United Airlines recently made a temporary change to their policy regarding the acceptance of firearms for interline transfer to other carriers. South African Airways realizes the importance of making this process seamless. South African Airways has worked with United Airlines to resolve this matter and they would like to advise you that UA is now accepting firearms and ammunition for interline transfer to SAA.
To facilitate the transfer of the weapons, it is important that you advise the SAA check-in agent at their gateways that you have firearms and ammunitions as part of your through checked luggage.
This will enable SAA to double check that the firearms and ammunition have been received from the delivering carrier and are loaded onto the transatlantic flight. This additional check will assist in the successful transfer of these valuable goods.
FIREARMS ON BA OPERATED BY COMAIR:
Please be advised that with effect from 1 March 2013, Comair will no longer be accepting firearms for carriage on any domestic or regional flight operated by both the British Airways and Kulula brands.
This includes all hunting rifles, or any weapon requiring special handling, that may not be carried as either hand luggage or checked baggage.
Passengers who hold bookings on any BA/Comair or Kulula flight after this date will need to make alternative flight bookings.
Please note, this information only applies to Southern African flights and does not apply to British Airways international flights between London and South Africa.
FIREARMS ON BA OPERATED BY MANGO and OTHER BUDGET AIRLINES :
Please be advised that these LOCAL carriers will no longer be accepting firearms or Ammunition on any domestic or regional flights in Southern Africa.
It’s a long flight and as we suggested you will spend the night in Johannesburg with the great folks at AFTON HOUSE.
When you arrive in Johannesburg you will go and get your luggage.
YOUR GUNS DO NOT COME OUT ON THE CARAOUSEL so gather your checked bags first then find (in this same area of the baggage) the security office where there will be people standing around at gun cases stacked up outside.
You will have to sign for your guns there and then the gun-security people will take your guns to the SAPS office. Have your luggage tag for your Gun case handy. You can now leave the baggage area and head for Customs and then SAPS.
If you arrive on a SAA flight from Atlanta, Washington, New York, etc. SAPS will be on your right hand side as you will be coming out of Terminal A2 into the lobby area.
If you arrive on KLM, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Air France or Lufthansa it will be on your left hand side, as you will be coming out of Terminal A1.
TIA – things can change.
The SAPS office checks the firearms and issues the Firearm Import/Export Permits, not customs.
Continue through customs with all of your bags except guns. Once clear of customs you will go through a big doorway and there will be lots of people there with signs and names on them. An Afton House representative will be there waiting for you with your name on a sign. FIND HIM before you proceed any further. Once he has met up with you, he will take you to SAPS to finish your gun permits and get your guns. When you enter the SAPS office, please ensure that you have all the needed documents ready. Gun permits we have supplied, I.D., letter of invitation, passport, etc.
(Hunters with pre-approved gun permits must tell the SAPS officers that they have a pre-approved Import / Export permit)
The new SAPS import and export firearms office is now open. It's located in the International Arrivals Terminal between the Banks and the Post Office, between Terminals A1 and A2. Again-DO NOT leave the baggage area without first finding your guns. You will be asked for your SAPS 520 form and will have to sign for the guns you have brought in.
However, TIA - things change at Johannesburg airport from time to time, so priority is to find the Afton rep first. Once this is done the Afton rep will take you back to the B&B where a barbecue will be offered (normally steaks and the fixings) for approx $20.00 U.S. each. In the morning they will take you back to the airport (unless you have extra days in Johannesburg) and assist you getting on the domestic flight to Port Elizabeth (PE ) and checking guns which are separate from checked bags. AMMO MUST go in the checked bags in a small hard case - TIA – where they want the ammo may change, just go with what the airline staff want.
We highly suggest that you take an extra day at the beginning of your trip to stay at the Afton House B&B in Johannesburg. They are experienced with hunters and gun permits. The plane is late getting in to Johannesburg, so then getting to P.E. very very late at night will not work. Everything will be closed in PE ( bar, restaurant ). Also, if your bags don’t show (it’s only happened twice now in the last 5 years), the Afton House representative can also assist you with recovering them and hopefully they will show the following day and catch up to you in P.E. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to their website https://www.aftonsafarilodge.com/
Once in Port Elizabeth you will gather your checked bags and go out of arrivals then turn left to Firearms security office and get your guns. The gun permit issued by SAPS will be needed here. You will be met by an RHS representative / PH at the PE airport Arrivals with a sign or at the Gun office and drive you to our ranch. If you have pre-scheduled extra days in P.E. then we can arrange a reliable pickup & transfer to your hotel.
Once you are picked up by us it’s safari time.
When you leave the ranch for your return to the United States you will be assisted in checking in etc in Port Elizabeth for your flight to Johannesburg. When you get to Johannesburg you will be met by an Afton House representative again (this is why we use Afton House) and taken to get your guns and then on to international departures. Afton charge about $ 50 per group to help you go out. This airport is huge so you may have a hard time getting to the international area from the domestic area. The Afton House representative will make sure you are all set before he leaves you. Once you are checked in and your guns are secured for the flight home you are set and can do a bit of shopping for that last minute curio in the international area. The Afton reps are working for Afton and do appreciate tips for walking you through the return process.
With the use of Afton House Reps in Johannesburg and RHS in Port Elizabeth there is no need to use a baggage handler.