This story has been updated to reflect that the previously reported steep price hikes were the result of a currency conversion error on Qatar Airways site.
An apparent five-fold increase in the cost of flying pets from Doha to the Americas by Qatar Airways was in fact an “exchange rate error” and the price has gone up by hundreds, not thousands of riyals, the airline has said.
Meanwhile, the pricing scheme to travel with animals in other parts of the world dropped significantly.
Yesterday and earlier today, updated information posted on the airline’s website showed that the cost of transporting a large animal in the hold, such as a dog weighing between 25kg and 32kg from Qatar to the Americas, as well as Japan, Australia and Korea, had increased from around QR900 to QR4,500.
This spurred concern from animal lovers that more dogs and cats would be dumped on the streets of Qatar this summer by residents unwilling or unable to pay the fees.
Pet lovers due to fly with animals told Doha News that they had not been contacted by Qatar Airways to tell them about the fee increases, and only discovered the new prices while searching for information online.
Later this afternoon, the prices on Qatar Airways’ website changed, and a spokesman for the airline told Doha News that there had been an “exchange rate calculation error.”
In a statement, he said:
“The published prices were correct in USD, but an exchange rate calculation error meant the QAR prices were incorrectly showing. However, this has now been rectified and the new discounted prices are showing in both currencies.”
Under the latest pricing structure, this means that costs for sending pets to the Americas have increased nearly 40 percent, now standing at QR920 for a small animal (up to 15kg), QR1,100 for a pet up to 25kg and QR1,280 for a large pet, up to a maximum weight of 32kg.
Previously, the cost for sending a large dog to the US was around QR900, animal experts and volunteers told Doha News.
The spokesman added that the airline had recently revised its costs for flying animals in the hold, and made it simpler and more standard internationally.
Previously it had different ways of working out the cost, with animals heading for the Americas priced on a flat rate, while destinations in the rest of the world were measured by weight.
Meanwhile, under the new system, the cost for many pets traveling to destinations outside of the Americas has been reduced, the spokesman said.
“As part of this new structure, nine of the original 10 categories have had their prices reduced by between 25% and 40% – for example, shipping a 25kg pet to Australia previously cost QAR4,500. Now it will cost QAR2,700. Similarly, shipping a 32kg pet to Africa, Europe or the Far East previously cost QAR3,200 – now it will cost QAR2,500.
“The only increase is for pets traveling to the US, where the previous flat rate has been replaced by the new pricing structure to bring it into line with our overall global rates,” he added.
As summer approaches, many pet owners traditionally take their animals with them when they go on vacation. It is also a time when lots of residents who repatriate or move abroad to new postings travel with animals.
However, pet experts in Qatar had expressed concern that higher prices would discourage residents from exporting their pets, and choose to abandon them instead.
Stray animals, particularly cats and dogs, are a significant and ongoing issue in Qatar. Many volunteer groups have stepped in to provide foster care and shelters for them, but all appear to be operating at capacity and have said they cannot cope with taking in more abandoned pets.
Animal relocation expert Nicky Roffey, who runs the company Qatar Pet Travel, said that other airlines operating through Doha charge more moderate costs for animal travel.
For example, an initial online search of the cost of flying an animal in the hold on KLM from Doha to Houston showed a price of US$200 (approximately QR728) for a pet weighing up to 75kg.
Simple. Do not use Qatar Airways.
not that simple…but yes…when you run a rescue unit, you have to utilize all avenues because you are already begging for flight buddies for rescue animals to fly…then they nail you with this fee increase and it undermines all your efforts to get animals into a safe environment..
Easy money for Qatar Airways and pure greed. Another kick in the teeth for the animal welfare volunteers in Qatar who will be under even more pressure to re-home animals abandoned as a result of this. How long will it take this country to recognise that we have a huge animal welfare problem here? How long before it is picked up by the international press as part of the ‘anti-Qatar World Cup 2022’ brigade?
“How long before it is picked up by the international press as part of the ‘anti-Qatar World Cup 2022’ brigade?” They’d be pretty desperate if this is the best they can come up with for why Qatar shouldn’t be the 2022 host.
By the way, according to the story, ““As part of this new structure, nine of the original 10 categories have had their prices reduced by between 25% and 40%” with only prices to the U.S. having increased. How is that a complete negative? Maybe the the animal welfare volunteers in Qatar should focus on sending animals to Europe and Australia, while avoiding the U.S.
