Advice-shipping my dog
I need some help as to how I go about shipping my dog(13lbs) as checked baggage on an airline. I've only found 2 airlines- Delta & United that have a direct flight to STT that accept pets. I would be coming from Cols,Oh but I'm willing to drive south to get a direct flight to make it easier on my dog. United didn't really seem too concerned in regards to my questions about my dog in the luggage hold. I'm really concerned about my dog being in the luggage compartment of a plane.
Also-I want to arrive late Oct,early Nov & I was told there is a temperature limit of 85 F for animals to fly. Has anyone shipped their dog during those months?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Check each airline, some allow you to pay extra and bring the small dog in the cabin with you, under certain conditions. Such as small dog in a crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Some charge full fare, some about $80.00 and they have a limit on the number of animals on each flight.
American Airlines also will let you put your dog in baggage but your dog, if under 15 lbs. can go in the cabin with you and you'll need a soft fabric crate with holes that zips up. Dogs cannot fly in baggage compartment if the temperature is 85 degrees or higher at any place the plane departs or lands or if the temp is 40 degrees or below at any place the plane departs, or arrives, including layovers.
I was told by AA if the dog cage was over 10in tall,it couldn't go in the cabin w/me. I'm trying to figure out how other people have brought dogs over in the past so I can research some more.
You will get told something different by almost every airline rep you talk to thats just how it is. If your dog is under 20lbs bring it with you in the plane as charlotte said in a soft doggie carry on that is airline approved (should be able to find it at any petco or petsmart) and fly with AA. There is no better advice that that. You are lucky your dog is small and you are able to keep him out of cargo, which is a nightmare experience if you love your pets. Fly with AA and there is no reason your dog will fly in cargo. AA has the most flights in the caribbean and should be the cheapest.
When we bought our two puppies back to STJ we carried both of them in this bag (if you go to the home page you can see all of their selection) We flew Delta so we thought it would be good to have them in the "Delta" bag 🙂 When we checked in, we had to pay the fee but they didn't even look in the bag to see what size they were. I believe they have to be under 20lbs (might be 15lbs) to carry in the cabin.
I was told they have to be able to stand up and turn around inside the carry on, and the carry on has to fit under the seat. That would mean a very short dog.
I was told the same thing in regards to a dog being able to turn around in a carry-on bag. While my dog is thin-he has long legs,it would be a squeeze to fit him in a space so tight. I was afraid that someone might say that dogs in cargo was a nightmare experience! I'll keep checking my options. Thanks for the advice.
My dog was put in baggage on my flight to STX from NC. AA was the airline I went with since US Airways does not allow dogs in baggage anymore. The things you need to do if you put your dog in baggage are: 1) when boarding the plane ask to speak to the pilot/copilot (Which is never a problem) Tell them that you have a dog in the baggage compartment so they will turn the air conditioner on. 2) ask the flight attendant to make sure that your dog has been put on the plane. That is very important to have that confirmed if you don't see it happening.
Remember that most people have pets and care how they are treated. If you have a layover that is longer than an hour, usually the airline will let you walk your pet outside the terminal for a few minutes.
Hope this helps.
I believe it's alot easier to bring the small Dog in the cabin with you, even if you have to squeeze him in a
crate. If you have to walk him between flights you have to go the baggage claim, leave the secured area for
passengers with boarding pass, walk the the dog outside. When you come back in you have to go to the counter to check him (dog) in again. Then you have to go Thru the TSA inspections again. because you left the secured area. Then you have to make sure the dog has been put on the connecting flight, which is a smaller plane that comes out of PR or Miami. Now I know your going to say that you have to go Thru TSA anyway, but at least your buddy is with you. The Flight crews check on take-off and landing that the little guy is in his crate safe and sound.
I have seen many passengers with dog's and cat's sitting on lap's in my travels while the plane was in the air.
Thanks for all the tips. I think I might be able to squeeze my dog into a cabin approved carrier. I'm worried if I do try to take him in the cabin,is the airline going to make sure he can sit/stand/turn around? That would be a stretch for him. If they would deny him,goodness knows what I would do!
I'm taking a direct flight down,so at least I won't have to deal with any layovers! I'll keep researching.
I don't think a 13lb dog with long legs is going to have a problem in a crate or soft bag. I don't think they will give him a test, that is going to make him sit/stand/turn around. Some dogs won't do that even outside of a crate. Again call the Airline tell them your concerns. Go to petco look at the approved equipment, put the dog it and see what happens. Good Luck.
