I actually started to prepare my return to Asia last June when I got in touch with some old colleagues working at Taiwan’s Representative Office in Madrid.
My intention was to inquire about the procedures to take my two cats back home. A friendly lady phoned the quarantine bureau in charge of those animals arriving at Taoyuan International Airport and passed the pertinent information on to me.
Although the staff has been most helpful, especially considering the strict regulations that need to be followed, and I finally got my import permit in February, nine months later there are still some unresolved questions.
Theoretically I will be able to leave Spain for Taiwan on April 14th, but until today I have not yet received the final confirmation from KLM about my flight and that they will ultimately agree to transport my furry friends at the same time.
The latest absurdity concerns the pet carriers. More than a month ago, I told them the exact size of both and there was no feedback whatsoever. My friendly, dedicated and reliable travel agent, familiar with everything related to Greater China, took this as a “yes”, like I did.
The Dutch airline even offered me the possibility to take one cat into the cabin, which I found quite surprising in these very special times, for less money than in the hold.
Last week I reminded them that those were the two that I used on Turkish Airlines in February 2018, so they had been approved by a competitor for long-distance travel.
Suddenly, the smaller one was too big, or better said too wide! After long discussions with the Turks in Taipei about the height three years ago, now the Dutch came up with their own ideas about the width…The reason might be that their seats generally are just small narrower!
I would have preferred to fly with Emirates, though the Arabs were very clear about their current restrictions: no animals on any journeys longer than 17 hours.
While I was disappointed, especially as they allow double the amount of luggage for the same price compared to European providers, at least in Dubai they have clear guidelines!
Somehow I knew it would be more complicated to repatriate Max and Leni than bringing them to Europe. But I would have never imagined that it would become a real odyssey. I will keep my readers posted!