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Old 04-17-2012, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle
19 posts, read 46,267 times
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I will be moving to Seattle from Nashville in mid-June. I would love to be able to fly there instead of drive as I have few personal belongings that I will be bringing with me. It would be much more economical than renting a car, buying gas, hotels rooms, etc. However, I have 1 cat and 1 large breed dog that will be traveling with me. My cat can be "carry-on" but my dog will definitely have to be "checked baggage". Has anyone had any experience flying with their pets? Any particular airlines that you know or have heard of that are particularly "caring" when it comes to pet travel? My dog weighs appx. 110 lbs so an airline with no weight limitations would be needed. Of course, I will be checking the weather forecast during that time to make sure its not too hot for their safety. Thanks for any advice
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:21 AM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,357,828 times
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Your dog will need to be contained in an airline approved pet carrier. Airlines set their own standards for pet transport, so you should check the website of the airline you're flying for their particular requirements.

For a dog that big you'll need a hard side carrier that is....huge. These containers are expensive. And you will need to notify the airline well in advance of your flight and pay the fee and make all arrangements to ship your dog. You may need proof of various vaccinations. I expect you will find that the airline fee for shipping a pet of this size are in excess of what it would cost to buy the dog a first class ticket in the business cabin.

Your need to investigate airline policy and price carefully before purchasing a carrier.

FAQ's - CARRYON PET RULES/RESTRICTIONS AND FEES FOR AIRLINES - FlyerTalk Forums

Dog Law :: Traveling With Your Dog > The Not-So-Friendly Skies :: DogLaw.HugPug.com
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:45 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,257 posts, read 14,144,864 times
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Try posting this in the Pets section as well.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,557,680 times
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Note that even though you can carry on your cat you still need to make a reservation and pay a fee for that. There's a limit to how many pets can travel in the cabin, varies by airline and sometimes by airplane type within the airline. You also have to deal with getting through the airport security probably holding the cat in your arms because they want to scan the carrier. (The cat should not pass through the machine that x-rays the carry on bags, if that's not obvious. ) This might result in additional screening if because of this you can't go through one of the whole body machines or whatever. You will want a harness and leash because the last thing you need is a frightened cat loose in the airport.

June should be okay but in mid-summer (more like July and August I think) some airlines suspend all pets-as-cargo transport because of issues related to the heat.

110 pounds might be a problem! I really don't know for sure, but that plus the crate to hold the dog is a heavy proposition and presumably requires two people to handle. I don't know if they have an upper weight limit or not. The animals have to fit into a smaller climate-controlled area of the cargo hold. It's possible this would be too large for that or something.

All the airlines have info on pet transport on their web sites. There may be a couple who have stopped handling pets altogether. You'll probably have your choices narrowed a bit by the route that you need. I don't know if any one airline stands out over others, I kind of doubt it, so I would search based on which trip takes the shortest amount of time so that they are not cooped up any longer than necessary.

But really, I'd probably drive, despite it taking longer and costing more. Just puts more of the variables in your hands as opposed to others. That's just me though.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
789 posts, read 1,077,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violeteyes1988 View Post
My dog weighs appx. 110 lbs so an airline with no weight limitations would be needed.
The weight of your dog should not matter. The dog should be exempt from any weight restrictions as you are already paying the fee for him/her to ride in the cargo hold...but verify with your airline of choice to confirm as things could have changed from what I remember.

As for which airline is best, maybe google "traveling with pet" and see if any articles/stories come up about different airlines...
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
1,492 posts, read 3,659,080 times
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I fly with my dog twice a year to and from Hawaii/Seattle. You are looking at your dog flying cargo not checked baggage. Extra large carrier - check and see if your dog will fit into? Otherwise your looking at even harder to find airline. My dog now 68 lbs weight includes also carrier so his weight is 88lbs. Depending on which airline you fly with will depend on weight restrictions and number of animals per flight. Don't even try dealing with reservations for these questions as I have found they do not usually have correct information. Call the cargo for each airline to check.

You not going to get the cheapest flight because you want to fly directly as possible. And also you are going to have to work your flight around cargo hours of operations. I just booked a flight on Hawaiian checked to see if days were open. Yep so called made my reservation. Called cargo to say what flight on...opps they forgot to tell me on Sundays cargo closed at 5pm so had to rebook a differnt flight.

Normal requirements are updated vaccines, rabies tag certificate and Health Certificate not older than 10 days before flight. On Health Certificate have vet list temps dog can handle. Example I have 20 degrees to 95 degrees for winter flights from Seattle to Hawaii for temps.

