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Flying.. any helpful tips?

Puppyluv
November 30th, 2005, 05:45 PM
Ok, so before I begin, I know a lot of people are against flying their dogs, and I agree that it's not my preferred mode of travel with her, but it's just the way it's going to have to be, if I want to spend Christmas with Layla (which I absolutely 100% do) and with my family (which I 95% want to....kidding mom, it's 100% for you guys too)
So does anyone have any advice for making the trip a little easier? It's going to be Montreal to Calgary, so she'll be gone from me for as long as 5.5-6 hours (not sure when I'll have to say goodbye before the flight). I've read all the other threads on the subject, and they all turn into "Don't fly with your pet.. here are 100 links about pets who died on airplanes" which is not overly helpful when you've already concluded that it's the only option.
Thanks in advance

Roxy's_MA
November 30th, 2005, 05:55 PM
A few tips.....

Make sure your dog has two types of identification on her one with your address and one with your destination address. Also make sure this information is also labelled on her crate.

Also I read that if the dog has to fly cargo, you should try and make sure that your dog will be on the same flight as you.

The more direct flight the better.

hope it helps!

jawert1
November 30th, 2005, 06:25 PM
There is always the option (if the airline does this of course) to purchase a ticket for her and have her ride up with you. Some airlines do this dependent upon weight/size of dog and it would at least give you the peace of mind that she's not out of your sight. But if they don't allow it, identification is key. I've flown tons in the past few years for work and have had the occasion to see pets loaded/unloaded at various airports and honestly, the ppl loading and unloading the crates (that I've seen) have been so careful and loving that I have a tough time believing that every flight is horrendous.

Prin
November 30th, 2005, 07:16 PM
Is she microchipped? I'm probably the one with the horror stories, and I would never fly my doggies, but I don't have anywhere to go either, so I've got choices. ;) Too bad I have exams- that would have been a fun car ride for Christmas break.:) Oooh to see the mountains. Just for a minute...

Anyway, don't feed her, don't sedate her, try not to let her drink too much before going on the plane... It's dehydrating being in the plane, but some of the stories I've heard started with "the dog was all full of piss so we let him out to go while we were waiting for the bags" or something like that and then they can't get the dog back.

I would ask if you are allowed locks on the cage. The biggest danger (IMO) is some twit letting the doggy out of the crate.

maddoxies
December 1st, 2005, 08:25 AM
Which airlines are you thinking of? There are a lot of new restrictions for animals depending on which company you choose.

jawert1
December 1st, 2005, 08:36 AM
When I was travelling a lot, I used United and had the incredible fun of sitting next to a VERY well behaved lab and her owner. Made the flight a lot more fun too playing with squeaky toys the whole time (I'm easily amused!). Continental and Delta too had policies at that point (about a year ago) that allowed for very well behaved dogs under 50lbs that were suitably papered, vetted and leashed to ride up with ppl, though like I said, this may all have changed with the recent downsizing and corporate shakeups hitting airlines these days (at least in the US)

maddoxies
December 1st, 2005, 10:38 AM
Air Canada will not guarantee temperature in cargo holds over winter (nor air pressure). I have been told they no longer allow ANY pets in cabin, even in crates under the seats.

Don't know about Westjet.

jjgeonerd
December 1st, 2005, 01:01 PM
Here's some links for 3 airlines. Looks like Air Canada has restrictions on dates due to the cold (Christmas included)

http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/baggage/pets.html
http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,51255,00.html
http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/special_travel_needs/pet_travel_information/index.jsp

CyberKitten
December 1st, 2005, 05:15 PM
Delta has a good rep - I as you know prefer to have my pet in the cabin. What about one of those airlines like fido that cater to animals?

