Well, this is just great. And when I say “great” I mean the opposite.
I was looking at the Icelandair website yesterday, just trying to verify all the facts, make sure we have all we need for the flight, etc. And to my horror I realized that sometimes my brain prefers the fantasy and wishful thinking to stark reality. Damn you, brain!
For months now I’ve been planning to fly with our dogs and our cat on Icelandair. We flew Icelandair to Scandinavia in February and all the flights were pleasant (one thing though: they don’t feed you! I think I may need to join that Saga club to eat, but even then the choices aren’t great. But bringing your own food is fine, so that works too) and relatively comfortable. And I like the Reykjavìk airport, because it’s little and easy to navigate. So I went on the Icelandair website – months ago – to look up the information about pet transport. It sounded very nice. Pets fly in climate controlled special area, away from the luggage and the crate requirements sounded ample (92 x 64 x 71), as did the weight requirements. 88 lbs. max.
So last night I went on their website again, just to double-check things, make sure I call the airline well ahead of time, etc… And that is when I realized my brain was being wrapped up in its own flying fantasy and not paying attention to details! Here’s what I missed:
- the crate dimensions are listed in centimeters, not inches
- the weight requirement includes the weight of the crate
Whaaaaaat?! My dogs weigh about 70 lbs each and the crate itself weighs 43 lbs. I’m not all that good with math, but I do know that 70 plus 43 is not 88 or less.
I started doing some research. Looking for airlines that fly large dogs. Someone recommended Air Canada. So I looked at their website. And again, dead-end. For one, they only fly dogs in the winter, spring and fall. That’s their luggage compartment rules. This sounded terrible, because my dogs are not luggage and wouldn’t they freeze in there?! Another option was cargo – flights that are climate controlled, but not on passenger planes. Problem with that? They exclude boxers, bulldogs, pugs and other short snouted breeds! This search quickly brought me back to:
Someone on the internet suggested taking a boat across the Atlantic. Queen Mary 2 sails from New York to London and has on-board kennels. I quickly envisioned myself in a wide-brimmed hat, wearing a white linen dress and boat shoes, while my dogs chase the seagulls all over the deck. This, of course, is just a fantasy. I never wear white and prefer synthetics that don’t need to be ironed.
So I did more frantic searching and found Pet Relocation – a self-explanatory company based in Austin. I emailed them right away and they emailed me back with some great info. They said they’ll call me and chat before giving me a quote.
I told my husband that this could be an expensive service. Apparently this company does it all. They pick up the pets, take them to the airport, make sure their water bowls stay filled up and go through customs at the destination. I’m assuming we’ll be paying for their agent to fly with the dogs. I’m guesstimating this will cost $2500 per dog (the cat we can take care of ourselves. He’s portable.). I wonder how off my estimate will be…
My husband said “nothing, but the best for our pets!”. Can’t wait till he sees the actual estimate.