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Old 07-11-2011, 03:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

So today, I called Westjet, basically saying:

"Me, and ton of other people [I don't actually know tons of people with hedgehogs, but...I'm sure they are spur of the moment exaggeration] are quite upset with Westjet. It makes no sense at all how dogs, cats, rabbits and birds can ride in the cabin, but chinchillas, guinea pigs and hedgehogs have to ride in baggage. There is no difference between these pets, other then dogs, cats, and birds can be very loud, but chinchillas, guinea pigs and especially hedgehogs, make little to no noise. I don't see the reasoning behind putting animals that are sensitive in baggage. "Pets are guests too"? Apparently not all pets, only the noisy ones. What is the difference between a rabbit riding in the cabin and a guinea pig? Or a hedgehog? When a pet is in the carrier, no one will see it, or know what type of animal it is. This is ridiculous."

I was getting frustrated by this point, as they kept tossing the phone to another person. That ^^ sounds pretty angry, but I wan't talking angerly, just annoyed.

Eventually (on about the fifth person), someone said, "Pets that are required to travel in baggage are exotic animals. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your experience with us. Your feedback will help us focus our efforts, and improve the Westjet experience for all of our guests."

..... those hairless Chinese dogs, those are exotic. If you Google exotic dogs/cats/birds, different breeds will pop up. Especially birds, parrots are even still considered exotic. Sheesh... I was soooo tempted to say, "Oh... So I guess if I wanted to travel with my Poodle and my Xoloitzcuintli, my Xoloitzcuintli would have to go in baggage, since he's exotic. I don't actually own a Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless), but they don't know that.

So stupid...
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

Tell them it's an Egyptian quilled cat!

When I first started reading here, I think there was someone that did and got hers in the cabin with her with one of those travel "backpack" carriers.

It's just total lack of information.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

You also should have pointed out that hedgehogs don't chew things and unlike cats, dogs and birds, they don't cause allergic reactions to the average person.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

I am going thru the same thing. I have a flight booked next week with west jet. And same thing. Hedgehogs are exotics. I said the same thing, just about all birds are also exotics but they can fly. They dont care , and they dont know the difference.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

It's absurd... and not exclusive to WestJet unfortunately.

I almost (note I say ALMOST) got my hedgehog Charley in the cabin with me on a Lufthansa flight from Germany to the US but some supervisor derailed that plan just as the baggage checkers were about to put the required stickers on the crate. I was peeved to say the least, I did NOT want to leave my baby in the cargo hold, but it was either that or not take him at all. And we know which one I picked ^_^

I agree with the common animals allowed in airline cabins are those that are the noisiest and the most likely to cause a commotion if the happen to get out and allergies up the wazoo. What would a hedgie do, hide? >_< That wouldn't a desired outcome of course.

It'll take an act of Congress or some sort of divine intervention to get our quilled friends to the point where they can ride as passengers.

And the insult added to this injury? The tickets for them to ride in cargo can cost MORE than if they were a "normal" pet riding in the cabin (I paid 150 euro to get Charley home).
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

Copying what I posted on another thread, because this is a more relevant thread:

I called WestJet, asking them why hedgehogs are not allowed in the cabin. The woman I spoke to didn't know, so she directed me to Transportation Safety Board of Canada... who directed me to the Canadian Transportation Agency... who directed me to Transport Canada... who directed me to the Canadian Border Services Agency... who directed me to Canada Air Transport Security Authority... who directed me to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (?? I know, I don't get it either)... who directed me to the Animal Transport Health agency... who just seemed confused.

So, I called West Jet again, explaining to them that as fun as phone tag is, I'd like to stop playing now, and so would they please just explain their policy to me. The woman on the phone said she'll find out the answer...

...After 30 minutes on hold she came back and told me that they consider hedgehogs rodents, and that because of their size, if they were to chew through their soft-sided carrier (which is the only kind allowed in the cabin), they could easily escape without the owner noticing.

I pointed out that hedgehogs are a) NOT rodents and thus don't have a perpetual desire to chew, b) that for a hedgehog to chew through a heavy-duty soft-sided carrier would be a very impressive and rather impossible feat, c) that owners are generally well aware of the location of their pet on a plane, d) that they allow bunnies in the cabin, and, as someone who's had a bunny, I can attest that bunnies chew EVERYTHING. much more so than hedgehogs. Etc.

End result - my complaint had been put forward one level to the Customer Relations people.They should be calling me back within 48 hours. The woman on the phone suggested that if I can make it clear to them that a LOT of people want this changed and that a LOT of people will use WestJet as a result of this, that it could make a difference.

So, maybe people want to write some feedback to WestJet in support of changing allowances for hedgehogs? Explain they're not rodents, won't chew through a carrier, and are delicate little animals. http://www.westjet.com/guest/en/contact/index.shtml

So, yeah. That was an interesting way to spend my lunchtime.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

That's so stupid. Bunnies could chew through a soft sided carrier asap. My lionhead, I love him but...he's a pain in the butt. I can't even get him to the vets without hearing plastic cracking (which is dangerous to him). So he has to travel in a wire dog crate.

I've had puppies many times, and they could work there way through a soft carrier. My terriers would probably find there way through eventually. I've never owned a cat because I'm super allergic, but I'm sure if they got there nails in the mesh, it could be ripped, especially if it's a cheap carrier.

A hedgehog would never chew through, I doubt they even could if they tried.

And wth, you put a rodent in a hard platic airplane carrier, they COULD chew through that. I know my lionhead would. They he'd be running around under the plane. Yeah, that's sooo much better.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

you could easily get everyone on this forum to agree to this.. that should be enough for them haha
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehogs aren't allowed in the cabin because they're exotic

I sent them a "little" note about them being unfair and uneducated. I hope it helps!
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