I just received this from the SCI:
SCI has been advised by domestic airline representatives that on June 1st, 2006, airlines began strictly enforcing oversize baggage regulations and charging an extra fee for any case with combined dimensions (height plus length plus width) of more than 62 inches. Obviously, this policy will affect sportsmen traveling with cased long guns. This news follows the announcement earlier this year from Air Canada that they will now charge a $50 handling fee per long gun per flight. Responding to a complaint filed jointly by SCI and the NRA, Air Canada Customer Relations Manager Jocelyne Henry stated "Although firearms and particularly ammunition fall into the 'dangerous goods' category, the fee is based on the greater workload we bear to check a firearm and not on the fact that it is considered dangerous. The same fee is applied to both bicycles and surfboards when carried as checked baggage." At this time, SCI and The Federalist Group are developing a plan to contest the domestic application of this fee to firearm cases. To bolster this effort, it would be helpful to have examples from SCI members of encountering this fee, and the circumstances under which the fee was charged. Please let us know if you have been charged this fee, and how the charge was justified by airline staff. Please include details of your flight, carrier, and a detailed description of the firearm case for which the fee was levied.
Also, will all airlines start charging a $50 handling fee each way for firearms the same as Air Canada. If they become very strict on the 62 inch rule then all Tuffpacs will have to pay additional fees. And all skiers and golfers are going to be accessed an additional $50 each way and that will not go over very good especially when airlines are trying to promote vacations and destinations. If one flys in to Anchorage/Fairbanks and overnights and leaves in one of two days to Kotz will they have to pay the fee again both ways? If a person flys from the lower 48 with a long gun case and is charge an additional $50 for being over 62 inches plus $50 for a gun handling charge to Anchorage and over nights in Anchorage then catches a commerical flight to the bush and is charge again $50 and $50 each way plus another $50 and $50 for the homeward bound flight then the total bill for transportation of firearms would be $400 additional dollars.
Does anyone have any insight