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Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Old Dec 11th 2018, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Originally Posted by crofty82 View Post
There must be a cheaper way of getting dogs from the UK to NS than shelling out a four-figure sum to a pet transport company.
That's what I'm hoping too :-)

If your dog including crate weighs under 100lbs then it's easy. Can be booked with Air Canada direct as checked baggage. Easy peasy. Just contact the airline in advance, explain everything and book everything in one go (I think it's $300 or $400 from memory for booking a pet into checked baggage, but do check that for yourself).

For bigger dogs like ours, from what I've found SO FAR it seems they can only go cargo, and that cargo can only be booked via a company, not personally?

Agree VERY frustrating having to pay £1,200-£1,800 to a pet transport company for something you can do for around $400 (£230) yourself. If our dog was under 100lbs with crate we would DEFINITELY do this ourselves. Your dog needs a rabies shot with certificate, a fit to fly evaluation with your vet 3 days before departure, and also a DEFRA export certificate which you must request in advance, which is sent to the vet to complete at the fit to fly evaluation - most guides seem to omit this but it is required to EXPORT any animal from the UK.
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Old Dec 11th 2018, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?



Hopefully these two will weigh less than 100lbs each including crate
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Old Dec 11th 2018, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Originally Posted by Lion Heart View Post
Yes they do (have a cargo department). I called Air Canada cargo department at Gatwick (or was it heathrow?) and they advised it had to be booked via one of their preferred agents and gave me the contact details for a pet transport company. Hence I am assuming (rightfully?) that you cannot book the cargo yourself as an individual?
I know they have a Cargo department, I gave you the details lol. Air Canada are pains in the bum to deal with, it might be worth sending an email to them to double check.

Yes, you can book cargo yourself as an individual.

Originally Posted by Lion Heart View Post
That's what I'm hoping too :-)

If your dog including crate weighs under 100lbs then it's easy. Can be booked with Air Canada direct as checked baggage. Easy peasy. Just contact the airline in advance, explain everything and book everything in one go (I think it's $300 or $400 from memory for booking a pet into checked baggage, but do check that for yourself).

For bigger dogs like ours, from what I've found SO FAR it seems they can only go cargo, and that cargo can only be booked via a company, not personally?

Agree VERY frustrating having to pay £1,200-£1,800 to a pet transport company for something you can do for around $400 (£230) yourself. If our dog was under 100lbs with crate we would DEFINITELY do this ourselves. Your dog needs a rabies shot with certificate, a fit to fly evaluation with your vet 3 days before departure, and also a DEFRA export certificate which you must request in advance, which is sent to the vet to complete at the fit to fly evaluation - most guides seem to omit this but it is required to EXPORT any animal from the UK.
You need a fit to fly certificate which your Vet should have - or DEFRA can supply a copy to them that they can fill out, if they don't. There is no requirement to have the dog vaccinated for Rabies either. The certificate on the DEFRA site is the Fit to Fly certificate and the airline should supply you with the export form (Air Canada have one on their website).
https://www.gov.uk/export-health-cer...rtificate-2923



Are you confusing this with a Pet Passport (necessary if you intend to return to the UK with the pet) application, perhaps?


You can read more here:
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Transporting_Pets-Canada
or one of the many threads on the subject


Air Transat is very easy to deal with but book direct, not through Canadian Affair. You can book your pets through their Cargo department yourself... though have you considered the logistics of moving a crate big enough for your 100lb+ dog and having a vehicle large enough to accommodate it both in the UK for getting to the airport and in Canada for getting the dog from the cargo area (you have to go to a different area in the airport, unlike if they go as accompanied baggage) ? Plus many car hire companies require pets to be in a crate.. Then there's the logistics of driving from Mississauga to Halifax with a crate and dog that size, let alone finding motels, who also require dogs to be crated in the room usually - and always if left alone.


Is there any way for you to change your relocation date to May 1st or after? Then you could book your dog through to Halifax on Air Canada
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Old Dec 11th 2018, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
I know they have a Cargo department, I gave you the details lol. Air Canada are pains in the bum to deal with, it might be worth sending an email to them to double check.

