Airline Firearms Regulations

If there is any part of your African hunting safari that is practically guaranteed to give you a headache it is travelling with firearms on the world's major airlines.

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American Airlines | Air France | Air Namibia | British Airways | Brussels Airlines | Delta | Emirates | Ethiopian | Etihad Airways | Iberia | KLM | LAM | Lufthansa | Qantas | Qatar Airways | South African Airways | Swiss | TAP | United Airlines | South African Airlink | South African Express

Airline firearms regulations may change at a drop of a hat. They do not necessarily personally inform their passengers who are already booked to travel with firearms or make any changes public in any way. They may quietly change the regulations on their website and cause major problems for the travelling hunter when he checks in. The best advice is to keep checking for changes until the day you depart. It is a good idea to take a printed copy of your airline's published firearms/ammunition regulations with you, in case you come across any airline personnel who have their own ideas on the subject.

Some airlines are more informative than others on their websites and some do not update their pages promptly when they institute any changes. Some airline website firearm regulations are just plain wrong - one major airline of a popular African hunting country actually said online that they carry hunting rifles and ammo as cabin baggage!! If you have any queries about an airline's published firearm regulations, you must check with your travel agent or call the airline direct in good time before booking.

British Airways, Air France and some other airlines make it a condition in their carriage of sporting firearms that you must inform your booking agent at the time the reservation is made, that you intend to carry sporting firearms on all your flight(s). Make very sure that your firearms are described and entered in the computer reservations data as sporting firearms, so there are no issues about their purpose. This must be done when you make the reservation well before departure - it cannot be done when you check-in. Firearms will not be boarded on the flight without this prior notification. Ask for a copy or print-out showing this notification, in case you come across 'difficult' check-in personnel en route.

As more airlines are adopting this policy of prior firearm notification, you must check if this is the case with any different airlines you may use during your trip. If in doubt, just insist your booking agent enter the firearms notification on all your airline reservations. Emirates is now requiring a weapons detail form to be completed and submitted at least 10 days before travel. See below in the Emirates section

Here we have in a nutshell, all the latest airline firearms regulations for the major airlines flying to and within Africa. Link on any airline firearms regulation link to get to their full firearm travel regulations. (In alpabetical order)



American Airlines

American Airlines

American Airlines Firearm Regulations


Firearms

  • Checked baggage only in locked, hard-sided container.
  • TSA locks accepted.
  • Maximum of 3 firearms per case.
  • No limit on number of cases.

Ammunition

  • 11 lbs/5 kgs ammunition allowed per passenger.
  • BUT no more than 5lb of ammo in 1 piece of checked baggage.
  • Original manufacturer packaging OR fiber, wood or metal boxes specifically designed to carry ammunition.
  • Pack in checked baggage.
  • No loose ammunition, magazines or clips.

Special Notes

  • Does not accept firearms in checked baggage to or from the United Kingdom.
  • No firearm/ammo handling charges.
  • There will be charges for excess weight and number of cases.
  • American Airlines only publish their website firearm regulations for domestic US travel and request you contact reservations for international travel.
  • NOTE As from June 2012 American issued a new policy, "we (American Airlines) do not allow firearms as checked luggage on an interline ticket situation any longer." This means if you and your firearms are booked on a flight of any airline other than American Airlines exclusively, your firearms will not be checked-in. This includes other flights by airlines who code-share with American.

Air France

Air France

Air France Firearm Regulations


Firearms

  • Show firearm permit at check-in.
  • Declare at check-in that firearm is unloaded and ammo packed separately.
  • Carry import and export licences.
  • Firearms case included in free baggage allowance. If total baggage exceeds the allowance, excess baggage fees will be charged.

Ammunition

  • Only hunting ammo accepted.
  • Only ammunition for calibers less than or equal to 19.1 mm.
  • Up to 11 lbs/5 kgs ammunition allowed per passenger (including packaging).
  • Original manufacturer packaging OR fiber, wood or metal boxes specifically designed to carry ammunition.
  • No loose ammunition.
  • Pack ammunition in checked baggage.
  • No ammo in firearm case.

