Shipping dogs and cats as cargo?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Julee, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    Aren't you guys talking about two different airlines... Alaska and American Airlines? :confused:
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Hells bells, you're right. I read AA as Alaska Airlines not American Airlines.

    Sorry!
     
  3. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I have no experience but the thought of flying with two cats in one carrier... oh dear god.
     
  4. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I think all the airlines require you to use actual bolts to hold the crate together. I purchased some metal ones, for extra security. I do use zip ties on the corners of the crate (there are extra holes there), and to hold the door shut. I have hand releasable zip ties, so they don't have to be cut off.

    When I flew back from Florida in December, the baggage folk at the airline put their own zipties on the door before I could get to it, and they turned out to not be the hand releasable style, so I almost panicked when I landed in Seattle (flew out of Seattle to get a direct flight). Fortunately, an agility friend who was also on the flight had some scissors in her checked bag which she loaned me.
     
  5. ThoseWordsAtBest

    ThoseWordsAtBest Wu-Tang Steph

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    Hahaha. I thought you were correcting me, and I thought I was an idiot and pestered American Airlines to death for no reason over the Pit flying.

    Ta da! I'll show myself out.
     
  6. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    Dogs do a lot better flying than most people think.

    If you plan on flying your dog as baggage I dont think you can book ahead so you do run the risk of not getting on the plane with your dog. Shipping as cargo is more expensive but you can book it ahead of time.

    Avoid Delta, I have heard so many bad stories about them.

    I flew Solo with Philippine Air and then Air Canada. They were great. I also used a company to set it all up for me though, ww.animaltravel.com/
     
  7. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    I can't word anything for ****, but thank you all for responding. Here is the situation:

    Two cats. They will be flying in cabin with us, probably in separate crates. They ride together in crates when going to the vet, but I have no issue separating them since we can put the crates right next to each other. They are brother and sister. The brother is extremely fearful and has a slight heart murmur. I'll be consulting a vet (or five) about the possibility of sedating him during the flight. If that is a no go, does anyone have any natural anxiety treatments that help cats? His sister I'm not concerned about at all. If flying him is not feasible, is there a better way to get him through the 3000 mile trip?

    One dog, Bloo. Bloo has a shortish snout for a pittie (primarily because of her underbite), but I don't believe she's considered brachy, just a "snub nosed" dog. What is the difference between "checked baggage" and "cargo" when it comes to dogs? Is it better to ship her on a separate airline? What airlines would you suggest? We were going to go with Delta, but I want what's best for my animals.

    Flyin', how tall are your guys? Bloo is pretty short, and 37lbs. I think I sticked her at 17".

    Does anyone have a suggestion for brand of crate, both for Bloo and the cats?
     
  8. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    You can definitely book ahead, or at least Frontier let me. I booked about a month in advance. They encourage booking as early as possible to ensure a spot for your dog.
     
  9. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    Ditto, I flew my cat as carryon and booked it like a month and a half ahead of time
     
  10. LabLover95

    LabLover95 New Member

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    I don't know anything about cats, but about Bloo...how warm is it where you are? It it is over 85 degrees F, I would reconsider bringing Bloo cargo because it will get warm in the cargo hold between boarding and taking off, and again between landing and being taken off the plane (aka while the plane is sitting on the ground). Mollie was shipped cargo (accidentally) around October with her brother when she was traveling from Florida to California to get to us. Poor thing, she had to go through all kinds of forklifts and other situations before she got to us...it was the breeder's mistake that she wasn't shipped in the cabin.

    But that's OK--she's fine now--and I'm sure Bloo will do just great if you know how she's being shipped. Good luck!
     
  11. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Shipping from CT to WA, waiting for the weather to be cooler. :)
     
  12. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    The airlines regard the breed as brachycephalic. No, they really aren't, but that's how the airlines call it, and it does affect their regulations for flying the dog. It actually irritates the crap out of me, I hate it when people try to call my dogs brachycephalic. But you can't really rock the boat with airlines, we just have to be grateful that there are still a few left that fly dogs.

    Bloo might actually fit in a 300 then, see if you can try one out. Mine are a little shorter, but the 300 is a bit bigger than they need, they just don't fit well enough in a 200.

    I don't know about the cat crates, but for Bloo, unless you can afford one of the super fancy metal ones, I'd stick with Vari-Kennel/Sky-kennel. (Sky-Kennel is the same manufacturer, and is pretty much the same, I think they maybe used to have more differences, now it seems to be just color). It's the industry standard, so you know the crate will be accepted by the airline, and they can be purchased for a fairly reasonable price. I'd advise shopping online for it, though you'll have to pay shipping of an oversize item, you can sometimes get a good enough deal to make it worth it. I bought my Sky-Kennel through dog.com, which has a flat $4.99 rate on shipping, and paid about $85.

