View Full Version : Long Distance Flight---Please advise!!

27th March 2007, 08:37 PM
so we are getting closer to fixing the date for the Atlanta move and it looks like I could be moving as early as the first week in May :yikes ! :D

i'm trying to figure out the best way to bring indy---Delta has assured me that they allow pets as carry-on on transatlantic flights, but the proportions for carriers are very very small as some of you know. the non-stop to atlanta is 8.5 hours and i think that is a long time for indy to be still and quiet and most importantly COMFORTABLE..... would the vets or benedryl help him to rest and sleep for such a long flight??? i wouldn't mind if he could sleep but it's a long long time.

the other 2 options are to fly indy as cargo---delta won't take pets as checked luggage at the moment.

continental would fly him on the same day (possibly the same flight) but it involves a connection in new jersey. it also costs over a thousand euro :yikes :shock: don't know if that will be an option

lufthansa will fly indy to frankfurt to spend the night in their brand new state-of-the-art kennels (very fancy) and then will fly him direct to atlanta the following day.

i'm looking for the option that will involve the least stress for indy as he'll already have a new home and climate to settle into.....

cargo----bigger space or carry-on--tiny space but he's right beside me.

any ideas? please help!!! i'm very nervous about this!!!!


27th March 2007, 08:43 PM
We flew our Katie from Washington to NJ (about a 4 or 5 hr. flight) in cargo on Continental. She was about 15 mos. old at that time. We were able to get a Contintental flight at night and she arrived in the early morning. That way she was sleeping pretty much the whole flight as it was her normal sleep time. She arrived on time and fine! The airlines personnel were very helpful. Weather is a consideration in cargo; she wouldn't be able to fly if it's too hot or too cold out. Sorry I can't give you any more help.

27th March 2007, 08:47 PM
If it were me I would see if I could put him as cargo .. I know some people are dead set against it but 8.5hrs is a long time to be couped up in a little bag. And I am sure he's going to wake up and want a drink or a wee or even a stretch. You could probably throw a booda bone or something in with him and he'll keep himself occupied. I am sure you'll be OK. The flight attendants from what I've read are generally pretty accomodating and they will let you know what's going on every step of the way. :flwr:

27th March 2007, 08:48 PM
I would find the largest carrier that the airlines would allow and do my best to get two seats by a window for you and your OH so that no other passengers were around. I am sure you could sneak him onto your lap for a nap if you were discreet. Also, this would allow you to maybe carry him in the bag to the bathroom to stretch, again discreetly. I don't mean to say break all the rules, but maybe you will be get a flight crew that will politely look the other way.

I have heard of people giving benedryl to their pups to make them sleep but I would ask my vet before I did anything. I am pretty sure they recommend not giving them anything if you are flying them as cargo...but if he was with you, maybe it is ok.

How big is Indy?

27th March 2007, 09:05 PM
with ashley's suggestion - please keep in mind that the window seat is typically the smallest space under the seat for some reason. I found that out AFTER I booked all of Faith and I's flights by the window :sl*p: THe isle seat is the biggest though.. also if you're going to do it that way make sure the plane that you're riding in doesn't have "sound packs" or whatever those things are called under the seats - because they take up a lot of room too! :yikes yikes it seems like theres a million things huh!

27th March 2007, 09:50 PM
In my experience on International flights to London on Continental & Virgin Atlantic the aisle seats have the smallest space underneath and the middle is the best space. If you are flying with your OH, then it is probably a non-issue, but if you are not able to get seated together for some reason, then I"d ask an agent for the airlines about that when you are getting seat assignments.

Also, I believe that weather is less of an issue on Continental flying cargo than on othe airlines - check to be sure, but it is my understanding they actually have climate control transportation from the plane to the terminal where you pick up the pet so they are less restrictive than other airlines.

27th March 2007, 09:59 PM
Is Delta sure about this? This would go against everything I had been told about carriers out of both UK and Ireland -- that none will take dogs or cats in the cabin. I think I'd want to double check that.

27th March 2007, 10:05 PM
I checked their website. It says:

Pets As Carry On
Your pet can travel with you in the cabin for a one-way fee of $50 (to be collected at check-in) when traveling within the United States (except Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Under international travel it says they carry animals as cargo only into Ireland -- don't know about out of Ireland.

It just seems very unlikely they allow in cabin from Ireland given all the checks you need to go through. If you get a definite confirmation let me know. I have found reservation agents often have the wrong information on this issue.

