The New United – Continental Airline Pet Policy
This week, a Yolisto member received a call from a representative of United Airlines, informing her that she was being refunded the fee for bringing her two cats back to Yucatan with her at the end of the summer. She could, however, fly them as cargo for twice the price; but that wouldn’t work either because of her short layover versus the three hours in advance that the cats would have to be at the cargo area prior to being loaded. She was told that this “No Pets in the Cabin” policy is industry-wide and is in response to a new directive by the Mexican Government. Yolisto members waited anxiously as she called other airlines.
Westjet, Air Canada and American Airlines all said they have heard of no such directive from the Mexican Government. Since United only sent a one-line directive, written in Spanish, Yolisto members went on the hunt for the original Mexican Government document and found it. It is not new. It is a policy change from 2007. It states that on domestic flights within Mexico, only guide dogs will be allowed in the cabin. However, on international flights, small pets will still be allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners so long as they are registered with the airline and have up-to-date health papers. At this point, Yolisto members began finding people around the world who have been seriously impacted by this issue. Many are members of the American Armed Forces and employees of American government offices in other nations. They were asked to move their families (which include pets) abroad while they serve their country and are now facing huge fees to bring those pets home again. No one knows why United-Continental has instituted such a policy, nor why they blamed it on the Mexican government when, clearly, there is no such Mexican directive.
However, when emails to the president of the airline were diverted to the Cargo Department, Yolisto members found the physical address of the president of the airline and are writing to remind him of his company’s claim that it conducts business in an ethical manner. In the meantime, Yolisto members gathered the names of airlines that do accept pets, along with the names of hotels in Cancun that accept pets and the name of a car rental agency that will allow pets to be driven from Cancun to Merida. If you would like to follow this story as it develops over the summer, or if you would like to write a letter and need the address of the president of the company, we invite you to follow the Yolisto thread entitled: Pets Coming to Mexico? New Changes!