Beginning October 7, 2009 for all fares purchased as of July 31, BA will charge $82 (£50) each way for your firearm, no matter what class you fly. The fee is to cover "third-party handling costs" that the airline has incurred for the processing and handling of firearms. In addition to that, hunters flying on BA's World Traveller, Euro Traveller or Domestic classes will have to pay an excess baggage fee for their firearm because the airline has reduced its free baggage allowance on these fares to one bag. The cost for the extra bag will depend on whether you are flying internationally, from the US, or within the UK or Europe, but the range is from $48 to $55. (This includes the reduced fee offered if you pay for the bag online rather than at the airport upon departure.)
There's also the matter of weight restrictions (51 pounds/23 kilos) and the reduced allowable maximum dimensions for your firearms case. The acceptable size is now 75 inches x 29.5 inches x 25.5 inches (190 centimeters x 75 centimeters x 65 centimeters). Exceeding either weight or size will incur more charges, so make sure your gun case fits the restrictions, or be prepared to pay big bucks to travel with your firearm. You can read the entire change in baggage policy for yourself on British Airway's web site (www.britishairways.com/travel/new-baggage-policy/public/en_us). I am indebted to Steve Turner of Total Travel Solutions, Inc., (210-858-9833; www.totaltravelsolutions .com) for the heads up on this.