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Joined: Oct 2007
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So I leave in a week for a PG hunt in SA. I think I have everything figured out going over. Flying Delta direct to J’burg. Spending the night at Afton house and then flying to Port Elizabeth the next day.

On the way back we fly from PE back to J’burg. We have a lay over then Delta back to Atlanta. Since our bags are not being checked through, I am assuming I will be picking them up at the Airlink baggage claim and hauling them to the Delta counter. But, what about my firearms. Will I need to go to the SAPS to claim them then haul them to Delta as well? What is the procedure for claiming them in Atlanta? Thanks for any insight. DR

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In June I flew on SA Airlink from Botswana to Jberg, connected on the Delta flight to USA. I was able to get the SA Airlink person to check my bags/rifle case all the way through to final destination in USA, so no need to obtain bags/rifle case in Jberg.

I don't think you can get rifles cleared through to US, because they need to be "cleared out of South Africa" and South Africa wants written documentation showing rifle came in to country/same rifle left the country.

Since I was not sure if I would be able to check bags thru to US until I got to check in counter, I contacted Rifle Permits VIP service to meet me in Jberg. If my bag/rifle case had not been checked through, they would have dealt with situation.
Delta counter only opens 3 hours before departure, so if you arrive in Jberg more than 3 hours before your Delta departure the rifle case needs special handling. Very reasonable service.

Used same VIP service this year from Port Elizabeth to Jberg, connecting to Botswana (rifle case could not be checked through to Botswana). Rifle Service employee met us on the tarmac; drove us to terminal; 1st in line to get bags; took us to SA airlink rifle clearance; then walked us to SA Airlink ticket counter to check in and to SA Airlink rifle check in. Also walked us to boarding gate. Well worth the money. Great peace of mind to know someone will walk you through entire bureaucracy.

Last edited by autofire; 07/03/22.
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Just got back from Zim through Joberg last week. Bag & firearm case checked in Zim all the way through to my final home destination in USA, through ATL. Same Delta flight 201 you’re taking. Although SA Airlink will provide you boarding passes at your initial departure point, through Joberg to your USA final destination, you’ll need to stop at Delta international transit counter Joberg and they’ll issue you new boarding passes for the inbound USA flights. The bags and rifle cases don’t need to be handled by you as they are checked all the way through.

You will need to go through magnetic security screening including carry on baggage as you transit and at the boarding gate in Joberg.

If your ATL layover is less than 4 hrs Delta Joberg will issue your final boarding pass. OTW you’ll get pass & seat assignment at your ATL boarding gate.

This is the same process I remember on several SA Air with Delta flight 201 and USA final domestic connections in the past. Good luck on your safari.


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Thank you for the info. I went ahead and contacted the Afton house and they are going to assist on the way back as well.

Thanks DR

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you should be back by now, so how did everything work out? how did the hunt go and who did you hunt with?

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Nope not back yet. Currently sitting in the J’burg airport right now waiting for our flight back to Atlanta. Will update when I get home but had a great time.


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