Qatar Airways??

dg2

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I have also booked with Qatar Helsinki-WDH-Helsinki in February 2018. Direct flight to Windhoek is very nice especially considering that Comair does not transport bows (is it still valid?), no paper work required when travelling with a minor child, and also I have been travelling through JHB so many times over the years. Also the ticket price was cheap compared to Air Namibia flight from Germany.

I have been travelling in Arab countries (Turkey, Jordania, UAE, Oman etc.) a bit and never had any issues, you just need respect their culture rules.

We also have one 9 hour or so layover; I have not checked that city tour option (never been in Doha before) yet.

But please let us know how your trip was. Thanks!
 

Philip Glass

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I guess flying with a firearm can get pretty sticky and you better do your homework on all of this. I know its great information coming in and I'm sure we are all learning from each other.
I wasn't even thinking 'firearm' but as mentioned above, some airlines may consider a bow case as a 'weapon' and your smooth flight suddenly turns troublesome.
All things I'll need to consider before booking the flight.
Just use a travel agent that specializes in hunting travel and there are NO ISSUES with traveling with guns! So much misinformation on these threads from people who did it WRONG and want to tell everyone their woes!
Philip
 

Dee S

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I received a response back from Qatar Air. The free hotel special expires on 28 December 2017 and has a minimum layover of 12 hours. Our trip is in June of 2018 and our layover is right at 9 hours. Figures. LOL
 

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Just use a travel agent that specializes in hunting travel and there are NO ISSUES with traveling with guns! So much misinformation on these threads from people who did it WRONG and want to tell everyone their woes!
Philip
Agree with this. Its not about having ones hand held, its about letting qualified, experienced agents that have dealt with all manner of issues do their job. A couple trips ago, I used the agent my outfitter recommended here in the states, but he didn't take into account that while in the states doing the shows, he wasn't dealing with guns, I would be. They are the ones who booked me on Jet Blue to connect with SAA. Jet Blue wouldn't transfer my rifles at JFK, so had to do it myself which as I noted earlier is a giant PITA. Never again. Lori at Travel Express took much better care of us this summer to Namibia and back, no gun issues at all.
 

enysse

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I think it's become way too much of a trouble to travel with guns. I appreciate all the comments and knowledge on this forum. I would like to go back to Africa I'm just tired of paying the ridiculous prices that Delta and other airlines are charging.
 

DoubleLunger

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I know nothing of Qatar airlines but I'm glad to see that you're not about to make a huge mistake with British Airways or Com Air as they lost my archery equipment while enroute to Windhoek. I also had a layover in Johannesburg. Come to find out Johannesburg is well known for stealing/losing valuable luggage. I'd say you're doing it right by avoiding the theft city of Johannesburg. If you can try to get it in writing or perhaps print up the page on their website that states their policy on flying with archery equipment. This may save you from having to argue with the incompetent airline employee at the ticket counter

If I were to do it all over again I'd probably just ship my archery equipment so it's there when I arrived at camp. Even though it may cost some $$ to ship it I think it's the better option rather than dealing with worrying the entire flight if your bow is still going to make it just to find out that it's not there when you arrived followed by dealing with airline employees who are not only unhelpful but just don't care if your trip is ruined or not.

I'm only speaking on behalf of my recent devastating experience of traveling to Namibia.


Also, see if your guide has a backup bow just in case yours does not make it. This saved my hunting trip from being ruined.

Either way I wish you luck and I hope it all arrives with no damage to you or your equipment

PS I've heard good things about flying into Germany and then in straight to Windhoek
 
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Dave Zimmerman

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Booked my trip to Johannesburg and Qatar was one of cheapest airlines from KS to SA. They rate very highly in terms of quality worldwide and have heard nothing but good things about them. One thing I like about them is if you have a layover over 5 hours, the Qatar Airways and government partnered to offer free city tours of Doha while on layover. A free tour of major sites in Doha in air conditioned tour with English speaking guide to take you to see a country most of us wont visit alone is a free bonus. Art museum, historical recreation site, and shopping at open air market...all free to visit/see while in country. Figured it was the best way to spend a long layover and see a place I likely wouldn't visit otherwise.
 

Dee S

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Dave, I'd confirm that free tour with them. I just asked and was told by email, offer expires on December 28 and the layover has to be a minimum of 12 hours I think?? I posted it above.
 

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I just flew Qatar from DFW to Doha to JoBerg. I rented a gun from the outfitter, so I didn't have to worry about that. I did pack a knife on the way over and a spear for my kids on the way back (in checked). Didn't declare it or anything and it got there fine. I was using credit card points so I did business class. Great flights, great service, and no issues.

NOTE: when flying out of Doha to USA they do a second screening of your electronics. It was slow and a bit of a cluster. It's a newer procedure for them and it shows. You have to take ALL electronics out and they swab them for explosives. Even my GoPro had to come out. Then a lady asked my wife "who packed your bags, have they left your sight, etc". She was slow to ask it, painfully slow. Then she turned to me and just as slowly asked me. I tried to politely say, I packed it and it never left my sight, but she just pushed on like she was reading a script. Just give yourself more time at the gate than you might have in any US airport.

As an airline I would recommend, but it still doesn't answer anyone's question about flying with them with rifle or bow.
 

Dave Zimmerman

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Dave, I'd confirm that free tour with them. I just asked and was told by email, offer expires on December 28 and the layover has to be a minimum of 12 hours I think?? I posted it above.

