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  #21  
Old 03.07.2015, 19:37
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

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I took my pedigree Siberian on Swiss from LHR, and was also not charged the custom fee. But it was very clear that I was relocating with 3 suitcases and the cat, I don't know if this makes a difference

Security at Heathrow and customs at Zurich were both great, and really friendly with my cat. I was even able to take him out on his lead near the gate, and he was my guest in the Senator lounge and was able to sit on my lap

All in, a really pleasant experience. Now if he hadn't been such a whiny fusspot on the flight and meowing all through (poor thing)!
That's great to hear that your experience was also pleasant. That confirms my husband's theory that the fees were waived because the cats were clearly part of our personal belongings that we were importing as part of our move.

In the future you might consider consulting with your vet regarding a light sedative for your cat. One of our cats is a champ at travel, but the other is absolutely terrible (she poops, vomits, and repeats on every short visit to the vet and and meows/screams for hours). We used a light sedative to make her drowsy (but not completely knock her out) and it worked wonderfully. She was silent for most of the trip and receptive to and comforted by pets. You are not allowed to medicate an animal that will travel in cargo for their safety, but it is allowed in the cabin. You just need to consult with your vet to make sure the pets age and health allows for a mild sedative and then you have to administer it a few times in advance to make sure there are no awful side effects and to figure out the right dosage (we started low and slowly increased it until we found it had an effect on her).
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  #22  
Old 03.07.2015, 22:46
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

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Hi Rob1, no, the two assigned pet seats were both aisle seats. Both were on the left side of the plane with only one seat next to them (on the left near the window). The two seats were spaced out about 20 rows apart. When the woman next to me switched sweats with my husband, we had no one sitting next to us (he was the aisle and I was the window) so that worked out well since the carriers extended beyond the space and required us to step around and over them when we got up.
I meant as there are 3 seat rows/section. Lh,middle ,rh. I asked about the middle section rh side as the media box for the seat is located there hence the smaller space under the seats.
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Old 03.07.2015, 22:59
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

I'm really pleased I wasn't on that flight - horribly allergic to cats.

Thank goodness they got rid of peanuts.
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Old 04.07.2015, 09:18
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

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That confirms my husband's theory that the fees were waived because the cats were clearly part of our personal belongings that we were importing as part of our move.
Most likely the fees were waived because the customs official couldn't be bothered to do paperwork.

Seriously.

The fee should be applied to all imported pets, but as with just about every rule, regulation, and law in Switzerland it is only erratically enforced.

Glad to hear that the cats made it here safely. Enjoy your stay in Switzerland.
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Old 04.07.2015, 15:36
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

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I'm really pleased I wasn't on that flight - horribly allergic to cats.
I am as well but somehow I have never been seated near anyone with a cat. I know people allergic to dogs who would really suffer if they were near a dog in the cabin.
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Old 05.07.2015, 11:13
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

Welcome to Switzerland liesel!

And thanks for your detailed report 😉

It is correct that one's pets don't count as "merchandise good" but as "household good" when entering Switzerland for relocation.

Enjoy your new home and have fun with all the upcoming challenges, it will be horrible 😡 but once you are done you will feel accomplished and satisfied 😛

Bye for now.
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  #27  
Old 05.07.2015, 15:08
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

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I'm really pleased I wasn't on that flight - horribly allergic to cats.

Thank goodness they got rid of peanuts.
So... I was reluctant to acknowledge this post because it felt a little like goading, however I was concerned about sitting next to someone who made a fuss on the flight so this might be relevant to someone else reading this thread. If someone reading this is either (1) concerned about sitting next to someone who complains about their cats or (2) being the person sitting next to someone transporting an animal, here are my 2 cents:

- Typically people are not allergic to the cat's fur as commonly thought. Yes, one can be allergic to the fur or the dander, but, more commonly, one is allergic to an enzyme in the cat's saliva. When the cat grooms itself, this enzyme gets deposited on their fur. If you are allergic to cats, pet a cat, and fail to wash your hands before touching your eyes or face, then, yah, that's a bad idea. If you are one of those people allergic to the enzyme in their saliva, then simply avoiding petting the cat can help alleviate your concerns on a flight with a cat. We also wiped down our cats ahead of time with cat wipes to remove some of the enzyme (as we do when friends with allergies visit our home). If you are allergic to the dander or fur, then that is another matter. If you express to the booking agent that you are highly allergic to cats, you would likely not be seated next to a pre-assigned pet seat so that's good to know.

- As far as our experience with other passengers, they were all positive. I was worried about being hot, tired, separated from my husband, and seated next to someone who complained incessantly about me and my very scared cat. Our cats were quiet the entire time so the people behind us once we were leaving the flight were surprised they were even there. They laughed and said they had no idea and then wanted to pet our cats. Our cats also did not go to the bathroom (cats typically do not go where they are seated since they are very clean unless they are very frightened). But we were prepared (with poop bags, extra puppy pads, wipes) just incase they did. When my husband left his initial seat, the people next to him said they were sad because they had children and were excited to be flying next to a sweet old cat. The flight attendants were very kind and offered water to the cats (which they didn't drink because they were nervous). The flight attendants also were concerned because the cats didn't make any noise the entire flight and asked if they were okay . I know that this kind of warm or indifferent welcome is not guaranteed to happen on another flight, but I hope someone reading this takes heart that your flight doesn't have to be awful. Our cats are doing very well here with us and we are so glad we didn't let the fear of the process of bringing them stop us from moving our furry family members with us.
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  #28  
Old 05.07.2015, 15:12
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Re: Flying with pets on SWISS -- Special seats + customs fee?

Thank you CherryTree and Meloncollie for the warm welcome!
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