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Problems with air travel

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  • Problems with air travel

    I have 2 dogs: a 1 yr old Corgi and a 12 year old Cairn Terrier that weighs 18 lbs. Southwest flies between my home, Albany, NY and Orlando non-stop and I made arrangements to travel with my daughter and put the dogs under the seats in carriers. All went as planned; I paid the $75 for each dog, they were tagged when a woman appeared and said she didn't think the dogs looked "comfortable" and that they had to stand and turn around in their carriers (this is a 2 hr flight). So my daughter and I were at the airport with 2 dogs and no way to get to Orlando. We finally drove and the poor dogs had to suffer in the car for 2 days!!! Now I have to get home; I have spent all day trying to find the best option. Obviously, I won't try the cabin route again, but there are so many caveats and uncertainties with the cargo route especially the temperature since I am in Florida. This is 2010. Can't we have a predictable way to get our best friends home? Please send suggestions.
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    Last edited by Susan; 04-20-2010, 07:08 PM. Reason: grammar

  • #2
    Sounds like you've covered most of the options. There's under the seat. There's in cargo. Or you can drive them from point A to B. I don't know of any other options, unfortunately. I agree though, there isn't a great solution.

    You might consider getting them a slightly bigger carrier, or taking them as cargo. Check the website for your airline, but usually they mention if it's temperature controlled or if they have specific restrictions on breeds or based on outside temperature.


    • #3

      I am sorry to hear about your "carrier incident" at the airport. To assure this doesn't happen again, you should consider the cargo option. There are many myths in regard to cargo travel. Did you know that the cargo area is lighted and temperature controlled just like the human cabin? Since summer (and hot weather) are approaching, make sure you book your flight for early or late departures avoiding high temperatures on the tarmac. I can assure you your dogs will do fine.


      • #4
        Traveling with a pet in the cabin

        Unfortunately, the airlines are slowly moving toward having only the very small pets in the cabin. Cargo travel soon may be the only alternative to traveling long distances for any pet over 11-12 pounds. It will be somewhat of a problem for skiddish dogs, but the airlines handle your pet carefully. Most oftentimes, the sounds of the motor will put the dog to sleep. If you crate your pets at all, this should not be too much of a problem.


        • #5
          i am thinking about flying southwest air and bringing a cat back from las vegas to md. the pet carriers they sell for small cat and dogs have a very limited ht. range-i don't think the smallest cat could stand up as they require. has anyone flown with a pet on southwest. the other carriers from petstores exceed the ht. requirements-8 1/4 ins. high.


          • #6
            You should not have a problem finding an airline that will accept the pets as checked baggage. They must travel in IATA compliant pet crates. For almost all airports the summer heat embargo has ended. If possible select a flight that arrives either at night or very early in the morning. The rule is that the temperature must be under 84 degrees. Almost any airline will accept them except for Southwest. If you need IATA compliant pet crates they are available at [url][/url]


            • #7
              It sounds as though your only problem was that the carriers were too small for the airline. For larger dogs, that means some REALLY huge crates. But it sounds like they mean it when they say they want the animal to be capable of fully standing up whenever they want to. Not as though most animals really want to, but I'm sure it helps with older dogs, that might stiffen up too much if they can't spread out more.

              I know United has a list of measurements for various pet crate sizes, and even their "small" is quite large, compared to the average "pet store" sized carriers.
              Here's their list: [url],6867,1049,00.html[/url]

              Best of luck on your trip home!


              • #8
                Re: Problems with air travel

                The Human Society of the US recommends that you do not travels your pet by air unless very necessary. If you must transport your pet by air, your first thinking is whether you can take your pet in the aircraft cabin with you, which is your best option. If your pet is a cat, dog or a some kind of parrot some airlines will allow you to take the animal on board for an additional fee for them.


                • #9
                  Re: Problems with air travel

                  I am an account executive for Blue Star Jets and bc of all of the issues people have with commercial flights we are having an increased demand in traveling with pets. Though this is still a pricey alternative for some it is considered an only option. I have heard alot of the horror stories and also understand the safety concerns people have. We are able to offer share a jet options to reduce cost. I hope this is helpful in introducing a new option.


                  • #10
                    Re: Problems with air travel

                    If you are planning to fly with pets you should check out our K9 Flight School video here:


                    • #11
                      Re: Problems with air travel

                      The requirements for traveling in the cabin are pretty much standard. Your pet must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. We estimate 11-12 pounds the maximum weight for domestic flights usually.

                      If you fly out of Orlando, you should contact Delta or United. They both have only one short layover. The airlines will transfer your pets as long as they remain on the same airline. The flights are under 5 hours. Your pets will travel asmchecked baggage in the hold which is pressurized and temperature controlled like the cabin. You will need IATA compliant pet crates like those shown here:

                      You only other option is driving. We know of no trains or buses that will allow pets that will get you where you need to go. I cannot advise you on which way to travel except to say that the airlines transport thousands of pets each year with few incidents. You are the best judge of what is best for your pets.