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My New Journey: Learning to Travel With a Pet

by on February 12, 2013 · 68 comments

in Pet Travel

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Instagram…or pretty much any social media, you’ll know that I recently welcomed a new member into the TPG family: Miles (get it?), my new 3.5 month old French bulldog. My two weeks as a new “parent” have been a real blessing, though at times exhausting.

I’ve always been a pet person – I grew up around dogs and volunteered at the Animal Rescue League in college. It’s really amazing what cheer they can bring into your life and it’s been said that pet owners live longer.  Whether you believe that or not, WedMD lists some of the top benefits of owning a pet here, like keeping blood pressure in check, which should come in handy for dealing with certain airlines and their mind-blowing customer service failures! Even though I live a non-conventional lifestyle (working from home and traveling a good amount), I’m determined to give Miles the best life possible while doing some travel with him as well.

Meet the new Team TPG mascot: Miles!

Meet the new Team TPG mascot: Miles!

Some people think it’s crazy that I got a dog since I travel so much, but here’s how I think about it:

1. I work from home so I’m with him all day most of the time, so I see Miles more than most other pet owners see their pets.

2. Most of my travel is domestic and among the hubs of New York, Miami and Los Angeles, which gives me a lot of options when choosing how to fly with him.

3. He will end up around 20 lbs, so he will always come in the cabin with me.

4. When I do have to travel internationally, I have a great network of family and friends who have agreed to care for him, though I’ve already talked to several traveling dog owners who have taken their dogs abroad in the cabin without issue, which I’d only do for longer trips.

So as you can see, I am rethinking the way I travel so I can bring him along with me as much as possible. Even bringing a dog to Europe isn’t as hard as you might think it would be- quarantines don’t exist in many countries as long as your dog is vaccinated and healthy and I’m doing a lot of research and not doing anything to put his health in danger. For example, I won’t cargo check him since so much can go wrong and bulldog breeds can have breathing problems- especially in unregulated temperature environments.

Miles helps "Aunt" Kate out with her TPG work.

Miles helps Director of Ops Kate out with her TPG work.

Despite all my research, I’m a little bit nervous to travel with him for the first time. I’m a frequent traveler and I have a groove and routine of my own that I’m comfortable with, but all that will change – I’m sure you parents out there can relate…and then some! Getting through security and boarding is a whole new set of issues now. Luckily, I have spoken to a lot of people who fly with their pets, and most say it’s not as difficult as you think. I’m already getting Miles trained to be comfortable in a travel carrier, which he loves to ride in in the car, and he’s happy and doesn’t even make a peep, so I’m confident he’ll be okay on the plane.

My first flight with him will be from New York to Miami this week – a route on which I have seen a lot of pets before. I chose this specifically because the flight is fairly short, and it will be easier to monitor his food and functions so that he doesn’t have any “potty” issues on the trip.

That said, I am still very new to this. As you’ll see, I’ve created a new Pet Travel category, in which I plan on writing about different aspects of pet travel, and I hope you’ll all contribute ideas, tips and advice as I start traveling with him more and more.

Based on my upcoming trip, the things I already know include:

-I’ll have to pay $125 to take him on a domestic American flight
-He must have his own reservation
-The airline allows only 2 pets per cabin per flight, and you must register them in advance. Although I wonder how often these quotas are actually enforced since I’ve been looking at lots of flights and there hasn’t been an issue registering him for any of them.
-I actually have to pay the fee at the airport, which means I need to arrive a lot earlier than normal.
-The pet must be able to fit in a container that goes under the seat in front of you, and they must be able to turn around completely within the container.
-Their container counts as a carry on.

I have also met many people who get their dogs certified as “emotional stress dogs,” which is ethically debatable (I’ll get to this  in a later post), but if you do that, they don’t have to fall within the airline’s limits and there are no fees. Plus it’s a relatively easy and cheap qualification to get. Emotional stress dogs are separate from service dogs, which require a lot more discipline and training and clearly would not be something I’d try to do.

Miles and I are off to pack for our first trip together, but in the meantime if you have any travel tips for us, please share them in the comments below. And if you’re flying with me, don’t worry, I can almost guarantee that my dog will be better behaved than most of the other first class passengers!