Special Notes

  • NOTE Transporting firearms requires prior approval and written authorization from the Air France customer service department. Complete the declaration form below and inform Air France when you make the reservation or at least 48 hours before your flight’s departure. You must then declare the firearms when you check in.
  • Make sure you have approval in the system for both your firearms and ammunition on all flight legs.
  • Download & print the Air France Declaration Of Transport Of A Hunting Rifle, Sport Rifle Or Ammunition.
  • No specific firearm/ammo handling charges

Air Namibia

Air Namibia

Air Namibia Firearms Regulations


Firearms

  • Must be unloaded
  • Firearms are not allowed in checked luggage with general personal possessions.
  • firearms have to be packed separately from the ammunition and must be in a locked firearms case.
  • Firearms and/or ammunition will be accepted provided they are packed in an appropriate carriage case.

Ammunition

  • The ammunition must be separate and in its own locked container.
  • No more than 5 kg (11 lbs).
  • Pack in either its original packaging or in a suitable container that prevents movement between shells or cartridges.
  • No loose ammunition.
  • No 'explosives' labels on ammo case.

Special Notes

  • Must carry firearm permit, export & import permits for each firearm.
  • There will be a firearm handling fee of EUR 80 or US$100 on international flights. US$60 for regional flights.

British Airways

British Airways

British Airways Firearms Regulations


Firearms

    • Must carry firearm permit, export & import permits for each firearm
    • Must be unloaded
    • Must be packed in "an appropriate carriage case, or if this is not possible, packed securely inside a suitcase with your personal effects".
    • FOR FLIGHTS TO SOUTH AFRICA ONLY: All firearms have to be packed separately from the ammunition and must be in a locked firearms case. No charge for the extra bag(s)

    Ammunition

    • Up to 5 kg/11 lb gross weight of ammo per passenger and for that person's own use
    • Packed in original packaging or in a suitable container that prevents movement between cartridges
    • No 'explosives' labels
    • Must be packed in "an appropriate carriage case, or if this is not possible, packed securely inside a suitcase with your personal effects".
    • FOR FLIGHTS TO SOUTH AFRICA ONLY: The ammunition must be separate and in its own locked bag/container. No charge for the extra bag(s)

    Special Notes

    • Pre-notify at booking of intention to travel with sporting firearms/ammo preferably when you make the reservation but at least 72 hours before your flight. Failure to do so means the firearms will not be carried. You must notify them of number of firearms, type, make, calibre, PLUS quantity and calibre of ammo.
    • Make sure your sporting firearms calibres cannot be interpreted as any military calibres.
    • Check-in at least 2 hours before your flight, to allow sufficient time to process firearm paperwork.
    • Passengers or groups with 10 or more firearms or boxes of ammunition must be at check-in at least 3 hours before their flight
    • Each case containing firearms and/or ammunition is subject to a £50 each way charge, payable at check-in
    • Extra baggage charges if firearm case is in addition to free baggage allowance
    • NOTE As of 5 Sept 2012 sporting firearms above 11mm calibre WILL be accepted for carriage as passenger hold baggage, (subject to them meeting all other conditions for carriage of firearms and ammunition).

    Brussels Airlines

    Brussels Airlines

    Brussels Airlines Firearms Regulations


    Firearms

      • Must carry firearm permit, export & import permits for each firearm
      • Must be unloaded.
      • Must be suitably packed in a strong rigid container.

      Ammunition

      • Packed separately from the firearm.
      • Packed in a strong outer container made of wood, metal or fibreboard.
      • Protected, inside the container, against shock and secured against any movement.
      • The quantity limitation for ammunition is maximum 5 kg per passenger.

      Special Notes

      • Transportation of ammunition must be pre-notified. Contact Service Centre

      Delta

      Delta

      Delta Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • In checked baggage only.
      • Declare firearms at check-in and security point.
      • Pack in a locked manufacturer's hard-sided container specifically designed for the firearm, a locked hard-sided gun case, or a locked hard-sided piece of luggage. A maximum of four firearms in 1 case.
      • As of April 2017, all firearms checked as baggage will receive special tags and must be picked up at the Baggage Service Office upon arrival.

      Ammunition

      • Must be intended for that person's own use. More than one passenger may not combine quantities into one package.
      • Pack in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood, plastic or metal boxes that provide separation for cartridges.
      • Up to 5 kg/11 lb gross weight per passenger, inclusive of packaging.
      • FOR FLIGHTS DEPARTING SOUTH AFRICA ONLY: The ammunition must be separate from firearm and in its own locked bag/container for checked baggage.

