Transport days are a vital part of what we do, but boy do we hate them, the organisation is epic, and the stress massive. The team that do these are amazing, always late everywhere they go, but amazing. Transporting animals is hard work, long hours, stressful, and no you don't get to see the world, you get to see airports.
On average we transport 12-18 dogs at any one time, which is a huge task, every element has to be checked, then double checked, and because its me triple checked. I shout a lot, stress a lot, check microchips over and over, and clean out shit filled boxes until they pass safely through security. The logistic mess of moving all the dogs and their boxes is HUGE, made worse by idiots in the airport.
Moving one box on a trolley that wobbles, and isnt built for a dog box, is bad enough moving up to 12 of these, is a headache. Added with the fact dogs never sit still, they go to one end of the box, then the other, then repeat. Often the boxes tip, and the boxes fall off the trolleys. We are now skilled at balancing, maneuvering and praying.
I am still shocked at how people in the airport do not see a huge line of boxes moving towards them. People simply stand there, with us going "excuse me" and after the third time of that in three different languages I revert to "get out of the fucking way" just before I ram the trolleys into their ankles.
At check in everyone wants to look in the boxes, sticking their fingers in the boxes, with the strange dog they have never met. This usually causes the dogs to start barking, or growling, which in turn causes the check in staff to ask us to get the dogs to stop barking. Silly me I will just hit the "off" switch.
Once every passport has been checked, the boxes inspected, the dogs checked, the weights records, and the usual I want a window seat row finished. The boxes are then tagged, yes like luggage, the dogs travel as luggage, in the hold, with the suitcases. Now Norwegian take tagging to another level, they not only tag, but they wrap the boxes in security tape, also needing more live animal tags, address tags, and a full description of the dog.
Then off to security, which of course is downstairs, accessed by a lift you can only fit two trolleys in at a time, so sending dogs in lifts on their own is done often. Then the rules of security mean that one person has to get the dogs out, place the box on the xray machine, and hold the dog, rebox the dog all on their own. We tend to pull the we do not understand card at this point.
Once this has been done several times, and the boxes lifted on to the flatbed that has been sent by the baggage guys, with the one useless person, who is moaning the dogs are too heavy, we can leave. Remembering the animals we have in carry on bags, making sure all paperwork, passports and boarding passes are too hand, we head for the boarding gates. Here the fun continues....
Part two manana ...........