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American Airlines idiocy? (Dog owners beware)

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by pyrdek, May 2, 2012.

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  1. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    My daughter had an excellent example of airline idiocy this morning. She was returning to Vet School at Ross University. She had all the plans made and needed multiple tests and examinations completed to take her dog with her. Ross U. is in the nation of St. Kitt & Nevis. To import the dog St. Kitt required that an examination be completed and approved by the Exporting country (The U.S) veterinary officer. This exam was conducted and submitted in mid April and it is good for 30 days only. The PA Dept of Agriculture (the responsible agency) first claimed the test was not submitted but when confronted with his signature on the Mail Return Receipt, he eventually found it and was to FAX it to St. Kitt that day. By the time he got around to doing so, the receiving office was closed and so no import permit was issued. Bringing a dog into the country without an issued import permit means that the dog could (and probably would be) euthanized unless it was immediately shipped back.

    Next problem. The airline approved kennel is size restricted for cargo. Okay, bought a new kennel that fits within the size limit.

    The American Airlines web site had a good bit of info about shipping animals as air cargo and as checked baggage. Now here is where the idiocy begins. Not trusting the import permit to be issued and delivered to the airport in time before her flight lands, my daughter decided not to have her pet accompany her as checked baggage. This was on an American Airlines flight out of Pittsburgh leaving at about 6:00 A.M. this morning, That meant I had to be leaving home and driving about 100 miles to get to the airport by 5:00 A.M. just to bring the dog back home with me. OK, so far inconvenient but not a disaster.

    The plan was then to ship the dog to her the next day when the import permit was in her hand. It meant another trip to Pittsburgh to deliver the dog BUT now the real idiocy kicked in!

    In order to get on the plane as cargo, the animal would have to be delivered to the cargo terminal four hours before takeoff. Opps! The cargo terminal does not open till about an hour before takeoff. Next OPPS!! The airline, which is NOT American Airlines but American Eagle doing business in Pittsburgh as American Airlines, does NOT accept animals for air cargo shipment even though the same plane would be accepting the dog as checked baggage and putting it into the exact same cargo hold! This goes completely opposite of what their web pages indicated and it completely defies any logical thought process!

    Because of flight timing restrictions and multiple stops, it looks like the only other available way we could possibly ship the dog is to go to JFK in New York. That means a 500 mile one way trip via some means other than airline. Guess who gets to drive to JFK the way things stand now if we are to get her dog to her.

    I checked out U.S. Air flights to see if that was a possibility. The flights that came up involved multiple stops and plane changes. One routing from Pittsburgh went to Denver (yep that's COLORADO) then back to North Carolina, then to Miami while another routing took it to Phoenix, then NC then Miami. There may have been one other stop along the way with the routing provided.

    Delta had multiple changes too to get to Miami but at least they didn't go out to the Rockies to get to Miami from PA.

    So if you plan to ever air transport your dog or cat, and especially if you are doing so on American Airlines be absolutely certain of what is going to be happening AND GET IT IN WRITING WITH SIGNATURES long before your departure. My daughter had the assurances from the AA offices she talked to before planning the, now scuttled, trip that there were no problems or restrictions from the airline about shipping her dog to St. Kitt other than as listed on their web site.

    So, like I said, IF YOU ARE SHIPPING A DOG VIA AMERICAN AIRLINES BE DAMN SURE TO GET EVERYTHING CONFIRMED AND SIGNED IN WRITING!!!
     
  2. slide action

    slide action Well-Known Member

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    Most Beauracrats in the government suck! Most of the airlines today suck! There was a time when people went out of their way to help. Now most just don't give a #$^%%%$ !
     
  3. ctreay

    ctreay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    606
    Location:
    Northern New York
    Friends of ours used to fly with thier dogs a lot. They always used Lufthansa Airlines. They had two black scotties.

    ctreay
     
  4. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Follow up: Additional looking at the Delta schedule did show one flight that would allow a single stop and plane change in Atlanta then direct to St. Kitts. There is a question still to be resolved about when the dog would have to be at the cargo facility but it might be possible to make this work.

    Incidentally Delta had a lot of good info on their web site about pet travel. Now all I can hope for is that they actually do mean and honor what their site says (unlike AA). Delta even lists the restrictions that may be in place on their commuter type affiliated airlines.
     
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