Travelling to Mexico with your Pet?

2012 Bonnie Rose July 2012

By Bonnie Rose from the July 2012 Edition

You maybe be leaving Fido home for the Winter!
Written by Bonnie Rose & Laurie Austin-Brown

The official Mexican Tourist Bureau, “Visit Mexico”, ( has a serious public relations problem on its hands. No, it is not another gruesome incident in the war on drugs, nor a rise in crime against visitors, nor a hurricane or erupting volcano that is causing more negative publicity for Mexico. It’s your pet being allowed to travel in cabin on Airlines flying in and out of the Mexico!

Suddenly, without warning, the Mexican Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has resurrected and refurbished an old ruling originating in the 1950’s and revamped in 2007, which prohibits small animals, read pets, from flying in aircraft cabins with their owners. The ruling appears to refer only to domestic flights, but the DGCA is also applying it internationally, on both foreign and national carriers. This is not a Mexican law, but a policy of the DGCA, which is the Mexican equivalent to the US’s FAA and Canada’s CAS.

How do I know this? I arrived at the Manzanillo airport a month ago, found out my Mexican adopted cat, could NOT travel with me in the cabin. Keep in mind, I had talked with Air Alaska 2 days prior to my travel. The only options I had were to change my flight (which I couldn’t), buy a cargo crate for her (how could I? I was just checking in for my flight) or give her to someone in hopes they would take really good care of her! Talk about heartbroken and just plain dumbfounded, I called our Condo Administrator to come out to the airport to take her for me. I really hope she is doing ok! I’m at the mercy of the staff of my condo to take good care of her. The only shiny star in this terrible situation was Daniel the ticket agent, was very helpful and made me feel like he really felt bad for me and my situation.

Scenarios such as mine are playing out at airports across Mexico, with reports of tearful children and angry, frustrated adults. The internet has been alive with this issue: with ( ), a site out of Puerto Vallarta, appearing to be the definitive sounding board. Allyson Williams, the blogger on this site, has done excellent work digging out the facts and supplying a format for comment.

And comments there have been! Stranded pet owners from Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, Playa del

Carmen to Mexico City have been venting and asking questions. The situation is further compounded by the fact that many carriers have an embargo on carrying pets in cargo from May to September due to hot weather, November

– January because it’s too cold, some are not equipped to carry pets in cargo at any time of year, and Air Canada for one will not accept pets under 7 pounds in the hold. For those that take Express Jets out of Houston on United, they don’t have pressurized and heated cargo space. The only alternative that

you ‘may’ have is flying other airlines that have ‘cargo’ Many commentators threatened to sell their properties and move elsewhere. There is a wrenching post from “Larry” who was obliged to return his 16 year old dog from the Puerto Vallarta airport to the care of his housekeeper. His pet friend died 10 days later, Larry says of loneliness and a broken heart. The overriding sentiment on these forums is “Why”. Yes. And why now?

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