Loganair - reduce your pet carriage fare

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Recently, I found out that Loganair have increased their price for carrying a dog on the plane to £50 “per flight”. This means that anyone wanting to fly with their pet will pay at least £100 to have the privilege of their beloved dog thrown in a freezing cold hold for at least an hour. The public have had no opportunity to voice their opinion or raise concern over the major price hike, nor had we been given reason for this prior to the increase. All they’ve done is “update their website”.

I have found out that the price hike (from £10 to £50) was effective of the 1st of April 2018.

I personally find this absolutely disgusting behaviour from loganair. We have NO OTHER OPTION if we want to travel with our four legged friends. Shoving your companion in a tiny metal cage on a noisy lower deck of a cold and often bumpy boat is cruel and not a route I’d ever consider taking unless desperate. And although leaving them in a car is better, it’s still too long to be leaving them (what would the SSPCA have to say about someone leaving a dog in a cage that long at home?? Let alone on an unfamiliar boat!). It’s an extremely distressing situation for both dog and owner and so the plane was the only way forward.

While I extremely dislike having to put the most precious things in my life into a small box to be crammed in the hold with every other piece of luggage - it should be noted that the staff (particularly in sumburgh) are absolutely superb with them, most of them being dog owners themselves. Right up until the door of the hold is shut, my dogs have been treated like gold! None the less, I am loathed to pay an excessive amount of money to have the “benefit” of them travelling in the same manner as my scruffy old suitcase?? The old payment of £10 per dog was understandable then (£20 return) and even a price hike to £20 to match an “extra bag” would have been annoying but justifiable. At the new price of £50 for flight (£100 return), I should expect my companion to have her own seat and complimentary beverage! Tell me Loganair - is the life and comfort of my dog as important as someone’s dirty underwear?

Furthermore, as someone who participated in the ambassadog role for Visit Scotland and who continues to try and promote a more dog friendly Shetland, this news has brought me great disappointment. While a number of surveys have shown that the future for holiday makers is one where the dog is included - why is Shetland making a deliberate step backwards for those wanting to take the whole family with them? This option has not only made it financially impossible for those wishing to return home with their dog (especially during the holiday season) - it will destroy a portion of our tourist industry. Very sad considering the lovely dog owners I’ve met from all over the world! They will simply find somewhere else cheaper to go. It also means that local flyball members wishing to travel south for practice/competitions will no longer be able to afford the option.

I am well aware of the prices other airlines charge on the mainland, having almost been stung myself trying to transport my dog from Birmingham to Edinburgh (they wanted well over £200 for the "privilege"). My solution to this? To hire a car! An option that is simply unavailable to islanders. For this reason, you can not compare a mainland service to that of a lifeline one for local people - the scenario is entirely different. Moreover, not only are we restricted to the method of travel we can use - Loganair are our ONLY airline provider. I am convinced this price hike (much like the increased fairs on our own seat tickets) would not have happened had Flybe remained in competition.   

People, where is this going to end? Whether you are a dog owner or not, this news should greatly concern you. It was only a few weeks ago that the airport announced intentions to charge for parking your car. This news has hit dog owners without warning - how long until they hike the price of something else without consulting the public? This has to end. They are supposed to be supporting us in what is a lifeline service but instead are sneaking behind our backs and taking advantage of every islander here - because they feel they can!! A stand has to be taken before it gets completely out of control and travel becomes a pleasure only for the wealthy