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  • CG

    LOVE the name! Adorable! Here are my tips:
    1. always bring extra food and water (and medicine, if you decide you want to ‘calm him down’ a bit during longer flights) – you never know when your flight will get delayed.
    2. most of the time people are extremely nice. But be ready for annoying passengers to give you the dirty look. I’ve had 2 instances where people asked to switch seats. One was really nice and said she was allergic and the other was a psycho who had a meltdown and said he did not want to sit next to a pet. Both times the airline accommodated their wish and switched them.
    3. for international flights you really have to do your research. Some countries require that the pet have a micro chip. Either way, you will have to go to JFK 10 days before your flight to get a stamp of approval from the JFK vet certifying that his records are OK. Huge pain since the air-train doesn’t go to that terminal…
    In the end: totally worth it! Welcome Miles!

  • ZJ

    If I don’t want to sit by a dog on a flight, I’m annoying? I love dogs (we have 2) and love this blog, but I don’t think dogs belong in the cabin unless they are service dogs (I’m not buying this emotional stress bs). If you suffer so much from “emotional stress” that you require a living creature be with you at all times, you probably don’t need to be in an aircraft in the first place.

  • Andy

    Cute dog, and thanks for your work with rescue! We rescue blue heelers and they do not travel well but the extra hassle is worth the joy they bring us.

    One thing to note – French Bulldogs have a short face which can cause breathing problems when shipped outside of the main cabin. I know you said that he will always travel with you in the cabin, but you should be aware that these types of dogs are sometimes banned from planes. See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/nyregion/banned-by-many-airlines-these-bulldogs-fly-private.html?pagewanted=all

    Good luck! Love your blog.

  • thepointsguy

    Yep- I read that article and that’s why he will never be checked as cargo. Just not worth the risk!

  • thepointsguy

    I think CG was just saying the guy was psycho in how he reacted. I personally wouldn’t take offense to someone moving if they didn’t want to sit next to a dog, though he will always be in a kennel and stowed so it shouldn’t (hopefully) be noticeable.

  • CG

    Yes. Yes you are. It’s absolutely your right not to want to sit next to a dog. But it does makes you annoying. It’s fine. I don’t like to sit next to kids and I am well aware of how that makes me annoying. And I’m cool with that.

  • Riceoven

    Hey! I got a puppy a month ago and named him Miles too! I look forward to reading your experiences since I will be doing quite a bit of traveling to build up his “miles” :)

  • Grobel

    This is absolutely perfect. We’re big travelers and just adopted a new dog 3 weeks ago. We are about to start looking in to taking her to Florida for a quick weekend. Worried about her stress levels though. She doesn’t even do well in cars so far, can’t imagine how it might be on a plane.

  • MJM

    Can Miles get his own frequent flyer number and earn his own points? I think he can on Southwest Airlines.

  • John

    Miles is adorable! Millie, my cat, used to log roughly 25,000 miles a year. We always flew at off peak times which resulted in less stress for both of us. Additionally, I would line the bottom of your carry on kennel with a baby diaper just in case there was an accident, it would absorb up quickly. Also, in Chicago, I think there is a dog walking area right outside of AA baggage claim. Best wishes for many safe trips with Miles.

  • LarryInNYC

    My stepmother has a dog, with service animal tags from some tag mill on the internet. She’s traveled with him extensively domestically and to Europe.

    On two occasions on international flights she’s been denied boarding or come close (and had to pay a big fee) because the dog had not been properly reserved or perhaps just because — in both cases she believed that she had complete paperwork for the flight. The cost was many thousands of dollars. I believe the airlines are beginning to get tired of the fact that everyone is showing up with lap dogs that are somehow service animals.

    I’m sure you’re a lot more savvy about reading and interpreting regulations and, if something does go wrong you have a lot more resources to re-route yourself. But keep it in mind.

    Also, 20 pounds seems like pushing the limit for an in-cabin animal. Am I wrong?

  • Brian R

    Are pets allowed to leave their kennels while on a plane? I recall one passenger taking him out and placing him on her lap during most of the flight, but was using a blanket to hide the fact.

