Setting the Record Straight on the Mexican Government’s “No-Pets-in-Cabin Policy” for Airlines


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SHERYL HAMILTON

Two months ago, a letter went out from the Mexican Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) to all US and Canadian airlines, reminding them of a 2007 Directive which, among other things, prohibits transporting pets in the cabin on all flights to, from and within Mexico (Article 2.1.2).   One by one, the airlines began to implement the policies set out by the DGAC.  It started with United /Continental but soon expanded to include Alaska Air / Horizon, Delta, American Airlines, Air Canada , Frontier and US Airways.  WestJet, it appears, was the last hold-out, although reportedly ‘on the verge’ of complying with the Mexican directive.   Not surprisingly the internet immediately exploded with all kinds of speculation, stories, rumors and petitions.  Snowbirds who normally travel with their small pets were left stranded at airports, many were compelled to drive home rather than fly, some have even been forced to leave their beloved pets in the care of housekeepers or friends for months at a time.  The blogosphere was inundated with angry letters from Canadians and Americans threatening to sell their homes in Mexico or to start vacationing elsewhere.   A concerted effort soon began all over North America to get the ruling reversed, in large part by illustrating how devastating this ruling could be on the Mexican economy, specifically the tourism sector.   Allyson Williams, a writer for the Jaltemba Bay Life Blog was on top of the story right from the beginning, and her blog has since become “information central” for many individuals, animal rescue organizations and other groups working to have the ruling reversed.    Williams has been very diligent in keeping the column updated with new developments as the story continues to unfold.  Her site also provides contact information for Tourism and Transport officials, as well as links to related articles and even a chart showing all of the various “pets in baggage/cargo” options and restrictions for those affected by this policy.    She has also done an admiral job of trying to squelch the many rumors that unfortunately still abound on the subject, most notably: –          the FALSE belief that the policy only applies to domestic flights within Mexico –          the FALSE belief that this is just a rumor, i.e. that no such Mexican law exists   The law most definitely does exist and does applies to all airlines, foreign and domestic.  In fact, the law has been on the books for many years, but wasn’t enforced until recently.   Through the relentless efforts of many people and organizations throughout North America, the Mexican Tourism office in Monterrey has been flooded with calls over the past few weeks.  As a result, a note was sent to Ms. Williams on June 21 stating that they have taken the matter up with the appropriate Transport officials, who subsequently promised that the law will be changed in September.    Another memo was issued today, stating that pets and service animals will be allowed in cabin effective immediately.  The new Circular CO AV-07.8/07 R2 is an interim, temporary measure that will remain in effect until the new regulations are in place this fall.   This is all very good news; however, there may be a whole new slate of government officials to deal with after the Mexican Federal election on July 1, so it is critically important for all interested parties to continue their efforts until the law is formally reversed.    To register your concerns, please contact the Mexican Tourism Board and  explain that you are calling in regard to Article 2.1.2 (no pets in cabin) of the DGAC’s circular dated May 10, 2012:

Mexico Tourism Board             From outside Mexico : 1 800 446 3942             From inside Mexico : 001 880 446 3942             Email: contact@visitmexico.com   You can also visit the Pets in Cabin Facebook page (“Like It”, “Share It” and post your comments and pet photos): www.facebook.com/PetsInCabin   And finally, please share this important information with your friends, family and any media contacts you may have in other parts of Mexico , the US and Canada .   Updates will be posted as they become available on the Jaltemba Bay Life Blog at http://jaltembabaylife.com/blog/2012/06/new-no-pets-in-cabin-policy-for-mexico/

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