Saturday, March 31, 2007

More On Traveling With Pets, at 30,000 Feet

New article in NYT describes how BA is no longer accepting pets as excess baggage, requiring owners to us a freight transport service instead. This is a major blow to anyone, like myself, who travels abroad with their pets. We have been using Lufthansa, but

"According to Ross Gays, European director of WorldCare Pet Transport ( in London: “Other airlines may start to require pets to travel only through cargo systems, via a pet travel agent, not checked in as before by the accompanying owner as excess baggage.”

Story description:
Q & A
More on Traveling With Pets, at 30,000 Feet
Published: April 1, 2007
A reader would like to bring his Labrador from London to Nice and is concerned about getting caught in the “pet travel racket within Europe.”

I guess this is interesting since more hotels in the States are becoming pet friendly, while international airlines are not. There used to be a time, that with an extra fee, BA would walk and water your dog for you.

When I got on to the BA World Cargo site for live animals There's no indication what-so-ever of them not shipping domestic pets.

"Live Animals

British Airways World Cargo has many years' experience in transporting live animals. Our personnel handle animal shipments everyday and pride themselves in taking as much care of them as you would yourself.

Most animals can be transported by air. The only limitation is the size of the cargo hold. Larger animals, such as horses and cattle, can be carried on one of our freighter services. However, on our passenger services, due to the size of the cargo hold, we carry smaller animals such as cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and tropical fish.

For more information on the transportation of large animals on our freighter network, contact your local British Airways World Cargo office. Further information can also be found on the International Air Transport Association(IATA) website at and on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website at

The UK animal transporter authorisation (reference UK/REIGA/T2/00003654) permits British Airways to carry livestock.

View our Animal Transportation Authorisation (opens a new window, pdf, 107Kb)."

Either BA has not updated its website or there's some other confusion in this article. Later on the BA website, they state that you must use a specialized pet transport service if the pet is being transported seperately.

We use Lufthansa and started using them when we were living in Baku, Azerbaijan. BA, which owns and operates British Mediterranean, the subsidiary that services Baku claimed that we could only fly our dog straight through from Baku to NYC on BA, and that British Mediterranean was not considered a part of their fleet. Tell that to the BA webpages that link to it. I thought the argument was a bunch of bull and was disappointed as we were pretty much, dedicated BA fliers. Now, we're dedicated Lufthansa fliers and I hope they continue to take pets at excess bagagge. Once we had to physically transfer our dog from one airline (and terminal) to another once in Philadelphia. It was in 1997 when BA and American were going through divorce proceedings. It's a pain, but something I would do again, if I had to.

I would just wanted to know, where these specialized pet carrier companies originated. Could it possibly be ex-UK quarantine operators, who are now loosing money, due to the new UK, European and American pet import agreements? If so, they really due know how to operate a racket. So I looked them up. Two of the pet transport services mentioned in the NYT article are also quarantine agents.

These are:
Air Pets Oceanic,, mentioned in the NYT article is a UK quarantine kennel, as well. "Flying pets everywhere and pet boarding." The same with PAS Livestock Limited.

Another article previously published in the NYT mentions Ross Gays' company. And for those of you new to transporting pets, it ain't cheap - see article below.

Q & A

Home From France, With Seven Pets in Tow

Published: March 4, 2007
A reader would like to find the safest way to transport his cats and dogs from France to the United States.

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