Help:Cats In-Cabin Issue (Air Canada)

Old Oct 4th, 2005, 11:31 AM
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Help:Cats In-Cabin Issue (Air Canada)

Hi everyone,

We're moving from the UK to Toronto, where I'm originally from, and we are bringing our 2 cats along.

Well, we called several airlines and finally decided to change our moving date to 10th Octoer. We were originally going to move mid November, however, Air Canada are changing their policy on the 12th and will no longer allow pets in-cabin. As Air Canada are the only airline with direct flights to Toronto from Heathrow we went ahead with it.

Yesterday I spoke to a woman at Air Canada who insists that Air Canada's policy with pets is rather strict. A cat must be able to stand up fully in their carrier. I don't know ANY cats that stand at full height at 9". Jimi, our 5 year old cat, is a small-ish cat at 10lbs. He's not very big. He sleeps in his Sherpa carrier all the time at home and seems quite comfortable in it.

Our other cat, Sebastien, is only 7 mos. old and won't pose a problem in this respect.

Anyway, the lady advised that we go to Heathrow airport within the next 48 hours and make sure our larger cat is approved for in-cabin travel. I'm supposed to call her to let her know when this has happened.

Has anyone flown with their pet on Air Canada? What about internationally? Can someone offer some advice or words of encouragement? Even if you haven't flown with Air Canada but HAVE with another airline internationally.

We're very nervous because everything is arranged for our big move and I will not allow Jimi to fly in baggage/cargo.

I'm really hoping for some help, here and will look forward to your replies.

P.S. We're going to the airport tomorrow to find out what they say about allowing our cats. 4 hour drive, two cats in tow...Wish us luck.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 11:39 AM
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I wonder why they care so much whether the cat can stand in the carrier. (If it were out of concern for the cat's welfare, then they wouldn't be telling anyone the cat had to go in the baggage hold INSTEAD of staying in the cabin, nice and sage but in a not quite high enough carrier.) There are bigger carriers, I think, but then they probably couldn't fit under the seat. My cat's 9 1/2 lbs. I never really noticed whether she can stand in her carrier. She hates going in it for car trips to the vet or boarding kennel, yet often chooses to go in it, where it's kept in the bathroom with soft cat rugs inside, for a little private nap.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 11:47 AM
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There is a hell of a difference between being cramped up and having to just lay down for a quick trip to the vets and being trapped in that position and unable to stretch out for probably 10 hours or more by the time you take check in/out into account.
Call yourselves cat lovers?
The crate sizes are controlled for the animals' welfare.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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I haven't taken my cat internationally, but have taken him in the cabiin on Air Canada flights between Toronto and St. John's (approx 3-hour flight). He's about 15 lbs, and had no trouble standing up and turning around in a standard soft-sided carrier.

Incidentally, he wails when in a car, but is always silent on a plane.

Best of luck!
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Yes, Jimi can stand and turn around perfectly in his carrier. We had to take him to the vet today in it and he was fine. He can quite easily lie down, stand, turn, etc.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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Air Canada has a page on their web site that talks about carrying pets. It says nothing about a need for the cat to be able to stand up in its carrier, but on the other hand, it says the service is only offered on flights within North America, which is clearly at odds with what you were told by the AC telephone agent. Here's the link: http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelin...gage/pets.html

Sorry I can't be more helpful, other than to suggest you confirm what hours the AC counters are staffed at LHR; it would be unfortunate to drive that distance to discover that the there are no more AC flights ex-LHR that day and all the staff have disappeared.

Anselm
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Hi
you've posted this question on the Europe board, twice on the airline board, and on the Canada board. Concern I understand, but what exactly are you looking for people to tell you?
The airline will be the final arbiter of its own rules; whatever some other traveler was able to do or not do last year or even yesterday, may not apply to you.
I would think that the being able to stand up in the carrier applies to pets flying in the baggage hold and not in the cabin; for most pets, being able to stand upright means that the carrier won't fit under the seat.