Yes, you can book cargo yourself as an individual.
Yes, I telephoned Air Canada in Canada, who passed me to Air Canada in Gatwick, who passed me to the cargo department of Air Canada at Gatwick due to her size, who advised it would need to be booked via one of their preferred agents and gave the details of a pet travel company.

I'm sure you can book cargo yourself, but perhaps not live animals as cargo?

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
though have you considered the logistics of moving a crate big enough for your 100lb+ dog and having a vehicle large enough to accommodate it both in the UK for getting to the airport and in Canada for getting the dog from the cargo area (you have to go to a different area in the airport, unlike if they go as accompanied baggage) ? Plus many car hire companies require pets to be in a crate.. Then there's the logistics of driving from Mississauga to Halifax with a crate and dog that size, let alone finding motels, who also require dogs to be crated in the room usually - and always if left alone.
Indeed, and the short answer is it's a lot of hassle!! It would need to be a minivan type (Dodge Grand Caravan). The crate would have to be folded (the top and half go inside one another), setas 6 and 7 into the floor, seats 3 (and maybe 4) into the floor with the crate on it's side slid in. FOur suitcases plus carryons in te boot, dog in the remaining back seat. Thankfully she's very well behaved and non-destructive etc. Plus the hire company would not see her loaded as, like you say, that will be done after collecting the car at the cargo department. We'd be sure to use blankets etc on the rear seats, and borrow a vac and ensure it is hair free before returning it.

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Is there any way for you to change your relocation date to May 1st or after? Then you could book your dog through to Halifax on Air Canada
Yes, possibly!! Why, what happens with Air Canada after May 1st that's different to Air Canada before May 1st?
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Old Dec 12th 2018, 3:54 am
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Originally Posted by Lion Heart View Post
Yes, I telephoned Air Canada in Canada, who passed me to Air Canada in Gatwick, who passed me to the cargo department of Air Canada at Gatwick due to her size, who advised it would need to be booked via one of their preferred agents and gave the details of a pet travel company.

I'm sure you can book cargo yourself, but perhaps not live animals as cargo?


Indeed, and the short answer is it's a lot of hassle!! It would need to be a minivan type (Dodge Grand Caravan). The crate would have to be folded (the top and half go inside one another), setas 6 and 7 into the floor, seats 3 (and maybe 4) into the floor with the crate on it's side slid in. FOur suitcases plus carryons in te boot, dog in the remaining back seat. Thankfully she's very well behaved and non-destructive etc. Plus the hire company would not see her loaded as, like you say, that will be done after collecting the car at the cargo department. We'd be sure to use blankets etc on the rear seats, and borrow a vac and ensure it is hair free before returning it.

Yes, possibly!! Why, what happens with Air Canada after May 1st that's different to Air Canada before May 1st?
Yes, you can book live animals as cargo yourself.. it's Air Canada cargo department that are being difficult.. did you talk to the Live Animal Cargo department, or just Cargo? That's why I suggested emailing them, sometimes the general cargo agents don't give the best advice, lol. AC Animals is Air Canada Cargo's designated shipping solution for live animals -- Designated agents for bookings and questions about live shipments
https://www.aircanada.com/cargo/en/s...tions/ac-live/

Air Transat are much easier to deal with https://www.airtransat.com/en-CA/Tra...d-service-dogs

You said you were told that they wouldn't accept a dog in cargo during the winter months, I thought? After 1st May Air Canada restrictions on low temperature carriage of animals wouldn't apply.

Would it be worth considering flying into Toronto or Montreal and then getting an internal flight from Toronto / Montreal to Halifax, perhaps, to save you driving?

You might find this website of use (you can check out the various airlines) https://www.bringfido.com/travel/air...es/air_canada/

Last edited by Siouxie; Dec 12th 2018 at 3:57 am.
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Old Dec 12th 2018, 11:35 am
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

I spoke to Air Canada cargo at Heathrow, they advised that for pets it had to be booked via one of their preferred agents and provided the contact details for such an agent (pet travel company).

No, I didn't say anything about winter or summer months, at least I don't think so, lol!!! I noted on Air Canada they do mention that they may take pets in unheated holds during the summer months (but I think that info was more orientated towards USA and Canada non internation flights?), BUT the tempurature sits at around 2 degree's, so not far from freezing, and you must sign a waiver in case your pet dies due to the conditions. So I'll give that a pass!!!