Puppyluv
December 1st, 2005, 07:23 PM
Thanks for the tips everyone,
I will definitely "label" her profusely (just short of using a Sharpee to write my info on her torso.. that would be cruel... and a little weird)
Prin- She is microchipped, and the microchip is registered on all data bases, the flight is direct, and yes I can lock the kennel (there is no way I want to look out the window and see her running around the tarmac:eek: )
Jawert1- She is too large to be in the cabin, in-cabin pets have to fit under the seat... Layla would not be too happy crammed under there..... my feet are barely happy crammed under there;)
I already have my ticket booked, I am after all flying at Christmas, it's aircanada, and they know I'm bringing a dog. I fly to Calgary two days before the Christmas embargo starts (which is actually due to cargo, not due to temperatures) so she will be on the same flight as me (I have already payed for her "cargo ticket" They have also guaranteed that it will be pressurized and heated (My travel agent got AC to give it to her in writing)
CK-I contacted the "doggy airlines" and this is the response I got:
Hello,
Sorry for the delay on this response. Unfortunately, I could not find an alternative to Air Canada or WestJet for air travel during the holiday embargoes for you.

End of email

My biggest concern is that on the way back to Montreal, I have to fly back 2 weeks before the embargo lifts, so Layla will be flying solo:sad: There was absolutely nothing that I could do about it... besides miss two weeks of school, which well, is not an option...so basically I will be a stress case for two weeks in January.
Thanks again everyone

jawert1
December 1st, 2005, 07:52 PM
it was worth a shot, and I always go for the emergency exit rows so there's more room for my legs - sadly not enough for Layla to fit :/ It's been a bit over a year since I traveled so I worried that my info was out of date but hoped anyways :)

Prin
December 1st, 2005, 10:32 PM
I will definitely "label" her profusely (just short of using a Sharpee to write my info on her torso.. that would be cruel... and a little weird)
Prin- She is microchipped, and the microchip is registered on all data bases, the flight is direct, and yes I can lock the kennel (there is no way I want to look out the window and see her running around the tarmac )Sharpie would wash off eventually no? Maybe you could "tatoo" her somewhere with a sharpie...:D (I'd probably do it, but I'd have to use liquid paper on my doggies..:D )

SnowDancer
December 2nd, 2005, 12:02 PM
Re locking the crate - are they asking you to attach a key to the crate? I am asking just in case there is an emergency and they have to get Layla out of the crate fast - all sorts of emergencies - health and otherwise come to mind. We had to fly our Beagle and cat when we moved to Calgary from Ottawa in 1980 and then back again in 1982. The flight out stopped in Winnipeg, but we did not have to change plans. Had a bad moment though when a fellow passenger remarked on the very cute dog and cat being taken from the cargo hold! Not mine thank heavens. But I do recall - that the handlers had to have access to the cage - say Layla gets sick - choking etc. Hope you have a good trip - wish Layla could fly back with you. Also wish they would allow dogs on all trains - not just trains with baggage compartments - but all trains - and in the main compartments - they could have a couple of pet specific cars for pets of all sizes even if they had to be kept in crates. The baggage car is bad enough, but there are not trains (or at least their weren't last year) with baggage compartments travelling the Toronto - Ottawa corridor. Threatened to send my Eskie with my husband who is travelling to Ottawa to spend Christmas with his family - but no go.

Puppyluv
December 2nd, 2005, 10:03 PM
Snowdancer, I checked with my tavel agent today, and she said that yes, the airline requested that a key be attached via a lanyard to the kennel, or if I use a combo lock, to have the combo written on the kennel with her name. I'm trying to decide which would be better. The key can get lost, but combo locks can be a pain in the arse if you're trying to open it under pressure....

jawert1
December 2nd, 2005, 10:43 PM
You could always use the handyman's friend - duct tape to secure it to the side of the crate. That way all anyone would have to do is pull the tape square off and the key would be right there.

PetFriendly
December 4th, 2005, 05:05 PM
You could always use the handyman's friend - duct tape to secure it to the side of the crate. That way all anyone would have to do is pull the tape square off and the key would be right there.

Great idea!

I'd also have a second key with you, and your seat number and telephone (cell would be best if you have one) number writen out on the top of the crate (how's that for working in the sharpie!)