      Special Notes

      • Sign 'Firearms Unloaded' declaration card and place it in gun case.
      • Carry firearm entry permits for the country or countries of destination or transit.
      • A permit from the United Kingdom is specifically required.
      • Delta does not approve of TSA locks on firearms cases.
      • Delta passengers departing Brussels, Belgium are not allowed to check weapons including, antique, sporting, hunting or toy rifles in their checked baggage.

      Emirates

      Emirates

      Emirates Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • In checked baggage only
      • Unloaded and, if possible, dismantled and packed in suitcase or standard gun case.

      Ammunition

      • Up to 5 kg/11 lb gross weight per passenger
      • More than one passenger may not combine quantities into one package
      • Pack in a strong, sealed box packed inside a suitcase and surrounded by other contents
      • No 'explosives' labels

      Special Notes

      • NOTE Emirates is now requiring all passengers travelling with firearms to complete Emirates Airlines Details of Weapons form within 10 working days prior to departure. On the form, the PNR/RLOC number is the same as the airline confirmation number in your itinerary. You will need to provide Emirates with copies of your flight itinerary, letter of invitation to hunt, US Customs Form 4457/Firearm Permit/affidavit as proof of ownership. Email completed form to Emirates
      • FOR DUBAI: Firearms and ammunition coming into the UAE must obtain prior clearance from UAE Customs and the UAE Ministry of Defence. This clearance is obtained by Emirates after you submit 'Emirates Airlines Details of Weapons'
      • FOR DUBAI TRANSIT: Passengers with firearms who are connecting to onward flights, need prior clearance to travel with from the Dubai Airport Police Department and the Department of Civil Aviation. This clearance is obtained by Emirates after you submit 'Emirates Airlines Details of Weapons'

      Ethiopian

      Ethiopian

      Ethiopian Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Only hunting or sport firearms accepted checked baggage.
      • Must be unloaded, suitably packed and have the safety catch on.

      Ammunition

      • No specific details on carriage of ammunition given on website. Contact Customer Service

      Etihad Airways

      Ethiopian

      Etihad Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Only hunting or sport firearms accepted checked baggage.
      • Must be unloaded, suitably packed and have the safety catch on.

      Ammunition

      • No specific details on carriage of ammunition given on website. Contact Customer Service

      Iberia

      Iberia

      Iberia Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Allowed max of 2 firearm cases that may hold a maximum 2 firearms in each.
      • Must be packed unloaded, disassembled (if possible)

      Ammunition

      • Up to 5 kg/11 lb gross weight per passenger
      • Carried as checked baggage only
      • Must be packed separately from firearm
      • Pack in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood, plastic or metal boxes that provide separation for cartridges.

      Special Notes

      • To be able to check in, the passenger should present authorisation for that purpose issued by the 'Airport Weapons Intervention Department' office which is within Madrid airport and has the appropriate forms to complete. This is also where firearms must be collected when arriving in Madrid.
      • Firearms are handled as special baggage with a fixed rate of 75 Euro per flight.

      KLM

      KLM

      KLM Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Must be unloaded and safely packed in a suitcase or other case.
      • Each firearm counts as a single item of baggage. Excess baggage fees may apply.

      Ammunition

      • Must be carried separately from firearm.
      • Must only be only of a type for sport shooting sport.
      • Max of 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger.
      • No 'explosives' labels.

      Special Notes

      LAM (Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique)

      Lam

      LAM Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Accepted as checked baggage provided unloaded and securely packed.
      • Passengers must have the correct documentation for their firearms.

      Ammunition

      • Total weight not to exceed 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger.
      • Ammo of more than one passenger cannot be combined in one or more containers.

      Special Notes

      • Firearms and ammo must be checked on arrival and departure by the PRM (Mozambican police).

      Lufthansa

      Lufthansa

      Lufthansa Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Rifle must be unloaded

      Ammunition

      • Must be carried separately from firearm

      Special Notes

      • Handling charge of ¤150 per firearm cases.
      • Additional charge for handling firearms in South Africa.
      • Very little firearm information on website. Contact Lufthansa Airport Ticket Teams for full firearm/ammo information.

      Qantas

      Qantas

      Qantas Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Firearms may be carried as securely packed checked baggage.
      • No operator approval is necessary.
      • Pack unloaded & secure within a locked case.
      • Declare firearm at check-in.

      Ammunition

      • Carried as checked baggage provided operator approval has been given.
      • Prior operator approval necessary
      • When ammunition is packed within a locked firearms case, the ammunition must be in a separate locked container.

