Thursday, September 24, 2009

United's Skies Not So Friendly

Do you have a long-range hunt this fall or winter, one which will take you a thousand or more miles from home, and requires you to fly by a commercial airline? If so, and you already have tickets and/or reservations, you just might want to call to insure that you'll be able to bring back the trophy you hope to hang your tag on.

I was contacted today by my good friend Ed Beattie, who handles much of Cabela's Adventure Travel, who shared that United Airlines has recently adopted a "verbal policy" of refusing to accept antlers as checked baggage - no matter how they are packed. Ed pointed out that United does not mention this policy on their website, nor will they supply anything in writing to Cabela's.

So, it just kind of comes as a surprise when you try to check your trophy as baggage, and they refuse to accept it.

"The other major airlines all mention on their websites that they will accept antlers or horns - if properly packed," states Beattie.

Cabela's currently has over 300 whitetail hunters booked to Canada this fall - and see's this as a real issue.

If you are planning to use United Airlines to fly to your hunting destination, perhaps you should call them right now. For that matter, you might even want to call any other airline you might be flying. The last thing you need, following a long and successful hunt, is to have an airline agent tell you that your trophy rack or horns cannot be checked as baggage...just a couple of hours before you are scheduled to fly home.

While larger trophy racks, like moose or elk, are normally shipped, it has been very common practice for successful deer, antelope, mountain goat, and sheep hunters to carefully pack their trophies, and bring them home as checked baggage.

Toby Bridges

NOTE: Since this was posted, Cabela's has heard back from Untied Airlines. THEY WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT ANTLERS OR HORNS AS BAGGAGE. So, if you are headed out on a muzzleloader big game hunt, or any kind of big game hunt for that matter, and must fly - DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH UNITED.

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