View Full Version : Flying with a cav as a 'carry on'?

2nd February 2007, 07:03 PM
Has anyone had any experience taking their full grown cav's on the plane with them?

We will be taking Padden with us on a trip in June and would rather have her with us on the plane than underneath the plane. (10 day trip) Plus I don't even think that's an option because of the temperature that time of year! I can't imagine leaving her behind so we're trying to figure out if this is do able.

She will be 8 months old at the time of the trip.

Will she be too large to fit into one of the carriers that will fit underneath the seat?

I got exact dimensions from the airlines but I don't want her to be super uncomfortable since our flight is 5 hrs.

Also if you have a carrier that you like please advice! I would like to pick one up now so she can get used to it while she's still really small so its not completely foreign when we fly with her... that is if she will fit!

2nd February 2007, 09:39 PM
I haven't flown with my Cavalier yet, but, at 11 months he is the same size as my cat, who I have flown with. His carrier manages to squish under the seat no problem. I think the petflys and celltei are really cool, but if you want your Cav to travel "undercover" Sherpa may be the way to go.
Good luck and have fun on your trip!

2nd February 2007, 11:03 PM
I have flown with my 3 year old many times and he is on the bigger side and fits perfectly under the seat. I went through several carriers and the best I found was the Sherpa bag.

Keep in mind that since you are traveling with a pet you cannot check in online or at the self check in kiosks, you have to check in at the counter with an agent. I always get there early to check in but I don't cross through security until about 45 minutes before the flight leaves so I can take him outside just before. Check with your local airport because some of them require you to keep them in the carrier at all times but others (I know Dallas) will let you just keep them on a leash and walk until on board. I usually give mine 1/2 a children's benedryl about 30 minutes before we get on and he sleeps the whole way (3 hour flight). I hope this helps, enjoy your trip!

2nd February 2007, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the great info! I'll go check out a sherpa bag asap and get her adjusted to it now. She's a sleeper and can hold her potty for a long time so I think everything should run smoothly! Thanks again for responding!

2nd February 2007, 11:33 PM
You would want to start practicing training her to use the sherpa too as 5 hours is a pretty long flight and she really needs to be sherpa-trained just as you crate-train.

Also consider that while we tend to think the dog will be worse off in a kennel or in boarding, actually, travel and strange environments can be very stressful -- infinitely more stressful! for many if not most dogs. A lot of trainers feel most dogs are a lot happier staying in the sfe and bland environment of a kennel where there's a steady routine, or with someone who boards dogs, then going on long flights and staying in strange locations where, if you lose your dog, nothing would be familiar to her and she might just bolt. Also consider whether you want to structure your whole holiday around dog walks and dog management.

I know my dogs really enjoy both the kennels they go to now, and the home boarding situation they have also gone too. They really like the people there and they get lots of fun time to run around on grass and hang out with other dogs -- and I can enjoy myself without having the dogs there to be a priority (and many times, a hassle). Also I don't then have to worry about the travel arrangements and stress that brings. Mine are OK on trains and planes -- I've taken them before -- but I know this is definitely a high-stress situation for them and all things considered, I am sure they are happier at their kennels with their own beds in a place they now know with other people they know. Plus they love the other dogs.

We might think a kennel looks grim becuse it is plain, but dogs don't care about aesthetics. I do know for a fact from doing rescue that a good kennel is a stable, calming environment for many dogs and I have deliberately put some cavaliers into a kenneling situation just to let them get settled and de-stressed from over-stimulating environments and this WORKS. Kennels are in that sense sometimes a better option for a dog than a foster home. I also think it is preferred situation for many dogs compared to flights and being under a seat in a bag for many hours. It depends on the people and the dog but personally I think more dogs would prefer not to be taken places if they could reply to a question!

Just an alternative perspective.

Harley & Carley
3rd February 2007, 12:06 AM
what is the extra cost of having them in the passenger cabin with you?

3rd February 2007, 12:48 AM
I travel with mine all the time. She doesn't get bothered by it at all and I've never drugged her to fly or for long car rides. I take her with my everywhere and she seems to like it. But my weird lifestyle is the only thing she has ever known. The day I got her she went in her bag and went to lunch with me. I routinely sneak her into restaurants, movies, anywhere I want to go and if she's with me she comes. She's used to strange places b/c she comes with me so much so I don't worry about that, she's happiest when she's with me.

