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  #61  
Old 04.05.2011, 21:30
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If you're flying BA I can imagine you're flying via London, which is probably why you're not allowed. And showing up at the airport begging won't work, either will trying to get someone on the phone. International pet traveling is a whole different ballgame.

Try getting a Swiss flight, you shouldn't have any problems if all of your paperwork is in order.
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  #62  
Old 04.05.2011, 21:36
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

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Try getting a Swiss flight, you shouldn't have any problems if all of your paperwork is in order.
Unfortunately, I booked my flight a couple weeks ago. I don't think it's possible to get it refunded. Any idea if I could send her separately on a Swiss flight once I've arrived?
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  #63  
Old 04.05.2011, 22:58
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Yeah, so it's becoming increasingly likely that I'm totally and 100% screwed. Swiss won't take her in cargo from Calgary either (neither of the company reps knew what this is about). I could take her in the cabin if I booked a flight with them, but that would mean the $1000 on my BA flight just went down the drain, and then I'd have to fork out another $4000 for a return flight (it's more expensive to do a one-way flight. Go figure.) if I decide to visit home in December. I'm going to keep researching other airlines, along with my housing search, but I've already got so much on my plate, I just don't know how I can get everything done! Has anyone heard of any pet relocation services that don't charge up the wazoo? Or an airline that doesn't have a mysterious hate on for Calgarians?
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  #64  
Old 04.05.2011, 23:09
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

This tough, and as a cat lover, I feel your pain. But... in the circumstances, could you not find somebody to have your cat temporarily until December. By then you will know if Switzerland, the job, etc, is for you or not- and then you'll either return or bring cat with you then. I know it's really hard - but imagine going to all the hassle, expense, etc. Good luck.
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  #65  
Old 04.05.2011, 23:20
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Unfortunately, I booked my flight a couple weeks ago. I don't think it's possible to get it refunded. Any idea if I could send her separately on a Swiss flight once I've arrived?
Our cat came in Swiss from Montreal as cargo - it's strange they won't take the cat from Calgary. Sorry you're having troubles, I know how stressful it is.
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  #66  
Old 04.05.2011, 23:25
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

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This tough, and as a cat lover, I feel your pain. But... in the circumstances, could you not find somebody to have your cat temporarily until December.
If I were able to leave her behind, I would at this point. I love her almost like a kid, but having a cat is making things super difficult on every front. Alas, I cannot. My father might be willing to keep her for a week, maybe two, if I find a way to ship her out separately, but that's about it
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  #67  
Old 04.05.2011, 23:34
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Phone refuges, friends - ask around - there must be someone you can trust for a few months.

This will sound cruel and unkind, and believe me this is not meant as such. But as a warning to others, please find out all about importing pets into CH before you commit to anything. Please.
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  #68  
Old 04.05.2011, 23:50
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

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But as a warning to others, please find out all about importing pets into CH before you commit to anything. Please.
Lol, I've done as much research as I can on the Swiss end of things. I was taken completely by surprise when I was told that there was a problem at the Calgary end! Especially since I fly out of there with her all the time, albeit in the cabin, not cargo.

Anyway, I am cautiously optimistic now. The service rep at Air Canada says I could ship her with them. The fee is more than Swiss's, but I get to keep my BA flight so it works out to be waaay cheaper. Still, I am indeed taking this as a warning. I'm making sure everything is in order before I actually pay anything. I'll let you guys know how it works out, in case some other poor soul finds him/herself in the same situation in the future.
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  #69  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:25
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

For future readers of this thread:

I think bvet may have had a change of staff, or something, since the other people who've posted here. I still haven't had a response to any of the e-mails I sent after February. Worse, the person who told me everything would be fine with just one form filled out was dead wrong. There was a 2nd form I wasn't told about, and didn't stumble across on the website, either. I only got the cat through because the vet on duty was a wonderful person and worried about keeping a 17-year-old cat in a cage another two days (since I couldn't pick her up on a Sunday, of course).

If you do have questions, I recommend you ask a pet relocation service for their help. I can't remember who it was that I asked, but I think it was these guys and they gave me a reply within a few days. I wish I'd asked them more - it might have saved me a lot of hassle.

Second, if you think it's cheapest to fly with an airline that won't take your pet, then ship it separately, that may not actually be true. The $315 charged by Air Canada Cargo to send my cat to Zurich was something of a shock. Then there was the 88Fr. at customs, and the wonderful surprise of another 270Fr. in "handling fees," which I will be arguing with Air Canada about. So, based on what other people have said here, try your best to fly with your pet in the cabin with you, and things should be much easier.
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  #70  
Old 15.06.2011, 16:34
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

I should add that, even if you're absolutely certain that shipping your pet separately is the only affordable option, under no circumstances should you use Air Canada Cargo. They messed up sooo many things, and were total jerks about it, to boot.
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  #71  
Old 14.07.2011, 11:27
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I just traveled for the US (Boston) to Zurich with my two cats. Everything was fine. They has Valium and a tranquilizer that we gave 1/2 hour before flying and midway through, prescribed and pre-cut by our vet. My cats rode in the cabin, in a soft sided carrier for $200 US $ each. Expensive, but, I had to have them with me. You must tell SWISS Air upon booking, two total are allowed in the cabin. I was also concerned about the weight limit, 18 lbs including carrier, but, they were never weighed. A pity since they had been on diet food for months! Upon arriving, we went to import/customs their microchips were scanned and we paid 88 CHF. They are adjusting well!
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  #72  
Old 16.07.2011, 02:03
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

I brought my two cats with me from the US (Washington DC) directly to Geneva in August 2010. They were both with me in the cabin. Before departing, I had them chipped and made sure all their shots were up to date. I also had health certs, and other US-specific paperwork. And no one looked at anything. I just had to pay the airline (United) fees. When I got to Switzerland, I was ignored. I chased down a customs guy explaining I had cats and he only asked me if they had their shots. Nothing else. I later had them registered in the Swiss microchip database. The hardest part of it was finding a vet here (there's more on this in other posts, but I eventually found a great one, Dr. Robert Campbell). So that's it! Just adding my story to help put others at ease. I couldn't imagine leaving my babies behind.
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  #73  
Old 18.07.2011, 00:28
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

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I brought my two cats with me from the US (Washington DC) directly to Geneva in August 2010. They were both with me in the cabin. Before departing, I had them chipped and made sure all their shots were up to date. I also had health certs, and other US-specific paperwork. And no one looked at anything. I just had to pay the airline (United) fees. When I got to Switzerland, I was ignored. I chased down a customs guy explaining I had cats and he only asked me if they had their shots. Nothing else. I later had them registered in the Swiss microchip database. The hardest part of it was finding a vet here (there's more on this in other posts, but I eventually found a great one, Dr. Robert Campbell). So that's it! Just adding my story to help put others at ease. I couldn't imagine leaving my babies behind.
My story was similar. I had no help from the airlines so drove them from the UK. All their paperwork, jabs etc was religously done, but at the border they just waived me through. Found a 2 great Vets in Basel (one unfortunately became ill so I took her sucessor), and then 2 greats near Luzern (one was a late night emergency vet explaining the temporary switch). The Swiss are animal lovers to a level I've not experienced. Brilliant.
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  #74  
Old 19.07.2011, 17:59
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

I think the moral of this story is that you should always either drive your pets across the border, or fly with them in the cabin with you, if at all possible. Don't set yourself up for a repeat of my experience.
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