  • ImAlreadyThere

    A friend of mine who has participates in many dog shows once told me that Red Roof Inn allows pets.

  • Brett

    Can you use your Amex Platinum airline fee credit for this?

  • Sharon

    Miles is such a handsome pup!! Can’t wait to hear all about his travels!

  • Ryan

    I noticed a few times at security that you need to take him out of the bag.

    I hope you claim him as a business expense. If the IRS questions it, his name should clearly show this was purchased for work purposes.

  • http://twitter.com/Overlaid George M

    I travel with my cat regularly. She rides shotgun. Personally, I would not take her on a plane. There are lots of friends who love to have her visit.

    One problem I have found is the exorbitant fees charged by hotels for pets. In one case, the fee equaled the room rate. I’ve also seen “pet friendly” hotels that went on to specify NO CATS.

  • Jake E.

    Puddles the Shih Tzu flies a few times per year. She is usually better behaved when flying DL’s First Class vs Economy. In her case, Economy Comfort isn’t even acceptable.

    1) Because of the fee you need to pay at the airport, DL won’t let you check in online.
    2) I’d say it’s been about 50/50 in regards to crews that will let Puds sit on our lap during the flight. On the outbound of our most recent flight we were told to put her away, but on the inbound the Crew Chief stopped by and said, “I hear there is a dog traveling with us today. I hope she’ll come out to visit.”
    3) Does Miles have a chew toy (or rawhide/bully stick) that he can chew on for hours? If so, and assuming it does not squeak, put it in his suitcase. Can be a life saver mid flight if he gets antsy and crew won’t let him out.
    4) Bring puppy pads.

    Good luck!

    Jake

  • Travel with you dog

    My friends have a French Bulldog and they have him certified as an ‘emotional support dog’ and they can travel with him anywhere for free. All they had to do was see a psychiatrist. It is worth looking into.

  • http://twitter.com/Goat__Rodeo Goat Rodeo

    … the whole concept of an emotional stress dogs is irritating to me as a ruse to get oneself out of fees at hotels/planes. Its like when people like to get a handicap parking tag because they’re too lazy to walk the extra 20 feet.

    Hopefully you dont partake in that…

  • BeachMiles

    Depends a lot on the crew. Rules say “pup” stays in the bag on the floor. A dog friendly crew will look the other way , or even come over for a little puppy love.

  • Eutrader

    I’m a platinum delta medallion, and have been told that you don’t get upgraded to business class internationally if you are checked in with a pet. I was traveling JFK-AMS with my companion this christmas who was also platinum. The flight was overbooked and I received the free upgrade while they informed her of the policy.

  • AClark

    I’ve traveled with my Cavalier for years. This breed, more than most could be stress reliever, but I’ll save that for other commenters.

    I’ve been told by DL that 2 pets in coach, 1 pet in first before. Also, DL and I believe UA (I’ve been elite on both) say that in cabin pets are limited to 15 lbs. Few things to consider:
    the pet in the carrier for hours (3-5),
    paying $125-150 EACH WAY…under a reservation…with no miles I believe,
    count it as a carry on,
    and put him under the seat (watch out for newer planes’ electronic equipment under seats restricting height…DL757-200),
    but then restrict the weight as well!

    I’ve had a ticket agent actually weigh our pet in the carrier to see whether the gross weight was under 15 lbs. I have also not been able to get some reservations due to the pet limit on the plane.

    Denver has given me the most problems with checking in pets, and I don’t know why. Do print out a receipt if you pre-pay (UA), as sometimes the reservation doesn’t show up on the computer, i.e., Christmas 2012 for me.

    And to the best of my recollection, the AmEx credit does count, as long as you register your airline for the credit on their site.

  • Mariana

    Congrats on such a cute dog. My suggestion as a pet owner is to make sure your dog has, overall, a happy life, and is not spoiled (sleeps with you, eats food table while sitting on your lap, etc). Spoiled dogs feel entitled and can be annoying travelers. I love my dog but I try to show her I’m the human and she is the animal. They end up more balance and better behaved.

  • stils

    I was also thinking the nice thing for TPG is that he can claim all of his airline pet fees as a business expense. Especially since his blog now has a “travelling with pets” section.

