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Traveling To Mexico With A Pet


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#21 Carey

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:28 PM

Wahl, American has joined the club of airlines not flying incabin pets into or out of Mexico so there goes that ticket down the drain. Because I won't risk sending Nikki as unsupervised checked luggage in mid June Dallas or Cozumel.

So I'm back to United. Where I fortunately, still hadn't gotten around to cancelling my ticket. Currently planning to carry Nikki in cabin to Houston, layover and then take him to the petsafe cargo office the next morning.

I've asked our lawyer to look into what the prices would be for hiring my own vet and aduana instead of using the ones on call at the airport. I suspect they are gouging when I hear fees as high as $1000.

I have also made a specific request to Petsafe on their registration form to have the dog categorized as checked luggage traveling with a passenger rather than cargo. Apparently military families traveling to new bases with their pets in tow made an enormous row about this as they, too, were getting the horrendous customs fees. I think it has something to do with the fact that Petsafe is a subcontractor or something.

So now I note there is a box to check on the acceptance form asking if you are military or foreign service. In other words, they'll do the work for them but aren't going to bother with the rest of us unless we make a stink. Which I plan to do.

But I don't have enough time to raise a ruckus on this trip. This is one of those weeks when I am really sorry I moved to Mexico. I gotta say it. Jeeze Louize.

Just an update which will be of interest to anyone who travels with pets.
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#22 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:40 AM

My friends bring their Basset Hound, Caesar down twice a year via baggage. They have found that he gets royal treatment from start to finish on his journey.

Departing from Cozumel, he is the last to board and the pilot does check on him onces he is in the pressurized, temperature controlled baggage area of the plane.

Caesar has shown no ill effects from his flights, and I have never witnessed him be fearful of getting back in his sky kennel to leave.

My friends report that when he arrives in Dallas, they push his kennel out at baggage claim, they take him out and take him to the dog park that is set up at the airport. When it's time for him to be rechecked, to reach his final destination he doesn't seem the least bit concerned.

I have flown my own two Corgi's down so I aware based on my own experience. Also, avoid at all cost, CARGO...I didn't know that at the time.

Let's just say, I paid my 'DUTY' to jail break them.

The MAJOR issue with flying a pet baggage is the temperature on both departing, and arriving destinations.

Also, do NOT give your pet any kind of tranquilizers. If the pet was in distress and needed assistance, it would not be evident if the pet was sedated.

If I had a small pet, that would normally ride in the cabin, I would not like this option either. But, it really sounds like it is the only one until this issue is addressed by those in power.
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#23 Carey

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:06 AM

Oh Boy, bad subject for me...was to arrive in Cozumel on United, April 29th 2012 on a United flight I had booked about 5 weeks in advance with my dog that flies as carry on with me. She had a reservation, which I again confirmed 1 day prior to departure. We live north of OHare airport, 1 hour + to the airport, a 5 am flight means out the door at 1. No sleep. We arrived at the airport, to be told at the ticket counter that we would not be allowed to board due to a NEW regulation from the Mexican government that says NO PETS IN CABIN. I asked for a paper trail of the denial to board, ticket agent said there was a record in the system, not to worry about a refund. I asked if he was sure it was Mexico and not United. he said Mexican Regulation.

I am in the same situation and picked our latest dog also so he could travel with us. As much as none of us are liking any of the airlines right now, let alone United, I've come to understand that it's the Mexican government doing this. Meaning not a damn thing extranjeros can do about it since we don't vote. Except LEAVE, how about that? (See, I'm real ticked off too, let me tell you. Two houses, 12 years and many friends later I'm starting to think about how nice it would be to move back to the states and not have to put up with this sh*t any more. Taking our money with us, I might add.)

United's PetSafe program may be a good alternative. But they have to iron out the problem of pets landing in Mexico classified as cargo and therefore subject to high brokering fees apparently. There is where a petition could do some real good. Military families got this for themselves by making a fuss. Why shouldn't the large community of ex-patriots who live in Mexico get this as well.

I will be traveling back on United on June 12/13. In cabin res SFO to Houston and then cargo via Petsafe the next morning to Cozumel involving the hotel shuttle from La Quinta in Houston having to make a special stop at cargo to drop the dog. Also involving carrying both a carry on bag and a shipping crate which I procured from amazon prime and hope to be able to ship to Houston in my luggage broken down, put together in the hotel that night and send Nikki in the next morning.

I have our lawyer price-shopping all the aduanas with offices on the island and also finding out if the brokerage fees are standard or, if you make arrangements ahead, more reasonably priced.

I will report what happened when I get back. Then I will start a petition going directed at United's PetSafe program. If they will bow to pressure from military families, they obviously have flexibility. It just makes a little more work for them. And bottom line is they don't really care what happens to their passengers after they leave their system.

I sympathize greatly with your ruined vacation and am at least glad you got a refund. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to go through with this and see it to the end as anxiety-provoking as the whole thing is. Because Cozumel is our home, our only home at this point. Gotta get home. Gotta get my little dog back, too.
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#24 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:09 PM

what am I missing here?

As I read this, you have two choices
1. send the pet as Cargo
2. send the pet as checked bag


They put them in the same place in the plane.

One comes out with your bags, you go to agricultural and show the medical documents on your pet and your done. The other goes to customs where you will need a broker, and pay an outrages fee to the broker and to customs.

Having done both, having friends do their pet as checked bags, and my only choice was between the two, I would do checked bags.