27th March 2007, 10:43 PM
when you get to atlanta you'll have to let me know! Maybe we can set up a play date for the pups at piedmont park. There is also a cav meet up the second saturday of every month there.

Good luck with the traveling. I don't have much advice, haven't yet flown with Padden. We are going to be in June and I'm planning on talking to the vet about something to get her to sleep as our flight is 5.5 hrs. Not including the 2 hours at the airport before hand.
They won't let us fly her under the plane due to the temperature that time of year so she will be in a bag under the seat. We have already gotten her used to her bag and she seems to like it so far. But we haven't kept her in there for extended periods of time.

Let us know how it goes & safe travels.

27th March 2007, 10:51 PM
I don't have a lot of knowledge about putting Indy on an airplane, etc., but I do know that benadryl doesn't do anything to make my dogs sleep. (We have given it to them for scratching issues) However, your vet can probably prescribe some acepromazine tablets, which is like a little doggy tranquilizer and will help him to "rest" during the flight.

Good luck! May isn't too far away. Scary and exciting, isn't it?

28th March 2007, 07:55 PM
thanks everyone---

yes karlin i was very suprised at delta saying they'd take indy in-cabin as well....i've gotten confirmation from 2 different reservations agents who were willing to book him on then and there, but i think i'm going to ring again and ask for a supervisor because if they say no at the airport i'm obviously in big trouble!

well, if i upgrade to business class (knew those flyer miles would be of use eventually!) the maximum dimensions aren't as bad-- 17LX20WX10H in inches. i found a carrier that looks good:

indy is about 18 inches from tip of his nose to the start of his tail, so i think he could at least spread out a bit...it's the standing up that would be problematic. i'm checking out the temperature regulations for cargo as well because i keep getting mixed information....i think that continental and lufthansa are temperature controlled and that's why i was given those two airlines as an option....

yes alee a play date sounds like great fun :-)

i'm looking forward to this but i'll be so relieved when everything is booked :sl*p:


28th March 2007, 07:57 PM
Ruby here,

Mom and Dad flew over to Ireland to pick Sydney and I up from a breeder that Dad knew when he worked in Dublin. We each flew back on United in a large Sherpa carry on and easily slipped under the middle seat. However, it was a Boeing 777 so it probably had more leg room. Also, although they weren't supposed too, once the stewardesses caught a glimpse of us, they couldn't resist letting us come into the back and let Mom slip us out of the bag so they could hold us. Just show the flight crew your little guy and the younger he or she is, the more likely he or she is going to get plenty of time out of their carrier. It might be a little more difficult traveling within the US. Smaller planes, more connnections, etc.

Bark On!

Ruby and Sydney in Virginia :paw:

28th March 2007, 08:19 PM
United will NOT take dogs in cabin any longer from the UK as far as I know. I do not think any airline will take a dog in cabin out of the UK, full stop. United doesn't fly out of Ireland, so they can't have flown from Ireland with him in a bag; they must have gone another route. Some airlines will go from Germany or Amsterdam and allow dogs as cabin baggage but I have never heard of this from the UK or Ireland in recent years. Maybe Delta has changed its rules.

I would contact the US Embassy not airlines for current info on what you might need for bringing a dog into the US. This was the reply denise at irishanimals.ie got a few years ago but this could well be out of date now:

US Embassy in Dublin issues this information for those moving from Ireland to the U.S.: In reply to your recent inquiry, the U.S. Public Health Service does not require quarantine, innoculation or a health certificate for the entry of pets (domestic dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits or guinea pigs) which are travelling directly from Ireland into mainland United States and which have not been outside Ireland during the previous six months. (Ireland is considered free of Rabies and, therefore, pets do not require vaccination prior to travel). Pets will be examined on entry to ascertain their disease free status and should, therefore, be in good health.

However, all dogs and cats entering the State of Hawaii and the Territories Guam and America Samoa are subject to a 120 day quarantine in accordance with state and territorial regulations.

Pets enter the U.S. free of import duty. No veterinary or other forms are required. If the pet is transiting through another country on route, the pet will be considered as having arrived from that country and the regulations which apply to pets coming from there will apply.

Dogs which are used in the handling of livestock will be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry to determine their freedom of tapeworm, If found to be infested they will be treated under the supervision of a Port Inspector. We understand this procedure takes a number of hours.

You should also check with the airline, which may have special requirements for transporting pets. The airline may request that a health certificate accompany each animal. In any event, we advise enquirers that health certificates may be useful on arrival in the United States and recommend having an additional copy with the animal/s when travelling.

