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  #41  
Old 17.05.2016, 01:34
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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The problem with speaking with the airline is that the service is outsourced to office in Fiji, and it would seem that we have trouble understanding each other. I tried calling at different times, with not much difference, and once I was on hold for altogether 40 minutes, since the person has to go away to find the answer for every question I had...And there is only one number you can call for anything regarding Swiss. I even called Zurich to reserve space for the dogs, since talking to Fiji did not get me anywhere.

For you guys who traveled abroad with dogs as an extended luggage (dogs in hold), what did you do when you arrived at the airport? You are there in the car with the crates in front of the building, what did you do? You grab the crates (with dogs more than 100 lb one- I have two...and a cat...i know...) and direction check in, or what?
Many people use the services of a pet shipper. They handle all the details and the logistics.
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  #42  
Old 17.05.2016, 01:42
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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Many people use the services of a pet shipper. They handle all the details and the logistics.
.. And charge thousand of dollars, I don't really need that. Come on guys, there must be someone who traveled with dogs in hold?!
Thank you for all your alternative solutions but I would really like if you can help me with my original issue.
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  #43  
Old 17.05.2016, 02:03
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Quote "When traveling to Europe, we recommend Continental, KLM, British Airways, and Lufthansa Airlines, all of which have excellent pet programs in place."

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  #44  
Old 17.05.2016, 07:38
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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.. And charge thousand of dollars, I don't really need that. Come on guys, there must be someone who traveled with dogs in hold?!
Thank you for all your alternative solutions but I would really like if you can help me with my original issue.
But if you are struggling with organizing your dog's transport yourself, with pulling all the details together, perhaps calling in an expert to help might be money well spent.

I have always used a pet transport firm and, based on my experiences when something goes wrong, always will. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that an expert has my back is priceless.

FYI, should you consider this route, ACE Pet Moving has a good reputation in Switzerland:

www.acepetmoving.com
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  #45  
Old 17.05.2016, 23:43
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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But if you are struggling with organizing your dog's transport yourself, with pulling all the details together, perhaps calling in an expert to help might be money well spent.

I have always used a pet transport firm and, based on my experiences when something goes wrong, always will. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that an expert has my back is priceless.

FYI, should you consider this route, ACE Pet Moving has a good reputation in Switzerland:

www.acepetmoving.com
Thanks for that. No, I'm definitely not struggling, I got right size kennels with right screws, got ISO chips for dogs and a cat, got vaccinations certificates from the vet and USDA, reserved the place in the airplane's hold, have the transportation arranged to airport here and in Zurich.... I am really not having any kind of issue I was just trying to plan ahead where to check in the dogs at the airport, at the same counter as we humans do or somewhere else, but I'm sure I'll find out as soon as I get there.

Thanks everybody!
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Old 18.05.2016, 00:05
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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Thanks for that. No, I'm definitely not struggling, I got right size kennels with right screws, got ISO chips for dogs and a cat, got vaccinations certificates from the vet and USDA, reserved the place in the airplane's hold, have the transportation arranged to airport here and in Zurich.... I am really not having any kind of issue I was just trying to plan ahead where to check in the dogs at the airport, at the same counter as we humans do or somewhere else, but I'm sure I'll find out as soon as I get there.

Thanks everybody!
Try calling the airport instead of the airline. They might have some tips.
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Old 18.05.2016, 08:21
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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Thanks for that. No, I'm definitely not struggling, I got right size kennels with right screws, got ISO chips for dogs and a cat, got vaccinations certificates from the vet and USDA, reserved the place in the airplane's hold, have the transportation arranged to airport here and in Zurich.... I am really not having any kind of issue I was just trying to plan ahead where to check in the dogs at the airport, at the same counter as we humans do or somewhere else, but I'm sure I'll find out as soon as I get there.

Thanks everybody!
"Prerequisites for transportation in the cargo hold
Clean, healthy, not dangerous and no odour Not pregnant
Is travelling in a suitable container or pet carrier (Pet Pack) with enough food and water for the duration of the trip
We advise you to be at the check-in counter 1 hour before the last check-in time."
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  #48  
Old 18.05.2016, 12:36
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

In my opinion it all depends on the airline you are travelling with. Please read their information on their websites carefully, print it out and take it with you to the check-in (just to be on the safe side). They mainly pay attention to the total size of the kennel and the total weight - kennel & dog - and that the dog has enough space.

