In Jan 2017 American changed its rules to one bag! READ BELOW CAREFULLY!!
US AIR: Antlers will be accepted as checked baggage for a charge of $200 per direction. The following conditions of acceptance apply:
• Dimensions (H + W + L) must not exceed 120 in/305 cm (As a practical matter this is of no concern).
• On the CRJ aircraft the largest dimension cannot exceed 33 in/84 cm and the overall dimensions cannot exceed 99 in/252 cm
• On the Dash 8 aircraft the largest dimension cannot exceed 50 in/127 cm
• Head/skull must be completely clean and free of residue
• Points must be covered and protected (Butch suggests buying some foam pipe insulations and duct tape- most garden hoses are not wide enough- so go to a good hardware store.) Also, after protecting the tines have the guy at the airport wrap them. It is cheap- around $25 and really protects them. Allow a bit of extra time for that.
• 1 rack per ticketed customer (although we got our Coues into the same package with no issues)
• Can’t combine or cradle 2 or more racks (but I got by with a coues and a mulie nested.)
• Have a U.S. customs form 3-177 filled out in 4 copies- ask us!
Firearms: US Airways will allow passengers to transport firearms in accordance with Federal Law.
• Items of shooting equipment will be accepted as checked baggage only. You must have a form 4457 from US Customs obtained in advance. Ask us.
• A passenger who presents checked baggage that contains a firearm must declare the weapon and sign a written acknowledgement that the firearm is unloaded.
• Firearms must be packed in a manufacturer’s hard–sided container specifically designed for the firearm, a locked hard–sided gun case, or a locked hard–sided piece of luggage. Handguns may be packed in a locked hard–sided gun case, and then packed inside an unlocked soft–sided piece of luggage. However, a Conditional Acceptance Tag must be used in this case.
• Baggage containing firearms must be locked at all times and the key or lock combination retained by the passenger.
• A Firearm Unloaded Declaration form (available only at the airport on check-in) must be signed and placed inside the bag or gun case.
• Checked ammunition may not exceed 11 lbs/5 kg per person. Ammunition must be packed in the original manufacturing package or constructed of wood, fiber, plastic, or metal and provide separation for cartridges. Ammunition may be checked in the same piece of luggage as a firearm. No additional documentation is required for the ammo.
• There is no limit to the number of items contained in rifle, shotgun or pistol case, up to 50 lbs/23 kg, 62 in/157 cm in maximum.
• A passenger who presents a firearm to be checked to an international destination must be in possession of all required import documentation for their international destination city and any international transit points. It is the responsibility of the passenger to acquire the required documentation from the applicable government entity prior to travel (usually a consulate or embassy). Firearms will not be accepted for transport if international import requirements have not been met. (NOTE: WE at BMOA obtain your gun permits and hunting contracts. You must acquire your us Customs Form 4457 yourself, by bringing your firearm to their offices pre-departure! It is not difficult, just a pain.
2017 Warning to Hunters Flying to Mexico on American Airlines/American Eagle
We normally fly US Air to Hemosillo. BUT-If you are traveling to Mexico on American Airlines (AA) flights operated by American Eagle, be aware that as of Jan 2017 you will be restricted to only one (1) checked bag unless you fly first class/business class. Apparently dozens of hunters flying to Sonora, Mexico, for a deer hunt have been ambushed with this restriction upon check-in. Some hunters managed to upgrade their flights on the spot to get the additional baggage allowance, while others had to reschedule flights to do so. Some hunters have had to leave bags and gear behind.
According to the American Airlines website the company enforces seasonal limitations on checked baggage to some destinations from November 19, 2016 – January 8, 2017. However, those restrictions are now year-round for American Eagle flights going to Mexico. The only exception currently is for first-class and business class tickets. No oversized or overweight bags either, no matter what class you fly. Also important to note is that you will not be able to travel with boxes, which is defined as “any container that isn’t normally used for transporting items for air travel; this includes plastic tubs, containers and coolers.”
If you are scheduled to hunt in Mexico and are traveling on an American Eagle flight, contact your travel agent immediately. You will likely need to upgrade your flight and may need to change your travel dates. Be careful about changing arrival cities because if your firearm permit says arrival in Hermosillo- any arrival at a different Mexican city will subject you to possible arrest and weapons confiscation!! ALSO- Remember, if you are traveling with a firearm, your operator must meet you at your arrival city to handle the clearing of your firearm. Otherwise you will run into big problems with Mexican authorities.