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im_nomad July 13th, 2011 11:51 AM

Westjet-approved travel kennels
A question for anyone who has flown on this airline recently, as to kennel restrictions. Their website states the following:

Only airline-approved, well-ventilated, secure, hard-sided kennels with the wheels removed will be accepted.
Kennels must be leak-proof, and be lined with absorbent material, like a towel. Material, such as straw, grass or hay, will not be accepted.
Secure the kennel with the device originally intended by the manufacturer, but do not lock the gate.
Kennel must be marked with "LIVE ANIMAL" and directional "this way up" arrows on two sides and should be marked with your pet's name.
For safety, we cannot allow kennels that:
are made of welded or wire mesh
are collapsible
have a plastic door.
Your pet must be able to stand, lie down and turn around in the kennel.

I ask because there seems to be some inconsistency with this stuff, and my dog is booked on the same (one hour) flight as myself-I don't want to do anything to screw that up.

I have a Dogit brand kennel that looks exactly like this:

It is the XL model with dimensions of 26.9x18.7x17 . It has a small dish with it that can be hooked onto the inside of the door for water etc and claims to be airline approved.

In speaking with a boarder today, I was told that kennels have been turned away because they don't have a funnel on the outside for the handlers to get the water in there :confused:

And while she can stand up, move around, lay down etc in there, Air Canada told me once years ago, that the dog has to have a half foot clearance above their head? :confused: AC almost didn't let me travel with her that time (this was another kennel that I can't recall the dimensions of)

She is 12 pounds but all legs, a large kennel would likely have her bouncing around in it.

All experiences welcome.

totallyhip July 13th, 2011 02:16 PM

I fly all the time with Westjet & Alaska. Never have I heard of a funnel on the outside that hooks up. Honestly I put a water dish on the front of the door. If someone wanted to add more water they can do it right thru the cage door.

They don't accept any crates that have handles (at least not for large dogs) small ones are ok or don't have metal screws on them. But recently we did ship a crate that had a handle on the top like yours. I think the little screws can go underneath in between the clips on the side.

She has to fit perfectly in it. If she is too big for the crate they will not fly her. If the crate is too big for her she will flop around in it and they will not fly her. Here is a link guideline of what she should look like inside.


My tip is to make sure she is good and tired before the flight. Freeze her water dish the night before so that all the water doesn't spill out when they move the crate around. This way she can sip water throughout the course of her trip.

Where you going to? from?

Depending on where your flying you might need paperwork for her. AC is more "particular". Westjet is more forgiving. But yes we have flown AC several times and if I can avoid it I do. WJ is cheaper too!

Good luck

im_nomad July 13th, 2011 06:44 PM

Thanks totallyhip! I will pick up the screws tomorrow so that it is secured properly. The packaging for the kennel says you can also use cable ties, but best not to take chances. I admittedly had not thought of this though.

She can freely walk in and out of the kennel. I have been tossing treats in there the past week to show her it is a friendly place because she hasn't been kenneled for a while. She has walked in there a few times on her own. I have closed the door on her in there too, she is not too big for the kennel at all, at least IMO.

Those were my thoughts on the water issue too, its just a little bowl that clips on there. I mean I guess it'd become a problem if the dog managed to knock the bowl to the back of the kennel or something, I don't know.

We are just flying Halifax to St. John's. It is typically just over an hour flight, and I choose the later evening flight as it would hopefully be cooler. She will be boarded the night before because of where I am staying in the area, but that does usually beat her out. I'm hoping I can get a good long walk in with her before then, still. I've spoken to my vet as well about sedation because she is high strung in some situations and with her age I want her to be as comfortable as possible. The vet said it was just fine to give her a half Gravol for the flight.

Choochi July 14th, 2011 06:00 PM

I would try to confirm ahead of time if they will accept that. I have a feeling they might have an issue with all the holes on the bottom part of the crate.

Different airlines have different rules so just because a crate manufacturer says that their crate is airline approved, that might not always be the case.

Choochi July 14th, 2011 06:01 PM

I would also be worried about that crate falling apart during any impact. I know the two top and bottom portions snap together with clips but I can't remember if there are any rivet or screw holes the same way larger crates do so you can attach the two portions more securely.

im_nomad February 26th, 2012 07:27 PM

I realize I'm VERY late in coming back to this topic, but I just wanted to report back on how things went with the trip.

What I did before travel was bring the kennel into my nearest WJ counter and have them take a look at it-they said it was fine. They recommended the ties as well, so that's what I used.

The outbound flight was a bit of a nightmare due to kenneling (as in boarder) issues. They were supposed to (and paid much extra) give her the gravol and drop her off at the airport, both of which they royally screwed up. They neglected to tell me that if my flight was delayed, so would the dog, so I was in limbo at the airport in near hysterics not knowing where my dog was (whoever was answering the phones there couldn't tell me anything and then they shut off the phones for the evening at around 6pm :mad:). When my unsedated and highly stressed dog finally showed up at the airport, I was also pretty upset. Quite the ordeal trying to then get a pill into her, scan the kennel etc, but eventually managed. Airport staff were awesome (although they probably thought I was a little nuts). Boarding staff never bothered to return my phone call after. Person who dropped her off just stood around looking bewildered at my upset.

