391 can you provide details a out the 1st lounge we plan to buy this pss too. What should we expect to find in there and whats ur overall experience of it

It’s called the 1st class lounge. You can buy a day pass. I think it was 65$ per person. Nice area to relax, very quiet, a coffee bar with lots of variety of coffees, snacks, tea, milk and juice. A very nice buffet is included with many main course options, vegetables, humus, breads and desserts. Free bar with any kind of alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks. You can take a shower and also a area where u can stretch out and nap if you like. We were very pleased with the lounge.
 

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@Beretta391 thanks for the info that def helps we were wondering bout nappin nice to know food is included too sounds like a no brainer option to get that pass!
 

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I believe you can also buy a pass for the Al Maha and Oryx lounges. We use our Priority Pass membership to access these.
 

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I too have only flown JFK to Johannesburg and now twice to Windhoek without issue. Now that I live in Georgia I’ll have to deal with Delta’s flight 200 I guess.
 

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