When Pigs Fly

hamlet
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Who are they flying with? I know that I have mentioned that we don’t breed anymore mini pigs anymore. But when we did breed, and we needed to ship them all over the states, we ran in to a few problems.

Our Delta Experience

We started doing some research and more people than not said that they use Delta.   We saw on their site that they have a program called Delta Dash and according to them,  our piglet wouldn’t be uncomfortable at all and would get to it’s destination very fast. Well that sounded good to us, so we agreed and when the first litter was ready to be shipped, we picked up the phone and made the necessary arrangements. The phone call didn’t go so well because we called a call center in Georgia ( I believe it was ) and they bounced us around a bit before we finally talked to someone that could help us. We got our reservations and contacted our customers to find let them know what time to be at the airport for their new baby.

The next couple days we had to drive to Tampa, which is about an hour drive for us, and go to the cargo area. First of all, I was pretty upset thinking that these babies would be going in the cargo. The man behind the counter reassured me that they would be safe and that they transport lots of pets this way. Still not happy with the idea, I reluctantly handed the babies to them and watched as they put them on a cart to take them to the airplane.  We had all the flight numbers and times at which they were do to arrive and our customers agreed to call us once they got their babies, so we headed home.

Once we arrived home, I quickly go on the computer to track the flights. The first one arrived on time and I didn’t hear from our customer right away so I called them. Yes, the baby got there safe and was as adorable as they expected. The second one arrived a bit late but the customer called and couldn’t get off the phone fast enough because she just wanted to play with her new friend. But before she got off the phone, she informed me that the Delta cargo man just kinda dropped the crate on the floor in front of her and she was pissed. She said that she screamed at him ” Hey!! That is my baby in there”. I guess the guy just looked at her like she was crazy.

Now the problems start

The third  baby delivered out of that litter didn’t work out as well as the other two. He was being shipped to North Carolina with a layover in Georgia. As we tracked this one, we noticed that the flight had arrived on time. We are thinking “Yes, this is great”, but not so fast. We called our customer and told them that we saw their flight had arrived and was just wondering how the baby was. They informed us that they haven’t gotten him yet. they said they would effeminately call us as soon as they got him. We waited almost an hour ( sitting on the edge of our seats ) and finally called them back. They still haven’t seen their piglet. No Way!  What could have happened? We proceeded to call Delta to find out what was going on . They said that all of the cargo was unloaded and they didn’t know where the pig was.  Another hour went by, calling everyone and our customers calling us. Still no pig. I looked on the net and found that the flight had gone back to Georgia and was going back to North Carolina. Delta checked that flight and believe it or not, the piglet was still in the cargo. He flew more in one day that I did in my life. Our customers finally got their baby 3 1/2 hours after they were supposed to. We were so upset and still had one more to go.

The forth and last piglet to be delivered went to New Jersey. We decided to make that a late flight because Delta told us that their cargo was not climate controlled and this was the hottest day in New Jersey so if we shipped him at night then it would be cooler for him. They was great and we were happy for that information. His plane was due to arrive at 12:00 pm. so our customers were at the airport and ready. When the plane got there, the night worker wouldn’t let them have the baby. They told them that they couldn’t have him unless they paid $150.00 or come back in the morning to get him. Since all of the normal worker were gone for the night, they had no way of telling why they needed to pay the $150.00. The flight was paid by us in full so we didn’t understand it either. The worst part was that the couple didn’t bring any cash with them, they didn’t think they would need it, so they had to figure out how to come up with the money to get him out of prison ( Patti’s words ). We ended up calling Delta the next morning to find out why this couple need to pay $150.00 when the fare was already paid for and their answer was, computer glitch.  They agreed to refund that money to us,  and we refunded our customers. One comment that the customer service lady said that we noted was ” You should fly them Continental instead”. I was shocked, but very happy that she told us that because from that day on we never used Delta again.

Now that was much harder than I ever expected it to be. It was bad enough that I was worried in the beginning, but now after all of that, I was frantic about shipping them at all.  Fortunately, we had other litters that need to be shipped and we took that Delta ladies advice and called Continental. Wow! what a pleasure that was.  Here is a quote from their site:

The best way to ship a mini pig is Continental for sure

Continental has a 24-hour Live Animal Desk (1-800-575-3335). Their PetSafe program tracks pets in cargo from origin to destination and offers miles to pet travelers. The cargo area is climate controlled, allows for bigger carriers and has its own designated cargo staff. Continental allows dogs, cats, pet rabbits and birds to be carried inside the cabin on most domestic flights. Only four pets per flight are allowed in the economy cabin.

All of that was true. We never had a problem with them at all.

So I guess what I am saying is, if you need to have your new piglet shipped to you, NEVER use Delta and always use Continental.

Continental Airlines


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Continental

Traveling with Animals

Continental is committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for all of our customers, including pets. Because we share our customers’ concern that their pets’ flights are stress-free, we have enhanced our animal acceptance policy to transport pets as cargo. Our program is called PetSafe®. Under this program, Continental does not accept pets as checked baggage.

The program offers the following options:

  • Customers can track their animals online at Continental’s cargo Web site, cocargo.com, throughout their journey.
  • Continental will continue to accept small pets for travel in cabin in applicable markets.
  • Continental’s policy for service animals, such as seeing-eye dogs, has not changed, and they will continue to be welcomed on board or as checked baggage.
  • Pets can travel as QUICKPAK®, Continental’s cargo service offering same day, airport-to-airport delivery with features designed to ensure an animal’s comfort and safety.
  • Earn miles for transporting your pet.

Safeguards for Pets Traveling as Cargo

Continental’s PetSafe program will allow pets that previously traveled as checked baggage to experience these safeguards when they travel as cargo, keeping them safe and their owners reassured:

  • Dedicated 24-hour Live Animal Desk (800.575.3335 or 832.235.1541)
  • Confirmed booking prior to departure
  • Weather conditions constantly monitored at all points
  • The ability to track and trace the animal from its origin to its destination
  • Personal handling in climate-controlled vehicles for connections over Continental’s hubs when the animal will be exposed to temperatures above 85°F (29.5°C) degrees for more than 45 minutes
  • Continental recommends (but does not require) that SENIOR DOGS AND CATS (over 7.5 years old) receive a more extensive health examination (i.e. liver and kidney screens).