We would also suggest that after arrival at your destination, you check with local State authorities regarding vaccination regulations for animals residing in that area.

Aer Lingus no longer takes dogs for any UK flights nor for most if not all European flights. they will only take dogs to east coast destinations and in the hold.

28th March 2007, 08:28 PM
United noted that vets advise against ever tranquilising a pet for air transport. Also note United won't take brachycepahlic breeds on certain flights -- which includes cavaliers -- though they seem to work on a don't ask, don't tell system for cavaliers. I haven't heard of one being barred from travelling but do know of cases where pugs and flat faced breeds were not allowed.

From United:

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and United do not advise sedation, because the effects of tranquilizers on animals at high altitudes are unpredictable. Your veterinarian should decide if a tranquilizer should be prescribed for your pet. The AVMA also advises that brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds should not travel during adverse weather conditions which include high heat and humidity as the stress of travel might exacerbate the condition. As United Airlines is concerned about the safety of your animal, we are unable to accept short-nosed breeds as either checked baggage or cargo from June 1 - September 30.

28th March 2007, 10:55 PM
Ruby here,

Karlin is correct that there are no direct United flights from Dublin. We flew from Dublin to London Heathrow (British Midland) and then from London to Washington Dulles. We could travel as carry on because we were more than the minimum 8 weeks old and had been weaned of course. We also could fit under the seat in our Sherpa bag because we were still small enough. Oh, and of course, Dad had to pay a fee but we were worth it. I guess it is just better to call your airline and find out all their rules and regulations and what you can and can't do based on the size and breed of your dog. You can also find out whether you can carry your Cavalier on or you have to either check them in the hold or ship them as cargo. Maybe its just easier to leave your Cavalier at the kennel until you get back, but that wasn't an option for us.

Bark On!

Ruby and Sydney in Virginia :paw:

29th March 2007, 12:06 AM
Dogs now have to all fly in ther hold out of Ireland to the UK and other European destinations on the few airlines left that will carry them here -- which is why I would be amazed if Delta will carry dogs in cabin. If they do it would be very useful to know.

Generally the best way to fly would be to avoid shipping the dogs as cargo on a flight you are not travelling on as the costs skyrocket. if you are on the same flight it would be worth the cost to route other ways. Getting them in to Ireland is a much bigger problem from the US -- either you pay astronomical prices to ship as cargo or you have to fly them in thry the UK, go thru the whole pet passport clearance process, then take the ferry or fly BMI over to Ireland. :shock:

Plenty of dogs get shipped safely by cargo out of Ireland every week though. For most dogs I think going in the hold is less stressful than sitting in a bag for hours under a seat. Unfortunately though, the planes are full of puppies bred here and sold in the US as 'Irish champion stock". Up to 25 puppies to a crate, heading out weekly, from Europe's puppy farm capital. :(

29th March 2007, 03:46 PM
Plenty of dogs get shipped safely by cargo out of Ireland every week though. For most dogs I think going in the hold is less stressful than sitting in a bag for hours under a seat. Unfortunately though, the planes are full of puppies bred here and sold in the US as 'Irish champion stock". Up to 25 puppies to a crate, heading out weekly, from Europe's puppy farm capital. Sad

that crossed my mind as well. i have the horrible image of indy in his crate sitting beside a crate full of crying little puppies. :( it's so unfair and depressing.

i'm making a couple more calls today to see if indy would fly cargo on the same flight as me if i took continental. i'm worried about him sitting for so long in a small crate IF delta will let me take him on board, but i also don't like the idea of him being on different planes and possibilities for delays and horror upon horror--going missing increase. you'd think this would be more straightforward but it's not!

k :sl*p:

30th March 2007, 01:44 AM
Hello Indy's mom,
I am new to the board (you can see my introduction on the other board)

I thought I would add my two cents!
On the topic of sedatives for a dog when flying, I believe that unless your dog is a special case... A very good, very long walk before the flight can be the best medicine. Also taking some trips around town in the carrier he will fly with can help build a positive association to his carrier.
If possible I would personally have a dog fly in the cabin under a seat, rather than in cargo. In order for flights to allow animals to fly they have to be a plane equipped with a special compartment that not all planes have.
The only bad experiences I have heard from long flights with pets are the ones where the animal was not in the cabin with the owner.

Good luck!
(side note: Indy is gorgeous, I hope my future ruby will be nearly so handsome!)