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Pet quarantine booked, now need advice on airlines!

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fatuitas
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Pet quarantine booked, now need advice on airlines!

Postby fatuitas » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 2:03 am

We will be flying our 2 cats (together, in 1 crate, they comfort each other) from Vancouver to SP at the end fo the month. This Forum has been so helpful before: I am wondering if anyone would like to weigh in on the airline decision. If we fly KLM cargo (1st leg is 9 hrs, then a stop at the Pet Hotel in Amsterdam, then a 12 hr leg) I know they will be taken well care of but it is such a long flight! And when they arrive in Changi they will have to be in the airport for about 18 hrs before they can take the once-a-day shuttle to Sembawing quarantine. If we fly AC via Japan (Singapore Air will not take pets I recall, so cannot fly thru HK), the cats cannot fly together in the same crate, but it is shorter journey overall and there is less wait time in Changi to get to the Sembawing quarantine (8 hrs wait). I'm also not so sure it is a good thing to have to switch airlines for the second leg (from AC to United). What to do? I have to book flights soon; any insights appreciated!

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Postby poodlek » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 11:54 am

I chose KLM for the peace of mind. I knew they had a good reputation and training for handling live animal cargo, something that can't be guaranteed for other airlines, to my knowledge. I also have a close friend who works in baggage handling at YYZ and I've heard horror stories about incompetence and negligence (not on handling live animals specifically, but enough about the rest to have me concerned..)

Are you certain there's no other way for your cats to get from Changi to Sembawang other than the shuttle? Will you be here in SG when they arrive? My pets were transported by PetMovers, but as I'm sure you've read in other threads, they do NOT come recommended. But there may be another company willing to do the service, or even transport via taxi? I'm not sure what's allowed. I know they have to wait to be inspected by the vet at the airport before going to Sembawang, but perhaps the conditions won't be intolerable for them during that time.

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Postby fatuitas » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 2:04 pm

Thanks for the idea; I am using Mitchville (rather frustrating too) and have been rebuffed with the idea of getting own transport. I will pursue this further now however! Good to hear about KLM too; I think it will be worth the extra length of journey...

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Postby fatuitas » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 2:33 pm

Another question has just cropped up: I am being slightly pushed by Mitchville to bring the cats not as Cargo but as Excess Baggage. My understanding is that while it may be shorter to get them 'cleared' at Changi when they are Excess Baggage, I cannot get a guarantee from KLM that they will be on the same flight as me. Having them go as 'Cargo' though avoids this problem, but means longer check-in at Changi. Anyone with experience of this?

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Postby poodlek » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 4:57 pm

fatuitas wrote:Another question has just cropped up: I am being slightly pushed by Mitchville to bring the cats not as Cargo but as Excess Baggage. My understanding is that while it may be shorter to get them 'cleared' at Changi when they are Excess Baggage, I cannot get a guarantee from KLM that they will be on the same flight as me. Having them go as 'Cargo' though avoids this problem, but means longer check-in at Changi. Anyone with experience of this?


I cannot say from personal experience, I didn't even consider flying KLM myself as it was 8x more expensive than the average fare from YYZ on the other airlines (Cathay Pac, BA, etc). Also because of a paperwork screw up (thanks PetMovers!) my pets stayed with my parents for three weeks after I'd already come to Singapore. I thought that most airlines had a limit on the number of live animals per flight or per person? Will KLM allow both your cats as excess baggage? Are you talking about stowed baggage or carry on?

That said, all of my friends here who have imported single animals brought them carry on, and had minimal hassles, as far as I know.

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Postby rickjames » Fri, 14 Jan 2011 2:36 pm

I'm about to use Pet Movers but am reconsidering this now. does anyone have another service that is more recommendable?

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Postby poodlek » Fri, 14 Jan 2011 3:19 pm

rickjames wrote:I'm about to use Pet Movers but am reconsidering this now. does anyone have another service that is more recommendable?


