This situation has made it difficult for many US hunters to travel to or through the UK for a hunt, especially to Africa. What you may not know, however, is that Virgin Atlantic has a flight to Johannesburg and has no problem taking your firearms. Subscriber Cameron Hopkins says he used Virgin recently and although the American/BA connection to Jo'burg is a better itinerary for him, his experience with Virgin was significantly better than with American. He writes, "Virgin had me fill out a complete form with the make/model/serial number of the rifles and my personal data. They faxed this form ahead to the security chief at Heathrow. American never had such a form. Virgin asked me to wait while a US Customs agent was summoned to hand inspect the firearms to be sure they were in a suitable locked container and were unloaded. He then signed a form, which was also faxed ahead. American always just shoved the gun case into the TSA inspection area."
I checked with corporate sponsor Esplanade Tours, which works closely with Virgin Atlantic. Principal Jacky Keith tells me Virgin is keen on serving the hunting market and understands the importance of handling firearms correctly. She says hunters can confidently check their firearms all the way through to Johannesburg on Virgin. The firearms are collected in London by a security company hired........(continued)