Your Dog May Not Be Welcome On Summer Flights

You might have read that you can take your pet on a Continental Airlines flight, but that’s no guarantee that your buddy will actually be allowed on the plane. That can depend on weather, but mostly depends on how full the flight is. You’re shelling out extra money to travel with a creature you consider a family member, but to the airline, your pet is furry cargo that can be left behind. If you stubbornly insist on traveling together, you’re stuck with the flight change fees. That’s what happened to Steve when he tried to fly with his dogs down to his new home in Ecuador. His advice: Don’t fly with pets during the summer. At all.

Continental Airlines has a very deceptive pet policy. The airline is self-professed as the premium pet carrier airline. They claim to care for your pets and this may be true but the problem lies in the fact that you can’t even get your pets on the plane if the plane is 75% booked. The pets compete for passenger luggage and of course passengers come first. The problem is that many times during the year all flights are better than 75% booked, especially the summer months. They will not allow you to book your pet until 72 hours prior to the flight. This makes it near impossible to ever get a pet onboard a plane during the summer months.

My wife and I have been planning a life changing retirement to Ecuador for well over a year. We have two dogs to bring with us so we did a lot of research on the best airline for the job. As it turns out due to the summer heat almost all of the airlines refuse to take pets this time of year. Continental stood out amongst the rest as the pet carrier of choice. Mainly they said they would take the pets as the others refused. So, we booked two tickets for ourselves online. You have to call to arrange for the pets so we called shortly thereafter to make their arrangements. That is when we hit the brick wall, no pet arrangements can be made until 72 hours prior to the flight and if the plane is 75% full no pets will be allowed. Is it me or does this appear to be a deceptive practice?

And to make matters worse they charge 250.00 per flight to change the flight dates. I sent emails to both the CEO and COO and got a call from Executive Customer service the got the fee waived but I still have yet to get the flight cancelled. I’m working through the credit card company to dispute the charge.

So beware when traveling with pets during the summer months.

At least this seems to be partly out of concern for animals’ safety in the hot summer months. Until Pet Airways serves Ecuador, though, Steve and his wife will have some problems getting their pets south.