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Traveling with my dog

 

Megan
 Megan
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November 20, 2006 5:30 pm  

I have a 60lb. black lab and I am looking to do a travel assignment in the area - and she is my baby so she will be coming with me if I can find a way. Of course, she can't go on the plane with me - she would have to go in the cargo area and I have heard too many horror stories about pets in the cargo area to feel comfortable with her being in there! Does anyone know of another way to get her there?


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TxSissy
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November 20, 2006 5:41 pm  

I traveled to STX via American Airlines with my 21 yr. old (yes, I said 21 years old) dog. I made sure at each change of planes the 1st flight attendant I saw at the door of the plane was aware of the dog being checked in cargo and asked to have the pilot verify before take off that indeed the dog was aboard. All went well until San Juan, Puerto Rico when the flight attendant informed me the dog was not on the plane. I told her to let me off the plane or get my dog on the plane with me. The pilot was informed, called to "whoever" and 15 mintues later I saw my dog in his crate being loaded onto the plane. We both arrived on St. Croix together and he enjoyed his "retirement" on the island.

If you are uncomfortable flying "your baby" in cargo with you on your flight would be to charter a private plane. Where are you originating from? If you're flying out of Miami you can get direct flights to both STT and STX.


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Marty on STT
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November 21, 2006 2:22 pm  

What's the 'quarantine' here? I've heard that we had one, but I know nothing about it. Is it still in effect?


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TxSissy
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November 21, 2006 3:33 pm  

I know of no 'quarantine' if one is traveling from the states to St. Croix. Animals require a health certificate from the state they reside in to enter into the US Virgin Islands.


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Cheri
(@Cheri)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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November 21, 2006 5:30 pm  

I actually just shipped my dog down here cargo via American Airlines and all went fine, even with an overnight in Miami (there's a pet limo service that picks them up, feeds and kennels them, then brings back to the airport the next day. Since your dog is a good 20 lbs smaller than mine, you should be able to check as one of your bags for an extra $100 (allowed up to 100# INCLUDING weight of crate - more than that has to fly cargo). Dogs as large as yours are not allowed actually on any planes unless are service animals, only smaller dogs whose carry ons can fit under seats. I've never had problems with getting my dog down here as checked baggage, but cargo is more difficult, and def a headache. American has been great with him flying as checked baggage

American is really your best bet for coming down here - you can buy the 400 series kennel at the airport (the size you'll need for a dog that large), but you will need to call ahead and check availability. No quarantine needed 🙂 Go on their website and send an email to their Live Animal desk with your travel dates in mind. They respond very quickly and have pretty good customer service, which has not been my experience with cargo. I have read about some people going through Continental, but you have to get him in San Juan and then ferry over from what I can recall.

Let me know how it goes - good luck!


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Becky R
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November 22, 2006 11:08 am  

There's a limit to how many "legs" your trip can have for the day - I'm sorry, I'm not aware of where you are traveling from - but Continental also has an on-site kennel in Houston - my dogs did GREAT.

I can give you the name of a lady who does charters if you'd like - I think several people have used her. She arranged transportation for me, my son, and six dogs and did an excellent job.

Good luck!


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Tasha
 Tasha
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November 23, 2006 3:13 pm  

Hi! Im also going to be traveling with my dog. Hes a yellow lab at about 85lbs. I completely understand, hes my baby as well! What island are you going to? and if you hear any good advise please let me know! Ive been dreading moving down only for the fact that Im worried about him! The thinkgs we'll do for our beloved four legged kids!


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Megan
 Megan
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November 27, 2006 9:13 am  

Sorry for the delay in response but thanks for all of the info! It's good to know that there are positive experiences with pets flying on regular airlines! I am still just looking at the options for my next assignment and won't be heading that way until the end of January or beginning of February. I am coming from Indiana/Kentucky and may look into the charter option closer to time if it becomes a definite plan! I am currenty on my first assignment, I may be wimpy and try an easier second assignment, but with as cold as it is here right now the Virgin Islands are sounding better and better 🙂 Thanks again for all of the information!


