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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you know, my daughter, Chauncey, left for the UK last fall, since she’s doing her Master's at Oxford. Her boyfriend and her cat, Neko, stayed behind in Canada, but were to join her in January. Chauncey came home for the holidays, and she and Neko were supposed to fly back to the UK tomorrow. Well, Chauncey flies back tomorrow, but Neko can’t go with her, because of the most useless airline on the face of the planet: Air Canada. Don’t get me started!

Cats fly to the UK in a special cat cargo compartment and, according to UK regulations, they must be received in a special receiving area (at Heathrow). Late last week, we received an email from Air Canada, saying their cargo receiving area will be “closed until further notice”, and Air Canada will no longer be accepting pets on flights. A few phone calls later, we found out that Air Canada had some sort of flood in their cargo area, which appears to be due to a burst pipe. Long story short, Neko can’t fly back with my daughter tomorrow.

We have tried everything. To the best of our knowledge, there are only two carriers permitted to carry pets from Canada to the UK: Air Canada and British Airways. BA requires a 14-day notification period, which they are unwilling to waive despite our pleading and despite the inability to transport pets via Air Canada right now (BA is quickly joining AC on my list of useless airlines!). We’re going to be trying a few more things tomorrow, but right now, it’s not clear when Neko will be able to go home. I am not happy, nor is Chauncey, and I imagine poor little Neko won’t be happy either, once Chauncey leaves. :sad:
 

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Oh no Susan, that's terrible. So if he can't go tomorrow, you have to wait the 2 weeks to send him on BA or what happens to him?
 

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Well, if we can't get a straight answer from Air Canada tomorrow (which is highly likely, since AC is not known for giving straight answers), then we will cancel the ticket on AC and try to book with BA, even though it means waiting two weeks. Of course, BA might be booked solid, given the number of people who are likely in the same boat as us with AC. If so, it might mean waiting much longer than two weeks.

I also have emails out to a few pet transport service agencies, to see if they know of any other alternatives.
 

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Considering it's a cat, and rather small, couldn't you classify the carrier/kennel as a "carry on bag"?
Though they might not let you, as recently somebody took a small dog on an American plane... and even though the carrier (and dog!) were supposed to stay tucked under the seat, the dog's owner let it out and it bit a flight attendant... so now, of course, that might ruin things for other people wanting to take their pets.

I'm also wondering how good their cargo department is. I've heard of some workers putting pets in the regular cargo area... which is NOT pressurized/oxygenated and NOT heated. Though I don't remember if any pet died, but I do remember that people were astonished when they DIDN'T die from being in that situation.

This is just one of the many, many, innumerable reasons I don't fly. (heck, I rarely cross state border! LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wish! If Chauncey could take Neko on the plane as carry on, she would love it. However, pets are only allowed in the passenger section on certain domestic flights, not international flights. So, until Neko sprouts wings or learns to swim a little better, cargo is his only option!
 
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