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Old 10-17-03, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Compensation by airline for dead animals

I imported some reptiles this year and the airline in question did not sufficiently heat the cargohold enough. I had the CFIA vet(CDN Food and Insepction Agency), who was inspecting the animals for import, agree that the animals were not heated.

I had paid for the animals to be heated and ventilated in their special cargo-hold for live animals. However, three of my animals have died b/c of the cold shipping conitions. I am seeking compensatinon from them and they refuse b/c they do not want to set a precedence. That is their offical policy, nevermind if they were wrong or not. I was wondering if anyone knows any cases where airlines Canada, US or international has paid out damages for causing death to animals while shipping them? Any suggestions?


Cheers,
JJ
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Old 10-17-03, 09:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you have the shippment insured? That is the only way I know of getting compensation. Also what they mean by heated simply means it will not go below 0.
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Old 10-17-03, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Its going to be tough. Depends on how the animals were packed. If they were packed properly (48+ hour heat packs and heat-gel packs) then it wouldn't matter if it was heated cargo or not. That's the problem. People ship with Air Canada assuming that the heated cargo is enough, and it isn't. Heat packs (generating) and gel packs should always be put in the shipping box. Its just the way it is.

You will have a TOUGH time getting your money back.
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Old 10-17-03, 09:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No, they were not insured, but the representative said, if I can find another airlines who has paid out compensation for any animal deaths (mammal, bird, reptile, etc), they may consider compensating. They are in in the wrong, but won't own up to it unless someone else has. (sigh)

The rep also said they have many lawyers, actually they have a team of lawyers, so it is no use to take them to court. They are such arses! He is right, but they killed my pets and the rep said it was heated between 10-16C, but it was not. Even if it wasn't, they would not pay, just b/c they have never pad out such a settlement before.

I know it is standard law, but they can be wrong, but won't make any acoomodations nor acknowledge anything. That is what annoys me the most.


Cheers,
JJ


P.S. I have shipped with AC and they were great. The airline is an international one.
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Old 10-17-03, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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dunno if this helps but i found this article on an airline that compensated $1250 for this couple's boxer dying
the article is on this site under the heading To Fly or Not To Fly with Pets
http://www.kittencare.com/Special_Cat_News.html
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Old 10-17-03, 10:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Excellent LadyHawke... Just what I needed and the article gave me some great leads. I will keep you posted on my efforts.


Cheers,
JJ
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Old 10-17-03, 10:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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glad i could help out, good luck!!
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Old 10-18-03, 08:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm just taking a wild guess, based on my experience with 4 shipments using the same highly recommended airline, but went seriously wrong and ended up with casualties --- are the airline initials DD? If so, there's not much chance of getting compensation. They admitted their error in my case(s) but that's all the satisfaction I got. I really hope you win this one. I'll cross my fingers for you.
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Old 10-18-03, 08:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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We have had a couple screw ups with the airlines. One shipment was delayed, and luckily the girl at the counter called to say that the animals were booked express, which meant putting them on the next plane out, which was unheated, I refused, so they delayed shipment to the next day. We are still responsible for shipping charges, even though they bumped the cargo, because I refused to let them go on an unheated plane, but the snake arrived safe and sound the next day, so it is worth it.

Theother animal was not so fortunate. He was packed to the minimum acceptable standard for air cargo, and put on an unheated plane, without insurance. The airline is considering waiving the $113 shipping charges, but we have a frozen specimen that we get no compensation for due to the lack of insurance. When we read the fine print, freezing is not covered anyways, even with insurance.
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Old 10-18-03, 10:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Properly packaged animals should not freeze anyways.
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Old 10-18-03, 11:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with Favelle. If heat packs were put in the package none of these problems would have even existed. If there is the slightest chance temps are going to be low make sure the person shipping uses heat packs!
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Old 10-18-03, 12:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thing is, the cargo hold is not "heated up" before take off. They open the doors, load the cargo and whatever the temps are once they close the doors, that' the temps it remains at for the duration of the flight. That's why it is so important to know what the weather is like when shipping. It's the responsibility of the exporting party to properly heat or cool the package as is needed. I know it sucks, but I've inquired many times as to the policies of airlines and it's always the same thing as stated above. It's always the shippers responsibility, so that's where your compensation is to be found.

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Old 10-18-03, 05:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It was with an Asian carrier.... and I have the a Federal Agency on my side investigating and my lawyer has been giving me a lot of ammunition.

The airline has not accepted nor denied responsibility. Their policy is that they will not make any compensation for death of animals during shipping - period. That is their policy. Not matter if they are right or wrong. They did not offer any insurance when I shpped.

I have been talking to the rep handling the situation, who is just a puppet, and if I provide proof another airline who has compensated for the death of animals, they will review the case. They just do not want to set a precedence, but they have offered to take me out for lunch, free passes fto the CN Tower, and small gifts...

I have a case and those were personal pets. Anymore info on airlines compensating for death of animals or advice is appreciated. Thanks for your ideas.

Cheers,
JJ

P.S. I was shipping from 20 C weather in Asia and they were packed in 1/2" styrofoam, wrapped in pillowcase and stuffed with newspaper to discourage jostling (there were small air holes on top for ventilation). Heatpack was not used b/c they would be sitting a couple of hours in 20C temps with a heat pack, which will be just as harmful. I was assured by the airline in question that it will be heated and ventilated, and I had nothing to worry about. I called them over several times prior to shipment and they assured me it will be heated in the cargohold. That is what I am basing my case on.

Last edited by Wu-Gwei; 10-18-03 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 10-18-03, 05:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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ALWAYS ship with a heat pack. Even in the heat of summer, I ship with a heat pack(s). Just because its 20C on the ground, doesn't mean its not -10C 10,000 feet in the air!!

Shipping without heat packs is a recipe for diseaster.
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Old 10-18-03, 09:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I agree Jeff. Besides, even if the weather is 20C outside and you put in a heat pack, it's not like it's gonna make it hotter........it just gaurantees that if the outside temp drops then the inside temp won't. If I order anything that will be flown I always ask for heat packs, and if the shipper thinks it's uneccessary I always say do it anyways. All I can say is that you should be asking for compensation from the seller, provided he didn't offer heat packs or assumed they weren't necessary!

Julie
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