  • Susan

    Re: ” he doesn’t have any “potty” issues on the trip.” Just pray. ;)

  • DND33

    I have traveled with my cats on Alaska Air (was moving cross country) and they did great. Alex is a bengal so due to his lepord-like markings everyone wanted to stop and see him. He really hammed up all the attention too. Taking them through security is the most interesting. You have to take your pet out of the carrier and hold them as you walk through the metal detector.

  • Matt

    Keep in mind that there are HUGE differences in carriers when traveling on board an airplane with your pet. “Airline Approved” is not universal throughout all airlines.
    Sherpa Travel Carriers have a “Guaranteed on Board” program for their carriers.

    If you are not permitted on board because of your carrier, they pay for your flight and your pet’s flight.

    You need to register ahead of your flight on their website to qualify.

    http://www.sherpapet.com/guaranteed_on_board

  • GM

    Depending on the reason, I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with not wanting to sit by a dog.

    I happen to love dogs and would be fine sitting by one if I was travelling alone – but if my wife and I were travelling together and had a dog or cat placed near us we’d definitely need to move.

    My wife is highly allergic to cats & dogs, and doesn’t even have to touch them for her face, throat etc to start swelling up and her breathing to start being labored. Simply being in their vicinty is enough to trigger a nasty response. Med’s to control the swelling have other nasty side effects, such that she can take them only for short durations – an 11hr transatlantic flight next to a cat or dog would be completely out of the question.

  • http://twitter.com/rubiety Ben Hughes

    “said she was allergic”

    So person A exerts large negative externality costs on person B, and person B is labeled as the one being “annoying”. Like turning reality on its head.

    As long as the airline is somewhat reasonable counteracting these externalities by charging and mitigating their effects, I’m somewhat okay with pets on a plane. But I’d damn well pay (quite a bit) more to be on an airline that completely disallowed pets and babies.

    Thankfully with all my flying I have never really had a pet problem, despite rather severe cat allergies.

  • Tbennett83

    I completely agree with this. It’s funny to me how people that complain about dogs have there own monsters they take everywhere in public.

    Kids are 1 million times worse in every way, smelling, loud etc…

    I just choose to put my head phones in and ignore them rather than be a jerk….

  • http://www.facebook.com/PoleyKing Poley King

    Especially since TPG seems to be able to travel fine on his own. Abusing it just makes it harder on those who really need it to travel with their animals.

  • ZJ

    Which one of you gets the oxygen mask?

  • thepointsguy

    For sure.. My dog growing up begged for food and it got to be annoying and impossible to untrain. Miles gets lots of love but sleeps in his crate and only eats dog food, though he does try to drink coffee/beer, though I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

  • thepointsguy

    Yea I’ve read that no dogs in business on flights with flatbeds.. Hmm coach with the dog or business alone.. Decisions, decisions!

  • Kristi_scutella

    I know most people might not want to risk this, but I travel with my dog in cabin without paying all the time. (He is a 7lb Yorkie) I throw a hoodie or something over his carrier, making it look like a purse when checking in. Security doesn’t care if you have a “ticket” for your dog, since they aren’t affiliated with any airline. They don’t care if you’ve paid, they are usually just super excited to see your dog, and almost always want to pet him. Once on the plane though, I can’t take him out of his carrier (which isn’t allowed anyway, unless that has changed-they must stay below where carry-on’s go) because yes, I do believe the attendants probably have some list of how many dogs are on the plane. But I’ve done it roughly 25 times, only being caught once in Chicago where I had to go back through security after taking my dog to potty, and was careless about covering him back up. And it wasn’t security who busted me, it was an airline agent. I just had to go back and purchase a ticket for him. Anyway, some may think thats crazy and just not worth it, but as much as I was flying with him I thought of how crazy expensive it was! That being said, I have not taken him international..domestic flights only so far.

  • travelwiz

    I have travelled cross country with my cat, and have found many different hotel policies. The Drury Inn chain is the nicest, most accommodating & don’t charge ANY fees. Some Hamoton Inns charge & some do NOT allow pets. You need to check the specific hotel you plan to stay at to be sure of their policy. Don’t assume all hotels in a chain have the same rules, Have fun with Miles!