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mjoybrown
(@mjoybrown)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 28
December 13, 2006 3:15 pm  

hi--also do a search for this topic as there have been many detailed and informative postings about this already. we flew continental from newark to PR and then seaborne from PR to STX in july and it went very well. good luck and email me if you need additional information.


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StuScott
(@StuScott)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 50
December 21, 2006 2:29 pm  

I was stressed out too bringing my dog down here two years ago. my only tips would be don't fly through San Juan if you can avoid it, some of the smaller planes can't accept the VariKrates as checked baggage. My other tip would be to tell everyone you see, especially the flight attendant that welcomes you onto the plane, that there is a dog in the luggage hold so the pressurization and climate controls are turned on.

After all the stress and aggravation everything went well so don't worry. First trip to Hull Bay and a "Frosty Paw" treat and all was forgiven.


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Linda J
(@Linda_J)
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December 21, 2006 2:44 pm  

If you are doing a 3 month travel assignment -- please consider leaving your dog with your folks or friends. The logistics of getting a 60 lb dog here, finding a place to stay which will accept the dog and then getting it back home seem like a lot of trauma for both of you for such a short time.

My opinion only.


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offrdfun73
(@offrdfun73)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 38
December 21, 2006 3:26 pm  

My husband flew down with our two Labrador Retrievers last Friday. We used the 400 series crates purchased at Petsmart. We used Delta and although it was stressful for him and the dogs, it went great and the dogs arrived just fine.

Delta has a 9:45 am flight leaving Atlanta direct to STT that is a 757 (the only plane size big enough to handle 400 series crates that go to STT). Where we live (lived), our local airport was not big enough to fly out the 400 series crates, so rather than have the dogs have to be overnighted because a connecting flight from a neighboring city would not make the 9:45 flight in time, he rented a car and drove to Atlanta. There is no quarantine and nobody asked to see any papers (e.g. health certificate, rabies shot records, etc.) for the dogs.

We are renting a house, which reluctantly agreed to rent to us with 2 dogs. It can be done with a little luck and patience. However, I would agree with Linda J that if you are going to be here for 3 mos or less, I would see if someone would pet sit. It is expensive and may not be worth the hassle for such a short time. When I say expensive, one of the things to think about is that you'll probably have to come down first sans pet to find a place to stay and then fly back for your pet. The plane fare alone for an extra trip can be costly.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

BTW, my husband contacted American Airlines and they were rude so we went with Delta.


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Anonymous
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December 21, 2006 3:37 pm  

I am considering coming with a large dog. I have heard figures from $200 to $4500.00 to bring one dog. Excluding the extremes what is the real cost? Offrdfun73 tells of renting a car buying crates..etc..etc.

When you add it all together including airfare, vets, crates, shots, cars, ferrys..etc..etc. What does it really cost?


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offrdfun73
(@offrdfun73)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 38
December 27, 2006 6:34 pm  

A lot of the expense will depend on where you live, IMHO.

Where we lived, SW Missouri, our closest airport did not have planes, regardless of the airline, that were big enough for the crates we had to buy because of the size of our dogs. Our biggest dog is about 95 lbs and the other is about 70 lbs. Because we wanted to use Delta, there was only one flight out of Atlanta that used a plane big enough to hold the 400 series crates. You may find, based on your location, that you do not have as big of a problem as we did.

Regarding expense, once you are here you may find that the cost of dog food is more than what you are used to paying. (Our dog food brand is twice as expensive as in Missouri). And you will also find that your house hunting is much more complicated with dogs. From what I've read here, it appears bringing a dog to STX is more complicated than getting one to STT.

We paid an extra $100 per dog plus airline ticket. The crates at Petsmart were about $100 a piece. Renting a car, hotel stay, etc. added to the expense. (BTW, the Hilton is very pet friendly. You can have a pet up to 100 lbs in your room. There is a pet room deposit and they inspect the room for damage, accidents, etc.).

Good luck!


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beachLover
 beachLover
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Joined: 16 years ago
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January 1, 2007 3:01 pm  

to get this straight..you have to buy a ticket for a dog just as you would a person? I'm considering shipping my 13lb dog from a direct flight out of Miami. Has anybody shipped their dog thru Miami before?


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