Tuesday, 3 July 2007

A consequence of terrorism

Air Canada announced yesterday that as of July 15, it will no longer accept pets as checked luggage for domestic flights and, pending approval from the Canadian Transportation Agency, for U.S. and international ones as well. However, pets can still travel through its cargo division.The policy change comes as a result of record load factors – about 80 per cent – in the past three years and a need for more space for luggage, a spokesman said. "The security requirements around the liquid and gel ban have led to an increase in checked bags we have to carry," he said. "When you have an animal in the hold, that restricts the amount of luggage you can put in a plane because you've got to leave room around the animal's cage for air and ventilation. It comes down to carrying bags for the vast majority of our customers or carrying pets for a small number of our passengers." This restriction is in force with all major carriers, it would appear. An interesting statistic: before this policy change, Air Canada charged $105 per animal for a one-way domestic flight and $245 for an international flight. A price estimate given yesterday for a medium-sized dog to fly one-way as cargo from Toronto to Vancouver was quoted at $202. Apparently animal transportation is a booming business.We can only hope that the cargo planes are properly equipped to carry pets so as not to harm them during waiting time on the tarmac. Temperatures vary from very hot in the summer to extremely cold in the winter especially in North America. In Europe we tend not to worry about air travel with our pets too much as distances are not so huge. The other day we traveled from Calais to Dover with Belle on P&O and were charged 25 € for a single passage whereas our fare was 100 € for the car and its 4 passengers. Exorbitant really just for checking the Pet Passport and reading the microchip. Plus the dog has to stay in the car during the crossing. I agree it is a booming industry. Without the likes of Amelia Earhart, all this would be irrelevant and we should have a special thought for her. She disappeared on 2nd July exactly 70 years ago over the Atlantic in an attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world.


jmb said...

Air Canada, the worst airline in the world. Well we Canadians hate it anyway, and it has a virtual monopoly.
I can't imagine letting a dog go cargo, it sounds impossible to coordinate.
A dog as passenger on our ferries is free. They have to stay in the car and the longest ferry ride is 2 1/2 hours so it's not so bad. As you say 25 euros to read the paperwork, pretty expensive.

I guess you got into blogger after all. I will answer your email separately but have no advice.

VioletsVintage said...

I remember flying from New York to California (3,005 miles) with my terrier, Willie in a crate below. I worried about her throughout the trip. With all the security checks and added confusion at airports these days, I don't think I would put any of my pets through that again. (even with tranquilizers) I did give Willie a little pill before we left and I think it did help her to sleep through most of the trip. Yes it was very expensive too.

Anonymous said...

I won't do these kind of trips with Muts anymore - he is too old for all that messing about...(14)

Rebecca Taunton said...

That does seem awfully expensive just to check the pet passport. It's probably a case of making what they can, where they can.

Amelia Earheart was a courageous woman and (disregarding the various consipiracy theories) she died doing something that she loved.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh dear, I never thought of terrorism having an impact on pet travel. Simi, as you know, flew here on the same flight as me as cargo and it was quite an anxious business. I'm glad we came when we did.
Looking at jmb's comment, have you had difficulty getting in today? I have, too.
Jmb, I had to fly Simi as "cargo" because otherwise you can't be sure they will let your pet on.