YYC-YYZ, in the winter, with a dog

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by rehoult, Feb 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. rehoult
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    rehoult Gold Member

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    I'm looking for some guidance on the best way to deal with the trip below:

    On my upcoming YYC-YYZ trip on Feb 24 I need to bring a 20lb dog/birthday present along (one-way). While only 20lb, the dog is very long and I am concerned that if I book PIC I'm going to get to the airport and be denied boarding. However, the winter YYC-YYZ route is split between planes you can't ship a dog in during the winter (E75/90) and those AC doesn't recommend you ship a dog in during the winter (A319/20/21). I'm told the Airbus will get to ~0 and it doesn't sound like a great idea for a rather small dog to be at that temperature for 4 hours. It seems like the best option is to go via YVR, which runs lots of planes with heated cargo to YYZ every day. Last random fact, I have an East-West Connector pass, and using it is the only way I can expense the trip. Which brings me to the questions:

    1) Once I make the YVR-YYZ booking on my FP, can I have a YYC-YVR T or lowest-T+ segment added to the PNR? If so, will that mean I only need to pay the pet fee once?
    2) If not, and I book a separate YYC-YVR ticket, is there a way to only pay the pet fee once?
    3) Under either plan, can I arrange for AC to handle the pet transfer in YVR? I'd prefer not to have to go get him and re-check him.
    4) Is there anyway to try and have the dog 'preapproved' for PIC? i.e. bring him to the airport in the bag on Monday and have a manager make a decision then?
    5) Is there some way to complete this trip that I'm missing?

    TIA
     
  2. janyyc
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    janyyc Silver Member

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    Ooh... tough situation... Wish you luck! And Happy B-day! :)
     
  3. Rejuvenated
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    Rejuvenated Gold Member

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    Happy Birthday! When I first saw the title of the thread, I thought you were planning to walk your dog from Alberta to Southern Ontario. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. janyyc
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    janyyc Silver Member

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    And I thought it was going to be a trip report... :D
     
  5. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    0C isn't necessarily so bad for a dog for four hours -- it's not the size of the dog that matters so much, but the fur coat. A Great Dane might not stay warm, but an English Sheepdog would have no trouble. What kind of dog is it?
     
  6. rehoult
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    rehoult Gold Member

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    Thank you for all the birthday wishes, though mine was in January, the dog is for my dad's birthday. The dog (unfortunately named Yoda) is a Cockapoo.
     
  7. rehoult
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    rehoult Gold Member

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    Is it sad that that is one of the better options currently?
     
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  8. janyyc
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    janyyc Silver Member

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    Yes, it's sad.. :p But knowing you, I'm sure you'll figure it out! :)
     
  9. Cage
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    Cage Silver Member

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    rehoult,

    Try talking with AC Cargo. I am sure you ahve read the AC Cargo page on live pets... http://www.aircanada.com/cargo/en/solutions/ac_live/index.html but try going to the AC Cargo center at YYC. The Cargo center is reight beside the AC Hangar just north of the Westjet Campus (I'm sure you know the way to Westjet campus;) ).

    Best bet might be to take AC110 or AC164 on the 24th and book Fifi through AC Cargo live.

    With regard to your questions about travelling via YVR, there are a couple of things to consider:
    - YYC-YVR is heavily populated by E90, which has a winter live pet restriction. Day of flight could pose a problem if there is a tail swap.
    - Would have to be a morning flight on YYC-YVR to make it in time for YVR-YYZ widebody. Only AC207 with a three hour connection onto any of 12:30, 13:30, 14:30 transcons are viable options.
    - In this instance I would definitely book AC Cargo Live rather than AC. The dog can be dropped off at the YYC cargo center and they will handle the connection in YVR. Cargo can also associate the dog flight records with your two PNRs, something AC checkin or reservations cannot do.
     
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  10. janyyc
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    The AC Cargo idea sounds very good! Try it! Good luck!
     
  11. xray
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    xray Active Member

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    How big is the dog carrier ? Our dog is too big now but when he was a pup, he would curl up and fit in a dog carrier that could be regulation. I shudder at some of the horror stories when it comes to air transport of pets in cargo. We would rather drive than risk it. (our dog has done several YWG-YVR drives when we lived in YWG)
     
  12. rehoult
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    rehoult Gold Member

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    The dog carrier would fit under the seat (I've done countless trip with my own 14lb dog under the seat), the concern is that we'd get to the airport and have the GA say "That dog is too big for the carrier" and not let us on. It happened to my wife last summer (with the 14lb dog) and it was just luck that she got a manager to override the staff member. And the thing is, they'd be right, the dog is too lanky to be particularly comfortable under the seat for 4 hours.
     
  13. xray
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    Ahh I see... I still wish I could take my yellow lab on the plane in the cabin (I'd buy him a J seat !) [​IMG]
     
  14. rehoult
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    rehoult Gold Member

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    Just to update everyone with the solution to this:

    AC Cargo said (and the web confirms) that the rear baggage compartment of A319 & A320 (unsure of the A321) are heated, and that is where the pets are loaded. So you can go YYC-YYZ direct in the winter.
     
  15. charlilo
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    charlilo Gold Member

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    Your significant other will fit well in the cargo.
     
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  16. CdnFlier
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    CdnFlier Silver Member

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    I was talking to someone about this on a Dash8 flight a while back and mid conversation the sweater she had on the empty sea beside her moves and what pops out but he tiny dog. It was amusing although quite against the rules. On a 30 minute flight it was easy to hide I guess.
     

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