I looked into it and if the tour isn't an option (expired offer or I don't qualify since I didn't book through their website for the airline tickets), they do allow you to leave the airport on a visa...something like $27. Taxi to tourist area (Souq Waqif shopping area) there and back ive seen is like $35-40...figure if I miss out on free tour (which only spends 30 minutes shopping and you drive by the art museum rather than go inside) this might be better option. My flight lands at 4:40pm and don't depart to S.A. until 2:20am, so planning to do tour or just taxi to Souq and walk/shop, eat, and relax before taxi back to airport and 8 more hours on plane to get to S.A. to hunt.
 

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Ok, newbie inquiring about Qatar Airways.
We have put down our deposit for our trip for June of 2018. We will be hunting with Roy van der Merwe and his Otjandaue Safaris in Namibia.
We will be flying out of Houston (IAH) and would prefer to fly into Windhoek (WDH) with only one stop.
Qatar Airways now has that flight at a great price, $1040 roundtrip, per person, with a 9 hour layover in Doha.
Looking online at their baggage regulations, looks like we are allowed two checked bags apiece, up to 70 pounds each, with a size restriction of 62 inches. The 70 pounds is nice and the 62 inches is pretty much the industry standard. As of today, we have NOT purchased airline tickets.
We are not traveling with firearms, archery equipment only, but our SKB double bow cases are over the 62 inches.
I know we won't have any issues with the weight, but I am concerned about the oversize bow cases. Has anyone flown with this airline? If so, any issues, good or bad? How was the flight service? Any recommendations?
We are planning on staying in the hotel that is within the airport at Doha for the layover. Again, I welcome any input.
It's our first trip to Africa and we're really looking forward to it.
I would go to Qatar airways website and send them an inquiry about your concern. Their airport police stole my husband's ammo when we had to change planes there on our way to Tanzania. Their 309 plane is really nice and comfortable on long flights.
 

dg2

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We just flew HEL-DOH-WDH and back with Qatar Airlines. The only a bit negative thing was 8 hour night time layover on our way back home. By the way the transit desk where you can ask for possible complimentary layover stuff is before security.

I took my bow in Terraglide and no questions asked at any point.

Their fleet is newer than with any other airlines and also pricing is very good!

I would definitely use Qatar again if going Africa. I been through Heathrow and Johannesburg so many times; it is a really refreshing to have some alternatives.
 

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Hey dg2, thanks for the update, there planes look great and I have only heard great vibes about airlines and airport
 

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We'll be able to report on Qatar airlines soon. Leaving June 3rd for our 12 day safari. Two years in the planning......
 

Dave Zimmerman

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Im planning to do full review of them in a couple weeks, as I leave March 18th returning on the 28th. Hopefully this can help other members decide to take or avoid Qatar Airways as well as the likely long layover in Doha.

My goal is to have photos of the planes, economy seating, meal options, entertainment options. I also plan to document my time outside the airport in Doha on the 10 hour layover, including how easy customs is to clear, taxi service from airport to Souq Waqif, and the return back thru security after returning to airport.
 

Dee S

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We’re planning on going straight to a hotel for a shower and sleep. No sight seeing. But I hear the line to leave and get back in at the airport is really, really long so reconsidering that now.
 

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I flew Qatar between Australia and Poland a number of times (stopover in Doha), I have also travelled with firearms, no issues. I’ve also gone out to see Doha and it’s a civilised, safe place. There were expat women jogging along the coast dressed in western style gym wear and it didn’t seem to raise any eyebrows except mine cause it was way too hot to be running. Obviously one ought to be respectful of local customs whenever travelling but that’s just common sense and courtesy and is not exclusive to middle east. Organising my travel with firearms required one phone call and one email. Organising a flight with IATA approved inflatable lifejacket required two phone calls, several emails and an “inspection” of the item by airport staff, go figure.

Sometimes it’s possible to upgrade to business class at Doha airport. An upgrade for the Doha-Sydney leg is worth 1000USD. Well worth it if your budget allows. When asking about the upgrade make it clear to them you mean a paid not award upgrade as otherwise they seem to just check the award upgrade availability. The upgrade purchase option is only available from 3 hours before departure. Once you booked your economy flight you can also buy lounge access and indulge in Champagne. I recommended Al Mourjan louge (they have several). There’s food selection + good selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages at two bars as well as showers.
 
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375 Ruger Fan

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We’re planning on going straight to a hotel for a shower and sleep. No sight seeing. But I hear the line to leave and get back in at the airport is really, really long so reconsidering that now.

You might check the hourly rate for the Oryx Hotel in the airport (Website: https://dohahamadairport.com/relax/airport-hotel#) (NOT the Oryx Rotana Hotel, which is a few miles from the airport).

The hotel website is not user friendly and won't quote a hourly rate. It simply has a link to click to email. I am sure it's expensive, but if you figure the time and hassle and cost of a cab to go to an offsite hotel and back, the hotel inside the airport might be worth it. Email: reservation@oryxairporthotel.com

I did this type of deal at the Protea Hotel inside the Joburg airport. I think the cost was about $100 for a 6 hour dayroom. Did not have to go outside the secured part of the airport, but this hotel can only be used for international connections.
 

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The hotel inside the airport, as far as I know there is only one, returned my email and for the 8 hours it was almost $400 US per stay. I have a room booked for $80. I've worked a boat load of OT to pay for the trip, this last paycheck had 79.5 hours OT, plus my normal 80 hours, so every dollar counts for me. As far as the hunt itself, I'm making sure it is as good as I can afford and it is paid for, it's the other areas I have to try and save. Like upgrading to better seats on the flights, another $1000 per person is two or more animals, and my daughter voted on the animals. Same with the hotel, $800 for two stays versus $160, she voted animals. She's good with sleeping on the floor of the airport waiting area if it means she can shoot more animals. LOL
 

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$400 for airport hotel is just silly
 

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