I'd be very surprised if they took the time to put you through a test on whether the dog could perform tricks in the crate.....you will have to remove the dog for inspection through TSA, so my suggestion is to keep a leash in the crate on his collar so that you don't have an oopsy in case pup has a panic attack when you take him out in all the confusion.
If all else fails, cry. A lot. I had huge dogs that were way over the weight limit, and I didn't have to fake it - I was seriously doing some crying...you may need to practice, it came easy for me.
I think the other posters have given you great advice. It might help to also give your dog a little Rescue Remedy so it's kind of chilled out - and maybe laying down so they don't notice it's taller than 10 inches. And do take a little collapsable doggie bowl with you - dogs dehydrate just like we do when flying. The cabin attendants will be happy to give you water for it along your route.
Remember, sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission......
I never thought they would inspect my dog until it happened to me 3 times this year! Some check-in attendants have begun checking to make sure that the dog can stand and turn around in its carrier. I travel with my long-legged 13 pound dog several times a year--most often on the the direct flight from Miami to St Croix--but also to other places.
For two years I never had a problem--got the health certificate, made a reservation for him, showed up, paid the ticket and got on the plane. Last May, in Miami, the lady at the check in asked to see the dog. So I put the carrier on the scale. He weighed in at 17 pounds--3 under the 20 pound limit for dog+carrier. Then she asks me whether he can stand up or not. I said yes, sort of. Then I had to open up the carrier and she looks at him and says I cannot fly with him because he can't stand up. My dog through all of this is lying down quite peacefully staring at us with no inclination to stand up what so ever. He loves his bag and even sleeps in it when we are at home. Well, I start making a fuss. I said he can turn around even if he can't stand up. She doesn't believe me. Supervisor is called over. I get out a squeaky toy, dog treats and hold them next to the other side of the carrier to try and get my dog to turnaround (which he actually can--but only when he wants to, of course). He just lays there, half-asleep.
So I make more of a fuss and start to plead with them--brink of tears helps. Finally, they agree to let but tell me they are making an exception. It is some new FAA policy on how not to be cruel to animals--apparently they know more about my dog's comfort than I do.
Then, when I finally proceeded to pay for his ticket, I asked the gate attendant whether she wanted to check his health certificate--and she says, "no, that's okay." Even though that is supposed to be part of the policy too!!
I would go ahead and take to dog with you in a soft side carrier (I have a Sherpa bag) and just make a little stink if they make a little stink. I get very indignant and push and push until they give in. I hate to do it, but it works. And I'd rather him be comfortable in his carrier for 2.5 hours and not stand up than be in baggage. I also open the top of the carrier once we are airborne so he can stand up and stretch a little and poke his head out. Also, I believe it may depend on the check-in person too or location--since in St Croix they never ask to inspect the dog, nor in NYC or Boston from my experience. Maybe it is just Miami check in people who are so stringent!
Good Luck with everything--especially if you fly through Miami!
Wow - just goes to show how things change in a short period of time! Maybe no one was concerned with whether mine could stand up - they just wanted those big monsters back in the crate! Thanks for the update, stxem
The Airlines are the easy part of your trip with your dog. Wait till you meet the Taxi and Rental Car Companies on ST Croix. They bring alot of humor to the party, and the grounds keeper at the airport will follow you while your dog does his business "off the airport grounds".
You guys have been extremely helpful.
I'm going tonight to test the soft-side carrier on the pup. I think I'll pull the crying,apologetic move if I run into problems @ the airport.Maybe I'll put on an extra coat of mascara that day so I can display the full crying effect,mascara running & all! I have someone dropping me off @ the airport,maybe I'll have the hard-sided crate as backup. Worse case,I could give in & check the pup in cargo! Thankfully,I won't have to rent a car or deal with the taxi people. I've heard that's a fiasco.
I love the extra mascara approach!
Definately give your "baby" some Rescue Remedy before you leave it will calm him/her down - we gave it to our 9 week olds when we bought them down - great stuff 🙂
A small part of info from the website..
"Many vets use it routinely to calm dogs before examining them, and before and after surgery and many other treatments. It is often the first line approach because shock is a major factor in many conditions."
Great website,I'm definitely going to order. My pup is a terrier,goodness knows those terriers can be quite stubborn at the worst times!