So there seems to have been some movement on the issue of our traveling with our pets.
This week, the Department put out a cable saying we could now use non-contract carriers to fly if the contract carrier (read: United) doesn't allow pets to travel as excess baggage. It also said that there may be exemptions to the Fly America Act, which requires we use a U.S. airline even if there is a cheaper non-U.S. one, for those of us going to, leaving from or transiting through the E.U. (because the Open Skies Act allows folks in those categories to fly E.U. carriers if it is cheaper because to prohibit it would be a violation of WTO rules).
AFSA has created a link where you can read the cable here.
In addition to this, people are getting the word out. A new facebook group called Fabulous Foreign Service Pets have been created where people can post pictures of their FS pets. And the photo blog At Post has rededicated itself to FS Pet pictures.
People are tweeting about it copying @United (though I think they are actually @UnitedAirlines, which is what I have been using...along with the hashtag #UnitedSucks).
And there is a new video of pictures of FS Pets on YouTube.
And finally, a fellow blogger heard second-hand that a person was able to book her pets as checked baggage, and that when the person asked the Customer Service Rep about the policy of forcing them to go as cargo, she was told that the CSR had gotten a memo a week ago changing the policy.
So maybe United is doing the right thing. Maybe even for the right reasons, though I suspect it is more to do with the combination of bad press and the threat of losing a lot of government (read: full-price fare) business.
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