The U.S., of course, already has a huge problem with stray animals, with millions of cats and dogs being euthanized there every year. Many of them are actual good freindly pets surrendered by their owners. It begs the question why would anyone in the U.S. who wants to rescue an animal have it flown from the other side of the world, when they can save a shelter animal there from a certain death? Just a thought.
It’s all to do with people’s personal choices and where they choose to put their money for charitable cases. We can all criticize other people’s choice of charity and point at one more deserving at any time. After all, why save a dog when you could help a kid get an education in another country. It’s more to do with what tugs the heartstrings. A starving dog or cat on your doorstep is more real and more immediately deserving of your help than a hundred starving pets in another country. That’s why charities rely on graphic pictures of abused/starving pets or children. They want that tug on your heartstrings and when you give money or help although you know it’s not going directly to that kid/ pet in the picture you kind of hope it is. Hence the incredible successes with ‘adopt Dumbo the baby elephant orphaned at birth and get a video of his progress’ and such advertising drives by charities. Deep inside you know there are probably hundreds of videos going out across the world to adoptive parents but you still feel special about adopting and helping Dumbo yourself.
Ahh…obviously you haven’t seen the situation clearly here in Qatar with the rescue efforts for dogs, Abdulrahman. Its not pretty..its in fact, its an ENORMOUS problem for Qatar As part of a rescue unit here, we can’t afford to ignore the US to send animals to for relocation. For one, the travel requirements are that rabies vaccine is only 31 days after the injection. In europe, the animal has to have a RATT test for rabies (usually around 1000 riyals), which involves a blood test at least a month after the vaccinations are done(these cannot be done until the dog is 3-4 months old, which is the youngest age a dog can travel as per regulations), then you have to wait for the results, which take up to a month, then the State of Qatar requires, for whatever illogical reason, that you wait 3 months from the date of the RATT, BEFORE you can send the animal to Europe. so by the time, you get all that done, you have a dog that is at minimun, 7 months old!! In those 7 months, we have to find a foster home or shelter..of which all are full to overflowing…) THATS why we also search for homes in the States.
“obviously you haven’t seen the situation clearly here in Qatar with the rescue efforts for dogs,” Obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about.
And yes, the US DOES have problems with strays being euthanized..most countries do. Its called not spaying or neutering your pets. In Qatar, that issue is totally rampant. Now, why send dogs to there when there are so many already?? Simple…people there DO have a heart and when they see the conditions the dogs are subjected to here in Qatar who need a home and love, they act, instead of just saying..ohh poor dog/cat/whatever. There are so many people who adopt dogs from shelters in the States as well..its not like they don’t. This is a fact of life, unfortunately, that there are and always will be abandoned animals. How we deal with it, shows our humanity or lack thereof, depending on your actions. The amount of people in Qatar who can adopt, is a very small percentage. Personally, I have 6 Salukis that I have rescued here in Qatar and they WILL be going back with me. However..i will use KLM to do so.
You still have not answered my question, and I expect you won’t because you don’t have an answer for it. Why adopt a rescue animal from over seas, when there are literally millions of them being put to sleep at shelters all over the country? I wonder what would be your reaction and that of others if someone started bringing rescue animals to Qatar from the U.S. so they wouldn’t be killed?
“people there DO have a heart and when they see the conditions the dogs are subjected to here in Qatar who need a home and love, they act, instead of just saying..ohh poor dog/cat/whatever.” Yes, people there have heart and are caring, while people here are stony-hearted and rotten to the core!!!
Please check this page, and its sister page for dogs. Read all the sad stories from the U.S..
Umm, you’re not comparing a country of multiple cities with well over 300 million to a country with one city and an idig population of 300,000 when they have differing cultural and legal approaches to pets? Let’s stick apples to apples and compare Qatar to Bahrain or Kuwait or similar Asian countries and leave the comparison to the US to comparable countries. This is almost as silly as comparing Qatar’s stroke rate to that of the “West”.
Feel free to share your views with all the people who often complain about and compare life in Qatar to that of the West 😉
As for animal welfare; please go back and read my comment and the ones I was replying to. I wasn’t the one who started comparing the Qatar to the U.S., so if you have an issue with that, address it to those who did.
I will address my comments where I think that they are most needed, thank you. I deem your comment the most useful place to post it.
They’re not desperate but they will jump on anything to have a pop at Qatar. What do you want to bet that all these stray animals will magically disappear from our streets in 2022? The Qatar government knows this is a huge problem but refuses to do anything about it when it is actually very easy to solve through TNR, at little cost compared to the investment currently being made in the country’s infrastructure.
