By Kim Betts…
KAR Pet Travel had booked pets to fly from Ercan to Heathrow, via Istanbul, on Tuesday (Kym) 10th January 2017 and Wednesday (Molly) 11th – as well as others who were travelling into the EU on 13th and 14th.
We were very concerned with the news of the blizzards that had struck Istanbul on the weekend of the 6th – 8th January 2017. As is often the case, we liaised with colleagues at Turkish Airlines, here and in Turkey but, also very importantly, we were in personal contact with people actually working at Istanbul Airport, who could provide up to the minute information about the conditions.
We kept our owners up to date with discussions and on Monday 9th we decided to cancel Kym’s flight – she was due to travel on Tuesday 10th. We could not risk sending her into Istanbul, without knowing if she would be delayed there for hours – even though she would be in a safe and warm environment – but we also needed to discuss any decision with her owners, who were already in the UK. They, understandably agreed, and KAR Pet Travel continued to work well into the night rescheduling plans and re‑arranging boarding facilities and paperwork. She was re-scheduled for Thursday 12th (weather permitting).
It was decided to consider Molly the cat (who was due to travel on Wednesday 11th) on the Tuesday morning, with a view to also rescheduling her travel plans. On the Tuesday, Turkish Airlines advised us that Molly’s flight to Istanbul was cancelled and so we began again – reorganizing paperwork, rescheduling flights, re‑arranging boarding for Molly until her new flight on Monday 16th January.
The EU bound pets had a little more time to go, before decisions were made, but throughout the time we were in contact with owners for these ones, but also with other owners who had pets booked and were concerned about the knock on effects.
Kym left on her new flight and arrived in the UK safely and was happily reunited with her worried owners.
The EU travelers all left on their original flights and had no delays – it had already been established that for their travel dates Istanbul had resumed normal service!
Molly – well – she spent another weekend in the TRNC and her worried owners were kept reassured that she was fine and everything had been re-organised for the following Monday. The following are extracts, and a couple of photos, of Molly’s disrupted travel plans…..
“ ……………….. I feel that you should know that IF the conditions worsen, then, we may well have to take Molly off tomorrows/Thursdays flight and reschedule her for another day – probably next Monday. Her welfare is our primary concern. We will know more tonight, when we get an update from someone on the ground at Istanbul. Kind regards, Kim, KAR Pet Travel”
“Dear Kim, Thank you for your message, I wasn’t aware the snow was so bad, of course, I trust that you will make right decision re Molly, I really hope that she is able to fly tomorrow, as we are all so looking forward to seeing her again, but will wait to hear from you. Many thanks”
“Hi …We have just had a telephone call from Turkish Airlines to let us know that the flights that Molly is due to travel on have been cancelled – again due to bad weather and backlogs. We are now rescheduling her to depart here on Monday 16th with an arrival on 17th. Again, though this is all depends on the weather situation, which has now taken another turn for the worse. I know that you will be so disappointed that you will not re‑united tomorrow, but it is better that they have let us know beforehand, as opposed to her getting stuck en route. Kind regards, Kim, KAR Pet Travel”
“Hi Just a quick line to let you know that Molly is snuggled up in her bed in the travel box , as you can see, and is ready for her journey ….everything appears on time and I will try and give you another update later …..”
“Ah that’s great, thank you so much for the update Kim, we are all excited that she is finally arriving tomorrow!! Look forward to hearing from you tomorrow, thanks again …”
Thank you so much for your wonderful work getting Molly over here, she has settled right down and it is as if she has never not been here, the kids are absolutely overjoyed that she is here and my daughter just keeps saying “I’m so happy that Molly’s here” and I completely agree. There is something so lovely and calming about having a pet (specially a cat) in the house. Thank you also for sending her little basket over too, as you can see from the picture she is so happy on it and I’m really pleased it got sent over with her.
Thank you so much again, also please tell me what I owe you for any extra costs that you may have incurred due to cancelled flights etc.
With lots of love from Molly and all of us here in London”
Hopefully that is the first and LAST of the bad weather for this year!! We do worry about our travelling pets when circumstances are beyond our control, but we always will try our best for them and for their owners – they are all individual family members and we never forget that and we treat them, and worry about them (owners and pets) as if they were our own
PS…. there were no additional travel charges passed onto Molly’s or Kym’s owners.