I am posting this info so others can learn. From my experiences this past Saturday, October 8th
i have been travelling to Aruba for 14+ years. Sometimes several times a year. Never really had any issues until this past Saturday. I arrived at the Air Canada counter and was refused boarding. The reason........Aruba has recently advised all airlines that it is now mandatory to have a return ticket booked as well as the one for travel to Aruba. In the past we could come down on a one way ticket and purchase a return at a better rate and with flexibility of dates. NO MORE. I challenged this and refused and our baggage held until we either purchased a return ticket or left the airport. At that ungodly hour and after a 6 hour drive there really was no option than to buy tickets for my wife and myself. This done, off we went. Not happy but accepting this change. We asked several times when this was implemented and told it was a recent enforcement. There were several others in queue who faced the same issue.
we thought all was well until we reached Aruba. Unable to pull into a gate we sat on the Tarmac until a bus could be summoned. Finally we get through and are leaving with our bags when Aruba Customs pounce on us. This will not affect all, but since we stay for extended periods of time, we bring our pets. We always have the Vet certificates of good health and current vaccination records showing they are all up to date. We get apprehended this time even though we showed the same documentation we have shown in the past. It is important for all to know that I had both emailed and phoned the Govt Vet, Dr Barendson, to confirm al was in order. After being detained by Customs for 2 hours we were told that we would be taken while under the control of a customs officer to the Govt Vet to have the pets examined. Off we went. My mood was pretty sour at this point. I had taken the dog from his carrier by this time. The dog needed to pee. The Customs folks told me he couldn't so I walked him to their officious desk and showed him the nice wooden leg of the desk. At that point all hell broke loose with comments about heavy fines for peeing on the airport carpet and summoning the police. Someone enjoying a sane moment granted the dog temporary entry to have a pee on the grass but the dog had to be escorted and then returned to the secure holding area.
How did this end?
The Vet looked at the papers and said. "these are fine"
Back to the airport we go. Mr BigWig in charge of the Customs at the airport tells me that there is a new procedure for bringing in pets. You fax 297-585-1828 your own Vets Certificates before you leave for Aruba. The Vet examines the documents and if happy he will affix a stamp and fax them back.
why all of this? Turns out about 1 month ago there was a serious issue with some dogs from Holland.
I was was rudely asked by the Customs why I didn't read the rules! Well, one problem........this new requirement/enforcement is not on the Internet where Aruba posts Entry requirements.
After the Customs realized that maybe they went a bit too far, Mr BigWig drove me, and the pets, to my home.
If if anyone is going bring their pet I suggest they take refresher Aruba Pet Entry 101
Finally calming down
John ( with Alfie the King Charles Cavalier and Winston, the crazy Himalayan Cat )
P.S. Alfie really enjoyed that Pee at the airport