Proflight Zambia - Lusaka to Livingstone

Hi All,

Less than two weeks out from our trip!

Does anyone have any recent experience with this airline? I'm not getting any great answers from them directly, from my travel agent, or from online regarding their baggage allowances, both checked and carry-on.

I am flying on Emirates with one ticket (just received, so now the panic!) from Buffalo to Livingstone, so common sense would say that whatever Emirates has on my ticket would be the amount all the way through...BUT...there is a cavaet saying to check each airline...of course!

Proflight states one carry on item at 5kg, that must fit under the seat in front of you. We are bringing camera gear, and even with packing stuff on us, we'll still be well over the limit that I don't want in checked baggage. I could buy extra baggage, but they also state that the baggage may not fly on the same flight as you, so I am not interested in that at all!

I don't want to pay $300US for an extra seat, as I have read horror stories online of people paying for the extra seat for their camera equipment and then still having to give up the seat because Proflight overbooked, and putting their carry-on in the hold.

If anyone can give me recent experience, that would be awesome!

Thanks!
Dawn

Comments

  • edited August 2018
    I just did a search of the forums and all but one or two references to Proflight are in posts by you and me!

    (FYI, we went round, and round between all flight options for our Botswana trip next year: Emirates (yours), ET: IAD- VFA via ADD, BA: JFK via LHR, JNB, SAA: IAD via JNB (cheapest/shortest), and Delta: ATL via JNB. For what some may call strange logic, we chose Delta).

    I'm sure you've been to the Proflight website so you know their planes are small- from the small single turboprop Cessna Caravan up to the slightly larger 50 passenger Bombardier CRJ200 small commuter jet. However, I just read they received a 114-seat Boeing 737-500 which had its maiden flights from Lusaka to Livingstone and Ndola last week. That plane might have a larger baggage allowance.

    I remember hearing/reading (somewhere) about folks who planned to fly or flew Proflight from Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha for the start of K&T, but I don't remember hearing or seeing posts about Proflight Zambia from Lusaka to Livingstone. And while I don't remember any really negative comments other than baggage restrictions, I don't remember any glowing comments either.

    The Emirates footnote about baggage allowance is typical- no different than other major carriers- Delta allows a person in Business to carry two 70 lb bags, but KLM who provided our connecting flight from Amsterdam to Prague for instance, did not.

    Have you tried to call up your Proflight booking by using the Emirates confirmation number on the Proflight website (link) as the "Booking Reference"? That works with Delta and KLM and likely other partner carriers. Unfortunately, Proflight is a small carrier, but that may work.

    I thought your comment about baggage on different flights interesting so I checked it out on the Proflight website baggage page (link)- it is interesting! "Please note that pre-purchasing additional baggage allowance does not guarantee that the baggage will travel with you on the same flight."

    Do you know if your checked bags will be through checked from Emirates to Proflight? If not, before checking them with Proflight, for your extremely short (1 hr. 10 min.) flight to Livingstone, you could transfer everything but the really expensive/necessary stuff from your carry on to your checked baggage and split the cameras, etc. between the two of you. Are your cameras and other carry-on stuff really that heavy? As you noted, each of you can carry on 11 lbs (5 kg). That is really quite a lot unless you are going without checked bags or are hand carrying Krugerand ingots! Forego big, rolling, etc. carry-on luggage and just use day bags or small backpacks and put everything else in checked luggage. I use a small courier bag (man-purse : ) ) for my iPad, cameras (DSLR + GoPro), magazines, headphones, etc. while my wife carries a small purse and tote bag with book/magazines, sewing, iPad, and one set of emergency clothes for each of us. If needed to reduce the number of carry-on items, her purse will fit in the tote bag.

    Your Proflight individual checked baggage allowance depends on fare class:
    Firecracker (special discount): 13 lbs (15 kg)
    Coach: 50.7 lbs (23 kg) Note: this exceeds Tauck's max for on-tour flights which is: "20 kg (44 lbs) to include both checked and carryon pieces." (each). You must be planning to leave a lot of stuff in Livingstone when you switch to your duffles, stuff that your won't see again until Maun!
    Business: 66 lbs (30 kg) which FAR EXCEEDS the Tauck allowance.

