Flying with dog to mainland US, my experience.  

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picaflores
(@picaflores)
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May 14, 2014 12:08 pm  

For anyone who has interest, here my experience.

This is what I was told or learned, so you may want to double check...

*Dog needs current vaccines DHLP and rabies, needs a health certificate from vet within 10 days of flight.

*Kennel needs to be airline approved, I went to Seaborne at the airport with the kennel beforehand and asked their approval.
*It needs to be big enough for the dog to stand up and not touch the top of the kennel, and dog has to be able to turn around comfortably.
*Since I read about needing to put extra cable ties on to lock the door, we drilled some holes in the plastic to be able to do so.
*Total of dog cannot exceed 70lbs.

My kennel size was Large 400, and Seaborne will only take that on the 6:10 am flight because it is a bigger plane.
They also said that is the only flight they will take dogs on because it is to hot later in the day.

My flight was from Stx to San Juan on Seaborne, and then on Delta on the only flight I would be sure this time of year that the temperature would be ok, that is the read eye at 1:55am to JFK.

Important to know, when arriving at that time of day (around 7am) in San Juan, there are no porters, and no carts, so I got stuck for quite some time, before the 5th person I asked went and found someone to help me (with 2 checked bags, a carry on, a laptop bag and the big kennel.

Because of the very long layover I had to pick up my luggage since they cannot check that thru for a layover longer then 8 hours.
I was told by 3 different people to please not to forget to pick up my dog, because it happens quite a bit?!<

To be able to pass the time, and have dog and luggage in a safe place, I checked into the hotel that is located in the airport almost across from the Delta counter, and paid for a room for "daytime use". Obviously I had asked in advance if they allow pets.
This turned out great, I was able to stay there from 9am until 9pm, so only a few hours short.
There is an area one floor down and across the street to walk your dog.
And there is a bistro with food and drinks in the hotel.
They also allow you to put your luggage in their storage room before you check in and after, which is very helpful and they have a porter there 24 hours/day.
This hotel was very clean, and the staff very friendly and helpful.

I was surprised with both TSA checks in STX and SJU, how very simple and quick they were. Nobody ever asked for any papers at all.
All they did was check the kennel. ANd locked it with cable ties.

I had bought the airline kit (on Amazon) that has the nuts and bolts, food and water holders, a dry pad, cable ties, and stickers. I thought that that was very handy.

The airline had said to provide food for during trip, but nobody asked for that either.

This was the last flight out on Delta before they start their embargo from May 15th til September 15th.

I know this is a long post, but I thought some of you may find a few answers or solutions in it.
I thought it was all pretty stressful and confusing to get this organized, so maybe this will help make it a bit easier on others.

STX


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mtdoramike
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May 14, 2014 2:24 pm  

Wow, thank you for the insightful post. Yes, I'm sure it is very stressful flying with a pet. I know there are certain things you have to do or a few hoops for dogs and cats, but nothing like flying with an exotic pet like birds. That's a whole other animal:)


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DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
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May 15, 2014 12:13 am  

We flew about a month ago with three pets.
2 in cabin and one in cargo. The AA people were
More concerned on temps. Never checked kennel
Or all the papers.
They were very kind to her . If lay overs
Check with pilot and flight attends. To make sure
Dog is safe and loaded. Our pilot from Miami to
Raleigh NC said he would see to her comfort.
Glad it is over.
Oh have bowls attached to kennel doors.
They did check that.


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DixieChick
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May 15, 2014 12:15 am  

We did have to take her out in customs so they
Could wand her and kennel.


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ikory
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May 15, 2014 3:12 am  

I think I flew out with you Tuesday morning. Glad the experience went well.


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DixieChick
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May 15, 2014 9:49 am  

Pica glad your flight went well.
It is stressful. For us as well as for the pets.
If you can make it passed the check in people
At stx then you are half way there.
I heard Delta was the best for pets but we
Had no choice but American.
Hopefully we will never have to air travel with
A big dog again.
Funny story.. We checked into a pet friendly
Hotel in Raleigh, took dog out to bathroom, she
Would not walk on the soft grass, was not
Use to it. Walked funny. So glad she is with us,
Worth all the expense and hassle. 🙂


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C_Ray6
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May 15, 2014 11:56 am  

Love reading about how much everyone loves their pets.


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speee1dy
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May 15, 2014 12:15 pm  

so how are things now that you have been settled for almost a month dixie. any regrets?


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chelseapalmer
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May 15, 2014 5:10 pm  

Did you have to check your dog at the Delta counter or at a separate part of the airport? When we flew into PR last year we had to take a cab to go to the "cargo area" to pick up our dogs? And we will be leaving in June with three dogs (two checked, one in cabin).

Also, does PR not have a temperature controlled holding area where we can check the dogs in at any time of day, despite temperature? When we moved down here we were told Atlanta and PR could take the dogs with any temperature because they had a temperature controlled holding area with Delta?

Thanks, any info is very helpful!!


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chelseapalmer
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May 15, 2014 5:19 pm  

I'm sorry I think I may have figured out my own questions. Two of our dogs with be shipped as "cargo" not checked. So I am pretty sure we will be checking them into this "cargo area". But if someone knows something different please feel free to share. Thank you again for your post , it was very helpful!!


