Sadie Drama – Airline Won’t Take Her

Today has been so stressful. I woke up with one side of my throat super sore. I actually woke up at 3:30 and wasn’t able to fall asleep until after 5:00 because my throat hurt, my nose was super runny and I couldn’t stop sneezing. I got up at 6:15 to make breakfast for Troy and decided I just wasn’t going to do anything today. That amounted to a bit of cleaning, folding some laundry, going through documents on my backup drive and deleting ones I didn’t need anymore. Then, around 2:00 I decided I needed to call Korean Air to get Sadie booked on the flight home. My throat wasn’t hurting so much anymore and I felt like now would be the perfect time. I also figured the call would take all of about 10 minutes, but I was sadly mistaken.

So, I called the airline, told them I needed to book a pet as cargo and gave them my flight info. The lady looks it up and says, “Oh, you’re flying out of Kuala Lumpur. You can’t book a pet.” ……….. Excuse me? You really didn’t just say what I think you said. 

I asked her to repeat herself because I seriously thought I had misunderstood her. That does happen frequently. Yet, she repeated the same words, but added this time that she needed to check something. 

While she was looking something up I told her that I’d called about two weeks ago and confirmed that I could take a pet on this flight. We went back and forth a few times and she said she would have to put me on hold for a moment while she researched something. After being on hold for a few minutes she came back and said nope, no pets on the flight. Something to do with Malaysian animal export policy. I again told her that I had called in two weeks ago and was assured that I could take my pet as cargo on this flight and that all I had to do was call back after the flight had been booked to secure her a place on it. I went over the details the guy had given me when I spoke to him and told her all the technical details so she wouldn’t think I was lying. She said she needed to speak to a supervisor and placed me on hold again. 

After she got back this time she still said the same thing. I was so frustrated. I’d been emailing Troy since she first said Sadie couldn’t get on the flight and we were both pretty upset. I felt like I was going to burst into tears and have a total meltdown. I can’t leave my cat in Malaysia! Holy crap. Someone would eat her! She’s fat enough to feed a whole family!

Both times the lady put me on hold I said little prayers asking and begging Heavenly Father to let things work out and let Sadie be able to get on the flight. I KNOW He can make things work out. If it’s supposed to be that way. (which is the frustrating part)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that this is supposed to be easy. I told the lady multiple times about having been told I COULD take a pet on the flight and she said that it was a Malaysian policy to not fly pets in or out as cargo, which doesn’t make sense because I flew Sadie in as cargo because the airline we flew in on doesn’t allow pets on board at all. So, I asked to speak to a supervisor because something just isn’t right.

Once the supervisor got on we spoke about the situation and I explained (again) about the guy I spoke to two weeks ago saying Sadie could go on the flight. He said that person was mistaken if they really did tell me that because Malaysian law prevents that. I was so frustrated, yet I managed to stay polite, which I was really proud of. I tend to get a bit snotty in situations where I feel like I’ve been lied to. Being lied to is one of my triggers that makes me really mad. But I was mostly calm and polite. But I did tell him I felt like I’d been lied to. Well, I told him the guy I spoke to two weeks ago must have lied to me because he told me I could take Sadie and now I’m being told I can’t. Talk about frustrating. 

Eventually, the guy said he would look into the phone call and see if he could pull it up and listen to it. He said the airline might have a workaround if it had been ‘given misinformation’. Soooooooo, if the guy told me I could take my cat (which he did) when he shouldn’t have (which it appears he did, also), I should be able to get Sadie on the flight somehow. Maybe. 

It’s still not as easy as it sounds. The guy has called me back twice saying he can’t find a record of my phone call and can’t do anything for me unless he can hear what was actually said in the call. He said he needs to hear what I was told in order process a waiver. Whatever that means. Troy was home the second time the guy (Ash?) called and I was able to pull up the exact call info (or so I thought) on his phone. The guy said he’d call me back, but it’s been three hours. 