I’m not a betting person, but if I were, I’d bet that animal welfare would be a last resort by those people, as they have better ammo to use.
No argument from my end on the issue of TNR. I fully support it, and believe it is a cost effective long term solution. It is also humane, and as icing on the cake will buy the Qatari government some goodwill both locally and internationally.
However, I have noticed that a number of people involved at animal rescue in Qatar who are “hinting” that 2022 could be used by them to pressure the government into doing more for animal welfare, such as shutting down the pet shops at the souq. This is a dangerous approach that could very easily backfire on all of us involved in rescuing animals.
This is horrific, I am just sick. We are leaving this summer after a fabulous 3.5 years in Doha and THIS is what we’ll remember, a 10,500 QR fee to move our sweet dog home to the UK. Nice job, Qatar Air. We’re not all rich.
Fly KLM! Per pet only €200!
Curious to know what was the price quoted to you beforehand by QA. When I checked to see how much it would cost to take our dog to UK for the summer hols I was initially told he could travel as excess baggage equivalent a per kilo basis. but on further checking on the Heathrow website I found out LHR would only take animals as manifest cargo which raised the price astronomically. The QA person never mentioned that.
there the price gets affected by LHR rules or QA?
I could be wrong (and if anyone knows more on this I would be grateful for the input), but LHR is one of the few remaining airports that will not accept animals as extra cargo. They will not be allowed off the plane and through the normal baggage procedure. You would have to pick them up at the animal centre and I presume it’s there you might get hit with a hefty charge.
Can anyone relate their experience of bringing a cat or dog into the UK and how much did it cost?
Yes, as mentioned already, use KLM. We relocated our pet with KLM. Far cheaper, and they are pet friendly.
Yes, but under no circumstances should you use Qatar Airways if you have pets – KLM and Lufthansa are the pet friendly airlines.
How would you go about to use KLM or Lufthansa instead? Sine they don’t have direct flight – how does that affect the dog? Is it any problems doing it this way, in your opinion? Something I should think about?
You wold have to transit through Amsterdam in the case of KLM. If your layover is more than 2 hours you have to pay an additional $200 to use the pet hotel where the animal is removed from the crate and given a chance to stretch its legs as well as get fresh water. KLM are superb for relocating pets.
KLM will have a stopover in Amsterdam. They walk and water your dog there. Lufthansa is similar in that there is a stopover where the dogs are cared for. They both market themselves as ‘pet friendly’ airlines. https://www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/prepare_for_travel/travel_planning/pets/index.htm#p2
Jenni, how much you get from QA? Please, do not insult intelligences.
I usually don’t bother with replying to ignorant and insulting comments, but I’ll make an exception: my question is legit, since I have never flewn with a dog before and I need to know what to expect. Please consider your tone when you answer people next time.
I had a bad experience last year flying Lufthanza from Berlin to Doha with my cat. Because the flight was listed as terminating in Bahrain with a stop over in Doha, Lufthanza was claiming that we couldn’t take our cat even though we were getting off in Doha. I ended up having to stay in Germany with my cat, and after rescheduling my flight and making a dozen phone calls to Lufthanza and my pet relocation service here in Doha (who both confirmed that I could absolutely take my cat), I ended up going back to the airport and going through the same fiasco AGAIN. Luckily I was able to find someone to help me after going to 3 different service counters and I was able to fight my way on the plane. I will never NEVER use Lufthanza to fly my pet again.
We’re already booked on a flight with a pet. I haven’t been able to get any answer from Qatar Airways about how this will apply to us. So frustrating.
Laura…the new pricing will be applied to your flight, so i understand. Personally, if they were serious about customer service, they would grandfather in those that had booked earlier than this new pay increase. Just sayin..
either QA don’t want to carry pet anymore or it has wrong people at the management to fix this outrageous increment,i think something need to be done
Greedy How many more glittery things do they need as with everything to do with animals here they just flat out don’t care pretty disgusting considering all the homeless animals in Doha that already don’t get any help from above! Qatar time to re-think animal welfare!!! Very sadly animal welfare is not ‘hip’ enough for those that could actually make any change for the animals and obviously in turn improve the doha community in general Yes this does funnily enough include Qataris!
The pet owners can easily fly another airline. People will abandon their pets regardless. Qatar airways raising their pet fares isn’t an excuse for abandoning a pet.
