Croatia Airlines - Now Not Taking Sporting Guns - CHECK BEFORE BOOKING

Wills

Well-Known Member
I think I was going to hunt abroad now, I would hire one. Death by bureaucracy unfortunately.
 

Jon P

Well-Known Member
What problems did you have on the South African side?.Asking because a friend and I are due over there on the 27th.
A lot of the issues started this side which may of given us a knock on effect on the way home, BA office staff did not inform ground staff that we were taking firearms, so check in took over 3 hours outgoing.and an additional £210 charge each,

When we arrived in joberg we had to get our saps forms approved as SA police who would not respond to the emails phone calls prior to the trip, 7 of us paid 600 rand each and we caught our connecting flight with minutes to spare.

Now to the trip home, we arrived in joberg with plenty of time to spare, on arrival at the BA check in desk they were having issues checking in the firearms, we were also told they had over booked the flight and some would be off loaded to a later flight. I and one other went to a different checkin desk to the others , there was a very nice woman who managed to over ride the system to get us booked onto the flight by only charging us £85 instead of the standard £210. To cut a very long story short, 3 of the group took over 3 hours to get a boarding pass as there systems were struggling to process the firearms and they would not let them board without paying the full £210. They had to cancel there bookings and rebooked them on , quite stressful when you know the plane is already overbooked, they made it though to us with 30 mins to spare before the flight took off to U.K., on arrive in U.K. BA had lost 2 of the trips suitcases, luckily all firearms had arrived,

There were other hunting groups looking to board the plane, some from Ireland and another from Northern England, I believe they were off loaded as I never saw them again.

They may be members on here , ??
 

Chill 123

Well-Known Member
The stories of delays and problems on this thread are very common when travelling abroad with firearms from the UK. So why cant the Border Force and the handlers get there act together . As customers we deserve better service but every trip is the same ,stressful and annoying, You would think after all of the years they have handled firearms they would learn from there mistakes and it now be a slick operation . Given Croatia airlines decision which airline will be next ? Hiring rifles when you get to a destination isn't an option when you have a team of 15 travelling .

Chill
 

starr shot

Well-Known Member
I thought the problem with Croatian airways was a temporary one,as they forgot to change their firearms handling permit over after somebody had left the company or thats what we had been told.We are flying with Virgin to SA and over several trips have never had a problem.
 

jb1

Well-Known Member
@Jon P
That sounds like the exact same issues we had with BA years ago regarding costs and total lack of idea.

It was Menzies i think who were the security company then, but they had no idea either of the process.
 

404Boar

Well-Known Member
That’s why I fly Klm from Newcastle.via shipool to Zargreb
Last year from checking in to buying a bottle of gin in duty free 45 mins . All done painlessly and they are very efficient at Newcastle . Worth having to have a layover in Amsterdam for a few hrs 😳
Agreed. Newcastle is painless. Check in as normal at the desk, ammo in checked bag gone off on the belt as normal, escorted walk upstairs to check in the rifle in with the BF guys, done in literally ten minutes. Hour at Schipol chilling, second flight to Zagreb and through the ‘checks’ (smile, head shake, wave through) and away to hunt.

Just as it should be.
 

Corvid8x57

Well-Known Member
There is now another hoop to jump through at Zagreb now that the EFP is no more. You have to buy a Croatian gun licence of some sort. i think that it cost about 70 Kuna but we had to pay in cash at the cigarette kiosk - the other group arriving had to get cash changed up, so worth making sure that you take some with you. The old practice when the Police just got you to open your gun case by the carousel to show them the serial number was much better!
 

dunwater

Well-Known Member
The stories of delays and problems on this thread are very common when travelling abroad with firearms from the UK. So why cant the Border Force and the handlers get there act together . As customers we deserve better service but every trip is the same ,stressful and annoying, You would think after all of the years they have handled firearms they would learn from there mistakes and it now be a slick operation . Given Croatia airlines decision which airline will be next ? Hiring rifles when you get to a destination isn't an option when you have a team of 15 travelling .

Chill
The problem is that both airports and carriers would prefer not to have to deal with firearms and there are too few passengers carrying them to make it worthwhile developing a streamlined process and training staff.
In my previous life I had extensive dealings with various airlines, after being put through the wringer by Aer Lingus I made some inquiries, the results weren’t encouraging. The basic ICAO requirements make total sense, they are supposed to make it impossible for a functional firearm to come in direct contact with its ammunition during the transport process. However each airline has its own interpretation of the rules and its not uncommon to find a trolley stacked full of cases labelled “ firearms” which will include ammunition for the said firearms in separate cases in the loading area, precisely what the regulations are designed to prevent.
This is down to the fact that each airport and each airline has their own interpretation of the basic ICAO requirements, plus their own individual enhancements, with no overall coordination or oversight.
Then you add your UK firearms laws. Everywhere else I take my gun to check in, from check in to special baggage, it gets labelled I hand it over and toddle off to the boarding area.
Not so with the UK.
I present myself at check in, staff process and label my baggage then we wait, and wait, and wait some more, until an authorised handler arrives to take the firearm through security to a dingy customs office in a hard to find location on the far side of the security check for inspection. Once inspected and verified the firearm continues its pedestrian journey to the aircraft.
Bear in mind that most check in desks for short haul flights only open 2 or 21/2 hours before departure, that the same staff that check you in will also board you and that your dealing with a slotted airport with fines for late departure from the gate and tight aircraft turnaround time and you can see why the airlines don‘t want to or just won’t do it.
Its not a pretty situation but it is what it is, I’ve run the clock down from 4 hours before departure to a brisk gallop through security with a member of staff to shout me through a couple of times, I’d rather not do it again.
But don’t just take my word for it, give it a go yourself, sometimes it works perfectly, it has for me lots of times…
 
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