Flying with firearms and why it is a hateful thing...

Just a wrap-up note to conclude.

It is difficult to put into words how bad the BA firearms check-in was at LHR T5.

Herewith the executive summary.

Four passengers. Four Rifles. Four boxes of ammunition. Seven members of BA staff. Three hours.



Unknown.jpeg

Your 'allowance' is dependent on which 'seat' you bought.

The more expensive your seat, the better your allowance. The one who flew 'steerage' got stung for both cases, both ways.

He has complained - I do not think it will go anywhere. I do not think he read the small print.

IMG_2712.jpeg



I have complained on the basis that over three hours to check in four passengers is gross incompetence.
We barely made the flight and we certainly missed out on the pre-flight G&T.

Out-bloody-rageous.

Somehow we got the damn flight...

IMG_2715.jpeg



On the flip side. The one girl in Jo'berg (on the return flight), managed to check in all three (we had lost one) passengers, three rifles and three ammunition boxes, in twenty five (25) minutes.

Unknown-1.jpeg

I am confident that BA will acknowledge their appalling service, and offer me a free 'Business Class' flight for my next adventure....


Unknown-2.jpeg...not.
 
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Just a wrap-up note to conclude.

It is difficult to put into words how bad the BA firearms check-in was at LHR T5.

Herewith the executive summary.

Four passengers. Four Rifles. Four boxes of ammunition. Seven members of BA staff. Three hours.



View attachment 367058

Your 'allowance' is dependent on which 'seat' you bought.

The more expensive your seat, the better your allowance. The one who flew 'steerage' got stung for both cases, both ways.

He has complained - I do not think it will go anywhere. I do not think he read the small print.

View attachment 367060



I have complained on the basis that over three hours to check in four passengers is gross incompetence.
We barely made the flight and we certainly missed out on the pre-flight G&T.

Out-bloody-rageous.

Somehow we got the damn flight...

View attachment 367061



On the flip side. The one girl in Jo'berg (on the return flight), managed to check in all three (we had lost one) passengers, three rifles and three ammunition boxes, in twenty five (25) minutes.

View attachment 367059

I am confident that BA will acknowledge their appalling service, and offer me a free 'Business Class" flight for my next adventure....


View attachment 367063...not.
Sorry for your struggles my friend ! Virgin Atlantic and don't look back …
 
Virgin Atlantic and don't look back …
I'm not sure why (but I think I do know), we flew BA.

In my 'complaint' letter to them, I have outlined that any future trips (collectively we have over 40 - others are doing the 'heavy lifting' in our group), may well depend on how they respond to this issue.

BA has (in my view) the opportunity to made good on their 'service delivery', or (they will not care) lose a customer.

It will be, at best, a Pyrrhic victory, but it is the principle at stake.
 
I'm not sure why (but I think I do know), we flew BA.

In my 'complaint' letter to them, I have outlined that any future trips (collectively we have over 40 - others are doing the 'heavy lifting' in our group), may well depend on how they respond to this issue.

BA has (in my view) the opportunity to made good on their 'service delivery', or (they will not care) lose a customer.

It will be, at best, a Pyrrhic victory, but it is the principle at stake.
Related, but different recent experience with BA.

Less than 18 hours to go to our business class flight from LHR to Lisbon to join our cruise last month, BA cancel our flight due to a French ATC strike - the fact that the major French ATC union had cancelled its strike 12 hrs before made BA’s cancellation surprising. Yes, there was going to be some disruption if landing in France but we were just routing through their airspace to Portugal 🤷‍♂️

Wife distinctly not impressed tries to engage direct with BA, eventually finally managing to find a real person to have a sensible conversation with. Options were discussed (BA did offer a later flight but that was very sub-optimal and high risk due to ship boarding) so they transferred us to TAP who incidentally hadn’t cancelled any of their flights due to the strike :-| This had first-world consequences: change of terminal, loss of lounges and complications to the costly car parking arrangements. Suffice to say we caught the ship and a blissful 10 days then followed.

We arrive at the airport with 2 hours to go to our scheduled return. The BA check-in is not open - a stroppy lass behind
the counter yells check-in will open in an hours time - concern starts the rise and the queue progressively grows. We make it to the front to be told theirs a slight delay to the flight and here’s a 20 Euro voucher as the only lounge that BA has access to at Lisbon is closed. Having started early that day due to the cruise ship disembarkation arrangements, we go in search of something to eat and find refuge - the terminal is rammed and the 20 Euro voucher will barely buy a sandwich and a soft drink. We wait, and wait. The departure board gate timing for our flight starts to go right. BA’s app suggests firstly an hour, then 2 and finally 3 hour delay. Then a message that due to the delay, there will be no food or drink on the aircraft🤬

The more cynical (and those with knowledge of BA’s flight delay compensation arrangements) quickly deduce that the no food/drink change is to save turnaround/loading time to avoid having to pay delay compensation. So, we eventually board a bus to take us to the aircraft where we wait and wait, watching the BA stewardesses taking selfies on the boarding steps whilst the local ground staff furiously “turn” the aircraft 🤬 By this stage my wife is incandescent, vowing never to fly with our National carrier again.

