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Woman unable to take two dogs on flight after price rise

Kaylee Robertson, from Scalloway, Shetland, was shocked at Loganair's animal policy change.

Dogs: Two due to be ring bearers at wedding.
Dogs: Two due to be ring bearers at wedding. SWNS

A dog owner has criticised an airline after a price hike left her unable to take her two dogs on a flight.

Dog owner Kaylee Robertson, from Scalloway, Shetland, was shocked at the price increase from £10 to £50 on Loganair which is the only airline to connect the islands to mainland Scotland. one way

The 28-year-old has launched a petition in response to the change in animal policy that came into effect on April 1.

The price hike has meant that Kaylee and her partner Robert may not be able to take two of their dogs to a wedding in Inverness.

The two beloved pets are due to be ring bearers at the ceremony.

Kaylee owns six Shetland Sheepdogs and an Alaskan Klee Kai all named after characters from Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings - Fenton, Thiago, Thorin, Gimly, Mercy, Ghost and Jara.

She believes the price hike is particularly unfair on people from Shetland who rely on Loganair as their only airline.

She said: "We found out about the change after my mum phoned me really upset because my parents couldn't fly their dog Fjana to Inverness where she goes every couple of months because they couldn't afford it.

"They have made it financially impossible. The people of Shetland have gone absolutely nuts. Loganair haven't done anything to consult the people.

"They've started to take advantage of local people as it is our only airline.

"This effects the tourist industry and those wishing to return home with their dog."

'They've started to take advantage of local people as it is our only airline.'
Kaylee Robertson

The only other option to transport dogs to the mainland is by boat where they are required to stay in the hold for 14 hours which can often leave them upset and distressed.

Kaylee said she has been put off travelling with pets because of the way they are treated on board.

She added: "Dogs are treated like a piece of baggage and are put in the hold.

"I don't want to travel because the thought of putting the most precious thing in my world in a cold place where I can't see or hear them or know what's going on."

'I don't want to travel because the thought of putting the most precious thing in my world in a cold place where I can't see or hear them or know what's going on.'
Kaylee Robertson

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said the charge has been increased to reflect how the airline has shifted away from a "standby" animal policy to give people "guaranteed" travel for their pets.

The airline can carry cats and dogs as "accompanied baggage", with owners responsible for putting the pet in an approved container for the hold.

Mr Hinkles said Loganair's new policy on taking dogs and cats on board still provides a "very favourable deal" compared to other operators.

He added: "The previous standby policy had proven ineffective as it was impossible to reasonably deny carriage at the airport to an animal whose owner was booked on the same flight.

"We also saw several instances where other customers' bags were offloaded to make space in aircraft holds for the animal to travel, incurring significant costs to reunite customers with delayed bags and compensate them for expenses incurred.

"We believe that the revised charge still represents a very favourable deal for animal travel when viewed against other airlines' fees, and now provides customers with a far greater level of confidence than the previous standby policy.

"Carriage of accredited guide dogs in the aircraft cabin remains unchanged and free of charge."

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