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Air Canada, West Jet, United Airlines

June 12th, 2008, 05:32 AM
I am new to this forum, and am hoping that there is someone out there with some pet-flying experience.
I know flying puts the animals in a stressful situation, but we are Canadians who are relocating from Thailand to Canada and there is no way we can leave our babies here. We have 3 dogs and 1 cat - all but 1 of the dogs adopted us...(they were strays in great need, and after 3 years of love, we cannot leave them here.).
And soooo, we are faced with a long journey. :cry: I am beside myself with worry and am desperate for any help and advice.

We are considering the following airlines:
Air Canada
United Airlines
West Jet

Our journey will take us from Bangkok to St. John's, Newfoundland (I know, two extremes!!). :D I have read some posts regarding flying with Air Canada, but noted that they were about a year old. I believe that Air Canada has changed it's policies regarding cargo/checked baggage?

I would love to hear from anyone who has flown with their pet on any of these three airlines? The dogs are all too big to fly in the cabin. :dog:

Thank you kindly for any advice. And, like I said, I know that this is not ideal at all for the animals, but leaving them in Thailand would be much worse - not only for me, but for them!! This is not a selfish decision - just so you know. :needhug:

Thank you so much!

ADDED NOTE: I just have to say that I have checked with the airlines! That was the first thing I did, of course! I should have clarified that on this forum I am looking for information from people who have flown with their pets on these airlines... I need to decide who to fly with, and am trying to gather as much info as possible. Thanks : )

June 12th, 2008, 08:11 AM
To be 100% certain, you should contact these airlines directly.

Also, keep in mind that there are some requirements for vaccination and/or a vet report. Check this website, it may have information on pets traveling to canada (its the officianl Canada Gov't website:

It is a very stressful trip for them, but sometimes it has to be done. Talk to your vet as there may be something that you can give them to help them relax a bit.

When I was a kid, our family moved from Israel to Canada and we brought our dog with us. She was a Standard Poodle and had to go with the 'luggage' because of her size. It was over a 12 hour flight and we kept reminding the stuardesses to make sure that the heat was on in that Section (apparently if there are no pets then the heat doesnt get turned on in the luggage area and it gets very cold......). But at the end of it all she was fine.

It is less stressfull for them to go through the move, then to be left behind.

Goodluck with the move! :fingerscr

June 12th, 2008, 08:28 AM
:grouphug:Many of us know what the conditions are like for animals in other countries so yay for you for not only rescuing them but bringing them with you. LOL, now they can chase mooses in newfoundland.

June 12th, 2008, 10:31 PM
lol, I know! It's going to be sooo cute. I can't wait to see my Thai dogs playing in the snow! They are all really furry - so they appear to have been made for our family!

Thanks for the travel advice. I have been in contact with the airlines, and it all sounds great from their end....

I have flown with one of my dogs before, and am pretty up to speed as far as what documents I will need - the main question I now have is how compotent the airlines are. I am so nervous about who will be handling them, etc. Do the airline staff actually care about animals - or are they baggage workers who happen to be loading animals onto the plane? I have nothing against baggage workers! I just mean - are they trained animal professionals?

If I could fly from Thailand to Canada in a crate to be with them, I would!!!!

June 12th, 2008, 10:34 PM
i can only emphasise Masha's recommendatipon that you check with the airlines directly...

As I have no confidence in these "outfits" guaranteeing that you will be provided with accurace information, I want to mention that, relatively recently, Air Canada has announced that (on, at least, domestic service) pets are no longer carried....they must be sent via CARGO service...which would mean that your furkids and you would NOT be travelling on the same aircraft.

I recall hearing that Westjet had not imlemented the same policy...

June 13th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Unfortunately, airline quality seems to be not the "friendly skies" anymore...I would actually check with a courier like FedEx or whatnot (probably stay away form UPS-they break non-breakables, so I wouldn't trust them with a pet)...maybe they fly pets...

June 13th, 2008, 10:15 AM
I had a good experience with United Airlines. We used them to ship my puppy from the states via. Cargo. She got to us safe and sound, plus they gave her water and food at the stop-over. Other than that I've never had to fly a pet before, and don't know specifics. With my puppy I mostly just had to show up and pay all the extra fees, show id and clear customs. Arranging the flight was pretty straightforward, but they do take weather into strong consideration, especially during the summer.

June 13th, 2008, 10:21 AM
As usual, WestJet is being very smart. They know this is likely a growing trend and however labour-intensive it is, if the customer is willing to pay the cost, they'll do it.
My problem is they'll only take 2 critters per client :laughing:.

June 13th, 2008, 11:23 AM
My cats are flying to the UK via Cargo with Air Canada... you have to check with your LEAVING airport what they want.... and then I called heathrow to double check... they are really helpful and told me what crates I had to buy for each animal. They told me no animals can fly together and I am pretty sure its 2 animals PER client...

You have to start the preparations in ADVANCE... I started in APRIL for flying in November!!! I have a great vet who is luckily keeping me organised!

This site will apply to ALL airlines on bringing them all in!

June 16th, 2008, 02:29 PM
I met someone who was going the opposite way from Canada to Singapore and they were using a Pet Relocation service. I found one on the web for you that you can check out( I do not know anything about them and I am not referring them) . I believe that the dogs was going a month before for quarantine issues. I am not Sure if Canada has these same laws in place as well. But Professional pet re-locater services would seem a safer route to go for me anyways.

Good luck.
Here is the link

June 16th, 2008, 09:51 PM
I only fly with my cats with me and alas, AC has changed it s policy but West Jet has not. You have 4 tho so you may have to place some of them in. I don't know what to tell you except maybe ask someone else to take a cat with them in the seat section. I have heard too many horror stories re small animals especially in the cargo hold,. Then again, many animals make it but I wonder how traumatic that is. Have they flown before? Are they good travellers? I would get them used to being in the carrier for long periods of time before leaving so it is not a huge shock to them. If they have never gone on a long trip and this is new, that could make them ill - just the stress.

Make sure you check with the airline before you travel to make the appropriate arrangements. Doe s Westjet go to Nfld. If not, you may have to fly to Halifax or Moncton ands then drive to Nfld.

Good luck!!!