Travel problems going thru Doha and Dallas

Patrick Grashorn

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Hello All, first off, just got back from another fun, safe and successful safari with Kolobe safaris' My wife Rose took at White Rhino, son a Cape Buffalo bull and big Wilderbeast and I a Golden Wilderbeast and a large lion. However, booking and flying with Qatar Airlines was an issue. First let me say that Qatar Airlines is first rate and would gladly fly with them again, But the first leg off the flight from Denver to Dallas was a problem, it turns out we needed to deplane, get our luggage and rifles, yes our rifles, walk around the airport and check in again at Qatar airlines, Who knew, not I as they were all under Qatar. So as we arrived Joberg. SA we had no rifles and had to use the PH'S rifles. Which for gunfolks, is a pretty big frikken deal! Next after getting to Doha and having a nice long layover. A half hour before boarding customs/security came and got us and took us to their office. to make short, they kept our ammo because we didn't list it on some unkown form, possibly the declarations form, we didn't have time to agrue so we lost nearly a 1000.00 worth of ammo, .375 H+H, 404 Jefferies and 416 Rigby. So if anyone chooses this route, please check into these issues before leaving so you aren't put in that situation either, Good hunting.
 

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Quatar is hopeless regarding guns....I had similar problems in 2019...barely got on to my returnflight from Joburg - Doha - Oslo. Will NEVER use them again when traveling with firearms.. After going over forms/papers over and over again to satisfy them....when I finally boarded the aircraft they produced my guncases to check for the umptheent time numbers etc. What is wrong with these people.. ??! FUCKEM..!
 

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Flew Qatar in 2019 DFW to Doha to Windhoek. Used TWG. No problems at all going or coming home. Will use them again when need arises!! RB
 

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Hello All, first off, just got back from another fun, safe and successful safari with Kolobe safaris' My wife Rose took at White Rhino, son a Cape Buffalo bull and big Wilderbeast and I a Golden Wilderbeast and a large lion. However, booking and flying with Qatar Airlines was an issue. First let me say that Qatar Airlines is first rate and would gladly fly with them again, But the first leg off the flight from Denver to Dallas was a problem, it turns out we needed to deplane, get our luggage and rifles, yes our rifles, walk around the airport and check in again at Qatar airlines, Who knew, not I as they were all under Qatar. So as we arrived Joberg. SA we had no rifles and had to use the PH'S rifles. Which for gunfolks, is a pretty big frikken deal! Next after getting to Doha and having a nice long layover. A half hour before boarding customs/security came and got us and took us to their office. to make short, they kept our ammo because we didn't list it on some unkown form, possibly the declarations form, we didn't have time to agrue so we lost nearly a 1000.00 worth of ammo, .375 H+H, 404 Jefferies and 416 Rigby. So if anyone chooses this route, please check into these issues before leaving so you aren't put in that situation either, Good hunting.
Never had a problem per day with them but also we us Gracy Travel always.
Hello All, first off, just got back from another fun, safe and successful safari with Kolobe safaris' My wife Rose took at White Rhino, son a Cape Buffalo bull and big Wilderbeast and I a Golden Wilderbeast and a large lion. However, booking and flying with Qatar Airlines was an issue. First let me say that Qatar Airlines is first rate and would gladly fly with them again, But the first leg off the flight from Denver to Dallas was a problem, it turns out we needed to deplane, get our luggage and rifles, yes our rifles, walk around the airport and check in again at Qatar airlines, Who knew, not I as they were all under Qatar. So as we arrived Joberg. SA we had no rifles and had to use the PH'S rifles. Which for gunfolks, is a pretty big frikken deal! Next after getting to Doha and having a nice long layover. A half hour before boarding customs/security came and got us and took us to their office. to make short, they kept our ammo because we didn't list it on some unkown form, possibly the declarations form, we didn't have time to agrue so we lost nearly a 1000.00 worth of ammo, .375 H+H, 404 Jefferies and 416 Rigby. So if anyone chooses this route, please check into these issues before leaving so you aren't put in that situation either, Good hunting.
Never had a problem with our ammo or firearms .just went month ago from philly.also we use Gracy Travel all the time .I have to say never had a problem.Qatar airlines is the best period.
 

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Flew Qatar in 2019 DFW to Doha to Windhoek. Used TWG. No problems at all going or coming home. Will use them again when need arises!! RB
Same here. I also used TWG for a trip in 2019. I flew United from St. Louis to Dallas and then Qatar from Dallas to Doha to Windhoek. No issues with the guns or ammo. I did have to claim my guns in Dallas and recheck them. Qatar will not accept firearms transfers from other airlines. TWG told us this well beforehand, and it really wasn't that much of a chore. Patrick, was this what you did....fly on another airline from Denver to Dallas?

Ammo wasn't an issue either, since TWG schooled us on what to list on the Qatar declaration form

Patrick, did you book with Qatar directly or use a travel agent like TWG or Gracy?
 

Patrick Grashorn

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We flew American A. From Denver to Dallas. We booked right with Qatar A. I tried three times to contact TWG,s last year and never got a reply so I moved on. Don't know what happened.
 

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Patrick Grashorn, sorry it was a pain, but it sounds like you and the family had a very successful hunt in spite of the hassle! How about a bit of a report?
 