I see so many dogs here that were clearly someone’s dog before winding up on the street. Same for cats. I had two neighbors abandon their kitties when they left. I took in one of the cats but the other winded up running off somewhere or either it died.
Some people are just heartless.
The CEO of Qatar Airways must need some new clothes so he can keep blaming the US airlines for not playing on the same business practices …so he can raise the price to transport animals to off set his losses ….LOL
Just like everything else with Qatar Airways, it’s less expensive to fly another airline. Even though it may take a couple of hours longer, being on another airline oftentimes has made a substantial difference in what we paid. This was true when we traveled with our pets between Doha and the U.S. as well. Not flying QA was the only common sense approach.
What a shame!
It will cost us 250USD for a DOHA/NYC flight Qatar Airways next week for our cat. It cost us 200EU for a DOHA/Frankfurt flight last year Lufthanza with her. This doesn’t seem any more expensive to me – maybe even cheaper for an overseas flight.
for smaller animals, it isn’t much of an increase..however for larger ones, its enormous…
Just transported my cat and dog to Los Angeles as excess baggage with KLM. $200 per animal (and the dog is in a giant crate) but you do pay for kennel services in Amsterdam. Total for both pets was $800 and they arrived safe and happy. Would never consider using Qatar Airways!
We did the same with our parrot from Doha to Los Angeles, used KLM. Qatar Airways, no thank you!
There is still an increase for dogs going to North America. Please Qatar Airways, reduce your rates back to a reasonable level there too.
“pet experts in Qatar had expressed concern that higher prices would discourage residents from exporting their pets, and choose to abandon them instead.” People who leave their pets behind when they leave just don’t care. Many of them cannot even be bothered to get the necessary papers and tests that allows to take their pets to places like the U.K and Australia. The cost of flight is hardly a factor.
In a perfect world, abdulrahman, price wouldn’t matter..however this one is far from perfect and it DOES matter to some. Why Qatar Air would raise the US market is beyond me as it was already more expensive than the other 2 airlines that fly, KLM and Lufthansa…and yes I do know that for a fact as we work in rescue and I help send dogs abroad, so I am the one who pays for the flights so they can reach their adoptive homes. Personally, I have 6 salukis that I will be shipping with me when I leave Qatar to relocate back home in Texas, in August. I HAD been thinking to fly QA as it is a direct flight..but now, its not even a consideration and will fly KLM, whom I have had personal experience with, when flying dogs to Holland to their adoptive homes. They treat animals with so much more respect than other airlines…
Judy, perhaps you can explain to me why are we sending rescue cats and dogs from Qatar to the U.S., when they’re being put to sleep by the millions every years at U.S. shelters?
Wouldn’t make more sense and cost less for the people in the U.S. adopting rescue animals from Qatar to just go to the nearest shelter and pick a friendly pet that’ll be put to sleep because of space shortage?
That is only one issue. The cost of exporting abandoned pets to new homes outside Qatar is borne by the army of volunteers who donate funds or pay the cost themselves. This price hike was a huge blow and would have made it impossible to continue with that rescue route. It also would have impacted enormously on people deciding to adopt multiple animals, as the end cost would have been prohibitive. The outcry on social media was huge, including pleas to Those in Authority here in Qatar to think again, Thankfully, it was found to be an error. What would be even better would be subsidy, which would encourage more overseas adoptions and allow expats to adopt freely, knowing they could afford to take the animals out of Qatar without being bankrupt.
Qatar Airways is the only viable option for people who are flying their pets to the Philippines. I have previously flown five rescue cats home at already a high cost and have several more that I plan on taking with me on my next vacation. I am not rich and neither, I believe, are the majority of people who spend their own funds to help stray and abandoned animals in Qatar, and this rate hike is a big blow to our efforts.
Double-check yesterday’s news. The rate hike was largely withdrawn (except for N. America) and explained away as an exchange-rate error.
It’s still QR800 per “small piece up to 15kg”. For four of my rescue cats who flew home with me recently, I paid a little over QR2000, so that worked out to about QR500 per cat. A QR300-400 hike may not seem like much to some, or if you’re only taking one cat, but it is a large amount for many people and especially for those who plan on taking multiple pets home.
Surprisingly yes, a flat $200 per pet and $200 each if they have more than two hours in Amsterdam. Much less than cargo prices. And it’s quite easy to make the reservation and check them in at the airport.