I am not seeing an advantage to PetSafe except maybe on the ground, between flights.

The problem is how do the pets come in using PetSafe, baggage or cargo.

I think this is one of those rock and hard places.
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#25 Carey

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:38 PM

what am I missing here?

As I read this, you have two choices
1. send the pet as Cargo
2. send the pet as checked bag


They put them in the same place in the plane.

One comes out with your bags, you go to agricultural and show the medical documents on your pet and your done. The other goes to customs where you will need a broker, and pay an outrages fee to the broker and to customs.

Having done both, having friends do their pet as checked bags, and my only choice was between the two, I would do checked bags.

I am not seeing an advantage to PetSafe except maybe on the ground, between flights.

The problem is how do the pets come in using PetSafe, baggage or cargo.

I think this is one of those rock and hard places.


If it were November through March, I would have no qualms about shipping Nikki on American as baggage. I am afraid to do it in the middle of June out of Dallas. If there are delays either before or once he gets on the plane, he could either become extremely uncomfortable or even die. A lot of pets have died which is why they prohibit flying when the temp is above 85 degrees

I'm not concerned about on the Cozumel end as they get them off the plane first and fast. But I have grave concerns about DFW in mid June. So I am just going to do the best I can with the petsafe program because at least with this I know, from past experience, that they will be personally taken out to the plane in an AC'd van and loaded on last thing. Also monitored so if there are delays, they deal with it.

I'm probably going to get stiffed for an unconscionable amount of money on this but what will be will be. I can't take the anxiety of the alternative for June in Dallas.
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#26 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:06 PM

You are absolutely right to be concerned about the heat...

You do have one thing in your favor. The flight from DFW is fairly early to Cozumel and the heat may not be a concern.

What a mess this has turned into.
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#27 Carey

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:38 PM

You are absolutely right to be concerned about the heat...

You do have one thing in your favor. The flight from DFW is fairly early to Cozumel and the heat may not be a concern.

What a mess this has turned into.


It's a weekday flight departing 10:30 AM. That should be fine -- provided there is not a delay like a problem with the plane -- something I've run into a couple of times. I'm also concerned that last minute at the counter they might tell me that they aren't flying pets into Cozumel right now because of heat restrictions.

I've still got the American ticket AND the United ticket so have time to decide. And maybe petsafe will come through since I begged them on their online form and get the dog correctly classified. Not holding any hopes on that one.

I understand there is quite a brouhaha going on about this on Facebook. A flight attendant who lives here is raising a ruckus there re the Mexican government. Personally I think that is not only a dead end street for non-nationals but someone should prolly tell her she can get in a lot of trouble for participating in anything that could be considered political. I got rid of my facebook account so I can't be the one to break the news.

Anyway, petsafe is actually a very good program. But they have to go just that little bit more distance to have pets not coming in as cargo. If they do that, they'll get a lot of business including mine. If they don't, I'll be shifting to American and flying in and out only in the cool months of the year.
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#28 diverdi

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:33 PM

Carey,

I will be waiting to read how this goes for you. I too, this week, am sorry we bought in Mexico. My husband said this morning, time to sell and get a 2nd home in Wisconsin! We come and go all times of year, so flying in cool weather only is a bad option for us. I really don't know what we are going to do. I know the stress you are feeling, I don't understand why this is happening now....sending best of luck for your travels and your dog. This is really awful for all the rescue animals that fly out in cabin. Let us know how it goes...Diana
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#29 Carey

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:09 PM

Carey,

I will be waiting to read how this goes for you. I too, this week, am sorry we bought in Mexico. My husband said this morning, time to sell and get a 2nd home in Wisconsin! We come and go all times of year, so flying in cool weather only is a bad option for us. I really don't know what we are going to do. I know the stress you are feeling, I don't understand why this is happening now....sending best of luck for your travels and your dog. This is really awful for all the rescue animals that fly out in cabin. Let us know how it goes...Diana

United's PetSafe option is an excellent one except for this categorization as cargo on the tail end of international flights. And I think if enough of a fuss is raised about this with them it is quite possible that the subcontractor will change their paperwork trail so this doesn't happen. They may not be fully aware of the implications of what they are currently doing for pet owners flying internationally.

Also it may be that some rich Mexican who fly with their animals are inconvenienced by this in which case we might see a change effected on that end. Certainly nothing foreigners can do to influence that decision.
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#30 Ron

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:22 PM

Hi Carey
This is truly a bad situation. I hope you can get your dog home with as little problems as possible.
I believe that baggage is not an opton at this point in time because of the season. I think the cut off is May for flying dogs as baggage. I think the only exception to this is Airo Mexico or Mexicana I think it is the first.
It is sure not easy at times and very frustrating to say the least. I hope the situation will work itself out.
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#31 Carey

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:59 PM

Thanks, Ron
I've got both my belt AND suspenders on to be sure my pants stay up as my Dad is fond of staying. Covered for any eventuality. I hope. And I am very grateful that I have the money to cover a shocking aduana fee should I not somehow be able to bypass this. Which will not be for wont of trying as you may imagine.

I would never leave Cozumel. We love it too much there. I was just so damn angry and anxious so I was venting. It's just one more bureaucratic hoop the Mexican government makes everyone -- Mexicans and expats -- jump through. I'd laugh it there wasn't so much potential money and certain inconvenience involved. Will keep all posted but I've mellowed out about it at this point. So I don't have a heart attack. Ja Ja. Or not Ja Ja. As the case may be. Ja Ja
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