Travelling with a Snub Nosed Dog
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Over the past 4 years over 70% of airlines have banned the transportation of snub-nosed ( Brachycephalic ) dog and cat breeds and won't fly them as cargo or excess luggage. For those with small enough pets, travelling with your pet in the cabin may still be possible, but for larger dogs the options are very limited (check out our blog about charter travel).
A recent client of ours was helping her elderly mother relocate from Poland to live with her sister in Oman. Despite not living in Poland herself, our client co-ordinated a specialist vet to help with export documents and a pet relocator in Oman to arrange the import permit. The flight reservation was made weeks in advance, my client advised the reservations agent the dog was a Shih-Tzu (snub nosed) and that it would travel as extra luggage.
The day of travel came and extended family took our client's mother to the airport. When they reached the check-in counter the staff advised them that the dog could not travel as extra luggage. The airline had changed their pet policy 6 months earlier, banning snub-nosed dogs. The staff who book the dog as extra luggage were not up to date on their policy changes and should never have excepted the booking in the first place. The airline denied the dog boarding and our client's mother was left bereft at having to leave without her beloved dog.
Our client contacted Pet Relocation International (PRI) to see if we could help. We arranged a call to discuss the situation and find out what we needed to do to reunite the dog with her mother. Our client explained how much her mother was struggling without her dog, and that time was of the essence to get the dog reunited with her mother as soon as possible.
We requested the dog’s measurements and advised that they needed to be very precise! We set to work finding airlines we could work with where the dog could travel in the cabin.
With no direct flights, we had to find at least two different airline carriers that would both allow the same crate size and breed in-cabin.
This was no easy job. Every airline has different policies on pet travel and crate size! And these policies have been subject to regular review and change since the Covid pandemic. We also always have to take into consideration the layover time and the pet’s health.
After a very long search we finally found two airline carriers that could be booked together for a connecting journey!
Our client was very concerned that the airline would decline her mother’s dog, and understandably so. We confirmed the pet policy of each airline was correct on their website and we called the airlines and added the dog to the reservation ensuring that the reservation for the dog was confirmed in writing. By taking these extra steps we gave our client the reassurance and confidence that the pet relocation would go smoothly.
You may think this whole process would be easy, but with an average wait time of nearly two hours when contacting the airlines help-desk to add a pet to a reservation (which cannot be done when booking online with most airlines) it is now a very time consuming process! Adding the time needed to chase the airlines for email confirmation to ensure the dog was accepted as a snub-nose breed, we invested nearly 10 hours on airline calls.
We are thrilled to say that our client and her mother’s dog arrived in Oman safe and sound.
At PRI, we want all our client’s and their pets to have as stress-free relocation as possible which is why we take the extra time to speak to several airline agents to ensure the pets have been added to the reservation correctly.
If you are relocating a snub-nose pet, PRI would love to help you. contact us at email@example.com