We flew out to Canada with Lufthansa and one dog. No issues at all. Everything went smoothly and everybody was friendly.

We had more issues returning with Air Canada. They made it clear that if there is only 500 g more then the allowance the dog won't go with us.

Before arriving in Switzerland
- Your dog needs to have a microchip (since 2011) or a clearly shown tattoo-no (before 2011).
- Your dog has to be vaccinated against rabies.
- Your vet has to give you a health certificate.

When you arrive in Switzerland
Your dog will be a relocating/household effect. You have to go to customs with your dog’s health certificate, foreign registration papers, and prove of relocation.

After relocating
You have to register at your local “Gemeinde” – Municipality within ten days. The Gemeinde will order you to go to a vet to receive the Pet Passport, and to do the SKN course. The Gemeinde will also register your dog with AMICUS, the Swiss database, where all dog-related information will be saved.

Hope this helps.
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  #49  
Old 18.05.2016, 16:26
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Where to take the dogs: I flew DC to Zurich nonstop on United with two labradors (60 and 70 pounds) in the cargo hold. Had to drop them off at United cargo at Dulles Airport, which is NOT the same as normal terminal. I would imagine in San Fran or other US cities, it's similar.

I also used Ace Pet Moving, but don't think I had a choice....they took care of everything after landing and then drove them to meet me in Basel.
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  #50  
Old 19.05.2016, 14:15
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Hello,

When you arrive at the airport you will go through passport control where there will be a couple of signs that say EU citizens or All Other passports. This is where you will check yourself into the country by showing your passport/visa etc.

When you're approved, you can then go collect your baggage and pets at the baggage claim. **Note** You will pick up your pets here if they were labeled as' AVI / In Hold' , meaning that they were flying in the baggage hold area of the plane. If your pet was flying in 'freight', I do not no where they would be picked up. If your pet was flying in 'cabin', then they will already be with you.

Your pet's crate will come out of the conveyor belt, and I presume would go onto the carousel with everyone's baggage. We were fortunate to get to the baggage claim before it started, and when we saw our dog's crates pop out of the conveyor belt we grabbed the crates.

After collecting all of your things, and your pets, you will then go to the Customs area. The customs area is located right beside the baggage claim. The area has very large green and red signs. If you have nothing to declare you would follow the green signs, but because you have dogs to declare you must follow the red signs and go through the customs check.

At customs, there will be a person who will ask you what you are bringing into the country, and here is where you will declare your pets. They will check all the appropriate documents here, and will also require you to take your pet out of it's crate or at least open the crate so that they can scan their microchip and make sure they are ok after the flight.

You will also be required to pay customs fees for your pets, and it must be in Swiss Francs (CHF).

If you'd like more information about flying/traveling with pets, please have a look at an old post that I made here :
A guide to travel with dogs - US to CH

Safe travels to you and your pets,
TheLaughingCow
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  #51  
Old 19.05.2016, 21:36
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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Your pet's crate will come out of the conveyor belt, and I presume would go onto the carousel with everyone's baggage. We were fortunate to get to the baggage claim before it started, and when we saw our dog's crates pop out of the conveyor belt we grabbed the crates.
Our pets' crates were never put on the baggage belt. Ours were placed on large trolleys provided by Swiss.

Last edited by Mrs. Doolittle; 22.05.2016 at 11:21.
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Old 19.05.2016, 23:05
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Um, what the Swiss site doesn't say is which check-in to use - passenger or cargo. I would guess with large dogs it's going to be cargo, but I would contact them to make sure.

As said cargo terminals aren't always close to the passenger ones so you may need more time to drop the pets off at cargo if required before you check yourselves in at the passenger terminal.

Score, if you go to the Contacts page for Swiss at San Franciso at the bottom of the page is a contact form you could use. It has a section for animals.

https://www.swiss.com/us/EN/customer...excess-baggage
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  #53  
Old 20.05.2016, 09:18
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Hello again,

Ah, I misread the OP and thought they were asking about check-in at Zürich airport when they landed.

***We travelled with a different airline, but this was our experience:

When we were leaving the US and arrived at the airport, we got two luggage trolleys and put our bags on one trolley and the crates on the other.

Our dogs were leashed, and we walked them and the trolleys to the designated pet park at the airport. The pet park was across from our check-in area.

