It seems that Air Canada is not the only airline implementing extra fees to accept firearms and other sports equipment as checked baggage. As of November 1, Lufthansa has been charging excess baggage fees for all sporting equipment based on a complicated schedule determined by the kind of equipment checked in and the specific flight route. Upon checking in at the Lufthansa counter in the US or Canada for a flight to Africa, you could pay from $160 to $180 each way (depending on the gateway) to check in a gun case weighing up to 33 pounds. For a flight ending in Europe, the fee ranges from $105 to $127. Within Europe, the fee is $25 to $50 US (20-40 Euros), depending on which countries you fly to and from. Also included on the list of equipment no longer considered part of Lufthansa's free baggage allowance are fishing rods, golf equipment, skis and diving equipment. You can see the entire schedule of fees by going to the Lufthansa web site at: www.lufthansa.com (Click on Information and Services and then Excess and Special Baggage.). We are indebted to Steve Turner of Gracy Travel International for help in confirming the new policy through Lufthansa's headquarters in Frankfurt.
Just be aware that some of the Lufthansa reservation agents we spoke with at press time were not aware of the new policy. Some thought it only applied in Europe. Consequently, you may or may not be charged the above-mentioned fee. And there is another area of ambiguity worth noting. If you connect to a Lufthansa flight through another carrier and check your bags through, there is no telling how the gun-handling fee will be calculated by the carrier you check in with. We welcome feedback on this from subscribers who fly Lufthansa. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.