Curtailing this ramble, there was food and drink onboard and the flight crew seemed genuinely apologetic for the delays and made speed to get us back to LHR as fast as they could - or was that just to limit compensation? The wife complained and upshot, a £700 refund and 20,000 Avios compensation.

Will we fly BA again - I think you know the answer……..
 
Will we fly BA again - I think you know the answer

The malaise at BA seems entrenched over years: My appalling experience in 2018 mirrors much of what has been shared in this thread.

I will not fly BA again.

 
Just a wrap-up note to conclude. It is difficult to put into words how bad the BA firearms check-in was at LHR T5. Herewith the executive summary. Four passengers. Four Rifles. Four boxes of ammunition. Seven members of BA staff. Three hours. View attachment 367058 Your 'allowance' is dependent on which 'seat' you bought. The more expensive your seat, the better your allowance. The one who flew 'steerage' got stung for both cases, both ways. He has complained - I do not think it will go anywhere. I do not think he read the small print. View attachment 367060 I have complained on the basis that over three hours to check in four passengers is gross incompetence. We barely made the flight and we certainly missed out on the pre-flight G&T. Out-bloody-rageous. Somehow we got the damn flight... View attachment 367061 On the flip side. The one girl in Jo'berg (on the return flight), managed to check in all three (we had lost one) passengers, three rifles and three ammunition boxes, in twenty five (25) minutes. View attachment 367059 I am confident that
BA will acknowledge their appalling service, and offer me a free 'Business Class' flight for my next adventure.... View attachment 367063...not.

Having flown several hundred flights over the last 25 years with firearms your description of your recent flights in my experience is the new normal.
If you can check in at Heathrow within 2 hours you are lucky.
Return flights normally not a problem.
BA were good to fly with firearms until about 10 years ago when they updated their checking procedure software. Then if the staff checked in luggage first firearms couldn’t be checked in after that as payment couldn’t be accepted.
Since Covid it has gone from bad to worse, new staff , poor training and in my opinion and experience the bigger picture is that do not want the hassle of taking firearms.
The percentage of passengers that fly with firearms is minuscule and doesn’t warrant the expense on their part to continue.
Unfortunately on some routes they are the only option for a direct flight.
 
@Covert
BA were good to fly with firearms until about 10 years ago when they updated their checking procedure software. Then if the staff checked in luggage first firearms couldn’t be checked in after that as payment couldn’t be accepted.
This very much seems to be the case.
Since Covid it has gone from bad to worse, new staff , poor training and in my opinion and experience the bigger picture is that do not want the hassle of taking firearms.
I was not joking when I said we had seven staff trying to get it done.

Three ladies from behind the jump, three 'trainees' brought over to 'learn', and then the shift 'Manager' to try and put it all together. Absolute dross.

If BA do not want the 'hassle' of customers with firearms, (you may well be right), then just grasp the nettle and say so.

Unknown.jpeg

The damage this shite does to their reputation, cannot be worth the agro.
 
I have flown out of the following UK airports with firearms.

Gatwick, Heathrow, Inverness, Stanstead.

In every case there was some idiot employed by the airport or airport security that couldn't do his/her job properly. Some of the worse moments were with BA. And when I fly again to any destination, it will not be with BA. They are completely hopeless.
I have hunted Africa 8 times over the years, and visited a few times, without rifles. But taking firearms on a BA flight is a nightmare.

Last big trip with two american friends, BA managed to leave two guncases on the runway at Jo'hburg airport. Luckily we got them back on a an air Zim flight. Then they lost two gun cases at heathrow for about 2 hours on another return trip. My final act was to tell them on the BA desk that I was ringing 999 and reporting that someone was wandering around Heathrow airport with 4 rifles.

Funny they found them after about 5 minutes!!

Last year one of my closest friends was stopped coming back from a trip to Scotland with me, at Stanstead.

WAIT FOR IT!! The complete idiot at Border security stopped him and threatened him with arrest as he had expanding ammunition in his locked case! It took about an hour before this cretin, phoned his boss and was told that was not an issue. No apology, only an excuse that they hadn't been trained.

I could go on, perhaps its me :rolleyes: but it beggars belief with some of the things that have happened.
 
I’ve never attempted to fly with firearms, but every time I’ve attempted to book a flight recently with BA for work, the price has always been incredibly uncompetitive. Seriously unless it’s long haul to somewhere not well served by the competition (Phoenix springs to mind), BA rules itself out on price alone 90% of the time in my experience.
 
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For what it is worth (nothing).

Herewith is BA's response.

An apology from British Airways

We’re sorry you were upset by our staff at the airport when you were travelling with us recently. This isn’t what you should expect when you travel with us, and we understand why you needed to let us know about it.