A little while ago I decided I’d have to call the guy tomorrow and may need the call information again, so I took pictures of he call log on Troy’s phone to show the calls I made and the duration of each. Unfortunately, those calls only lasted about two and a half minutes. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm, that’s not the phone call I made. The one I made to Korean Air was looooong. So, I called the number and it wasn’t Korean Air. It was a Korean guy, but I don’t think it was the airline. Crap. 

I looked through my google voice calls and found the freakin phone calls. Ugh. I tried calling Ash back to give him the correct phone number I called and time, but he’s on a dinner break and the guy I talked to said he would tell Ash to call me back. What a disaster. I feel like an idiot. But at least I’ve been nice, so I don’t feel super embarrassed. 

Now I just have to wait for this guy to call me back so I can give him the correct phone information so he can find this phone call and see about getting things with Sadie worked out. 

This whole process has been stressing me out. Everything was perfect and worked out two weeks ago, but now it’s not. I did all this research to find the perfect flight and airline and everything so Sadie could make it back to the US in one piece and somehow, in all the phone calls and talking to different airlines, nobody bothered to tell me about this silly law. Troy checked with his coworkers and found out it really is a law here, but he said his coworkers told him it’s a law that’s open to interpretation. *sigh* Gotta love Malaysia.

Part of it is frustrating because Troy’s company had booked us on a great flight with a short layover and a good baggage allowance, but we had to change it because we changed carriers in China and that would have made Sadie have to enter China and be subject to quarantine. So, I did all the research and after going back and forth with the travel agent trying to convince her that we really did need a flight that was the same carrier all the way through and that Korean Air was the only one we liked (Troy refuses to fly Philippine Air), we were able to get a flight that worked. I had even called Korean Air before submitting the flight to the travel agent to be sure and they gave the green light. Then the travel agent booked the flight and now we’re stuck on a flight with a super long layover (9 hours) and a lower baggage allowance. Troy’s not happy about the layover and I’m not happy about the limited baggage. Troy’s not happy about that one, either, but his company will pay for anything we ship back early, so we’ve (I) been packing boxes to mail back.

The layover is the tough thing. If we went through all that trouble to get the perfect flight with a long layover so I’d only have to pay $500 to get Sadie home instead of $2,000 and it all falls apart, I think the thing we’ll be most upset about is the layover. 9 hours is a long time. Well, I’m already freaking out about the $2,000. I haven’t been working for the past year and my savings has been going to car insurance, my storage unit and renter’s insurance. Not that that’s a ton of money, but it’s more than has been coming in. I have $1,000 left over from my student loans from the past two semesters, but I was planning on saving that for part of my rental money when I go back to the US or, if I don’t end up needing it for rent, saving all the excess money from my student loans to make a lump sum payment when it’s all due after I graduate. I don’t want to have to use it for this, but if my choice is between leaving Sadie here or using that money to get Sadie shipped back to the US, I’m going to use it. I can’t leave my baby behind. 

It’s kinda funny, how I’m feeling right now verses how I felt earlier. After I got off the phone with Ash the first time I felt like I was going to have a meltdown and called my dad. I’d tried my mom first because sometimes she’s awake in the middle of the night, but she didn’t answer, so I tried dad. He picked up the phone and I just lost it. I feel bad for him because I was crying like someone had died, which is what it felt like to think that I’d have to leave Sadie behind. What was even worse for him was that all I could say was that Sadie may not be able to come home with me before Troy called and I had to put dad on hold for a second. I bawled all over Troy for a minute and that’s when he told me about his coworkers and the stupid law. He said Sadie could fly in the cabin with me if she were less than 11lbs (including her carrier), which isn’t going to happen because Sadie’s fat. I’ve had her on a diet for MONTHS, but she doesn’t ever lose weight. It doesn’t help that Troy likes to feed her every time she cries and gives her more food after I’ve fed her. The brat. But now Sadie is on a super strict diet because we NEED her to lose weight. If she can get below 11lbs in a month, she can just fly in the cabin and all will be well. But I doubt it’s going to happen because I’ve been trying to get her below 11lbs since we got here. She’s freaking GAINED weight. She was 12lbs when we got here and now she’s 15 or 16. Dang fat cat.

