NOTE: This post has been edited to reflect a rebuttal from AIA Pets.

We’ve recently flown our 2 dogs to the US, using AIA Pets. It ended up as the worse experience we’ve encountered and would advise anyone looking for a reliable company to avoid them.

REBUTTAL: We regret that the customer was disapointed with the transport of their two dogs; however, we must point out that many aspects of the transport did not fall under the control of our agency.

The initial communication was slow, with me having to do all the chasing to receive the relevant docs, which finally arrived one week before the flight, adding to the stress of the organising the trip.

REBUTTAL: Form delivery was one week prior to transport as per our company policy.

The staff just didn’t seem bothered and weren’t really interested whenever I rang to chase.
I’d arranged to drop off the dog crates, fully bedded up with familiar items to comfort the dogs during the flight, at WFS Cargo Manchester Airport, prior to the trip. They were checked in, labelled up and stored so they would be ready for our departure.
On the morning of the flight, we arrived at WFS, to be told they’d sent our crates to a charity company. We were horrified! They managed to get 2 crates but they were enormous and no bedding. They told us not to worry and to go and catch the flight and they would find something for them to lie on.

REBUTTAL: Prior to the transport, without our knowledge or agreement, the client arranged with World Flight Services (WFS) to drop his crates off prior to the the delivery of his dogs. No one from AIA agreed to this, and thus, the client entered into a separate contract with WFS to store and look after his crates. It is of no help to AIA to have the crates dropped off before tendering his pets to the airline; in fact, most people bring their crates and pets to the airport at the same time on the day of travel. So, all actions taken by WFS regarding the donation of the crates and the procurement of replacement crates were not handled by AIA.

As we boarded we could see the dogs on the apron waiting to board. As we taxied out we asked the cabin crew to let us know the temp in the hold. Then 10 minutes into the flight we got told the dogs were not on the aircraft! We were horrified. We had no idea what was going to happen to them.
We managed to get the airline to fax my daughter in the US who arranged a friend to pick up the dogs. We were told there was an issue with the ventilation in the front hold and they couldn’t get the crates in the rear hold. We wished they’d had told us before the flight left!

REBUTTAL: AIA was not at fault for the actions taken by your airline regarding boarding your dogs on the scheduled flight. Once an agent tenders any pet to the airline, then all responsibility for the health and safety of the pet becomes that of the airline. AIS has no control over notifications from the airlines regarding their actions.

It took 3 days to get the dogs to the US. When we picked up the dogs they were sat on the plastic as the bedding was a skimpy blanket that had just ended up at one end. Luckily the dogs were fine.

REBUTTAL: Because the airlines could not board your dogs, it was their responsibility to care for them until their service could be provided which, they did as your dogs were delivered safely and in good health.

I wrote a letter of complaint to AIA Pets and was told it would be passed on to the management. I received no explanation or apology. Every few weeks I contacted them but kept getting told these things take time. Eventually after 4 months I emailed them to threaten with trading standards and finally got a reply from the CEO.
He knew nothing of the complaint which I found unbelievable! Just shows the inadequacy of the staff. All I got was an apology, that WFS had dogs interest at heart and that I’d done a personal arrangement regarding the crates and so wasn’t AIA’s concern.
AIA Pets are happy to to take your money but the staff are a complete waste of time when it comes to customer service and would certainly not recommend them! They need to take a good luck at themselves.

REBUTTAL: We have apologized for the lack of communication involved in the transaction. There was a change in employment involving the agent responsible for this transport and information regarding the transport was not transferred properly. Once this was discovered, our CEO reached out to communicate with the customer.