My Pet Friendly Travel Agent!
When planning a trip, my bipeds have found that sometimes, life is just easier with a good travel agent. Even in this day and age where you can do it all for yourself online, there are certain benefits to having a third party do the “heavy lifting” . Enter my pet friendly travel agent! Montecristo Travels
Contrarily to what you may believe the fee isn’t that high and it is the best travel insurance you’ll ever purchase. Why? Because now your travel agent is responsible for things like finding you a new hotel room should the one she/he book suddenly be unavailable … say due to a fire. Another example (true story) the airline booked has gone banckrupt while your on your vacation … who do you call? Your travel agent… and at no cost to you they will find you a flight. Think it will never happen to you? Think again.
We have been very lucky, we have found an exceptional travel agent. Trust me good ones are hard to find. Her name is Danielle. She simply gets it. She will call the airlines and get the dirt on the pet travel policy for you so that you don’t have to deal with that outsourced individual in India that has no idea (poor soul). She will change your seat for one that has more leg room and as such is better suited for your pet carrier. She will make sure the canine is in the system, give you proof that it was done with a receipt or on your ticket.
Yes, she gets it.
She will gently remind you that you should probably get that international Health Certificate from your vet – just in case. Why? even if the airline you are on doesn’t require one sometimes last minute you could end up flying with a “sister” airline that – surprise surprise – does require one.
Here is my little interview with her. All travel agents should be this way.
*gets comfortable and clears his throat*
Montecristo: How long have you been a travel agent? Is this something you always wanted to do or “fell into”?
Danielle: I’ve been an agent for 13 years, it was always something that I wanted to do, I love to travel!!
Montecristo: Do you have any pets of your own?
Danielle: Yes, 2 cats (but grew up with dogs, I am a big animal lover!)
Montecristo: How often do you get asked to plan trips that include a pet as part of the planning?
Danielle: I actually am doing a booking today for a woman who travels with her dog all over, this time, Windsor Ontario ! But normally about 10-20 times a year.
Montecristo: What is the first thing that pops into your mind when a client says:”I wish to travel with my dog”?
Danielle: No problem, let’s get started!!
Montecristo: As a travel agent, would you agree that on the whole airlines are in fact dog friendly? What about hotels?
Danielle: Most of the airlines are dog friendly, with a few exceptions of course. Some airlines are so much easier than others to confirm an animal. Most hotels I find are not dog friendly, but are getting better as time goes on and as the demand increases over time.
Montecristo: What has been your toughest dog trip to plan to date? Did it work out?
Danielle: I had to help a client move to an African nation, that was a bit of a challenge to confirm the animal, but worked out in the end!!
Montecristo: Do you think pet friendliness is the next logical step or do you have concerns with pet travel? If so what are they?
Danielle: My biggest concern would be peoples allergies on the planes. Some airlines have banned pets due to this, and the same for some hotels. As soon as we can find a great cure for allergies, I’m sure that the pet travel industry will increase significantly.
Montecristo: Well, you know we feel about that … *grin*. As an agent what is a resource you would love to have available to you to help plan pet travel?
Danielle: Not really much for resources, I can say that online websites / airline websites can be helpful. Most of the time I do prefer to talk to a person directly when it comes to animals.
Montecristo: What information do you wish people would already come with “in hand”?
Danielle: I wish people knew the weight of the pet carrier and its dimensions; check the paperwork requirements, vaccination or pet passports. A lot of people don’t pets need those. Also be prepared to accept that there are many limitations to travelling with a pet ; no resorts I know of (or cruise lines) accept pets for example.
Montecristo: What is your number one recommendation for people travelling with pets?
Danielle: Have a lot of patience, and patience and more patience!!
Montecristo: Thank you Danielle for your time!!
Danielle: Anytime little one!