Cat with Ukrainian refugee banned (after boarding) from flying with Ryanair to UK

NEWS AND COMMENT: Liza Yardley is a Ukrainian woman who is married to Scott Yardley, a Lancashire man, who lives in Wishaw. They married two and a half years ago in Dnipro, Ukraine. They have two daughters. And they also have a family cat, Dobby.

Scott was in Lancashire trying to help his wife get into Britain. Liza had escaped Ukraine as a refugee with her two daughters and the family cat. She was in Kraków, Poland.

Scott Liza and Dobby
Scott Liza and Dobby. Photos: UGC. Montage: MikeB
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The plan was for her, her daughters and the cat to travel to Wishaw, Lancashire with the help of Scott who was making arrangements for visas et cetera.

Scott says that the UK visa system for refugees is chaotic. He was struggling so he travelled to Poland to get the job done and get his family to Lancashire.

When Scott travelled to Poland, he thought that he would be there for a few days but he was there for three weeks. He made arrangements for a Ryanair flight for himself, Liza, his two daughters and the family cat. This must have taken a lot of effort with the visas et cetera.

Before he booked the tickets and boarded the flight, he checked with Ryanair that he could bring Dobby with them into the cabin.

The family were all sitting in separate seats in different parts of the aircraft when they noticed a commotion at the front of the plane. Liza was in the first row in seat A.

It seems that the carrier was visible to the flight attendant and they told Liza that the cat could not fly. I guess she and Scott argued their case telling them that Scott had obtained the agreement from Ryanair headquarters that the cat could fly but they refused to allow Dobby to fly on that flight.

And bravely, and obviously correctly, the family decided to leave the aeroplane and take Dobby with them; a tough but necessary decision because they had spent so much effort to get on that flight to England.

When they disembarked, they had to pay for further coronavirus tests at a cost of £120 before being allowed back into Poland even though they had never left!

The family decided that Scott and the two daughters, Anya and Ira would book new flights and travel to England while Liza would stay with Dobby and travel on her own.

Scott arrived home at 1 AM on Monday morning. Liza is travelling by road, train and ship with her Dobby. She is going from Warsaw via Paris and London.

You can imagine the cost of all this to Scott and the family. Scott is seeking reimbursement on the tickets for the Ryanair flight which they had to disembark from. As expected, Scott is shattered by the whole experience. He said that he was a bit tender because of the experience that he has been through.

A spokesman for Ryanair said: “As per Ryanair’s T & C’s, animals are not permitted onboard the aircraft. Unfortunately, when Mr. Yardley contacted Ryanair to query this policy under his specific circumstances, he was incorrectly advised by the call centre agent and believed he could travel with his pet. A member of our customer service department will be in contact with Mr Yardley to assist with his claim”. They have better be nice to Scott and reimburse him without discussion.

My obvious thoughts and those of many other people will be that Ryanair have mishandled this. I had believed that bearing in mind the Ukrainian refugee status of both owners and their pets, that pets would be waived through and taken into quarantine in England and then, retrospectively, they would be cleared for release to their new home in England after rabies tests etc.. The idea is to smooth the way for refugees with their companion animals to get into England rather than have them suffer what Scott and Liza suffered. Ryanair could have waived their T & C’s on this occasion. Would that have been so bad? I think not.

RELATED: UK must let brave Ukrainian refugees AND their pets in without the usual checks

This is probably another example of the chaotic situation regarding visas and getting companion animals out of Ukraine via Poland and into England.

My thanks to Daily Record and MSN News.

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