I'm sorry...I only know of the companies with bad reputations. You can use Pet Movers, but I would be extra vigilant. I wouldn't worry about the pets' safety, as they are mainly in the care of the SAQS, but if you chose Pet Movers insist on CLEAR information (even if it takes dogged determination with repeated questions via email and phone) and accountability. Check any information they give you on import requirements yourself with the appropriate websites which you can find here on the forum. Make sure you clear payment method before the day of delivery. The day Pet Movers were to deliver my pets they wanted me to pay the full $2500+ in cash (they hadn't offered me an invoice, despite repeated requests, so I didn't know the total amount). This might not have been a problem except that it was a Sunday and the banks were closed and I have a $1000/day withdrawal limit for ATMs. They refused to accept VISA (which I thought was pretty shady...) and threatened to take my pets to an unnamed kennel facility if I didn't come up with a solution within 20 minutes of them calling me. When I told them to leave the pets at the quarantine, I'd fetch them myself, and expect to see me in court, they totally backed down, brought the pets immediately and accepted full payment in cash two days later.

SO...moral of the story is they don't deserve your business, but if there's no other alternative, be aware they may try to jerk you around.

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Postby happigal » Sat, 15 Jan 2011 6:52 am

fatuitas, I moved my 3 pets out of Singapore 2 years ago and was told that Cargo is the much more expensive option compared to Excess Baggage. But I believe the price is also dependent on the airline as well as sector (US bound flights are much cheaper compared to Europe). We flew our pets on SQ (so yes, they do take animals).

I just wanted to mention that I read on a pet forum that putting 2 animals together in the same cage can be a bad idea. The journey is stressful as it is and the long journey time may cause them to take it out on each other. I have no experience in this area and thus cannot comment if this is true or not.

Personally, I would try to get the shortest flight possible with the least number of connections to prevent any possible missed connections.

Oh, and if your cat weighs below 5kg (8kg with carrier), I believe some airlines allow you to carry it in the cabin with you. Something to consider?

Good luck with your move!

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Postby poodlek » Sat, 15 Jan 2011 2:32 pm

happigal wrote:fatuitas, I moved my 3 pets out of Singapore 2 years ago and was told that Cargo is the much more expensive option compared to Excess Baggage. But I believe the price is also dependent on the airline as well as sector (US bound flights are much cheaper compared to Europe). We flew our pets on SQ (so yes, they do take animals).

I just wanted to mention that I read on a pet forum that putting 2 animals together in the same cage can be a bad idea. The journey is stressful as it is and the long journey time may cause them to take it out on each other. I have no experience in this area and thus cannot comment if this is true or not.

Personally, I would try to get the shortest flight possible with the least number of connections to prevent any possible missed connections.

Oh, and if your cat weighs below 5kg (8kg with carrier), I believe some airlines allow you to carry it in the cabin with you. Something to consider?

Good luck with your move!


When I worked out the price of cargo vs. excess baggage between YYZ and SIN (the route would have been through YVR) the price was virtually the same for three separate airlines. The reason you cannot fly SQ is not that they won't take pets, it's that you can't bring them through Hong Kong without going through their animal import process, getting licenses, etc., so it's not worth it.

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Postby happigal » Mon, 17 Jan 2011 3:57 pm

There would only be a stopover in Hong Kong if you fly Cathay. I know this is a generally more expensive flight, but you could possibly look at Vancouver-LAX-SIN.

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Postby Jobo » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 9:11 am

Are you sure Singapore Airlines doesn't take pets? I'm pretty sure we flew Singapore from Germany to NY a few years back with our Labrador in cargo.

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Postby Jobo » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 9:16 am

Are you sure Singapore Airlines doesn't take pets? I'm pretty sure we flew Singapore from Germany to NY a few years back with our Labrador in cargo.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Mon, 24 Jan 2011 9:40 am

SIA do take pets but not inside cabin

Read please

http://www.singaporeair.com/saa/en_UK/c ... n/pets.jsp
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby happigal » Thu, 27 Jan 2011 3:43 am

I am in the process of moving back to Singapore and have clarified with SQ on their pet policy. SQ now doesn't accept pets as cargo/ excess baggage on their A380s. They won't tell me why, but the pet Mover says it has to do with the configuration of the cargo hold/ loading issue. Too bad... Would have been a lot easier for me as I need to fly an alternative route now.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Fri, 28 Jan 2011 4:20 am

happigal wrote:I am in the process of moving back to Singapore and have clarified with SQ on their pet policy. SQ now doesn't accept pets as cargo/ excess baggage on their A380s. They won't tell me why, but the pet Mover says it has to do with the configuration of the cargo hold/ loading issue. Too bad... Would have been a lot easier for me as I need to fly an alternative route now.

Wrong again. SQ do take pets cargo even for A380s. I just sms my mate's in SQ which handles cargo and he confirmed this.
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!


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