But lesson learned-NEVER AGAIN with that boarder, and likely never again in general. It was the first time in years I had flown with her, and she's a senior dog...needless to say I was cursing myself for leaving her in the "care" of this kennel for a good while after.

A note on the pull ties - the kennel door had to be secured shut with one of these prior to her going on her way, making it difficult to free her upon landing/pick up. On my return trip I stuck a little safety scissors into an easily accessed pocket of my checked baggage.

A note on the flight timing. Early morning for me at least, was the more ideal time to travel. As an older dog, she's usually loads more relaxed and kind of sleepy in the am, and it helped the gravol do it's thing.

I had one of those collapsible water bowls on hand too, but didn't need it.

The flight back was much smoother, pleased to say :)

serenamlambe February 27th, 2012 03:24 PM

Sounds like an unpleasant experience, im_nomad. Just wondering, have you thought about flying Air Canada and having the dog under your seat? My dogs are 11 and 8 pounds each and we always fly with them in the cabin. I think you said your pup was 12 pounds? It's a lot less stressful for us because our little girl pup has epilepsy and I'm just much too paranoid about my pups in general. It might be an option for you? I've never had any trouble. You just book your flight online, as per usual, and then call within 24 hours to get your dog on the flight. If the dogs can't get on (they only accept 2-4 per plane), they'll rebook you free of charge.

im_nomad February 28th, 2012 07:53 AM

I would love to take her with me in the cabin, but I'm pretty sure ten of her twelve pounds is in her long legs. She looks like a baby deer sometimes, after a close grooming. :laughing: AC had told me a few years ago that she not only has to be able to stand in her kennel, but also have a half foot clearance above her head. Oddly, the weight cutoff is 22 lbs. There must be a lot of flat, fat dogs out there !

I would also be concerned about her barking etc during the flight. She's not the most settled in her kennel, and worse when she knows I'm close by. On our trip back, I had to get a fairly long taxi ride to my car, and the driver refused to let me take her out of her kennel :frustrated: She whined and yelped the whole ride.

serenamlambe February 28th, 2012 07:11 PM

Hahah. We have a 11 pound poodle-terrier mix who's also fairly tall for his size. There is no possible way to have a half foot clearance unless the dog is like really really miniature. The max height for the carrier is 10.5 inches. I haven't had a problem. We use a soft-sided carrier and we have to demonstrate that he can stand up and turn around, that's all. He's fairly cozy, that's for sure, but he can still move.

I can understand your concern about the barking, though. Ours tend to get a bit fussy once everyone starts moving to get off the flight, but they're fairly good. We cover their crates with thin flannel blankets. Like yours, they tend to be better behaved when they are covered and can't see us. Plus, it gets fairly cold on the plane. One of our dogs HATES being in the car, but she doesn't mind flying. It must feel different.

Anyways, just something to consider! It's nice to take your dog along when you travel :)

NoahGrey February 28th, 2012 08:04 PM

I just flew with my cat with AC, in the cabin for a 7 hour flight about a month ago. I moved for a job position from Ontario to BC. Remember the carrier restrictions are just guidelines. If you go with a soft carrier you can be a bit over with restrictions cause you can squish it down a little. The height restrictions for a soft carrier is 10.5, my height was between 11-11.5. And i didn't have a problem with boarding. They didn't even say anything. As for the animal being able to sit up..well that is impossible lol. As long as the animals can move and change lying down positions, you should be fine. My cat was cozy in her carrier, but she could change positions.

I honeslty would not fly with my pet in cargo. Its more terrifying for the animal. Its not heated, and they are right beside the its extremely loud. At least with them being with you in the cabin, you are still able to talk to them and they can still see you. They won't seem so alone. My cat was was super quiet and didn't make a sound. No one even noticed i can a cat with me lol, until i started to talk to her.

[url][/url] here is the carrier i used for my cat. Oh and my cat is a fatty...her with carrier was 20Ibs and i know with AC the max weight is 22Ibs

serenamlambe February 28th, 2012 08:20 PM

Good point, NoahGrey. We use this one - [url][/url] - in size large for each of our dogs and it's listed at a height of 13 inches. It squishes down, though, and they don't seem to object to it.

NoahGrey February 28th, 2012 08:33 PM

Thanks serenamlambe. I would also like to mention, remember if you go with your dog in the cabin, you will have to take her out of the carrier when you go through X-ray. So just be sure you have a good grip on them lol.

im_nomad March 3rd, 2012 11:17 AM

^ you have to do that too when you have to put them own in cargo. Oddly enough the dog herself doesn't have to go through any kind of a scanner.

It does make the experience that much more stressful.

I have seen the restrictions with the carrier be more stringent. When I first flew her with AC a couple of years ago, they almost didn't let us on the plane. She had plenty of room to stand up and turn around but they were stuck on that half foot clearance. After some hemming and hawing, they finally let us through.

On the flipside to that I flew home last xmas and there was a lady with a dog who looked bigger than mine, and she not only took it on the plane, but also took it out of it's carrier and had it up on a middle seat until just before landing. Dog was aggressive too (snapped and barked at me when I walked past them in the airport). No one said a word to her.

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