- (Written especially for the reader, in similar shoes.)
- Bruno doesn’t fly cargo.
- UK DEFRA laws- I can’t fly into and out of Heathrow, with Bruno in-cabin on any American airline, British Airways, nor Virgin Atlantic.
- We live in turbulent times.
We’ve flown to New York via Paris and Air France.
Charles de Gaulle is a nightmare. Besides, I want to avoid France and Germany for now.
We’ve travelled with KLM from Singapore to Amsterdam. The Dutch run a steady ship; but Schiphol currently, feels too much like a sitting duck.
So I decided, on Swiss Airlines.
Our day begins at 4am. I want to exhaust Bruno with a long walk to help him settle and rest on such an epic journey.
We get to Heathrow by 6:45am. Counter Staff is Swiss, sweet and swift. I exit to walk Bruno again.
At security, Bruno goes into his travel bag. I hand him over to the supervisor assisting. Once I walk through the detectors, Bruno is returned. We wait in a separate room as his bag then gets sent through screening.
Terminal 2 is familiar ground, but a new experience in the quality of service possible, with Bruno.
I have never been smiled at so much as yesterday, in London town!
As Swiss Air is part of Star Alliance, we escape for pre-flight champagne, cheese, and quiet time.
(Dear God, I hope I never lose my Krisflyer Status.)
More outstanding service! Miss Wong, we have been waiting for you, Allow us to—, You have priority boarding, Can we say hello to your dog?
Zurich Airport (our 1st time), a terrific example of form and function, grave but kind, thinking service from everyone. Danke!
If a pet-relief space could be set aside within the terminals, I wouldn’t have to convince Bruno to…
Finally, 2nd flight, in seat 36D.
There’s a policy stating you can’t fly business internationally with your pet, and another stating specific seats are allocated for those with. Next time, I am just going to pay for priority seating in economy, which was what I did on my first (pleasant) flight out. Regular economy on Swiss is too much of a culture shock.
I’m still glad I chose Swiss. Service in comparison to other dog-friendly airlines experienced, surpassed. I never once felt that our safety was compromised in any way.
At JFK, we find my bag waiting. I take Bruno to the Pet Relief Area, get into a cab.
13 hours later-
a new chapter, Believe.
- Bruno flies in the Cloud 7 for Tumi Airline-Approved Pet Carrier, purchased 2 years ago at http://www.amara.com
- Bruno and bag needs to weigh no more than 8kgs to be allowed in-cabin travel on Swiss.
- To enter the United States, Bruno needs to be current on all annual vaccinations, be microchipped, and have a health certification from his vet, valid only for 30 days during which time, travel must be completed. A copy of this certification must be sent to the USDA before departure, for entry into New York State. Because of EU laws and his jet-setting ways, Bruno in addition, is vaccinated against rabies, and travels with his British pet passport.
- On the US Customs Declaration Form, I tick the box that says live animals, and am then directed to another line, where his paperwork is looked through.
- Don’t attract unnecessary attention by trying to bring dog food/treats into the US.
- On this journey, I learnt that if your dog is as groomed and as polite as you are, if you are meticulous with your paperwork, service will surprise you with kindness and efficiency.