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bondgirl53001
19th December 2009, 01:35 AM
My boyfriend and I plan to take our 1.5-year-old Cavalier, Cali, with us to Kansas for the holidays. We are flying Southwest, which allows pets to fly inside the cabin. We have even reserved her a spot, as required, and even paid extra so we can board earlier.

I have a large Sturdi-bag pet carrier (http://www.sturdiproducts.com/4111/xcart/product.php?productid=2&cat=1&page=1#), which is 12" tall and whose top can be squashed down to fit under airline seats, even Southwest's tiny 8.25" ones. We "practiced" using the carrier with Cali -- and a tape measure -- at home and she seems content being there, even with the top squashed down to Southwest's seat heights.

Bottom line -- I am scared that they will not let us on the flight, because the carrier, like most pet carriers, can just barely fit and looks larger than it is because it's so flexible.

Anyone have any flying experiences with their Cavaliers, especially on Southwest?

P.S. It's not ideal to take her, I understand this, but we have no other option except a kennel and I'm not abandoning her.

And just for kicks:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4195727783_88a345ec52.jpg

Karlin
19th December 2009, 02:08 AM
If you are concerned I'd just call Southwest so you know the full procedure and can confirm your bag will be accepted. Lots of people fly every day with dogs, and quite a few on this site who may have suggestions. :)

Just as an aside: kenneling or home boarding a dog is not 'abandoning' it. Many of us do this, and several of my good friends run kennels or do home boarding, so I have been there around the dogs who have been 'abandoned' and while owners may think they are pining away, actually they are having a great time :lol:. I can guarantee you it is extremely rare for a dog to be upset in any way -- and often boarding or kenneling is a really beneficial experience because a dog that otherwise may get little chance for playing and meeting lots of other dogs gets to socialise.

All the home boarding folks I know generally return a dog to the owner that is crate trained, more able to be on its own, happier to mix with other dogs... while often the whole experience of travel is very stressful for a pet, much less the added risk of losing the pet in a strange location with a far lower chance for recovering it.

Dogs are all different, some are great travellers and some are just totally stressed out by it, whether in a car or a plane. I have now flown several of mine (all in the hold -- I think only one of mine would tolerate being under a seat in a bag for a flight) and some are laid back and some manage it but are not especially happy about it. I'd have to really feel they needed to be at the end destination to want to bring my dogs -- I have taken (some of) them to dog-friendly places for example, both rental cottages and hotels. But I know they really like all the places they are boarded/kennelled and adore the people who run the places and I never feel concerned about them feeling 'abandoned' -- I know they have a great time and love running around the large gardens and playing with their dog pals and just get to chill out. Finding a great boarding or kennelling facility is very much worth the effort. As an aside, personally I would never leave any of my dogs with friends. I'd just see that as too casual and risky a situation -- I prefer secure kennels or boarding with experienced caretakers. :)

Love my Cavaliers
19th December 2009, 03:16 AM
I have flown with two of my cavaliers (at separate times) in the cabin. I have never flown Southwest, only American. I have used a large Sherpa bag, which is much bigger than the one you described. My experience has been that the only thing they look at when you check in, and you have to do this with an agent, is whether the dog has enough room to change position. To tell the truth, I think most of them just want to see what kind of little dog you are flying with and all of them ooh and aah about cavaliers! I have taken my dogs on a four hour flight and they have been fine. That being said, I would never now take Oz, my 2 year old. He is way too vocal and would not be happy being under the seat for that long. He is a whiner and when he whines, everyone knows it. Riley is my champion traveler. No one ever knows she is there. Have fun. Hope Cali does great.

arasara
19th December 2009, 12:41 PM
never southwest, but we flew US Airways with the dogs underneath the seat and my mom flew Northwest I think it was with hers. The restrictions have gotten somewhat stringent over the past two years with the introduction of the dreaded "second bag payment" procedure, but I wouldn't sweat it. What color is your bag? I agree most agents ooh and ahhh over your dog. We also flew Kos and Faith via cargo last April when we went home. It was expensive but they got to fly together and it was a direct flight. For what it's worth, I think that was far more traumatic on them than flying underneath the seat.