    I replaced most of my plastic bolts with metal, for added safety. If you want to buy those, you can do that at this site:
    http://www.dryfur.com/
    And probably in other places too, but that's where I got mine. They have a variety of pet travel accessories, and a lot of information about flying with a pet, so I would recommend looking at that site anyway. (orders I've made from that site have arrived the next day, but they happen to be located in the same city as me, which undoubtedly helps.)

    The first time I flew with a dog, I purchased an airline kit from them. The crate comes with "live animal" stickers, but the airline kit had more, and I plastered them all over the crate. It's actually a good idea to decorate your crate in some way to make it easy to recognize. If your dog is flying baggage, you can usually watch out the window and watch the cargo loaded, to be sure your dog gets on the plane. Some kind of info on the crate to personalize your dog helps too, since it reminds the baggage handlers that this is a living creature. I imagine that Bloo is probably pretty friendly, so just her name and "I'm friendly!" might be enough. With a shy or reactive dog, some sort of sign indicating the dog is shy and new to flying is a good idea.

    My first trip with Tess, when we flew back from Minneapolis, I was watching the baggage loaded, and I could see the baggage handlers going over to talk to Tess through the crate. Dogs are loaded last, so she was waiting in a baggage wagon, but I think every baggage handler out there went by and spent a couple minutes in front of the crate. :)

    Some people also suggest making up a note to send to the pilot to tell them there's a dog on board (which they're supposed to know anyway), with like a picture of the dog, etc. That kind of thing hits me right in the social anxiety, so I've never done that. The other recommendation I haven't followed is to call the airline 24 hours before your flight to verify that your dog is indeed booked. Phone calls are too hard for me, so I haven't done that either, but if you're less freakish than me, or have someone else that can do this stuff for you, those are other things to consider.

    My airline of choice is Alaska, they are the cheapest for flying dogs as baggage, and they take good care of them. You can't always get an Alaska flight that goes where you want to go, though, so you may have to choose another carrier. I do know one person that likes Delta.

    Some airlines won't ship dogs as baggage, and will only ship them as cargo. I'm not sure how that works when you're flying yourself.

    Here's Tess, all snug in her crate in Minneapolis. I've taken the zip ties out of the door, because this was after we'd landed, and I was just taking her to the potty area before going to get our rental car. The little cart is the kind they have for rental in airports. You can also put wheels on your crate, but they have to be removed for shipping, so I find it easier to just rent the carts in the airport.

    [​IMG]

    And here's the stub they give you, to show the dog is loaded:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    In our experience its CARGO that is not fool proof for booking ahead of time. You can give them a heads up but they may bump you or be full and it's first come first serve that day. We liked continental for shipping dogs in cargo. Baggage however you definitely make reservations.

    Oh and as for Em Alaska ships service dog crates for free, in case you weren't aware.
     
  14. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I've been reading this in interest, since there is a possibility that in the next year or so, especially if we're stationed in San Diego, that to visit back home we'll have to fly...and if we want the dogs to come with us, they'll have to fly, too.

    Would it be too much for the dogs to "fly" a few times a year? If we (or just I, if Mike is deployed) goes home over holidays for a week or so at a time, I'd really like the dogs to come with me. But I also don't want to stress them out. It will be a moot point if we're in Gulf Port, as we'll be able to make the drive in a day...but San Diego is a *bit* too far for that.
     
  15. DobeLove

    DobeLove New Member

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    Most everyone I know that ships dogs regularly use Alaska Airlines. I can't count the number of times we have shipped dogs with them both with and without us, not once have we had any issues. They also ship crates for free for service dogs.

    If possible, get a direct flight without any stops. Most of the "horror" stories I have read have involved people switching flights and the dog being left behind. Also, make sure your dog is used to whatever crate you use and it's not brand new so they can feel safe in it.

    You will have to read up on it because I haven't had to do this in a while but most airlines have a ridiculous temperature they won't ship the dog under (like if it's going to be less than 45 degrees at any point during the day where you are taking off from or landing they won't ship the dog.) Talk to your vet and have them sign the waiver on the health certificate saying they can fly in lower conditions.
     
  16. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Yeah, when I shipped Tango cargo I had to just show up and hope for the best. Jennifer had to send me the money via paypal because they wouldn't let her pay or book ahead of time.

    Frontier also ships service dog crates for free.
     
  17. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Depends on the dog. Tess didn't find flying stressful at all. She's used to traveling in a crate, and isn't at all fearful, so for her, it was just another trip. It stresses the crap out of me, and there are potential hazards in flying dogs, but not an issue for that dog. A dog less used to being crated on trips, or with more environmental sensitivity, might find it more stressful.
     
  18. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Yeah, I was surprised but Shamoo, especially on the way back, was so unaffected.
     

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