Transporting dogs  

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EandE
(@EandE)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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July 11, 2008 9:09 pm  

Good afternoon all,

My husband and I are moving to STX in September, and I have a question that I haven't seen an answer to on these boards. One, and maybe both, of our dogs will have to be in cargo for our flight. We are driving to Miami to fly out, but noticed the only direct flight to STX is in mid day, so it may be too hot. We are considering a direct flight into either San Juan or STT, and then chartering a small plane to STX. Does anyone have any opinions about either airport? Has anyone had any experiences that would help us decide?
We appreciate any and all responses!
Erika


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Jim72
(@Jim72)
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Posts: 69
July 11, 2008 9:30 pm  

Check with the airline. I think they can not fly cargo if the temperature is more than 85 in any of your destinations. because they can be left on the tarmac for while, while loading and unloading. I am flying next month with my dog in cabin. With Continental. They were very helpful. I i could even talk to a real person on the phone


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GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
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July 11, 2008 9:51 pm  

Hah, oh boy can I help you 🙂

I and my manager each completed this arduous process earlier this week as we both have 2 dogs to move from houses on the West Coast.

First I must say the airlines are VERY inconsistent depending on who you get on the phone when. Also you need to understand the difference between shipping your dog cargo vs. baggage. If you are flying with your pet you should plan to ship them baggage and given the summer and depending on the airline this may be the only option (American didn't seem to be nearly as flexible as Delta.)

In my case I booked a red-eye flight from the West Coast (actually I left in the afternoon from Seattle and red-eye from LAX) that flew straight into San Juan. However even up to the time I hopped on the flight in Seattle I was under the impression that I could not fly into St. Croix due to the heat issue. Instead I had planned to land in San Juan or St. Thomas as my destination and then take a taxi with luggage and dogs in tow over to Seaborne Airlines (www.seaborneairlines.com.) Seaborne turned out to be fantastic extremely accomodating people to work with. They will charge something silly and small like $35 for a large kennel and $10 for a small one in addition to your ticket 🙂 I don't recall their size restriction but it was either a 400 or 500 series kennel (American Eagle flights are restricted to a 400 series kennel in size.) In short you can save a bundle and not charter a plane.

If you take your dogs as luggage on Seaborne they and your excess luggage go on a space available basis. Just make sure you're not getting the last flight of the day and you are probably OK. Alternately if things get worrisome you can always buy a seat for your pet on Seaborne. Call Ms. Kareema Smith of Seaborne at 1-340-773-5991 and let her know the situation and she will take complete care of you.

Now in my case I had a problem with my checked luggage (TSA rifled through the moving boxes and one of them had been crushed and broke open) and had to get off the plane for 24 hours at LAX (had to wait to catch the same red-eye flight.) It was only when I went to rebook my next leg to St. Thomas that I learned that I could fly direct from LAX to San Juan and then on to St. Croix all on AA/Eagle because I was on flights early enough that the projected temperatures would not be too high. In the end I didn't fly Seaborne but my manager did which worked out well.

p.s. - I didn't realize I was booked on an Alaska Airlines code-share flight until I got to Seatac airport. After I checked in at LAX American tried to charge me for the dogs again because they couldn't see the payment I made in Seattle in their system. Make sure you get a receipt for any all fees along the way.
Hope this helps.


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meowruff
(@meowruff)
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July 11, 2008 10:38 pm  

Instead of rewriting everything, you can read my dog traveling experience on my post at
https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,85410,86594#msg-86594

To summarize, I flew from Fort Lauderdale to San Juan (American Airlines), then chartered through AirAmerica from San Juan to St Croix, as it ended up being less expensive this way.

Good luck!


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GoodToGo
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July 13, 2008 12:13 am  

I hadn't seen your thread before but just read it. Chartering a plane isn't a bad option particularly if you have no other avenue. In my case coming here as a corporate move it would still be much less expensive to either go straight through using American ($200 total for 2 dogs from Seattle to STX) or if one of the dogs would have needed a kennel bigger than a 400 series then using Seaborne would have cost something like $150 for a ticket and the dog kennel charge (plus a taxi ride.) In my case my ticket and two dog kennels (in addition to all my regular luggage allowance) was going to cost $169.

My parents are coming here next month so with my family of 3 and them a charter flight might be a great way to get around. I'll have to add AirAmerica to my local links file.

Thanks.

Instead of rewriting everything, you can read my dog traveling experience on my post at
https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,85410,86594#msg-86594

To summarize, I flew from Fort Lauderdale to San Juan (American Airlines), then chartered through AirAmerica from San Juan to St Croix, as it ended up being less expensive this way.

Good luck!


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goalusvi
(@goalusvi)
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July 13, 2008 1:09 am  

Thank you thank you thank you for everyone's stories - we're getting ready to move in a couple of weeks so it's good to know the options out there!


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EandE
(@EandE)
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July 13, 2008 5:08 am  

All of your responses have been so helpful. Thank you all, and we now feel we have a great base of opinions to base off from. The people on this Board really are a resource.

E


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meowruff
(@meowruff)
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July 13, 2008 11:04 am  

I couldn't fly American Eagle or Seaborne because of the size of our dog crate. She's (our dog) 65 pounds of love. We also knew that we had to keep her contained in her carrier because she has aggressive tendencies with strangers (due to fear). When we flew, it was my daughter, myself and our dog, so we would've had to pay for 2 adult tickets and the dog fees...thus the reason it was actually less expensive to charter the plane.