While I waited at the park with the dogs, my husband went in and talked to the people at the counter and explained that we were traveling with pets. They said we could walk our dogs on a leash into the airport to check-in. So, we moved everything inside to check-in.

They checked our passports, the dogs' documents, and the crates. They checked us in , and checked-in our bags, and placed some special tape on the crates.

I had some dry dog food for the dogs in a little plastic bag, and they said it was ok to bring with us, but that it had to be taped to the crate. The dogs couldn't eat the food during the flight, because it was a choking hazard.

We checked-in early, and had a couple of hours before we needed to be at our gate. The people that checked us in, told us that it would only take us an hour or less to get through security that day, and that we could stay with our dogs and walk them around outside or by the check-in counter until we were ready. The crates were left in front of the counter.

When we were ready to go to our gate, we brought the dogs back to the check-in counter, said our goodbyes, and helped the dogs into their crates. The people at the counter took care of the rest, and the next time we saw our dogs was in Zürich.

If you'd like to know more about traveling with your pet, you can take a look at my old post here : A guide to travel with dogs - US to CH

Safe travels,
TheLaughingCow

Last edited by TheLaughingCow; 20.05.2016 at 09:27. Reason: add info.
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  #54  
Old 20.05.2016, 10:06
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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The problem with speaking with the airline is that the service is outsourced to office in Fiji, and it would seem that we have trouble understanding each other. I tried calling at different times, with not much difference, and once I was on hold for altogether 40 minutes, since the person has to go away to find the answer for every question I had...And there is only one number you can call for anything regarding Swiss. I even called Zurich to reserve space for the dogs, since talking to Fiji did not get me anywhere.

For you guys who traveled abroad with dogs as an extended luggage (dogs in hold), what did you do when you arrived at the airport? You are there in the car with the crates in front of the building, what did you do? You grab the crates (with dogs more than 100 lb one- I have two...and a cat...i know...) and direction check in, or what?
Mmmm new office as the main one is an office in cape town and a small office in basel.

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Old 10.06.2016, 23:49
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Wow, that's what I meant! That's an answer, thank you so much! I can see that happening and hope everything will go as smooth as with you guys. Thanks again!
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Old 10.06.2016, 23:56
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

the previous post refers to TheLaughingCow...
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Old 15.06.2016, 12:36
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

I had the same experience as The Laughing Cow. Check-in early at the regular counter and they'll direct you where to go with the dogs/crates....it's a bit airport dependent likely.

Hope your travels go smoothly! I also moved with two dogs (17kg each) and a toddler at the time. Getting everyone onto the trolleys (at both ends of travel) was the trickiest bit
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Old 16.06.2016, 15:45
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Dear EF menbers
I want to take my dog 3, 5kg to UK on a week holiday.
I reed that to UK it's only possible by cargo made by another company? Is this right? For us is out of question that option or go in the cabin with us or we go by car.
Does anybody did this trip crossing channel tunnel ?
Thanking in advance for you help.
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Old 16.06.2016, 15:59
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

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Dear EF menbers
I want to take my dog 3, 5kg to UK on a week holiday.
I reed that to UK it's only possible by cargo made by another company? Is this right? For us is out of question that option or go in the cabin with us or we go by car.
Does anybody did this trip crossing channel tunnel ?
Thanking in advance for you help.
See these:

https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/overview

http://www.pettravel.com/immigration/UnitedKingdom.cfm

https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller-info/pets/
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Old 11.07.2016, 13:33
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Re: Flying on SWISS with pets

Ok, I thought I'll give you an update guys on my traveling with dogs and a cat.

We went all together to the check in counter 3 hours in advance, just in case, the people at the counter were very friendly, they asked for the pets papers look at them superficially, charged me $1,000 for them (400/dog, 200 for the cat). No one checked what kind of kennel it is, or does it have metal screws or not or weather the dogs fit in it or not, which is ok, although I put quite an effort to meet supposedly required standards.

Before and during the flight I was making sure every single member of the crew, including the captain, especially the captain, knows that I have a zoo in the hold of their airplane and that they should not suffocate or freeze.
When we landed in Zurich, they brought them to the baggage claim on a cart, and they were happy and lively like nothing ever happened.

At the custom no one even noticed them....better that way. I thought some of you would like to know.
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