My move to Germany involved catching a flight from Taipei to Amsterdam, before driving to Aachen. What was meant to be a long 20-hour journey, somehow stretched into 40 hours due to a faulty aircraft. To add to the headache, I had with me a cat and a rabbit.
The problem started when my plane transited in Bangkok. As I was about to board the flight from BKK to AMS, I was called over by the Eva Air staff who lightly told me that the pressurised cargo area was faulty and they had to disembark my pets. So there I was, stranded at the airport with a cat and a rabbit, and not knowing when the next flight was going to be. The airline initially said the next flight out could be in three days due to quarantine issues, which left me extremely worried and frustrated.
The next 12 hours were met by sad tears, angry exchanges, unhappy tweets, and lots of phone calls.
Now, I did prepare to write a blog post as a dissatisfied customer, but in the end I was over-whelmed by the support and help given by the staff at Eva Air and China Airline in Bangkok. They handled and paid for the pet certificate at the Bangkok quarantine department; they put me and the pets in a nice suite at Novotel; my boyfriend and I enjoyed a courtesy dinner buffet meal at the hotel; and we both got upgraded to business class on the China Airline flight departing the next morning.
Although the extras made the experience a tad better, I really hope this doesn’t happen to others who are travelling with pets. In the 14 hours between disembarking and finally boarding another plane, I was on a emotional rollercoaster and came up with worst-case scenarios, such as having to leave my pets behind, or them being caged up in quarantine for a month.
Milo (the cat) and Otis (the rabbit) did survive the long journey and are now back to their usual selves. They’re currently chillaxing in a backyard that overstretches into a large meadow – a big change from the concrete floors and depressing rain in Taipei.
Let’s hope the six-hour drive from Aachen to Berlin goes much smoothly according to plan.