Taking swords abroad

Has anyone got experience of traveling abroad with swords?

A friend is doing the wedding in uniform thing in Poland in the summer and Ryanair absolutely refuse to take swords - even blunt ones as hold luggage. Have currently got two other ideas

1. Dispatch a lucky person in a car from Germany.
2. Parcelforce them to Poland and back.

Am waiting on Parcelforce to give me thumbs up/down, but I suspect that it will be fairly expensive to get 10ish swords there and back. Does anyone have any other ideas or experiences?
We had some dramas taking the Sandhurst Cup (which is actually a sword) to the US... I think that they eventually accepted it but put it into the cockpit. Fortunately we managed to persuade them to let us bring it back, too!

I'm slightly surprised that they won't even consider taking it as hold luggage - when I was investigating getting .22 rifles to Norway for biathlon training, there were no problems about taking them and a limited amount of ammo on SAS or BA. Maybe try one of the 'full cost' airlines...?
Try hitching a lift on a trooping flight.
Try the full cost airlines or approach a Fencing club, they must have to take swords abroad now and again..and must surely know which airlines will and which will not.
Thanks for the quick advice. I may go back to Ryanair knowing that it can be done and try and talk to a grown-up rather than a 10%er with a grudge against the British Army.

Don't think the trooper is the way forward, even if there is one at the right time, between the movers, the crabs and the locals we'll be lucky to ever see them again!
Ask these guys..British Fencing (swords not gardens...)

Ther is a link on there about Eurostar taking swords..

That or get hold of a Diplomatic Bag, theres a though ask the Embassy the Poles here must have some sort of liason as must we. We are all part of NATO, :wink:

You'll just have to fly out on a 25 year old Antonov :D
The representative was probably talking cack, how many pips have you lot got between you? Check their website. :p Call back and ask to speak to someone who actually knows their company's terms and conditions of flying.

The following items shall not be placed in checked baggage:
Explosives, including detonators, fuses, grenades, mines and explosives. Gases: propane, butane. Flammable liquids, including gasoline, methanol, flammable solids and reactive substances, including magnesium, firelighters, fireworks, flares. Oxidizers and organic peroxides, including bleach, car body repair kits. Toxic or infectious substances, including rat poison, infected blood, radioactive material, including medicinal or commercial isotopes. Corrosives, including mercury, vehicle batteries, vehicle fuel system components which have contained fuel.
Passengers are not permitted to carry the following articles into the security restricted area and the cabin of an aircraft:
Pointed/edged Weapons & Sharp Objects; pointed or bladed articles capable of causing injury, including: axes & hatches, arrows and darts, crampons (grappling iron, hooked bar of iron, or plate with iron spikes used in mountaineering), harpoons & spears, ice axes & ice picks, ice skates, lockable or flick knives with blades of any length, knives, including ceremonial, religious and hunting knives, made of metal or any other material strong enough to be used as a potential weapon, meat cleavers, machetes, open razors and blades (excluding safety or disposable razors with blades enclosed in cartridge), sabres, swords and swordsticks, scalpels, scissors with blades of any length, ski and walking/hiking poles, throwing stars, tradesman's tools that have the potential to be used as a pointed or edged weapon, e.g. drills and drill bits, box cutters, utility knives, all saws, screwdrivers, crowbars, hammers, pliers, wrenches/spanners, blow torches.
Note: Any sharp objects in checked-in baggage should be securely wrapped to prevent injury to screeners and handling personnel.
http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/conditions.php bottom of the page.

Note swords are in list 2, being articles not permitted in the cabin, list 1 being items not permitted at all. I've known people to fly with Ryanair transporting goods in the second list in hold luggage, so I imagine swords are safe. Get back on the phone, quote the relevant parts of that list, and even better, ask for confirmation in writing - although you already have it from their T & C's, it can make travelling with more interesting goods a bit easier. At least print off that part of the page.
You could always ask the Defence Section in Warsaw for advice, there's an Army Lt Col there...

PM me and I'll send you the email address of the Defence Section translator - she's a real "Mrs Fixit" and a good friend of mine!
someone is being difficult. I know an Iaido club in Northern Ireland who regularly fly to seminars in the UK etc with their swords. they just put it in hold baggage at one end and collect it at the other. the only restriction i am aware of is they have to be in a locked, hard case.
Tried to take a sword on a ferry from Uk to France (had just been to a wedding and going to see family) - bloody customs did not allow me to take it! Asked them where they would store this valuable item (borrowed from a mate who's uncle had used it in the Boer War) - they had a small meltdown and it ended up being stored in the Bureau de CHange safe at the port!

When they said this, I did ask if all of the galley's knives were locked away - they were not happy with this!

I was recently given a rather gucci pizza cutter as a corporate gizzit by a company I was doing business with in Italy.
Yes, you guessed it. It had to be checked as hold baggage. :roll:
If you are doing the military wedding thing, it would be a good idea to talk to the MA because you require something called in diplo-French a lettre de sabres or some such. Basically it is your permit to ponce around on the Polish motherland's hallowed soil in your blue (or perhaps green) patrols without anyone mistaking you for "1939 Part 2 - This time it isn't the Germans". Good luck with ryanair, they are cranky as feck about anything to do with the military or even civilian weapons. Fenianair...
Just a quick note, returning from Tenerife about three years ago, a group of lads were sat in front of me on the plane home. About 20 mins into the flight one of these guys gets his hand luggage out from under his seat to show his mates some trinket he had bought off a stall and produces.......... a mini fcuking samurai sword!!! About three feet long in all, no one batted an eyelid. Tis a strange world we live in indeed......!
Ryanair have relented! This should be ok as long as they don't change their mind on arrival at the airport - will try and get it in writing. Thanks for all the advice!

Cuddles thanks, will get the groom or best man to look at the political clearance stuff, it may have been done already - but i suspect not
On a side-issue prompted by this thread: what are the rules (if any) re wearing of ceremonial uniform (and uniform generally) outside the UK? Is it allowed? If so, is permission required, and if so who from?

Am keen to stroll into McDonalds on the Champs-Elysees in mess kit.
All uniformed appearances in foreign countries must be staffed through our DA or embassy. France requires a minimum of 6 weeks notice.
I'm not saying I told you so, cloth ears. However you were told so and it was by me...Dr Deaf-il!

Cuddles is a very grumpy man today and may not be much improved tomorrow....
Cuddles said:
I'm not saying I told you so, cloth ears. However you were told so and it was by me...Dr Deaf-il!

Cuddles is a very grumpy man today and may not be much improved tomorrow....
Dr Senile, perhaps. Did you tell me about this yesterday? Last year? It's all a blank, you know.
Thinking there was some Regimental Dinner I was to attend in the UK (which got cancelled), I brought along my sabre. My first problem was that it didn't fit in the suitcase, so it was stuffed into one of those long cardboard tubes that posters sometimes come in. With a bit of a kink at the end. Went 'oversised baggage'

There was no trouble either in San Francisco or London, at the airlines or at Customs. I had called HM Customs before the trip to make sure the country didn't have an issue with the sword. The airline I didn't figure was going to be an issue since air travel with a firearm is quite routine, let alone a sword.


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