Good luck! And, keep AirAmerica in mind for your family - they really were fantastic to work with.


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Neil
 Neil
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July 13, 2008 2:35 pm  

I couldn't fly American Eagle or Seaborne because of the size of our dog crate. She's (our dog) 65 pounds of love. We also knew that we had to keep her contained in her carrier because she has aggressive tendencies with strangers (due to fear). When we flew, it was my daughter, myself and our dog, so we would've had to pay for 2 adult tickets and the dog fees...thus the reason it was actually less expensive to charter the plane.

Good luck! And, keep AirAmerica in mind for your family - they really were fantastic to work with.

FYI: http://www.airamericacaribbean.com/


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roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
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Posts: 593
July 13, 2008 4:56 pm  

Thanks for sharing your experiences and good advice. I agree with the comments about American Airlines... they're difficult to work with. I have a 5 pound dog, for heaven's sake, and I wound up having to find someone to take care of her while I'm on Roatan for a month because there was just no way to take her. They actually let me reserve a spot for her as cargo (after telling me she wasn't allowed as a carry-on) and then let me read the fine print later and figure out the 85 degrees business. When going from Phoenix through Miami to Honduras in September, there's just no way the temperature won't get that high!

I'm glad to see that there are ways to get dogs to STX without too much trouble. I hope to take her there for a month next year, and forever soon after that! 🙂


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Sabrina
(@Sabrina)
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July 13, 2008 6:28 pm  

roadrunner, I thought the 85 F only applied if they went cargo, and surely at 5lbs you could take your dog as carry-on?


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Trade
(@Trade)
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July 13, 2008 9:22 pm  

Same question as Sabrina. Why couldn't the dog fly in the cabin?

~Trade~


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roadrunner
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July 14, 2008 1:07 am  

Sabrina and Trade, that's what I thought, too. I don't know if it's that particular flight (to San Pedro Sula, Honduras) or international flights in general, but I talked to 3 different people, and they all said there was no way I could take a dog as a carry-on. I specified a million times that she's only 5 pounds and that she's flown on their domestic flights before. Maybe flying to STX is different... if not, I'll be taking a different airline. (I had to use AA because I saved about $800 by using frequent flyer miles. Might be time to get my miles elsewhere!)


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GoodToGo
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July 14, 2008 3:02 am  

You probably couldn't go with the dog in cabin to STX on AA because your last leg would be on the puddle jumper and your dog wouldn't fit under the seat in front of you.

The 85 degree thing applies whether your dog goes as cargo or baggage as I understand it. It applies for the projected temperature during the period when your pet will be on the ground. You typically can not confirm a spot for your dog earlier than 1-week prior because the airline looks up projected temperatures no more than a week out (using www.weather.com I believe.) I used weather.com to see projected temperatures before booking my red-eye/early AM American Airline legs. A bit of a hassle but with knowledge, planning, and a little luck it can work even in Summer (and I think Delta is easier to deal with in the Summer or perhaps all times when it comes to pets.)


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stxem
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July 14, 2008 4:27 am  

You can take a carry-on pet on American Eagle flights from SJU to STX. The bag can't usually fit under one seat, but if you turn it lengthways it will fit under two seats. And that is for the largest dog carrier they allow. If your dog is only 5 pounds you would have no problems. The times I've done it I was traveling with someone, but I'm sure you would be able to find at least one seatmate willing to give up their under seat space or find two empty seats available together. Flights I've been on are usually not too crowded. Also, the other connecting airlines like Cape Air accept pets.

I travel with my dog as a carry on all the time on AA to a from STX. He is 14 pounds so you should have no problem flying into stx with your small 5 pounder!. Some countries don't allow pet immigration and I believe there are more restrictions about pets on board on international --that could be why you ran into trouble with AA. For example, although not international, but a long ways away, you are not allowed to have carry on pets on flights going to Hawaii. They can only be checked in.

The following is a really great resource all about international and domestic travel with pets. They have every airlines policies and most countries immigration policies.

http://www.pettravel.com/

Good luck. 🙂


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Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
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July 14, 2008 10:40 am  

You CAN fly with a dog in-cabin to STX...we did it a month ago with 3 dogs and all 3 flew in the cabin with us and one of the dogs weighed 13 pounds. The seat clearance is 9 inches high so as long as the kennel/bag can be pushed under the seat it will be fine.


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roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
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July 14, 2008 2:38 pm  

Great site, stxem! Thanks!


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Suzette
(@Suzette)
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Posts: 421
July 19, 2008 2:21 pm  

3 weeks ago I had my 90 pound lab shipped (cargo) on Delta - Boston to Charlotte to STT. The cost was $495.00. She was coming on Saturday and St. Thomas cargo is closed on weekends, so they actually put her (in her huge kennel) on the conveyor belt. We were right there waiting for her of course.
The Delta people were very helpful, and didn't mind that I called back 4 times 🙂


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sandollar8
(@sandollar8)
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July 19, 2008 10:19 pm  

Yearasta - what airline did you use and where did you originate? We have a 15 pound poodle and want to bring her as carry-on from Florida to STT or STX.


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Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
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July 20, 2008 12:20 pm  

We flew from Miami to San Juan on American and SJU to STX on American Eagle


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