We are in constant search for people who are flying from Cyprus to Finland (between Larnaka and Helsinki-Vantaa) and could bring us cats with them. We fly with most of our cats ourselves, so our need for flight parents is dire. If you could fly with our cats you would be a huge help to them in their journey home! Elina was a flight parent to our cats in May 2023 and has the following to say:
"Being a flight parent was a rewarding and memorable experience. Everything at the airport in Cyprus went well, thank you to Valeria and Evita for that. We were praised for our actions by the tour guides and airport employees alike – everyone who lives or has been to Cyprus knows the plight and the hopeless situation of the cats there. Everything went well in Finland as well and we were greeted by Krista, who took care of the cats from there on out. PS. Don't forget the baggage trolleys! ;)"
WHO CAN BE A FLIGHT PARENT?
We prefer direct flights but are open for flights with a single stopover as well. The airlines we've used and can say will transport cats are Finnair, Norwegian, Aegean, airBaltic and JetTime. With others the first step in finding out if you can be a flight parent is to figure out if the airline you are using transports cats and if they do, in what configurations. 3+2 in the hold or 2+2 in the hold and 1 in the cabin. This is either stated on the airline's website or can be found out by contacting them directly and our organization can do the research for you. One person can bring 5 cats, with two people there can be as many as 10.
BOOKING A FLIGHT WITH CATS
The cat spots for the flight are booked in various manners depending on the airline. For example, Finnair requires you to call them, Norwegian lets you book the cats online as you're booking your own tickets. In the case of flight parenting the tickets are often bought first and cats booked after. We will help you in the booking phase if need be. When the cat spots have been booked you will get a payment link from the airline which you can either send to us directly if possible, or pay after we've transferred the money to you first.
If you're flying with our cats you will get a representative of our organization helping you in Cyprus. They will bring the cats to the airport and help you with checking in on the flight and taking the cats to the special baggage counter. You should be at the airport approximately two hours before your flight. You'll be given the passports of the cats and their TRACES-document which you will have to give along with the cats to the organization representative waiting in Finland. There might be some medications travelling with the cats so if possible, leave a little space for them in your hand luggage.
If you have a cabin cat with you next up is the security control and scanning of the cat and their bag. If you can you should put the cat in its bag on to the conveyor belt alone or before other luggage so they don't have to be inside the scanner for long. In the airplane the cabin cat travels under the seat in front of you. In addition to the cat you are allowed the normal amount of hand luggage but if you'd normally put them under the seat in front of you, you'll now put them on the overhead shelves instead.
In Finland you will have to ask for the cats at the info counter (Arrival Service) close to the baggage conveyor belts. From there you will get an employee with you who will come and open a door behind which the cats that travelled in the hold will be waiting. Be prepared with a baggage trolley and your boarding pass in case they want to check your identity before handing the cats over. By the doors to the arrival hall you might find customs officers who do random checkups on those flying with pets. If that happens they will check the passports and microchips of the cats, possibly their TRACES-document, so keep those easily available.
On the side of the arrival hall our organization's representative will be waiting for you and taking the cats, their passports and their TRACES-document. If you wish to hear how the cats you flew with are doing after your flight you can join our Facebook group for cats adopted through us.