The only advice I have for the plane is to get your dog used to the bag before you go and walk them alot before you get to the airport and limit the food and water a few hours before. If your dog knows how to go on pads it makes it alot easier b/c you can put them down right before getting on the plane and in the plane bathroom if you need to.

Cicero's Mummy
3rd February 2007, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the great info! I'll go check out a sherpa bag asap and get her adjusted to it now. She's a sleeper and can hold her potty for a long time so I think everything should run smoothly! Thanks again for responding!

There are some really great patterns of sherpas. Not just the black ones they usually set at PetSmart. Look at www.sherpapet.com. My favorite is the Milan or Paris one!

The Milan:

The Houndstooth Paris:
http://sherpapet.com/products/detail.php?proddetail_name=Houndstooth%20Paris%20P et%20Carrier&proddetail_post=Y

Some you can order directly from thier site... others that are out of stock you have to order from other sites. Good luck with your travels!! And let us know how they go... I know I am going to be taking Cicero with us on a flight this coming November and would love the advice.

Cicero's Mummy
3rd February 2007, 11:46 AM
what is the extra cost of having them in the passenger cabin with you?

It varies from airline to airline... usually $60-$100... and that is one way... so on the way out it is that price and on the way home it is that price.

Overall you are looking at $120 to $200.

Our airline that we usually take charges $80 per way. I at first thought that this was per flight (and we might take a connecting) but it is per way.

3rd February 2007, 02:42 PM
We will be flying delta and its $50 each way so $100 total. To put her under the cabin in a large crate is $100 each way. But since we will be flying in the summer they don't allow that unless you fly them as cargo.

We've considered boarding her as there are some wonderful facilities here in Atlanta. The one that she will eventually stay at turns into doggy day camp during the day so she can play and not be stuck in a crate the entire time. We will board her over weekend trips but for this trip we are going cross country to see family for 10 days. She will be with us the entire time so she should be fine. Plus she'll have another cav to play with and we will be staying at my parents house where she will have a yard and get plenty of attention.(we live in a skyrise now and she loves going to the park and playing in the grass) If anything I think she will love it there more! We also want to get her used to traveling soon because this won't be the last time she has to make that flight. We will be moving back home in the next few years and she will have to fly with us then for sure. It will be a long day for her but we made sure we had a direct flight and we are flying early in the morning to time it well with when she goes to the bathroom and sleeps during the day.

Getting her used to the sherpa shouldn't be a problem either. She's still really small and still loves her crate that is way too small for her. We never lock her in it but we leave it out, along with her large crate and we still find her cuddled in her small crate trying to play or sleeping.

I'll keep you all posted on how it goes. But we have 5 months to get her used to her sherpa which should be good. Thanks again for all your concerns and thoughts!

Does anyone have a celltei bag? I've been comparing those to the sherpa and they seem to be slightly larger. I'm trying to find the largest bag I can that meets the dimensions the airlines gave me.

Cicero's Mummy
3rd February 2007, 05:02 PM
I have a Celltei (the messenger style) and I love it... I know arasara has one too and just used it for her puppy... maybe she offer you advice on how that went..

3rd February 2007, 05:10 PM
I just flew with my 5.5lb female this past Tuesday and we used a celltei bag. I REALLY like the bag. It's wonderful and I think every new puppy owner should have one. I am concerned that it won't fit her when she is full grown though. I have the pet on the go in a medium size. I am going to get a backpackopet for my other guy in a size large for when I have to travel with him.

My expereience flying with Faith was not a bad one at all. She was great - she slept the whole time and when she wanted to play I was able to put the bag on my lap and open the side and play with her that way. She was quieter than the kids on the plane, that's for sure!!

I paid $80 for one way and it was totally worth it to keep her in the plane with me because I knew she was safe. ;)


4th February 2007, 03:36 AM
When we flew with Ellie from Cali she was fantastic. Do get there with plenty of time, as we spent 2 hours waiting to check it. :sl*p: She was sooo quiet, and sat on my lap most of the time, hidden under my coat. icon_whistling It really is not much more hassle than flying yourself, other than having to wait to check in. Plus you get the comfort of knowing exactly where your baby is.