We don’t underestimate how stressful the airport can be, so we’re particularly disappointed our staff didn’t meet our usual high standards of professionalism. I’ve shared your concerns with the relevant managers, who will take appropriate action straight away.

Thanks for taking the time to let us know about this and once again, please accept our apologies for this experience. If there’s anything else I can help with, please contact me directly.

Best regards



I replied by complaining about the obvious 'cut & paste' response, which contained not one fact germane to my complaint, and repeating my request for a refund.

To be fair they came back almost straight away.

Still sorry (generic) and no refunds will be given.

I thanked them for their response, repeated that the BA staff in Jo'Berg had been excellent, and that the BA staff at LHR had been appalling. It will not matter to them, but I have made it clear that I will not fly with them again.

That will learn them...
 
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For what it is worth (nothing).

Herewith is BA's response.

An apology from British Airways

We’re sorry you were upset by our staff at the airport when you were travelling with us recently. This isn’t what you should expect when you travel with us, and we understand why you needed to let us know about it.

We don’t underestimate how stressful the airport can be, so we’re particularly disappointed our staff didn’t meet our usual high standards of professionalism. I’ve shared your concerns with the relevant managers, who will take appropriate action straight away.

Thanks for taking the time to let us know about this and once again, please accept our apologies for this experience. If there’s anything else I can help with, please contact me directly.

Best regards



I replied by complaining about the obvious 'cut & paste' response, which contained not one fact germane to my complaint, and repeating my request for a refund.

To be fair they came back almost straight away.

Still sorry (generic) and no refunds will be given.

I thanked them for their response, repeated that the BA staff in Jo'Berg had been excellent, and that the BA staff at LHR had been appalling. It will not matter to them, but I have made it clear that I will not fly with them again.

That will learn them...
Don’t ask them for a refund, ask them for compensation, that should poke you into a different cubbyhole than the run of the mill whingers.
I can’t actually guarantee that they will pay up, but it should be good for several weeks of entertainment before they run out of excuses.
 
Don’t ask them for a refund, ask them for compensation, that should poke you into a different cubbyhole than the run of the mill whingers.
Here's the thing.

I think the BA's 'complaint's' department will be a 'boiler house' in India, where young graduates will be working long hours for minimal reward and absolutely no power to make any kind of decision on behalf of a 'Global Brand".

Those tasked with responding to the (what I suspect will be a plethora) complaints, will have have the option of five 'standard' pre-worded generic 'sorry but, letters".

All of which end with "We cannot refund/compensate/be arsed".

I actually looked up the name of the bloke in charge...

Unknown-1.jpeg...and it did cross my mind to write to him direct (he will never get it, much less read it).

Then I thought, you know what? I am just...


a3616784439_65.jpeg
 
Here's the thing.

I think the BA's 'complaint's' department will be a 'boiler house' in India, where young graduates will be working long hours for minimal reward and absolutely no power to make any kind of decision on behalf of a 'Global Brand".

Those tasked with responding to the (what I suspect will be a plethora) complaints, will have have the option of five 'standard' pre-worded generic 'sorry but, letters".

All of which end with "We cannot refund/compensate/be arsed".

I actually looked up the name of the bloke in charge...

View attachment 369181...and it did cross my mind to write to him direct (he will never get it, much less read it).

Then I thought, you know what? I am just...


View attachment 369182
The purpose of your campaign is not to actually get compensation, it’s the campaign itself.
You have both the skills and the time to tie their legal department in knots for the next 6 months, during the course of the campaign you will learn how they play the game, which will make you a better player next time.
Make no mistake it absolutely is a game, with one side knowing the rules and regulations and having endless resources to try to grind the opponent down ( obviously this is not you) and where you insist that they answer specific questions ( which they will sweat blood to avoid).
It’s not about the money, it’s about the game, they are absolutely relying on you to give up and go away, just like more than 90% of legitimate complaints do if they make it difficult or just refuse to engage.
This is policy, this is one way they reduce operational costs and boost profits, at your expense.
Run them ragged until they refuse to engage with you anymore and then refer the matter to the relevant regulator for adjudication.
If BA doesn’t contest the adjudication, it will go in your favour.
If adjudication doesn’t go your way, appeal it.
BA will have to respond again.
Make enough of a nuisance of yourself and they’ll pay you to go away.
Treat it as a competition where logic and moral superiority has to trump corporate indifference and obfuscation.
You will thoroughly enjoy yourself .
 
No problems at all with virgin atlantic to Johannesburg then Airlink to port Elizabeth wouldn't hesitate to take rifles again all straight forward 👍
Could you tell me please, do you see your rifles in Jo,berg or do they seemlesly tranfer to Windhoek.
Tusker.
 
Could you tell me please, do you see your rifles in Jo,berg or do they seemlesly tranfer to Windhoek.
Tusker.
Yes mate you see them in Johannesburg and security check them with you before putting them on the next flight we paid a south africa lad to meet us and sort it all out I'll pm you his details if you like 👍
 
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