Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Many foreigners bring their beloved pets with them to Mexico each winter. Unfortunately, the new "no pets in cabin" policy recently put into place by several airlines could drastically change the way we all travel to and from Mexico.
The airline agents we spoke with say that they are obeying an old Mexican government regulation that is based on laws dating back to 1950, 2004 and 2007. The SAGARPA and SENASICA offices in Mexico City informed us that it was a new international aviation law.
There is also plenty of speculation by online sources that say that the airlines want to cash in by requiring pets to travel in cargo, which costs more than in-cabin pets. Either way, it seems the blame game is going in circles here.
After searching the net for hours, speaking to several airlines including the International Airport in Mexico City, SAGARPA and SENASICA, our local Mexican consulate, the Humane Society International, as well as emailing back and forth with three Mexican rescue organizations, we could still not find anyone who had (or had seen) a copy of this new policy in writing.
Even the SENASICA (Mexico’s National Health Service for Food Safety and Food Quality) website, which was updated in April, states that pets are allowed to travel to Mexico from the US and Canada. This raises the question, who really did decide to implement this rule and why?
Regardless, people need to be aware that the majority of airlines now prohibit pets from flying in-cabin. Here is the breakdown:
Airlines that no longer allow in-cabin pets:
• US Airways
Airlines that still allow in-cabin pets:
(as of the publication date of this article)
• Air Canada – $100 CAD each way
• Frontier – $75 USD each way
• WestJet – $50 CAD/USD each way
Airlines that allow pets in cargo:
Keep in mind that many of these airlines enforce embargo dates due to hot weather and have special restrictions based on breed, kennel size, weight, etc., so be sure to check with your airline for specific requirements.
• Air Canada – $270 CAD/USD per direction
• Alaska – $100 USD each way
• American – $175 USD per kennel
• Delta – $200 USD one-way
• Frontier – $150 USD each way
• United – $189-679 USD each way (prices are based on weight)
• US Airways – Not allowed as of March 1, 2012
• WestJet – $50 CAD/USD each way
So if you are planning to travel to or from Mexico, be sure to contact your airline before you head to the airport. You might also want to consider driving instead of flying so you don’t have to leave Fido, Taco and Panchito behind.
| R E A D E R S ' C O M M E N T S |
Dear Banderas News Staff,
I have updated my original article New No Pets In Cabin Policy to reflect the recent change implemented by Frontier Airlines, who no longer allows pets in cabin. FYI. I will continue to add updates to the original story as I learn more... so you may want to check back every other day or so, so you can include it as well. This story is changing quickly. By the way, I have a call into Air Canada and WestJet as I type.
There is absolutely no Mexican law banning pets in-cabin on flights to/from Mexico commencing or ending outside Mexican territory. The decision is up to the individual airline and they should not misquote Mexican Law.
If in doubt, you may contact the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), the dependency of Mexico's Secretariat of Communications and Transport directly responsible for regulating air carriers' operations in Mexican airspace and territory. The DGAC is the Mexican equivalent to the US' FAA and Canada's CAS.
Foreign airlines are misquoting the DGAC's 2007 Mandatory Circular for All Air Carriers CO VA-07.8_07 to justify their no-pets in cabin policy for flights to/from Mexican airports.That DGAC's mandatory circular banned pets in cabin for all DOMESTIC flights (service animals are allowed), while it clearly states that both service animals and pets are allowed in-cabin in INTERNATIONAL flights, subject to the individual airlines' policies. Only Mexican air carriers are authorized to operate domestic routes within Mexico.
- Lic. Luis Melgoza, PVGeeks.com