international travel with dogs
For those who are following us, you might have seen my stories documenting the dogs flights from Cape Town to Denver.
I have received a large amount of DM's regarding our travel so of course I had to share our journey.
So here it goes: About 6 months prior to our travel dates we hired Pet Relocation, a travel pet agency. This company was great with communication & answered all my questions within hours.We made payment and gave them a date of travel for the dogs. They arranged shipment of the travel crates and advised us on preparing the dogs for the flights. Even though we gave a date for travel, live cargo can not be booked until 10 days prior to the date. Actually most of the process is finalized within 10 days of flying.
The documents required to move the dogs from South Africa to USA was to get a local vet / state vet health certificate. This can only be done 5 days prior to travel. Luckily, the pups got the clearance from both vets. When I got home from the vet visits, I got a call from the South African partner of Pet Relocation saying the dogs do not have a booking. I cried, I cussed, I lost my cool. How can this happened? Just the day before they told me everything was all clear and to go to the vet.
Apparently, perishables were booked on their flight so live cargo gets pushed off which was York and Ro.
Pet Relocation tried to solve the problem and get the dogs flights. At first they called to say they can land in San Francisco or LA... but I will be in Denver. So how do the dogs get to us? Well they would arrange a driver to drive to Utah, our end location. That is just mad!!!! To have the pups go through that. 2 long flights and then 12 hour drive with a complete stranger.
In the end, I decided to have the dogs stay at Frankfurt Animal Lounge for 2 nights & then fly to Denver as planned. Either way we had to pay over $2000 on top of the full amount we already paid and be without the pups for 2 nights!
All this last minute stress was something I did not expect.
On the day of the flight in Cape Town, pups got picked up from the partner South African pet agency.They calmed me and made me feel good about the flights.
I was finally feeling good about our move at the airport, and less stressed when I noticed my dogs in their crates in the sun on the tarmac (unattended). They were in the hot sun (it’s summer in Cape Town) for 45 minutes! Meanwhile I am watching this as I wait to board the plane. I’m crying, I’m yelling at Lufthansa, I’m calling the agencies and nothing was done. Of course I was again stressed and had the worst plane ride of my life.
Then we all landed at Frankfurt. Dogs were sent to Lufthansa Animal Lounge. I could not see them after the first flight and had to board for Denver.
Lufthansa Animal Lounge doesn’t provide photos or have a camera to check on them so it’s only word of mouth. So for 2 days I had the agency and my dear friend Katherine calling the animal lounge to check on them. Luckily, the pups were fine. And two days later, the pups got the okay to fly.
And again more stress as I worry about them on another flight. First flight was 11 hours, second flight was 10 hours.
HOORAY. THEY LANDED IN USA.
Pet Relocation takes care of the customs paperwork and I was very impressed to say the dogs were cleared in one hour. I cried when I saw them and they acted like nothing had changed. They were happy and healthy so finally I was relieved.
And we are now all officially Americans!
Overall, I am not a big fan of booking 10 days prior to flight for live cargo, but that’s all airlines.
Outraged with Lufthansa airlines for leaving my dogs in sun for 45 minutes.
Happy I used a pet agency like Pet Relocation to do all the paperwork.
The price was very high for these dogs to be flown, they should have been in first class not in the back of the plane.
I wouldn’t want to put my dogs through this again, even though they were not shaken by the travels.
12/23/2017 03:49:54 am
Thank you for sharing your experience and so sorry for all bad stuff you had to deal with. I used to travel frequently from US to Europe with my pup and never used any agency. I was able to book my pet's flight when I booked mine and it was usually a month before. Paid about $150.00( that depended on the weight and a crate size) and that was it. The pup was checked in as my luggage (sort off) and I presented its paperwork from the vet. No other paperwork ever needed. He always flew with the same flight like me and only once got stuck in Amsterdam. I think the price you paid is outrages so the fact your pups were left on the sun. I flew with Lufthansa many times and always so my pup being loaded immidiatelly. I am very happy you all made it to USA and wish you the best on your new US life.😊🐶🐶❤️
12/26/2017 08:03:41 am
12/26/2017 07:42:04 pm
12/26/2017 08:02:46 am
Anya, Holy Cow!! it made me stressed just to read the blog :( I am sooo sorry you guys had to go through this... What a nightmare. I am happy that now you guys are all together and healthy.
8/1/2018 11:27:43 am
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