Yes, we considered Montreal, but it's still a 12 hour drive rather than 18. So a day less effectively, but not sure on Quebec as they have their own immigration laws etc there so we figured just not worth the potential hassle, stick to what you know. A 2nd internal flight is not an option because we don't want to put our dog through that if we don't have to. One flight is worrying enough!!

So the long and short is that it looks like London > Toronto, then Toronto > Halifax by car is going to be the cheapest and best option available. And maybe, in fact, the only realistic option.
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Old Dec 12th 2018, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

OP - I know that it’s not particularly useful for your case but for the others reading this looking for solutions, I recently flew with my teenage son, 5 suitcases and 3 dogs (one of whom in a huge crate - 50kgs) Dubai - Amsterdam - Calgary with KLM ( all 3 dogs as excess luggage - different weight limits), followed by a two day drive to Winnipeg. Don’t worry about the dogs on the flight - my 3 needy rescues were absolutely fine and KLM do take good care of them. For winter flights to Canada, you need to check the availability of heating in the hold and the very strict weather requirements. I can also tell you that the huge crate does not fit through the hold door of a 737-800 (at least that’s what Westjet said) and that most Canadian domestic flights will only accept 2 dogs (and have unheated holds). Multiple flights is not an issue. We arranged to meetup with someone to donate our crates to a rescue organisation as we didn’t need them again and they were too big to fit everything in the car.

Whilst some car hire companies and hotels do have issues with pets, we had no trouble finding pet friendly hotels (look for executive royal hotels - they were particularly good) and Hertz are fine with pets in cars but may charge a cleaning fee. We put a blanket on the back seat and that was fine. They new that we had the dogs.

Please feel free to pm me for more details if required.
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Old Dec 12th 2018, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

It sounds like you've got a good idea what your preferred route is now.. Keep us updated !
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Old Dec 12th 2018, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
It sounds like you've got a good idea what your preferred route is now.. Keep us updated !
Well, I'd not go as far to say preferred, as that would definitely be UK to Halifax direct with a heated hold!! But with that option looking more and more unlikely, it points us in one specific direction!
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Old Dec 12th 2018, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

We flew into Halifax with our giant breed dog, at the time he weighed 232lbs and he's classed by Air Canada as a dangerous breed, which added to the fun and restrictions!

We flew Heathrow to Halifax, although it was summer and we had to watch the temperatures to make sure they were OK to fly him both in Heathrow and in Halifax.

He went cargo, in a specially made crate designed to be able to hold a zoo animal - Air Canada's requirements for "dangerous breeds". We used a pet travel company, PBS transport and they were absolutely amazing, went so far above and beyond. They made the crate too.

When we picked him up after rushing through landing to make sure we were there as soon as he was offloaded, one of the CBSA officers asked if he could keep the crate as he needed a new chicken coop, and we were planning to leave it anyway as it wouldn't fit into the vehicle!

Not sure if that helps at all, but we were so worried, thankfully it all went really smoothly.
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Old Dec 13th 2018, 10:16 am
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Hey raindropsandroses, yes that does help - very interesting!!!

Can you give some more info on the summer flight please. So it was Air Canada Heathrow > Halifax (direct?) and done in the summer. I assume from what you described that this was not a heated hold?

Who had to watch the tempuratures to make sure they were ok? During the flight, or beforehand (or both)?

I assume the 232lbs must have been including the crate as that's 105kg!!!

Yes, noted that Air Canada have a strange policy with regards to strong breeds (they list as 'strong', not 'dangerous') which includes all Mastiff breeds, rottweiler's etc, and yes exactly as you said they need to go in a zoo standard crate designed for wolves and big cats etc!!!

What year was the flight?

How long do you estimate your pooch was in the crate for in total?

You got lucky finding an adopter for the crate upon landing, that's awesome!
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Old Dec 13th 2018, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Originally Posted by Lion Heart View Post
Hey raindropsandroses, yes that does help - very interesting!!!

Can you give some more info on the summer flight please. So it was Air Canada Heathrow > Halifax (direct?) and done in the summer. I assume from what you described that this was not a heated hold?

