The voices of sportsmen were heard loud and clear by United Airlines as the company made the decision to change a new policy that would have banned antlers from being allowed onto any flight.
As previously reported, sportsmen from coast to coast were enraged as it became known United Airlines had quietly initiated a policy preventing passengers from carrying on or checking antlers or animal horns of any kind.
After receiving thousands of complaints from sportsmen, who were informed by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), through Bowsite.com, and from many other concerned organizations, United Airlines has reconsidered this policy. In a message sent to the USSA and other organizations, United stated:
“As you have recently contacted us, I wanted you to be the first to know that we have heard our customers’ feedback about our Antler and Animal Horn policy, and are responding. Soon we will begin accepting Antlers and Animal Horns as checked baggage again.
As many of you may recall or have seen on our web site, in October 2008 we stopped accepting Antlers and Animal Horns because of the damage the tips caused to the cargo section of the aircraft and to the luggage belonging to our other guests.
We will soon publish new requirements – and ones we previously did not have – about packaging and cleaning Antlers and Animal Horns to ensure their safe, clean transport. These travel requirements will also provide information on the size of Antlers and Animal Horns we can accept based on the type of aircraft being flown (i.e., traditional jet vs. a regional jet) and the special handling fee, which we previously had in place and is similar to other items that require special care.
Stay tuned for further updates on the baggage section of united.com
“United proved that just because you make a mess doesn’t mean you have to stay in it,” said Pat Lefemine, the developer of the nation’s leading bow hunting website, www.bowsite.com and one of the first to sound the alarm over the anti-hunting policy. “It also proved again that when sportsmen unite behind an issue, their voices will be heard.”
The USSA echoed Lefemine’s sentiments.
“We’re glad that United has considered the views of sportsmen and hope the new rules will reflect our concerns,” said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president and CEO. “Regardless, the USSA plans to examine these new policies to be sure that they are fair to sportsmen.”