Alaska airlines and United are best bet.
Cheapest for cargo- Alaska is Alaska Airlines: Not exceed 53 inches in length x 48 inches wide x 34 inches high and up to 149 lbs. $100
United http://www.unitedcargo.com/services/...cklist2007.pdf $120 if you dog fits into extra large crate

Not sure on other airlines but size and weight is a big deal. Each has own rules and prices. Example Hawaiian airlines for me up to $750.00 one way.Weight on Hawaiian 70lbs baggage so his ticket goes from $150 to $750. (And no miles!!!!) Alaska Airlines $100.00 but does not have a complete cargo facility on this island so can't fly inbound but can outbound.

Also when looking at flying your dog via cargo if you have connecting flights vrs straight you have to have anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours between flights for cargo transfer. Also if you change airlines you now have to also go to cargo (not in airport) pick up dog and take yourself to transfering airlines cargo. Also drop off for flights is also at cargo.Depending on airlines and airport again. I can check my dog as baggage for Alaska but not Hawaiian. And if flying cargo dog is at cargo not baggage for pick up. So even checking in as baggage on Alaska still have to make reservation for dog in cargo.

Airlines I have found to be very good with my dog..Be sure if flying to have both cat and dog crate trained and like their crate. My dog sees his crate come out he knows he is flying now. He has been crate trained since puppy. However now when he sees it he knows. It is funny in Hawaii he see's the crate (about to take out) and is like NOOOOOO. He doesn't like to leave Hawaii, but loads just fine. But in Seattle he see's it and he jumps into so fast usually he knocks it over because he knows where he is going! He likes waves and coconuts!

Good luck.

Last edited by nwcountrygal; 04-22-2012 at 04:04 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:16 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,607,588 times
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Most carriers won't accept pets in cargo during summer months, so your plan might not work to begin with.

You will also need a health certificate issued by your vet for both animals within 10 days of travel.

By the time you get done paying for the health certs, the $100+ for the dog, the $25 for the cat, and approved carriers for both, it's probably going to be cheaper to drive.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
1,492 posts, read 3,659,080 times
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Most airlines will not take short nosed dogs summer months..some airlines will never take them. The temp issues is for transporting outside temp the plane, not temp inside. Seattle shouldn't be a problem in June-- temps elsewhere?
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:05 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,865,760 times
Reputation: 6215
You got siome good advice so let me just add a few thoughts.

As mentioned, pet travel policy is primarily an airline decisssion. They pretty much set their rules and conditions. What one airline does may be opposite from what another airline does. So, you need to contact the airlines (usually their websites are a good starting point) and find out exactly what that airlines policy, rules and processes are. Although there are some USDA restrictiosn based on enviroments conditions, they are rules that once mitigated by the airline or their contract services may not prohibit an airline from transporting animals that appears in confluct with USDA rules.

Size and weight does matter to the airlines because not all airlines can physically accept certain size crates. Others set a maximum weight limit for checked baggage. The airlines info pages on pet travel will explain any weight or size limits.

When talking "cargo" understand that that is a generic term and means different things to differeent people. So you may be thinking cargo as in 'not-in-the-cabin' and they may be thinking cargo as in via the cargo facility instead of terminal. Also airline regularly and as standard practice, ship cargo on scheduled passeneger flights. So when you read a pet shipment that is being sent via their cargo side, that doen't mean its a cargo only plane with a roomy cabin like area for pets. it could very well be mixed with the luggage in the belly of that passenger flight.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:56 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,557,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
When talking "cargo" understand that that is a generic term and means different things to differeent people. So you may be thinking cargo as in 'not-in-the-cabin' and they may be thinking cargo as in via the cargo facility instead of terminal. Also airline regularly and as standard practice, ship cargo on scheduled passeneger flights. So when you read a pet shipment that is being sent via their cargo side, that doen't mean its a cargo only plane with a roomy cabin like area for pets. it could very well be mixed with the luggage in the belly of that passenger flight.
Yes, there is a distinction in terms of procedure and maybe cost. But either way they're going to be in the hold of a passenger airplane if you ship cargo with a passenger carrier. And AFAIK they will end up in the same place because they need to go in the climate-controlled portion of the cargo/baggage hold. Not all of the hold is climate-controlled. All is pressurized, but most baggage and cargo goes into a place that can get pretty cold at altitude.

It was interesting to note a previous poster suggesting that it's better to deal with cargo than baggage. I have no experience in that with shipping an animal, but I could possibly see that being the case. The cargo handlers would be, up to a point, a different crew than the baggage handlers. But once they get out to the ramp I'm pretty sure it's the same crew loading/unloading in most cases. Logistically, for cargo you would have to first drop off the dog at the airline's cargo office, though (typically on another part of the airport grounds or nearby), and then pick up the dog at their cargo facility on the other end. For baggage, everything happens at the airport. I'm sure problems can arise with either method.
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