Anyways, after talking to Troy for a minute I got back to my dad and we talked for about 20 minutes. He let me bawl and explain everything to him. I don’t think he quite understands the EXTREME attachment to a pet, but he knows I love Sadie and that it would crush me to leave her behind, so he was throwing out all sorts of suggestions and was very loving about the whole thing. My dad is such a great guy to go to when I’m sad or upset. He’s pretty good at listening and giving good advice. Of course, the first thing he said to do is pray, which I had already done. I keep saying little prayers in my heart, though, asking for things to work out and that I won’t have to leave Sadie behind or pay a ton of money to get her home. 

To clarify something, though, my dad does like animals and pets. We’ve always had dogs and since I was 16 there have always been two or three cats in the house. He cuddles with the cats (don’t tell him I said that) and plays with the dogs. Moki (our cat) was totally dad’s cat. She would follow him everywhere (really, everywhere) and would come when he called. It was pretty funny. I found Moki when I was 18. She was this tiny little stray in the middle of winter and I brought her home the day my parents went out of town for the weekend. They told me I had to get rid of her before they got back. So, I locked her in their shower for that day (they weren’t too happy about that) while I did some chores and then gave her a bath, cleaned her up, fed her and put her in my bedroom. My parents came home two days later and Moki has been dad’s cat ever since. lol.

So, dad loves animals, too. He just also sees things in a practical light and knows that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do, like get rid of a pet or shill out a ton of money to take care of one. I’m really glad he’s compassionate about it. I’d have lost it even worse if he’d been harsh about it. But he was very kind and gentle and suggested different things I could look into to get Sadie home. It took about 15 minutes before I was able to stop crying completely and he was quite the trooper to sit there and listen to me. I feel bad that he must have felt so helpless. It sucks when someone calls and is super upset about something and you can’t do anything to help. It must be worse when it’s your child. Poor dad. When we got off the phone, though, I was feeling a bit better and not crying anymore. I was just tired. Crying always gives me headaches and makes me tired.

While I was on the phone with dad Troy was sending me rapidfire emails. He and some of his coworkers were brainstorming some stuff and one suggested shaving Sadie to help her lose weight (lol – but I’m actually considering it). Another gave me the contact info for the company he’s having ship his cat to Poland at the end of the month. Then Troy sent me link after link to different pet shipping companies to get quotes. It cost me $1,800 to get Sadie out here and I’m thinking it will cost more to get her home. That’s stressing me out, but Troy told me not to worry about it if it comes to that. He said he’d help. It makes me feel bad, but I really do want/need some help if it ends up costing the same or more. I dumped most of my savings to pay off my car before coming out here and I need to keep somewhat of a reserve to pay for move-in expenses at my new apartment and then to hold me over until I get a job. So I can’t spend all I have to get Sadie back, which just stresses me out to think about. But Troy said he would help, so I need to focus on that. 

Going back to the whole debacle, I realize 

I am having a complete meltdown right now. I brought my cat to Malaysia with me last year and when I went to book her on our flight out next month they told me I can’t ship her as cargo. The airline originally told me I could, but apparently their employee was mistaken. A law here prevents cats from being shipped as cargo. My only other options are to leave her here (which is why I’m having a meltdown) or to pay a shipping company over $2,000 to get her back to the US. I’ve been unemployed volunteering at a refugee school here for the last year and living off my savings, so I’ve had no income for the past 12 months. I can’t leave Sadie behind. She’s my baby. I can’t afford the $2,000 to fly her back and I don’t know what to do. I really don’t know what to do. Please pray that something will work out and the airline will change their mind (they said they could work something out if there had been misinformation given…..which there was, but they won’t take my word for it) or that I can find a way to afford the shipping fees. I’ve got exactly 30 days left to come up with the money. Or get her to lose 8lbs. She can go as a carry-on if she were 8lbs lighter. Please pray for us. She’s my baby. I can’t lose her. Please pray that something will work out. If anyone has any advice, please give it. I’m so upset that I can’t think very well right now. Thank you.