  • alexa

    I’m a retired f/a. please be assured, the pets per cabin rule is enforced. many pets can travel easily. the best advice I can offer, from experience, is to put your pet in place, under the seat, and basically ignore it. the pet will calm itself. if you are checking, poking, talking to or trying to give treats, the pet will be waiting for interaction and not calm itself. we all love our pets. be advised: smuggling a pet on can cause lots of issues. we were turned back from NAS once because a lady had her little dog in a bag. because proper paperwork was not submitted, we were all refused entry. the entire flight was sent back to MIA and the woman was in deep doo doo not only with authorities but with all of the pssgrs.
    just follow the rules. there are reasons.

  • Hangnan

    10 lbs is the limit. 20 lbs??? He’s delusional

  • kristi

    I wouldn’t be dumb enough to take my unpaid-pup out of the US, only dumb enough to do it domestically ;) …because no actual paperwork is needed to fly IN cabin domestically (vet approval, vaccination proof, etc), no one really seems to be checking if you don’t make a big commotion. The first time I flew with him I spend a lot of money and time getting these things in order and then realized no one really cared to see them or enforce ‘proper ticketing’. I 100% agree, it’s not the smartest idea. Rules are rules, and I totally understand your point.

  • Dizzy

    I had unexpected success flying with my cat on SW cross country, PHL to LAX. We had a layover in Phoenix where I commandeered the handicapped RR in a seperate room (hey, no one knocked) and I think the opportunity to run around helped a lot. He wasn’t his usual hungry but other than that was great- slept most of the time and didn’t meow once!

    Funny enough my cat was also named after “miles”. I play trumpet, and a lot of Serbian music, so I named him Milos, the equivalent.

  • Dizzy

    The last flight I was on had 4 emotional stress dogs all in the row in front of me, and they were not the best behaved. Also, something I never understood, what happens when other passengers have allergies? I never heard it addressed.

  • Acker

    Okay, I’ll say upfront that I’m not a big pet person but come on, why do you need to bring your pet with you on trips?
    And WTF… “emotional stress dogs”???
    Speaking of animals, did your column just jump the shark?

  • Eco Mama

    Thank you for making me smile today–this is the cutest dog!!! It warms my heart seeing that face, completely irresistible and unexpected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PoleyKing Poley King

    Its just way too easy to get an emotional support animal

  • http://twitter.com/lorettamariakw CleanGetawayTravel

    I love little Miles, Congratulations! I am sure whatever challenges you will face will be more than worth it! I wonder if “Miles” can accumulate miles!

  • tassojunior

    Emotional support animals (as well as certain health monitor pets) are supposed to be on lap.

    And such “pets” are just as important to people with health problems or veterans etc with PTSD as a blind person’s service dog.

  • tassojunior

    Flying with a small pet is easy— I take my pug all over the US. The HARD part is off-plane.

    1st- The pet relief areas are way outside any reasonable distance at almost all airports and outside security. On a short plane change on a long trip your pet is going to poop in the terminal. Get ready for it and pick it up. Airport people are used to it.

    2nd- If your pet gets rowdy on board (mine never does) you can give him one drop of children’s sleep over-the-counter. I’ve never had to but carry a bottle.

    3rd- Not just internationally, but your pet can’t go to Hawaii. But he can go to Puerto Rico…go figure.

    4th- HOTEL HELL- Only La Quinta, Red Roof and Motel 6 allow pets for free at every one of their locations. You can find “pet friendly” branches of other chains but usually they want a large fee. I just check in first and then go back for Bruno. Hyatt seems most unfriendly of all.

    5th- A very few rental car locations can be grouchy when you return a car and they see the pet. Hertz in Oakland charged me $100 cleaning fee for dog hair when they saw my dog even though I had lint-rolled the car and my dog hardly sheds. That’s the only time I’ve had that problem although the Hertz HLE I rent from locally writes on their contract “No Pets-No Smoking”.

    Travel is often stressful for everyone and a pet really comforts other travelers besides the owner. Especially in security lines Bruno gets spoiled rotten with petting. Pets soothe the travel experience for everyone.

