Have Dog, Will Travel

  •  (Written especially for the reader, in similar shoes.)

Facts:

  •  Bruno doesn’t fly cargo.

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  •  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.

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Charles de Gaulle is a nightmare.  Besides, I want to avoid France and Germany for now.

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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.

***

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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.

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We get to Heathrow by 6:45am.  Counter Staff is Swiss, sweet and swift.  I exit to walk Bruno again.

IMG_2516 (At Terminal 2, there’s a stretch of green right beside the building, on the level where the buses depart.)

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.

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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.

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(Dear God, I hope I never lose my Krisflyer Status.)

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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?

IMG_2537 1st Flight

Zurich Airport (our 1st time), a terrific example of form and function, grave but kind, thinking service from everyone.  Danke!

IMG_2542 (riding the spotless inter-terminal train)

If a pet-relief space could be set aside within the terminals, I wouldn’t have to convince Bruno to…

IMG_2540 …

Finally, 2nd flight, in seat 36D.

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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.

IMG_2548 (!)

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.

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13 hours later-

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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.

 

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