2 cats travelling by air Brazzaville via Paris to Edinburgh - advice sought on cargo company

(18 Posts)
tormentil Wed 27-May-15 15:24:13

from anyone who has experience of air travel for cats.

All is fine as far as Paris. Paris to Edinburgh is proving more difficult. All the paperwork is fine - it's whether my daughter books them with a cargo company at a cost of 600 euros or whether she gets someone to drive to Calais and pick her and the cats up.

The cargo company they have the details of SCTiL transport des animaux?

My daughter doesn't know if her cats will be well looked after or not.

cozietoesie Wed 27-May-15 15:34:40

Where are they coming from originally, tormentil? If already flying, can't you get the airline to route them all the way through?

tormentil Wed 27-May-15 16:35:42

My daughter thought , and had thought it was confirmed that ,she could travel all the way with them, as she is doing Brazzaville to Paris. But since then she has been told that they can only go as cargo, on a different flight and the route will be Paris - London - Edinburgh.

cozietoesie Wed 27-May-15 21:42:32

I'm afraid that this is way above my pay grade, tormentil. I've flown with cats as accompanying 'baggage' within the UK and they've usually been accommodated in special heated and pressurized compartments within the hold - which you have to book way in advance because they only have one or two of them. I have no expertise in the sort of arrangements you would have to make to bring cats internationally from Africa - nor do I know what sort of airline Air Brazzaville is or the sort of documentation/ procedures/quarantine requirements etc required to import animals from there to the UK.

Another poster might be more expert in this area though - or perhaps be able to point you in the direction of someone who could ask the right questions.

Is the cargo company reputable?

cozietoesie Wed 27-May-15 21:45:46

*always - not usually

SunshineAndShadows Wed 27-May-15 21:49:34

Any animal coming by air into the UK has to come via a registered air cargo company. There are only a few companies and they are licensed to UK standards hence the expense.
The cargo pickup area at Edinburgh is nice and they'll be fine.

cozietoesie Wed 27-May-15 21:52:56

That sounds acceptable, Sunshine. Would it be for the cargo company to deal with all the necessary documentation do you think?

SunshineAndShadows Wed 27-May-15 21:56:07

are you sure about the cargo company? Which carrier? Is it air france?
These links might help
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/430098/pets-commercial-air-routes.pdf
www.gov.uk/pet-travel-information-for-pet-owners

SunshineAndShadows Wed 27-May-15 21:57:35

And yes they'll sort everything out - you literally just pick them up. Need to ensure they're microchipped (with the right kind of chip) rabies blood tested etc as per the link above though

cozietoesie Wed 27-May-15 22:01:37

I guess then it's a purely practical issue. 600 euros to get them straight to Edinburgh against the cost and effort of getting a car down to the coast and across the Channel and back with people and cats - and the extra time in carriers for the cats.

If it's a reputable cargo company, I think I'd go with that rather than travelling to France and driving them back home to Scotland.

tormentil Thu 28-May-15 05:41:26

Thanks everyone - the cargo company is SCTiL, Roissy, France. It's the cheapest option, hence the anxiety as to whether it's an acceptable standard.

Thank you Sunshine re the cargo pick up area in Edinburgh being very nice, my daughter will be really reassured.

They have their passports and immunisations and everything.

cozietoesie Thu 28-May-15 08:46:08

I'll have a little check of SCTL later on - although other posters may have used them and be able to give you an inside track and, of course, it always helps to make it quite clear to the company that you're an 'involved' owner.

I've never had to import animals from Africa but I have had to transport cats quite considerable distances within the UK - and by virtually every form of transport known to man - and a specific journey by car to Calais is not some quick and convenient pick-up. I've never done Central Belt to London in under a realistic 8 hours (including safety and petrol breaks) so when you add in the time from London to Calais via ferry/Tunnel plus a likely overnighter for timing and driving safety reasons you're talking a long time for those cats even assuming that travel timings fit 'just so'.

It was always going to be an expensive business getting them back home but if you're in any doubt - other than the repute of any particular company - I'd sit down and work out the cost, effort and time of a car journey from Edinburgh to Calais/Paris. It would be neither cheap nor simple and the more I think about it, the more 600 euros seems like a bargain.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 28-May-15 08:51:15

Also please check the carrier - they can only land in Edinburgh if transported by a specific airline (as listed in the link above) Cargo company should sort this but it's worth checking

southchinasea Thu 28-May-15 08:53:32

Good luck with their move, tormentil. I don't have experience of this route, but just wanted to say my cats flew from borneo to Heathrow, via kuala lumpur. I was so worried beforehand but they were really well looked after and arrived in great condition. Not at all traumatised, though I really thought they would be! Think they were checked over and observed for a bit by a vet at Heathrow (my parents picked them up as I was on a later flight). I put lots of towels and old t shirts in their travel cages for them to curl up on, and threaded cable ties through the joins and door as I wasn't sure the plastic clips were strong enough for such a long journey! They had bottles of water tied on too. The airlines and animal travel Co seemed to have really good systems and it all worked out well in the end. Good luck!

cozietoesie Thu 28-May-15 08:58:10

Seniorboy had to travel by air once - at a fairly advanced age - and pretty well took it in his stride although I was full of trepidation for him. My own experience with air travel for cats is that they're generally treated a lot better than humans are in fact!

tormentil Thu 28-May-15 12:13:33

Thank you everyone for your input and reassurance. My daughter is getting quite a tizz about the best thing to do. Eventually they are coming to me, some distance from Edinburgh, but there will be a couple of days rest before the final stretch of the journey.

Cozie thanks for the sensible overview re driving. I'll pass that on to my daughter.

Sunshine the carrier have given the itinerary, so all seems to be above board on that front.

SouthChinaSea my daughter is worried too. I'll pass on the tips re making their travel cage comfortable.

Off to email my daughter now. Thank you very much.

cozietoesie Thu 28-May-15 15:33:30

Good luck to you all and let us know how things go. smile

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 28-May-15 17:23:38

You have been given very good advice. The other thing I would say about the Calais road option is that it will be subject to the transport of animals act. There would need to be a route plan the car would need to stop every two hours and there would need to be a full rest stop every 8 hours.
In my experience (I was a quarantine vet for many years) air is by far and away the best option.
My final tip is send the original documents and a copy with the cats. Send a further copy of the documents to whomever is collecting the cats at the other end. IME pets and their documents often get separated, this can delay release and even result in overnight quarantine.

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