Who had to watch the tempuratures to make sure they were ok? During the flight, or beforehand (or both)?

I assume the 232lbs must have been including the crate as that's 105kg!!!

Yes, noted that Air Canada have a strange policy with regards to strong breeds (they list as 'strong', not 'dangerous') which includes all Mastiff breeds, rottweiler's etc, and yes exactly as you said they need to go in a zoo standard crate designed for wolves and big cats etc!!!

What year was the flight?

How long do you estimate your pooch was in the crate for in total?

You got lucky finding an adopter for the crate upon landing, that's awesome!

Glad I could help - we were so worried and stressed about the whole thing. Plus he's my service dog, I'm not used to not having him by my side, and above all that he is an adored member of our family.

- Yes, Heathrow to Halifax direct with no stops in August 2016. Not a heated hold, although we flew our reptiles and cats out at the same time and all went like clockwork.

- The pet transport company spoke to Air Canada and arranged a provisional day when the forecasted temps on the ground at both Halifax and Heathrow would be in the safe range. We actually ended up delaying flying for four days as I was paranoid that it would be too hot.

- Nope, 232lbs is his weight alone, he's a Caucasian Ovcharka. Goodness knows how much the total weight with the crate was - you could have fitted a single mattress easily into it. Halifax airport did have to check they'd have lifting gear on hand to be able to get him off!

- He was in the crate for about eight and a half hours I think, but he's a fully trained personal protection dog and I had to put him into the crate and get him out at the other end as he won't tolerate being handled without me present.

We waited until the very last minute to put him in his crate, and then he was immediately loaded onto the plane, and then Halifax airport rushed us through at the other end so that I could get him out as soon as we were off the plame. He is classed and registered as a service animal though, and we had statements from the French and German police stating all the details, so I think that helped. Plus as much of an adorable hearth rug as he is, I think they were pretty keen on me being with him for as much of the time as possible to make sure he didn't go rampaging off trying to find me!

You can leave crates as Halifax airport, they donate them to the local animal shelter usually. The staff were lovely and so helpful, plus they were used to dealing with military dogs. Our pup made quite a lot of new fans that day!

If there's anything else I can help with just let me know
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Old Dec 13th 2018, 11:31 am
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

Hi raindropsandroses - thanks for the info, genuinely much appreciated!!

That's amazing. I thought our dog was big at 55kg, but yours is almost double ours, lol!!! I just had to Google the breed as it's not one I'm familiar with - amazing!

Yes, 8.5 hours crated it really good. That's what concerns me a bit as you have to arrive 3 hours before you fly these days, and the pet transport companies require you to arrive with them onsite at the airport around an hour before that. We were told we leave the dog crated with the pet transport company and they do the rest.

So that would be around 3.5 hours before flight, plus 8 hours flight, plus likely at least an hour messing around on the other end = 12.5+ hours, which is a long time if you need a wee!!

It's great to know you can leave the crates at Haliax airport. They are worth a lot of money and this service could provide thousands (if not tens of thousands!) in funds for animal shelters etc, so a great idea. Does anyone reading happen to know if they also do this at Toronto Pearson?
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Old Dec 13th 2018, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

You're very welcome. Its so worrying arranging for pets to fly, ours have been around the world with us and it never gets less scary.

Haha yes he is a big lump, makes choosing a vehicle a challenge too!

When we looked into itbwe got quotes from several pet transport companies, but the one we chose really gave us the confidence that they deeply cared for the animals in their charge.
For our reptiles they designed three different back up heating systems so that they would stay warm enough in their boxes on the flight, all of the other pet transport companies just planned to put disposable heat packs in with them. It was that extra care which was so reassuring. They weren't the most expensive either, their quote was average.

Yes its a long time to go without a wee, but they put mats in the bottom with extreme absorption capacities, so they soak up the wee. Grim, but the best option in not ideal circumstances.
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Old Dec 13th 2018, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Flights WITH DOG (cargo) UK to Halifax NS - can it be done?

- Yes, Heathrow to Halifax direct with no stops in August 2016.
Note that in 2016 AC flew 767 aircraft on the London - Halifax route. They now fly the 737Max which has a much smaller cargo capacity. That may play into ability to accommodate a large pet.
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