Best way to transport a cat from Helsinki to London?
February 2, 2015 5:26 AM   Subscribe

(Asking for a friend) Looking for the cheapest/simplest option to get a pet cat from Helsinki to London in the end of March.

A friend will be moving to London in a couple of months and needs to take her cat with her. There seem to be few airlines which are allowed to transport pets into the UK, and the cargo transport company which they directed her to quoted a rate of over €500.

Is there somewhere to find more information about options and regulations for moving pets into the UK? I suggested the possibility of flying to the continent and taking the Eurostar so as to avoid flight regulations, but I don't know if this would be any less of a hassle.
posted by the luke parker fiasco to Travel & Transportation around Manchester, England (6 answers total)
Eurostar doesn't allow pets.

Taking the kitty on the plane will probably be the least expensive, fastest, sanest way of getting Felix to London. It's worth it to suck it up and pay a bit extra for the flights that allow cat transport.

Make sure the Pet Passport is sorted out and that all the Ts are crossed and the lower-case Js are dotted.

Also, put a harness on the cat because security will make you take the cat out of the carrier and walk through the metal detectors.

The cat is going to be unhappy no matter WHAT mode of transport, so you may as well fly. My cats yowl like idiots for the 2 mile trip to the vet. I can't imagine what nonsense would occur if I tried to do a train, a ferry, etc.

Talk to the vet for some kitty Xanax, it would be kinder than without.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:42 AM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Information about regulations for moving pets into the UK can be found here.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:09 AM on February 2, 2015

The options are:
-Fly cat in as cargo (not checked or in-cabin baggage)
-Fly to France/Netherlands/etc and drive over using an approved transport company (you can drive yourself, but note that renting a car one way into the UK is very expensive and few companies do it)
-Fly to the Netherlands and take one of the Stena ferry services as a foot passenger (I think you have to book a kennel)
posted by melissasaurus at 6:20 AM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I flew KLM when I took my cat from the US to the Netherlands several years ago. They're pretty animal-friendly. It looks like a flight from Helsinki to Heathrow on March 31 is €238, and according to the Baggage Calculator, the fee for an animal is €75. They'll probably have a layover at Schiphol, but it sounds like the UK requires the cat to be in cargo anyway, so the airline will handle the transfer.
posted by neushoorn at 6:54 AM on February 2, 2015

On Lufthansa Tokyo to Munich, I was able to take my cat as carry-on.
posted by dmvs at 11:19 AM on February 2, 2015

Re: driving into the UK via the tunnel with cat... Rather than renting a car one way, you could use a taxi service. We are carless and have investigated doing this with our dog later this year.
posted by teststrip at 12:31 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

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