I've never heard of someone being turned away from the counter, and have heard of MANY a cavalier who have travelled underneath the seat :) Good luck and let us know how your flight goes :flwr:

katc10
20th December 2009, 05:14 AM
I think we also flew American with ours 2 years ago. We got a look from the baggage check-in guy because Charlie barely fit in his carrier (but cold still maneuver to change position) and that was it. No one checked the bags size or even checked their health certificates at any point (which was annoying after we spent $30 each for them at the vet). We used the collapsible carriers (http://www.target.com/Pet-Carrier/dp/B0009NWVEG/ref=br_1_7/181-7731657-7022558?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=1&searchView=grid5&searchNodeID=13660441&node=13660441&searchRank=pmrank&searchPage=1&searchSize=30&id=Pet%20Carrier) from Target.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3151/3068917962_919a2dfa1b.jpg

cy1266
21st December 2009, 04:26 PM
I have never flown with my two, but I have flown Southwest several times and have seen dogs on the flights. On the last flight I took they even let the woman take the dog out of the carrier and hold it on her lap during the flight; I think she had a blanket over it ;) If you're worried though I'd call Southwest...they seem to be very friendly and acommodating though, so :xfngr: that you won't have any issues! Good luck! :D

Soushiruiuma
21st December 2009, 08:29 PM
Guinness flew United last friday. We had an itty bitty carrier but he fit.

I've taken a sherpa carrier that was way too big with a cat, the people checking me in thought it might not fit, but let me go anyway. Then the stewardesses yelled at me about it, but they can't do anything.

I wouldn't worry about it.

avejo
22nd December 2009, 03:11 PM
My boyfriend and I plan to take our 1.5-year-old Cavalier, Cali, with us to Kansas for the holidays. We are flying Southwest, which allows pets to fly inside the cabin. We have even reserved her a spot, as required, and even paid extra so we can board earlier.

I have a large Sturdi-bag pet carrier (http://www.sturdiproducts.com/4111/xcart/product.php?productid=2&cat=1&page=1#), which is 12" tall and whose top can be squashed down to fit under airline seats, even Southwest's tiny 8.25" ones. We "practiced" using the carrier with Cali -- and a tape measure -- at home and she seems content being there, even with the top squashed down to Southwest's seat heights.

Bottom line -- I am scared that they will not let us on the flight, because the carrier, like most pet carriers, can just barely fit and looks larger than it is because it's so flexible.

Anyone have any flying experiences with their Cavaliers, especially on Southwest?

P.S. It's not ideal to take her, I understand this, but we have no other option except a kennel and I'm not abandoning her.

And just for kicks:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4195727783_88a345ec52.jpg

Bondgirl,

We flew with Lady over Thanksgiving to California with the same exact bag you plan to use. We flew United and it was fine. No one said anything about the bag - it fit under the seat just fine - no issues at all. One recommendation I would make would be to take one of those small water bottle/bowls (not filled of course until you get through the security). It fits easily inside through the top zipper, and it was great for keeping her hydrated throughout the flight. Good luck!!

dandelos
12th February 2011, 09:19 AM
Sorry to revive such an old thread, but I was just curious what bondgirl53001's experience on SWA was? Reason being we were thinking about flying with Skippy via SWA on a 1.5 hr flight. I thought he might be too big, but that was before reading this thread....

Chamberlain
15th February 2011, 08:19 PM
We flew Air Tran in December and we are flying again in March. The kennel size limit for Air Tran was ridiculous! A teacup poodle wouldn’t even fit in the size they want! I bought a medium size kennel and I was worried that they would stop me and yell at me. But none even paid attention! They didn't even know a dog was in there! The bag was black and looked like a carry on, so I didn’t attract any attention which was perfect.

I even let him out to sit on my lap while we were waiting for the plane to board and none said anything. I saw a lot of people just walking their dog in the terminals. I also spent A LOT of money on getting a pet cert to fly and it was a complete waste of money. None asked for it. Air Tran says you don't need one so I will just be flying with his shot records and nothing else.

Soushiruiuma
16th February 2011, 01:37 AM
I thought I'd update my comment here. I now use a sturdibag carrier (large). There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best carrier, from flying to driving, this bag is awesome. I always bring the health certificate, even though I've only been asked for it once. If it is required you have to have it, if it isn't then just a copy of most recent shot records will do.

Another personal tic, make sure all tags are current (phone, address, etc), if you will be traveling to the same place often (a parent's house or something) get a set of tags with that address and house phone number as well. People will always choose the local area code phone number to call first.

My border collie once decided to go meet new friends, clearing 2 six foot fences is the process. He had registration tags from Louisiana, a Louisiana address tag with my cell number, a Colorado address tag with my cell and my roommate's, and a Florida tag with my cell and my parent's. The people went through all the tags, and chose my roommate's phone number, because she had a local area code, where my cell phone was out of state. But I got him back.

Blondiemonster
16th February 2011, 06:40 AM
I flew continental international with the large sturdy, Nobody blinked an eye. Though I used to have blondie as a certified therapeutic dog, through a shrink.
Its a special regulation in the US. ;) U can fly with your rottweiler in cabin with a letter from a shrink or therapist saying its necessary. U do need to be under that therapists care.