KLM Dreamliner Pet Embargo

Old Sep 7, 19, 9:26 am
  #1  
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KLM Dreamliner Pet Embargo

I've flown many times on KLM with my dog in the hold, mostly 777 but also 747 and 787 on SFO-AMS-SFO. I recently booked an award ticket AMS-SFO and called to reserve the hold space for my dog. After about 25 minutes on the phone with a Delta agent, I was told that the request was refused (travel is in late-October). I reached out to KLM and was told the following:
Please be informed that to prevent offloading of high-value perishable cargo, KLM (KL) will impose an embargo for animals in the hold (AVIH) on Boeing 787-900 (789) Dreamliner & Boeing 787-10 (781) Dreamliner for travel effective 1 August 2019.
The explanation seems rather peculiar since I assume that "high-value perishable cargo" travels on 747 and 777 aircraft. I thought that this could be related to summer temperatures, but there is no termination date for the embargo and it appears to impact only one type of aircraft.

It was a struggle, but I got Flying Blue to refund my miles and fees. (It was done well within the 24-hour window after booking.) My only option is to find any remaining flights on older aircraft, either to SFO or LAX with a one-way car rental. PITA. What's the real story here?
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Old Sep 7, 19, 9:36 am
  #2  
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It depends on the route, although the Dreamliners would have less cargo capacity than 747/777 aircraft. Probably KLM has been having problems with cargo needs on this aircraft type and decided that it would be simpler to ban checked pets across the aircraft type rather than on a long list of specific routes and dates.

Perishable cargo from AMS would obviously include flowers and cheese.

BTW, is there a difference between sending the dog as checked luggage versus as cargo on the same flight? Some airlines do both and have somewhat different rules and procedures, although typically very large dogs can travel only as cargo.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 3:47 pm
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It could also be related to 787 questionable dispatch reliability. KLM could have simply decided, that the extra earnings are not worth the hassle once the 787 gets AOGged out and now they have at hand perishables which they have to (in the best case) care for, or they just don't survive the trip.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 11:42 pm
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I think it is a range issue. If the plane needs more fuel due to conditions it needs to leave cargo behind. So they want to avoid it accidentally being your dog.
They also have (had??) this locally in JRO.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 11:09 am
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I used to be able to fly KLM with my dog in the business class cabin but since the advent of lie flat seats there is no space for any pets. They still allow pets in economy.

Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; Sep 8, 19 at 11:10 am Reason: missing word
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Old Sep 11, 19, 2:30 am
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Just call it your "emotional support animal" and you'd be good to go
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Old Sep 11, 19, 4:35 am
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Pets are generally transported in the bulk cargo compartment, i.e. the aft compartment where items are loaded one-by-one and not inside large containers. This compartment is heated, but on the B787 the heating system has proven to be unreliable. So KLM has recently been transporting them in one of the forward holds which are heated and air-conditioned, but when they do that the temperature needs to be set to a comfortable temperature for the pet, restricting their ability to carry perishable items and pharmaceutical products, which require a lower temperature, and bring in more income.
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Old Today, 2:07 am
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I've contacted KLM about this, but unfortunately they don't have any information when the embargo might end. The strange thing is, is that I've been told by one KLM country office that they are still shipping dogs on Dreamliners, but they need advance notice so they can cover the perishables with a special blanket. But it seems like you can only do this if you book the dog as cargo rather than checked-in baggage. Even though they are the same plane from the country I'm travelling from. This really increases the cost. Does anyone have any other information about when the embargo might end or if there are any ways around this situation?
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