    So, I guess I don't see the problem. If you adhere to Tauck's baggage allowance restrictions, you should meet Proflight's allowance. Assuming you are flying coach or better, each of you can theoretically take 62 lbs (11 lbs (carry-on) + 51 lbs (checked)) on Proflight, but you will only be allowed to take 44 lbs total on Tauck on-tour flights until reaching Maun. Remember the camps provide inexpensive laundry service.
  • I really think your Proflight allowance is irrelevant because of what Tauck allows you to bring.
    How heavy is your empty suitcase? We always have the lightest suitcase you can buy. That is the first thing to do, it allows you to carry so much more in the suitcase. I also travel with just a small backpack as carry on, I currently use a colorful Vera Bradley one, very lightweight. In that I carry my camera ( I never put my camera in a camera bag, I just but it in a light nylon bag and have never had it damaged in safari vehicles or anything, I just got a new one of the exact same old model I had before and it was ok like that on my trip last month.) l also have my binoculars, all the electric cords and adapters for my electronics, my phone, mini iPad, two sets of spare clothing, sometimes a spare pair of shoes, I think that’s it. It has never been a problem. I doubt it weighs more than 5 kilograms and it certainly does not ‘look’ heavy and I don’t carry it looking as if it is heavy, if you get what I mean. No one has ever questioned how heavy it is. On our last safari vacation which was not a Tauck one, we had to use a duffel and nothing else, even on the flight from the US and we had plenty of room for everything we needed for about a two week tour, I forget exactly how long it was. Laundry was done free and was fine. They sometimes will not wash your underwear. I don’t think I have been on any Tauck tour with a suitcase that weighs more than 44 lbs even the dressier tours, you really don’t need to. Everyone always says frequent travelers take the least clothing, it really simplifies life.
  • edited August 2018
    Thanks for the replies!

    We obviously don't need the same amount of clothes as the Elegant Tour we were on last February, and I was still under the 44lbs baggage limit for that tour for both checked bags.

    I did call Emirates for clarification, and found out that because of our flights back, we can only bring 59" bags, and all our bags are 62"! Time to buy some new (again!) luggage!

    Regarding the carry on - we haven't actually tried to pack yet, so we may be okay, I have never weighed our carry ons, so we'll see what we can do.

    My husband will wear his safari vest and pack that full of lenses, etc., and hopefully we can leave the camera bags at home!

    Thanks again for your help!
  • edited August 2018
    DawnC28 wrote:
    Thanks for the replies!

    We obviously don't need the same amount of clothes as the Elegant Tour we were on last February, and I was still under the 44lbs baggage limit for that tour for both checked bags.

    I did call Emirates for clarification, and found out that because of our flights back, we can only bring 59" bags, and all our bags are 62"! Time to buy some new (again!) luggage!

    Regarding the carry on - we haven't actually tried to pack yet, so we may be okay, I have never weighed our carry ons, so we'll see what we can do.

    My husband will wear his safari vest and pack that full of lenses, etc., and hopefully we can leave the camera bags at home!

    Thanks again for your help!

    I think you've got the idea! It is truly amazing what you can do without. Leave the camera bag at home. Unless your husband is a pro or is attempting to be one, there is no need to take a tripod*, separate flash, etc. or more than two lenses- just a good telephoto or zoom (300 mm) and a wide angle. I and a number of others here use the Tamron 16 - 300 mm zoom lens that covers every situation we are likely to encounter and is the only lens I use anymore, I take it everywhere. Go easy on the shoes- whatever you take will get dusty- so one pair for the safaris and one nicer pair for flights/Livingston/Capetown. Take minimal liquids (shampoos, conditioners, etc. most are supplied) even those small bottles are denser and weigh more than clothing. Take travel size everything you can, e.g. toothpaste, etc.

    * I plan to take a mini, flex-leg (plastic ball & socket) tripod to use with my GoPro during the Meerkat experience.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file