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chelseapalmer
(@chelseapalmer)
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May 15, 2014 5:22 pm  

This is the link for shipping pets in cargo.

http://www.deltacargo.com/ProductsRates/Specialty/LiveAnimals.aspx


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picaflores
(@picaflores)
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May 15, 2014 11:16 pm  

I traveled with my dog as "checked luggage", the fee with Delta is $200 for the whole trip (I had 3 flights). (Seaborne is $100)
They also put a tag on the kennel for each of your flights, and hand it to you before they close the door so you know for sure your pet is on board.

So I checked them in at the counter as you normally do.

STX


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DixieChick
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May 16, 2014 12:05 pm  

Great speedy
Love it here and so far do not regret the move.
Give me a call my email is not working.


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speee1dy
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May 16, 2014 12:08 pm  

i will. glad it was a non regrettable decision


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maryb
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May 17, 2014 1:55 pm  

I am happy everything went well for you! I have not traveled with my dog for 2 years or so and she was in cabin so my info may be a bit outdated but I doubt it.

what I learned is:

1) whether you need the vet health certificate is dependent upon your final destination state. When I flew to Chicago with her, I need a health cert. When I flew to Seattle, I did not.

2) if you switch airlines at any point you will be charged the pet fee all over again. I once flew her from Seoul to Seattle. 3 different airlines, 3 different charges. I was not told this ahead of time so I was not prepared to pay close to $600 versus only the $200. I would have chosen a different flight if I had known this in advance!

3) when your pet is in cabin, it counts as your carry on even though you are paying extra.

My girl did the same thing with the grass. She is originally from Seoul, Korea and had never stepped on a lawn before. She kept stepping down and then jumping back onto the deck.


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Alana33
(@Alana33)
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May 17, 2014 4:10 pm  

I have never had to travel with my pets but may do so at some not so distant future point.
Just wondering if I have to travel with 3 dogs - one is only 12 -15 lbs. so can carry on board with me but if I travel by myself would I be able to have the other 2 which are much larger in cargo on same flight from here to FL and travel with all 3 by myself?


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Stxer1
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Posts: 280
May 17, 2014 7:12 pm  

For a situation like yours, I would highly recommend that you call and get up to date info from the airlines. If you get one wrong suggestion from a well meaning person here, it could make for a very bad situation on flight day.


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DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
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May 18, 2014 11:48 am  

Only so many allowed in cabin. And therapy
Dogs go first. Not sure about cargo.
They told us to check in early. On jet blue
You make pet reservations. But American it's
First come first serve.
Was another stress factor.


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picaflores
(@picaflores)
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Posts: 160
May 18, 2014 12:08 pm  

I was told by Seaborne first come first serve (they have limited space), but I called them to make sure, and was able to book over the phone for my dog.
Delta was reserved in advance too.

STX


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mtdoramike
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Posts: 955
May 18, 2014 12:27 pm  

For a situation like yours, I would highly recommend that you call and get up to date info from the airlines. If you get one wrong suggestion from a well meaning person here, it could make for a very bad situation on flight day.

I agree, I have spoken with several airlines, Delta, American & Spirit. Some allow pets in the cabin, some only in cargo. Some limit pets per-passenger to one and some to as many as two. I haven't found one yet that allows three per-passenger. But then again, I think they make the rules as they go along because from the research that I have done, I'm getting different information than some of it posted on here. I think it depends on the airline, flight, weather or time of year and cycle of the moon. Example: American doesn't allow pet birds on their flight so say their website, yet when I spoke to a American Airlines rep, they had no problems with me flying with two pet parrots in the cabin. I was just told to get there early, because it's first come and they only allow 5 pets per-flight.

American claims not to allow short snouted dogs on their flights anymore just like Delta, yet a friend recently was allowed to transport an American Bully dog and Boxer on American in cargo. So to me, it's catchers catch can as to what you can get on a plane and what you can't.


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picaflores
(@picaflores)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 160
May 18, 2014 1:21 pm  

For a situation like yours, I would highly recommend that you call and get up to date info from the airlines. If you get one wrong suggestion from a well meaning person here, it could make for a very bad situation on flight day.

I agree, I have spoken with several airlines, Delta, American & Spirit. Some allow pets in the cabin, some only in cargo. Some limit pets per-passenger to one and some to as many as two. I haven't found one yet that allows three per-passenger. But then again, I think they make the rules as they go along because from the research that I have done, I'm getting different information than some of it posted on here. I think it depends on the airline, flight, weather or time of year and cycle of the moon. Example: American doesn't allow pet birds on their flight so say their website, yet when I spoke to a American Airlines rep, they had no problems with me flying with two pet parrots in the cabin. I was just told to get there early, because it's first come and they only allow 5 pets per-flight.

American claims not to allow short snouted dogs on their flights anymore just like Delta, yet a friend recently was allowed to transport an American

Bully dog and Boxer on American in cargo. So to me, it's catchers catch can as to what you can get on a plane and what you can't.

I have to agree, I got different answers from different people at both Delta and Seaborne.

That happens just as well at the check in, many of those agents seem to know less about it then we do....

STX


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