  • tassojunior

    btw- I find when traveling with my dog it helps to get a seat on the rear row. Often the f/a will let you pre-board understanding that it’s best with a pet to be first-on, last-off.

  • Jenny

    As a person who is very allergic to pets (pretty much all of them), I find it really frustrating that any pets are allowed in the cabin.

  • jenny

    It sucks! They don’t tell you. Sometimes you don’t find out until you sit down or start to have an attack (both of which have happened to me). You can ask to be moved, but it’s a closed space, so, depending how allergic you are, that may or may not help. I wish they’d make an announcement at the very least.

  • jenny

    when you sneak pets in a non-pet room you aren’t just breaking a silly rule–you’re potentially putting people who are allergic in danger if they stay in your room afterwards.

  • jenny

    just agreeing that someone who might die because of the presence of your pet isn’t a jerk…

  • elliotta2

    Miles is a cutie-patootie! Congrats!

  • Rachel

    Interesting fact: the reason why there are strict rules about bringing your dog to Hawaii is because there is no rabies there. The purpose of the rules are to make sure no infected dogs come to Hawaii and introduce rabies. Rabies does exist in Puerto Rico, which is why they don’t have the same strict rules.

  • travelwiz

    Look for Drury Inn. They are a wonderful chain & charge NO fees for pets.

  • tassojunior

    Will add Drury Inn to my search list. Thanks.

  • tassojunior

    Although I don’t smoke I ask for a smoking room for this reason (even though smoking rooms aren’t very nice). I also lint-roll fabric furniture and cloth car interiors and spray Lysol.

  • guest

    my suggestions based off +100 domestic flights with my boston terrier…
    1. get collapsable bowls and clip it right on carrier for food and water. You need 2.
    2. always carry pick up bags. Don’t assume pet areas at airports or hotels will provide
    3. carry 2 leashes. You never know. I’ve lost one before and learned the heard way
    4. non stop is best if I can get there in less than 3-4 hours. Longer than that, think about the dog’s comfort too and consider a transfer airport
    5. be careful in the summer. Even though you won’t be checking your dog in the cargo hold, those flights get hot and under the seat is hotter. Smoosh nose breeds have a harder time in the heat just breathing.
    6. If you must transfer, depending on total travel time, allocate enough time at transfer airport to go outside. This means security again. Can you hold it for 5+ hours? Take the dog outside. It’s a pain but it’s responsible dog ownership.
    7. rethink your packing. The dog just became one of your 2 carry ons. So if you typically traveled with computer bag and suitcase, something needs to be reallocated. If you end up with your laptop in your roll aboard, in the unlikely event you end up gate checking your suitcase due to lack of space, NEVER forget to pull out your laptop and any prescription medication out.
    8. especially the first couple of times, I’d recommend checking everything and going through security with as little as possible and no laptop. At least on AA, (my airline of choice), dog must be in carrier when I check in and pay pet fee, which must be done in person. Depending on front end agent, they may want to see dog turn around inside the carrier as proof that she’s comfortable. They also may weigh the dog inside the carrier. Be careful as your dog grows because IF they weigh your dog, the 20 lbs weight limit for in cabin pet as carry on WILL be strictly enforced. At security you will need to produce receipt for pet payment (considered their boarding pass). You will be required to take dog out of carrier and carry through x-ray. Especially first couple of times, I’d recommend carrying as little as possible. Your dog may love the carrier at home but there’s a lot more stimulation and distraction at the airport. I recommend carrying a little treat to be used as a bribe back in carrier if necessary. Especially first couple of times, I’d eyeball the security line to make sure no other dogs are going through at same time and hold back if necessary. After 100+ flights my dog and I can make it through security, with laptop, and back in carrier very efficiently but that took awhile and I didn’t want to mess with my laptop too in the beginning.
    9. Don’t even think about “sneaking” dog into hotel. My dog is NOT a barker. But it’s a new place with new sounds. The dog is going to bark when someone down the hall slams their door. It’s going to happen.
    10. rethink your routine at destination. I used to always carry on luggage and head straight to rental car at destination. Now I check luggage, take the dog to designated area for immediate relief and by the time I get to baggage claim, it’s spinning around waiting for me. Once I get the rental car, I hit the hotel ring around every airport to give the dog a chance to REALLY walk. Then I go where I’m going.