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In this day and age, with the virus and new carriers to Joberg and new routes, FOR MOST TRAVELERS, winging it just doesn't work. If you try and save a few bucks not using an experienced travel agency and you do it yourself, you get what you paid for, PROBLEMS. Went with Qatar in the middle of May, smooth sailing all the way two rifles and 5 kilos of ammo. We have three top rate agencies that handle Africa, Gracey, Travel Express and TWG. Refuse to use them at your own peril.
 

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We flew American A. From Denver to Dallas. We booked right with Qatar A. I tried three times to contact TWG,s last year and never got a reply so I moved on. Don't know what happened.
I read somewhere (probably here on AH) that American Airlines does not do firearms transfers to other airlines.

Travel Express also pointed this out to us on our Qatar DFW-Doha-JNB flights next month. Three guys, all from different cities, and all of us are on American Airlines commuter flights to Dallas.

Glad you had a successful hunt despite the issues!
 

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Just another guy who wouldn’t use a travel agent blaming the airline.
It’s like a disease here on AH!
 

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Just another guy who wouldn’t use a travel agent blaming the airline.
It’s like a disease here on AH!
Wait a minute. I thought we were still in Kansas.
e-big-grin.gif
 

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I did not not take guns with Qatar for this exact issue in March 2021 because they will not tell you if they will for sure take your rifle until you depart to Doha....meaning if you have a connection in the US they make you recheck it (as you detailed) and THEN say "yes" or "no" to your rifle and you. If I was flying directly to Doha from my home airport I would have attempted to take my rifle and if they said "no" I would have been able to leave and lock my rifle in my truck. I had a connection in JFK so if they had said "no," both my rifle and I wouldn't have been going to Africa.

In my opinion, it is not worth the risk. I truly believe the days of flying your own rifle to international hunts are dwindling because of the ridiculous procedures by the imbeciles working for the airlines. It sucks, but it is the reality.

I am glad you had a good and successful hunt. Sucks about the hassle.
 

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I just flew the exact same route in June 2021 on AA from Denver to Dallas then on QA to Doha and JNB.

Rifle and ammo paperwork has to be submitted to QA well in advance and pre-approved by QA well before your flight and then you won't have problems. Print and carry the approval documents with you. Gracy Travel submitted paperwork for me in advance and sent me the other forms I had to sign in person as well.

You can't just book flights with QA and show up with firearms like you can with other airlines. Get pre-approved and then they will not refuse your firearms.
 

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Not all airlines will do transfer of guns. Found this out once myself when Jet Blue wouldnt transfer to SAA in NY. If you dont think that wasnt fun going thru all that at JFK, with cops and customs agents all happy to look over all your stuff after you cart it around the airport on carts like a game of ping pong!!
Not blaming the airline, but I would not use Blue again just for that.
 

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Yes, at one time AA had on their website that they did not transfer guns to other carriers, not sure if that language is still there, but it sound like they still are not. For example, a lot of folks like to blame the UK and Heathrow for gun problems. The problems are when traveling on AA metal to London and then transferring to BA metal.

United has or had on their website that the only carrier that the would transfer to was SAA and no others.

Not surprising that Blue will not transfer. I am shock that they would accept them as cargo at all.

I have no doubt that sooner or later everyone will be hunting with camp guns.
 

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Yes, at one time AA had on their website that they did not transfer guns to other carriers, not sure if that language is still there, but it sound like they still are not. For example, a lot of folks like to blame the UK and Heathrow for gun problems. The problems are when traveling on AA metal to London and then transferring to BA metal.

United has or had on their website that the only carrier that the would transfer to was SAA and no others.

Not surprising that Blue will not transfer. I am shock that they would accept them as cargo at all.

I have no doubt that sooner or later everyone will be hunting with camp guns.
AA will transfer to QA.
 

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Not all airlines will do transfer of guns. Found this out once myself when Jet Blue wouldnt transfer to SAA in NY. If you dont think that wasnt fun going thru all that at JFK, with cops and customs agents all happy to look over all your stuff after you cart it around the airport on carts like a game of ping pong!!
Not blaming the airline, but I would not use Blue again just for that.
On my first
first safari I was looking at booking my flights myself, how hard could it be?

I was starting in Denvet on a Jet Blue flight to JFK and then SAA the rest of the way. That was until I talked to Lori at Travel Express. She told me to avoid Jet Blue like the plague if I was taking a firearm. She then booked my flights and got me a better price with Delta to JFK and then SAA. The trip home went SAA and United.
 

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Seven trips to RSA, departure points Dulles and Philly, Eight different airlines used, Delta, SAA, United, AIr France, Lufthansa, Qatar, Air Link, SAA Express. Took my guns and ammo every time. Went through Atlanta, Frankfurt, Paris, Joberg, Blomfontein, and Port Elizabeth. Stored guns in Joberg twice while I went on fishing trips. Not ONE single problem. Used Gracy Travel to set up every facet of the trip.
Old sayingf "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail". YMMV.
 

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Getting your firearms paperwork in place prior to departure is not that complicated...if you know what's required. I for one don't have the time or inclination to go it alone. Any of the big 3 travel companies will make this process easily understandable and efficient...as many of us have experienced. I'll stop hunting anywhere I can't bring my own guns. Fusing over which gun to take, getting the hand loads right, practicing with them, are all part of the enjoyment. Thankfully, we're not in a place where travelling with firearms is impossible. If using your own guns is as important to you as it is to me....use a good TA and take your guns!
 

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