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”, (www.visitmexico.com) 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 (http://jaltembabaylife.com/blog/2012/06/new-no-pets-in-cabin-policy-for-mexico/ ), 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?
What can you do? Call to Action!
In 2010 Mexico played host to 21.45 million foreign visitors, bringing in 11.3 billion dollars, and employing 7.3% of its total labour force. It has been reported that over 18% of US adult leisure travellers take their pets with them when they travel, so it is not surprising that the Mexican Tourism Board is aghast at the GdAC’s enforcement of this ruling, and is working hard to convince the Mexican Department of communications and Transport to rescind this policy.
They are being overwhelmed with calls of complaint on this issue, and are taking names and email addresses of callers, and promise to keep us apprised of the agency’s progress.
Here are a list of people, organizations and websites to contact. Simply explain that you are referring to Article 2.1.2 (no pets in cabin) of the DGAC’s revised circular dated May 10, 2012.
• Mexico Tourism Board: phone: 1-800-44-MEXICO (1-800-446-3942) – Dial direct from the US email: email@example.com
Their office is collecting names, phone numbers and email addresses
• Mexico Tourism Board Website (English)
• Mexico Tourism Board – State Offices
• Mexico Tourism Board (CPTM) – Contact Form
• SCT (Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes) – General Information
• SCT (Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes) – Complaints & Suggestions
• SECTUR (Secretaria de Turismo) – Complaints
• SECTUR (Secretaria de Turismo) – State Offices
• SECTUR (Secretaria de Turismo) – Contact Form
The Editor of Manzanillo Sun has received the following information which we are delighted to pass on to our readers. We add a word of caution, the law has not yet been changed back, so don’t take a chance of taking your pet to the airport! We will continue to watch the situation and our “Watch Patrol” is on guard. ED.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON THE PETS ON AIRCRAFT
June 21, 2012 Update – I am absolutely thrilled to share an email I just received from Lic. José Armando Garcia Nuño, Dirección de Política Intersectorial, Dirección General de Planeación Estratégica y Política Sectorial, Secretaria de Turismo (SECTUR). It reads…
I send an apology for to answer your call and email a little late, however, I am here for talking with you about the animals in the aircraft passenger cabins.
Yesterday, we had a meeting with the Aeronautic Authority on this case for talking about the concern of you visitors by the prohibition of get pets on airplanes.
At the meeting we were able to obtain good news, which I inform you:
• They going to change of the article one hundred seven (107) of the regulations of the law, where the regulation is established on the transportation of animals allowed in the passenger cabins.
Today, the Aeronautic Authority has already a proposal for a reform to the article of the rules of which shared and will be analysed.
• The Aeronautic Authority published an official circular where inform about of the current authority decision and where they report the possibility that in the month of September is already counted with this reform allowing, in some way, raise animals to the passenger cabins.
In this moments The law should be applied without exception. But we hope that the reform to law going to ready on September. Finally, I say today I tried to talk to you by phone but it was not possible.
After receiving this email, I called and spoke with Sr. Garcia directly. He informed me that the document is currently be reviewed and that it should be finalized by next week. He confirmed that the revised policy will allow pets to fly in the cabin on both national and international flights, and that it should be in place by September 2012. He agreed to email a copy to me, which I will post at soon as I receive it.
This is really good news Folks!