Subscriber Darell Mitchell Report:
On a connecting flight in London on route to Zimbabwe.
"I have flown British Air to Africa with guns and ammo as checked luggage on over a dozen occasions in the last decade and have only had one problem. I had a free business class ticket on American Airlines to London so I used that ticket to get to London and purchased a Business Class ticket to Harare, Zimbabwe on BA. We received all of our luggage except the gun case, but we borrowed rifles from friends in Zimbabwe so we could start our hunt on time.
"A few days later our guns arrived in Harare and BA paid for a charter flight to have them flown in to us in the bush (a service that I have heard is no longer offered). We were quite pleased with the way BA responded to our problem, but were dismayed to see tire marks on our aluminum gun case. While I had heard that baggage handlers in London will sometimes run over gun cases with the tractors they use to move the aircraft, I really didn't believe it until it happened to my guns. Three of my rifles proved to be undamaged, but my .375 Steyr Model S/T (my favorite general purpose Africa rifle that has taken everything from a dik-dik to an elephant) had a broken stock. My local gunsmith fixed the stock for me, as a new stock would have cost $800, almost as much as I originally paid for this rifle some 12 years ago.
"Upon checking with others that have had this type of problem when flying BA to Africa, I learned that virtually all of them had used a U.S. based carrier to get to London and switched to BA for the leg to Africa the same as I had done. I still feel BA is one of the best airlines serving Africa and will continue to use them whenever it........(continued)