The airline woman on the phone wants you to go to Heathrow to check this out, and then she wants YOU to call HER with the results of the visit? Won't it be noted in the official record? I just don't understand this process, but good luck with the trip.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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Hi Anslem,

Yes you're right. As of 12th October they won't allow pets to fly internationally any longer. We're flying on the 10th for that reason. Thanks for the info. though, appreciate it.

All the best.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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While I wouldn't want a cat to feel cramped, I think ANYthing is better than having to fly in the baggage compartment, which is where the poor animal would be relegated if the carrier were too large.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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Hundreds of words about your cats and their possible inconvenience, and nary a thought about possible allergies and/or phobias of fellow human passengers. What's wrong with this picture?
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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What's wrong with this picture??? Some people should just be put out of their misery so cats can RULE!!!
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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I actually have the concern that Tomboy brings up. I am a generally healthy person, so you would not know. I regularly brisk-walk for exercise, etc. However, I and a friend of mine both have a life-threating allergy to cats. I practice avoidance, so I haven't had any dire episodes in years. I am sure that cat lovers in general just have not thought of the existence of folks like me. Since I know another person with the same problem, I would guess that it is not uncommon. Cats coming too near me in close quarters actually swell my bronchial tubes so I can't breathe. An emergency inhaler, which I will carry, will likely keep my alive, but I would require a trip to the hospital upon landing and will get no enjoyment from my expensive trip. On my checklist is to call British Airways to be sure that I will not be seated next to a cat. I am worried about animal dander in the recirculating airliner air for a transatlantic trip, so I hope that nobody at all has a cat aboard!
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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That is a good precaution if your allergy to animals is so severe... but otherwise, what should the OP do? Turn her pets over to the pound? Avoid moving for 15 years, until the cats have passed on..? It isn't like she can <i>drive</i> them...
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Ship. The Queen Mary II is lovely.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Its a tricky situation. I personally had childhood allergies, but when I got my first cat I was fine. When I got my 2nd cat, my allergy problems escalated and I have to keep an inhaler nearby so I could understand issues bringing cats on a plane. If I was unaware of their presence and had an attack, it would be aweful. I wouldnt know what to do on a 10 hour flight.

Anyway, good luck to you. I love cats!!!!

Natalie
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Because of some people's severe allergies, I think maybe some planes and some flights should be reserved as pet-free and some set aside as allowing pets in the cabin.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Dear TorontoSteven, I'm sure OP will consider your suggestion if you also offer some financial support for it...!
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 02:00 PM
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It is a tough dilemma. I too am allergic to cats; however, I have three and would never think of giving them up. Luckily my allergies aren't anything that an Alegra can't handle.

That being said, I don't think the OP has much choice. I do believe their are companies, at least here in the U.S., that will ship your pets for you. However, I don't know anything about these services other than they are offered. If she is moving and wants to take her cats, they will probably have to fly with her. I don't think that many airlines allow pets in the cabins anymore, but for those with life-threatening allergies, its probably a good idea to call and check to make sure that no cats are on board.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes!

Tracy
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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I called and found out that British Airways does not allow pets on international flights, so I will be ok. Maybe some animal lobbying organization should raise the issue so that a conditioned space could be set aside in cargo area for pets? I do't think folks should have to leave their pets if they relocate, but many people would not be comfortable sitting next to animals for such a long flight, even if not allergic. They would not want to be surprised with an animal seat-mate. But the pets are part of some people's families. I had a dog for 15 years, so I know. I hope the airlines work on this problem for pet and non-pet people.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 03:11 AM
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&quot;many people would not be comfortable sitting next to animals for such a long flight, even if not allergic&quot;

I'll bet that more of us would be uncomfortable sitting next to children

Best of luck with the cats, cheryl. I wondered about sailing, too, but I suppose it would be very late (and probably expensive) to change your plans now.
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