      Special Notes

      Qatar Airways

      Qantas

      Qatar Airways Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • All firearms must be unloaded and securely packed.

      Ammunition

      • Sports ammunition is limited to a maximum of 5 kg per passenger.

      Special Notes

      • Notification and clearance with the airline is required before transporting sports weapons and ammunition as checked baggage.

      South African Airways

      South African Airways

      South African Airways Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • No firearms in ordinary checked baggage.
      • Must be packed in suitable lockable firearm cases
      • Declare firearms at check-in and request a firearm identification tag on the case.

      Ammunition

      • Ammunition must be in a separate, locked, hard-sided ammunition case for all onward SAA flights within South Africa. It cannot be in regular checked baggage.
      • Max of 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger (who is carrying the firearm).
      • No loose ammunition

      Special Notes

      • SAA recommend that ammunition be packed in lockable cases which can be handed in as separate items at the firearm counters to avoid possible delays during checked baggage screening.
      • A R100 handling fee is charged for the separate carriage of handguns.
      • No charge for handguns carried in the same case as hunting rifles.

      Swiss

      Swiss

      Swiss Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Carried as checked baggage only
      • Must be packed in suitable lockable firearm cases

      Ammunition

      • Must be checked in.
      • Max of 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger (who is carrying the firearm).
      • Swiss must be informed in advance about the transport of ammunition.
      • Must be packed separately from the firearm
      • Must be packed in a solid wooden, metal or fibreboard container
      • FLIGHTS TO/FROM SOUTH AFRICA ONLY: Ammunition must be packed in a lockable ammunition box.

      Special Notes

      • Advance notice is required for the transportation of firearms & ammunition. Contact the Service Centre when you make your flight reservation to notify them about your firearms.

      TAP

      TAP

      TAP Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Carried as checked baggage only
      • Must be unloaded, dismantled and properly packed at check-in.

      Ammunition

      • Max of 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger (who is carrying the firearm).
      • Original manufacturer packaging OR fiber, wood or metal boxes specifically designed to carry ammunition

      Special Notes

      • Must carry firearm licences and import/export permits for the countries concerned.
      • 25 Euro is charged for transporting firearms and ammunition on each flight.
      • Handguns may not be carried on TAP aircraft.
      • Allow an extra 1 hour check-in time with firearms.

      United Airlines

      United Airlines

      United Airlines Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Carried as checked baggage only. A maximum of 5 firearms per case.
      • Must be packed in a hard-sided locked container. Key or combination must remain in the customer's possession.

      Ammunition

      • Max of 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger (who is carrying the firearm).
      • The ammunition may be packed in the same container as the firearm or separately
      • Must bepacked in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood or metal containers.

      Special Notes

      • Firearms carried in addition to the free baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.
      • Must sign a Firearm Declaration Tag.
      • TSA locks are not approved by United Airlines for securing firearms.
      • Firearms are not accepted on United flights to and from the United Arab Emirates or Qatar.

      South African Airlink

      South African Airlink

      South African Airlink Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Must be packed unloaded with the safety catch on
      • Must have all documents legally required by the countries of departure, destination and any stopovers.

      Ammunition

      • Max of 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger (who is carrying the firearm).
      • Ammunition must be in a separate, locked, hard-sided ammunition case for all onward SA Airlink flights within South Africa. It cannot be in regular checked baggage.
      • Must be packed separately and securely from the fire-arm case.

      Special Notes

      • Advance notice is required for the transportation of firearms & ammunition, no less than 3 working days before your flight. Airlink Reservations Control Tel +27 11 451 7350.
      • Hunting rifles, shotguns and hunting handguns may NOT be transported as checked baggage to/from George.
      • Bows and arrows may be accepted as checked baggage subject to prior approval.
      • Firearm handling charge at Kimberley - ZAR200 for loading and ZAR200 off loading per hunting rifle and shotgun.
      • Hunting rifles ONLY may be transported to and from Windhoek, Namibia. (No handguns).

      South African Express

      South African Express

      South African Express Firearm Regulations


      Firearms

      • Only hunting rifles and shotguns (no handguns) may be transported on SA Express.

      Ammunition

      • Max of 5 kg (11 lbs) per passenger (who is carrying the firearm).
      • Must be for sporting purposes.
      • Ammunition must be in a separate, locked, hard-sided ammunition case for all onward SA Express flights within South Africa. It cannot be in regular checked baggage.

      Special Notes

      • No firearms may be transported to/from George Airport

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