  • Mica

    What a handsome boy! I always ask to sit next to any dog I see on a plane. :)

    Hotel Indigo is a fantastic property and all of them are dog friendly. Next time you are in Dallas, I’d love to photograph Miles. :) I’m a professional dog photographer and you can find me at http://www.thedogphotographer.com

  • guest

    *beware regional jets. Even if your carrier is within posted size guidelines, it will not comfortably slide under a window seat without a real wrestling. It can be done but it’s going to chew up your carrier if you do it repeatedly. You will have NO foot room with carry on pet on a regional jet. You need an aisle seat on the 2 side if at all possible. You’ll still have no foot room but carrier will fit.
    *especially during holidays and heavy travel seasons, ALWAYS make the pet reservation. I have been held off because I forgot to call the dog’s reservation in or decided last minute to bring my dog along. Not every time, but it’s happened.
    *In a pinch during long delays, ask the Admirals Club if a meeting room is available. Let the dog out of the carrier there. After you’ve hit the relief area, of course. Not officially, but the Admirals Club has watched my bag too when I’ve taken the dog to the relief area so I’m going back in through security with less to manage.

  • http://twitter.com/FunPawCare Fun Paw Care

    HI Brian, we are neighbors. I am sure to see you and miles in the dog park or while training some of your neighbor’s dogs. :) let me know when you need the best pet care service or dog training in Miami. Russell Hartstein CPDT Fun Paw Care

  • Willie_blackdog

    I have traveled between the US and the UK with my black labrador a lot. Once in the UK he’s been on planes, trains, and most recently we returned to the US on the Queen Mary 2 which is the only cruise ship in the world with kennels onboard. I’ve not done much domestic travel with my dog since I work internationally but my experience has been that they do enforce the pet travel rules and these tend to vary with airline.

    As for classifying pets as emotional stress dogs – I think it’s unethical; but, the fact that so many folks do it seems to suggest that America is behind Europe in allowing dogs access without some special label. In Europe dogs are welcomed in restaurants, hotels, trains, etc. and in the USA they are not (service dogs etc. excepted). So, I’m hoping we get that changed soon.

    Back to travel – if you want to take you dog to the UK you’ll need to jump through some hoops ahead of time and every piece of paper better be right or you don’t pass go and your dog goes into quarantine. The good news is that the law has changed starting this year and the quarantine period is now only three weeks rather than six months. Once in the UK I advise going to a vet and getting the EU pet passport which my dog has. His passport allows him to go in and out with minimal hoop jumping.

    Fairy travel between the UK and the continent has it’s own set of rules. Trains another, taxis are up to the taxi driver’s discretion, and buses yet another set of requirements. So, there’s no way I can put it all into one comment. If you’ve got a question, ask and I’ll see if I’ve been there and done that.

    By the way – the cargo hold that the animals go into IS climate controlled. There are restrictions (both hot and cold) for travel but is has nothing to do with the cargo hold – it has to do with the risk to the animal sitting on the tarmac waiting to be loaded.

  • Kespinn

    Best of luck to you and Miles! May you have a long and loving life together. He’s quite a cutie!

  • http://www.GoPetFriendly.com/ Amy@GoPetFriendly

    Good luck to you and Miles! I hope this is the first of many happy trips together. My best pet travel tip is to pack a copy of Miles’ proof of vaccination and then scan the rest of your vet records to a USB drive and throw it in your suitcase. If you would happen to need a veterinarian while you’re away, you can just hand them the drive and everything they’d need to know about Miles will be at their finger tips. Waggin’ trails!

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  • guest

    Thank you for your support of Emotional Support Animals. It is the only way I can get my miniature poodle to Hawaii after the death of my husband. I am under the care of a mental health counselor for anxiety and grief. I’m going through a lot of expense and time to be able to do this, so I hope it works out. My husband and I travelled a lot and we didn’t have a pet. Now I can’t travel with my husband, so I hope I can continue to travel, but with my dog.

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