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Air Transat Charges for Charities?


#1

Have heard that Air Transat will only be accepting donations for certain charities and that they must fall within their new weight restrictions. And…that the donation must be brought to their cargo area 48 hours before departure.

Anyone else heard of this? How will it impact donations by DDT to Dream Project/Mustard Seed House, if at all?

Was planning on taking items down next year and that the Dream Team members would be able to assist in making the arrangements (letters etc.). Has any of this changed? I sure hope not.
Hope to hear more about this soon.
Thanks in advance-Cat


#2

Thank you for the information.

This is the first that I have heard of this, so now that I have, I will be writing to the airline itself to see just what, if any, new guidelines they will/have in place for those good travelers wishing to bring along kind donations.

As far as we are concerned, we will still assist those of you requiring our aide, and will be providing the necessary documents, e mails, or support required to allow you to not only take along your donations, but to ensure that they reach their destination.

I will keep you informed as information becomes available to me.

Cheers
Jimmy


#3

mommacat,
Here’s a thread on Debbie’s Cuba boards on the same topic …

http://debbiesreviews.proboards35.com/index.cgi?board=Cuba&action=display&thread=1118431337


#4

Thanks Elaine for the link.

Wow, that really blows, as far as I am concerned, as Air Transat should take a look at their own policy, of what they will allow for free, but hey, what do you do?

You write the airline’s, and tell them how ticked you are!

Thats what I am doing right after this post!

We have always had to deal with Air Transat a little differently than other air provider’s in the past, and this is a set back, but not the end.

I will once again e mail Nathalie Sinclair at Air Transat.

For those of you who would like to do the same, the addy is;

nsinclair@airtransat.com

As per normal, I will keep you posted.

Cheers
Jimmy


#5

Air Transat has a short, select list of charities that they will ship on behalf of, and it has been our experience that they will not budge on this policy. This is not new - it was in effect last year, for instance, but it appears that the conditions have been further tightened for the 2005/06 travel season.

Despite our repeated pleas to AT during 2004/05 to allow for shipment of school suppliy donations to the DR, we have had absolutely no success. Several posters on the Cuba board have begun a letter-writing campaign to voice their objection/dissatisfaction with this policy, but last I checked, they were having little luck with responses to this point (I hope they keep at it and I wish them success). I did post to suggest that we work together at a collaborative effort (I think the strength in numbers approach could have some impact here), but received no response. Too bad, really, but we can carry on with our past efforts in any case…and AT has heard from DDT members several times before ;D

So, anyone inerested in writing a letter (can be short, to the point, and need not require a lot of time), please PM me and I will provide the contact info. We did this to some extent last year, but a second wave, a BIG second wave, sure couldn’t hurt…

I know we discussed the sports equipment thing last year as well, but here’s some food for thought for those who may not know…

As a PAYING Air Transat passenger, you are entitled to carry various sporting equipment - scuba gear, snorkel gear, golf clubs, etc. - free of additional charge. At present, and in the event that the extra items you would like to carry exceed your weight allowance, you CANNOT, as a PAYING Air Transat customer, carry a few dozen pencils, erasers or notebooks for the children who live in the Dominican Republic, unless they have the privilege of belonging to one of AT’s select organizations. Weight is weight, regardless of the item. Would you, as a PAYING customer, not like to have some say in what you choose to use your weight allowance for?

I would like to add that SkyService is to be commended for their past efforts and cooperation in approving MANY, MANY kilos of extra weight allowance for school supply donations throughout 2004/2005. I hope that we can look forward to more of the same this season :slight_smile:


#6

I have a personal opinion about this whole matter.

I think once we have incorporated as a non-profit corporation and have applied for charitible status with Revenue Canada our pleas for shipping with the air carriers will be taken more seriously. I intend to, once incorporated, write to all the air carriers on behalf of Debbie’s Dominican Republic Children’s Foundation (assuming I am given permission to do so by the Board of Directors). Until then we are just a bunch of voices without focus or direction as far as they know.

Mi dos pesos.


#7

I agree with you Gregg that having charitable status will make things much easier to accomplish many things. Unfortunately obtaining this status may take some time, though there have been some happy surprises on that front that I have experienced first hand. Continued good luck in your pursuit.
I will be in touch regarding my donation and any assistance that may be available to me in the near future.-Cat


#8

FYI

Once incorporated (the application should be in in early August) the wait for charitable designation is from 6 - 9 months with an average wait time of 6 months.

Even the longest journey begins with a single step. - anonymous


#9

I too hope that our nonprofit incorporation status will help here, but I’m not going to hold my breath. We have explained to AT that The Dream Project is a registered 501c3 nonprofit, have given them the necessary literature/links/contact info, but to no avail.

We, as consumers, should not underestimate our ability to effect change. We may appear to be voices without focus or direction in terms of these charitable pursuits, but we ARE paying consumers as well - that should be cause enough to listen, IMO.

So, please please please write a letter. The email address that Jimmy provided above is a start, but we do have contact info for higher-ups as well. Will take but 30 seconds to send me a PM, and 5 minutes to write/send your letter!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead


#10

I guess we have been lucky as far as getting supplies to Punta Cana. Three times we have “taken our chances” and packed an extra suitcase of supplies (over weight). After opening it at the check-in counter and explaining what we are doing…we were not charged an overlimit fee. All three times it was with Air Transat. We are always amongst the first to checkin…smiled alot…and gave a heart felt “Thank You” to the attendant. Don’t know if it helped or not but we got the donations onboard for nothing! Karma??


#11

I wrote Air Transat last month and I received a phone call from their customer service department concerning my letter. I was given the lady’s name and phone number and told to call her when I have all my plans finalized. She said she would do whatever she could to get me the extra baggage allowance. She was very helpful and professional.


#12

I know that there are a lot of amazing people out there (and I have chatted via e mail to many) that would assist in trying to show Air Transat that they should eliminate the “48 hour prior to your scheduled flight” drop off section of their new “outline”.

I say that we draft a letter to Air Transat, and send it to all of you good people who wish to have it, sign it, and forward it to the air provider.

There is strength in numbers, be they many, or few.

It will also be a great idea (at least I think so) to have this letter at the Fiesta this coming July 23, and have all of the attendee’s sign it, once again, to show Air Transat that there are many good people in this world who would like to do good for others.

I guess now, I will go and get that letter drafted.

I will keep you posted, as always!

Cheers
Jimmy


#13

I think that is a great idea Scoobster. I would be happpy to add my name if you send it to me.


#14

It’s a good idea Jimmy, but it’s not going to do us any good if they won’t consider allowing donations for groups who are not on “the list”…that is our biggest obstacle at present.

We need individuals to send thier own letters voicing their dissatisfaction of AT’s entire policy so that we can get stepped-up baggage allowances for our donors, as we do now from SkyService.

So while Jimmy works on the 48-hour policy, PLEASE WRITE YOUR OWN LETTERS to AT and request that they allow you to take your donations to Dream and Mustard Seed without extra charge!!!


#15

I just can’t get over that they will take sports equipment over pencils and pens. What a large pile of crap that is. Whats wrong with these big companies, can’t they get their priorities straight?


#16

It’s amazing that so many people go down and have never heard about bringing school supplies. It’s great for people who like sports but I think they should also allow humanitarian supplies to be free too…


#17

All great ideas. Here’s another, if you are a golfer. Why not take a few old clubs, stick them in an old golf bag and then load the golf bag to the max with supplies for the children. Then you can leave it all behind and some lucky persdon gets some golf clubs too.
Kenn


#18

Or bring the bag back for another trip and, if questioned, say you played so badly that you threw the other clubs in the water! lol