First we are looking for a dog carrier to transport
Our lab mix to the states. She's 50-70 range.
Also has anyone flew dogs lately and any tips?
Been almost since I did it in reverse. ( to here
Not from )
Know carrier has to airline approved but heard
Something about the way it is screwed down.
We just shipped cats via American and went through the same thing.
The carrier must have the type of connectors that screw through and have a wingnut or other type of bolt connector. It can't be a carrier with the sides that just snap shut top to bottom. Also the carrier must have holes top and bottom around the front door for the airline to run a zip tie through to the door to make sure the door doesn't accidentally pop open. The airline will provide the zip tie when you check in with your dog.
I had to order our carriers from Petco and have them shipped to us via VI Cargo. I couldn't find enough compliant carriers on island - Progressive Vet usually has them though (they were just out when we moved). I would go there first if you're looking to buy one on island.
The heat is the biggest hurdle to get past - the ground temperature in both St. Croix and Miami (and anywhere else along your trip) cannot exceed 85 degrees anywhere along your journey, and as spring progresses that will get harder to avoid.
American has a lot of information about the requirements of the carrier and so on on their website, if you're flying with them:
On board (under the seat) on American it is one pet per person. In cargo it is a maximum of two. The max one person could transport is three pets, one under the seat and two in cargo. There is also a maximum number of pets allowed in the cabin total - 2 in first class, 5 in coach.
When we left we took five cats - two in the cabin, three in cargo. The plane trip was the easy part; it was when we got to Miami that things were really a pain.
Edited to fix my bad memory.
I have a carrier used only once for flight from Miami to STX, November 2012. We brought our Standard Poodle and he is taller than most Labs. I've owned both. Will take $50. If interested PM me for directions. Going out for a while, but, will be available by mid-afternoon? This is NOT the snap sides one, but, the one that the Airlines have approved.
Btw, our cat was in the snap kind of carrier and since he was a cat, all we had to do was run a Duck Tape strap around it several times and they let him through. Dogs HAVE to have the screw and nut job on them. All airlines have the pet rules spelled out on their websites in complete detail!
The STX airport they are really strict about the rules - you won't get a airline representative/ground crew member that will allow duct tape or zip ties holding the carrier together to put the animal on the plane, cat or dog - if you do, you lucked out. They stick to the AA rules hard core at the STX airport,and the rules are that ALL carriers going in cargo must fasten with screws. I would not recommend to anyone to try to just zip tie or duct tape a carrier together because you will be at the airport, waiting to leave, and your pet could be denied carriage. They are very strict about this, I've heard lots of stories from the vet, and they checked ours when we left.
Edited to add - they are also strict about how you have to have food and water bowls, and food attached to the top of the carrier, even though chances are the pet will never use them. And get the sticker kit that says "live animals" on it to stick on the carrier. They will provide stickers at the airport if you don't have them but they really don't want to, I think they must not get many stickers or something. It will just make your life easier.
Also on STX you will have to escort your pet to the TSA baggage X-Ray area and take the pet out of the carrier and hold it while TSA inspects the carrier. So if your pet might wriggle away have a leash or something else handy to keep your pet under control until you can put it back in the carrier. It was fun for us taking out all the cats one at a time while they did the "wipe" test of the inside of the carriers for whatever residues they search for.
So they are well taken care of???
We found that everyone was very kind to the kitties, and they arrived in MIA in great shape. They're just really strict with the rules at the STX airport, which is understandable.
By the way I totally recommend a crate liner called "dry fur" - you can order them off of Amazon. They did an awesome job protecting our kitties from having to sit in the inevitable accidents.
Just brought my Visla/mix (looks like a Pit, causing fear and attitudes) from Baltimore to STX Feb 2014 and AA was very funny about her looking like a Pit until a supv was called and she came to look at her and said "No, she's not a Pit, look at this pic on my phone, this is my baby (Pit)!" After that everything was fine. They kept her in an air conditioned room in MIA between flights and, since I asked about her several times, the Captain announced on the plane "for the passenger traveling with the dog, she is on the plane and fine". They were great! My wife may be wiling to part with the (brand new) carrier if you still need one. PM me.