Need your advice about an international flight with my budgies
I already read a few threads about this before but I still seek your advice about my situation.
I would try to explain everything in details but without writing an essay, but shortening messages is not really a talent of mine so I'm sorry if this is going to be a long description.
Basically I bought my budgies 2 years ago when I was in Japan (where I lived for 7 years) and then I decided to leave the country because it was no longer healthy for me to live there. I was not getting along with people and I've been in a dark place that almost brought me to death before my babies Cory and Melody came into my life and saved me.
I had to leave them with my bestfriend last october but then his wife made a fuss about it and forced him to get rid of them asap. I had to find someone else to take care of them but all my "friends" couldn't or didn't want to give them an home, not even for few months knowing that my final intention was to reunite with them at some point.
One girl from my group decided to be kind and take care of them until this summer even though she didn't know me at all. She will leave Japan in July so she won't be able to take care of them any further.
I have spent more than a year, even before my actual departure from Japan to move in UK, looking through procedures for export to Europe. It was a nightmare and I just awaken from it this week.
Trying to get information from the italian ministry of health (cause my initial intention was to give them to my parents until I could actually have a decent home here to take them with me) who sent me an unclear list of procedures and told me to call ask info to the italian embassy in Tokyo. They knew nothing. Japanese embassy in Italy didn't know anything either. I decided to call the airports of departure and arrival but it was a waste of time as they couldn't even manage to give me the contacts of their own quarantine offices.
Luckily for me I had a friend who had a friend working for a quarantine office of another airport and he gave her the contact info of Milan airport quarantine office (the airport of arrival of my initial plan) and they gave me the contacts of Narita quarantine office (departure airport)...what a nightmare!
When I thought it was over the problems arrived. Milan's QO sent me the exact same list of procedures the ministry of health did without clarifying what I wanted to know (= can they do the 30 days pre-export quarantine at home?) and kept avoiding my question for months. Then I asked Narita's QO and they said they didn't know as the decision's was Milan's competence not theirs.
When I actually called Milan's QO from UK to talk directly to them and ask a clear answer to my question they were very rude and said "we already explained the procedure, that's all" and that proves that they don't even understand the procedures theirselves.
As this incredibly long odyssey was going on, the time passed and I finally got a decent home that has enough space for them too, so I told myself "who cares about Italy, let's contact Heathrow airport and see what they have to say!" and so I did.
They gave me the right number to call and the woman from APHA replied to me in a clear way and assured me that the pre-export isolation is not only possible to do at home but it's mandatory to do so. So I told Narita's QO and they are now organizing for it.
The only chance I have to go to Japan this year is from the 20th of July till the 7th of August so I have to reserve the ticket quickly and here it's where I need your advice.
I have 2 choices for the flight, here they are:
1 - KOREAN AIR: Non direct flight with a 4 hour stop in Seoul. Cory and Melody would be in the cabin with me. The total travel time would be something like 16 hours and a half.
2 - JAPAN AIRLINES/BRITISH AIRWAYS: Direct Flight. Cory and Melody would be in the animal cargo*. The total travel time would be 12 hours.
*I'm looking for a travel company agent to take care of the cargo procedures but JAL said there is no need for that as they can do that as well as long as I have all the needed papers for export/import and a IATA approved cage.
Talking with my friends I made note of pro, cons and my fears for each option.
1 - PROS: I can check them at anytime. CONS & CONCERNS: It's a long flight. Would the change of pressure from taking off and landing twice in 4 hours gap of time hurt them and/or put them under excessive stress?
Worst case scenario: I see them dying and I start to scream and panic 'cause I can't do anything to save them.
2 - PROS: It's a direct flight, it's shorter so less stressfull for them, I think. CONS & CONCERNS: I won't be able to see them until my arrival.
Will the noisy and dark environment make them act like with a night fright and make them injured? the cargo is heated but judging by other info I found online it's also chill (?), would it make them sick? I am planning to get one of those wooden cages that should keep them warm.
Worst case scenario: They die and I will know that only at my arrival. But I'm **** sure I will be scared for all the duration of the flight (and the month before that, I'm already scared now).
Please help me decide, I'm confused and I literally cannot sleep at night because of my fears and the pressure to make a reservation quickly.
Finding out about the right procedures for their import in EU took a ridiculous amount of time, it was awful.
I would opt for the 12 hr. nonstop myself. They will be fine in the animal area of the plane. Bird's are shipped via air everyday, all over the world without problem's. Have any of the folk's you have talked to given you info on the best type of container for them to travel in ? That would be my number one concern right now if I were doing what you are. Thing's are going to go fine for you and your bird's and before you know it, you will be posting pic's here of them back in your home with you....
He came down from Heaven unto this earth below
He came down from glory and praises untold
He came down to man fashioned in their way
He came down to rescue, He came down to save
You can also contact a zoo or avian vet and ask for their advice regarding the flight needs. Good luck you are doing the best you can for your birds try to be calm and do things logically. can't wait to se some pictures of your babies soon.
Hi Ally, I hope it all works out well (which I'm sure it will). I agree that the direct flight would probably be better and also the darkened cargo might help them to relax a bit more. They will have each other also so try not to stress too much. I can just imagine how worried you are.
Best of luck with everything.
Thank you to each one of you for reassuring me and for your precious advices.
I am looking for a wooden cage 'cause I think it would keep the heat better than the plastic ones from Petsmart and all the other websites but I didn't find much.What do you think I should go for?
plastic or wooden? sorry I'm such an undecided and panaroic person
In looking at the links you posted, I'm not impressed with the wooden carriers. I believe the one I recommended in my previous post would be both sturdier and safer. If you block all the ventalation areas except for those on one side then it will be as warm as any wooden one would be.
You need to be sure that whatever type carrier you choose to use the openings/bar spacing is no larger than 1/2" maximum.
I have a couple of questions regarding your usual travel cage in conjunction with the outer carrier.
1) Is the little travel cage/carrier large enough for the budgies to perch comfortably on the perches inside without having to hunch over?
2) If you put the little travel cage/carrier inside the outer container, what will you use to ensure the inner container doesn't slide around? Do you plan to wedge it in using styrofoam or something similar?