View Full Version : Tips for Flying with Rose (USA)?

26th February 2012, 08:56 PM
Looks like Rose and I will be flying sometime in the next few months to meet her sister and her "Aunt". :) However, I will be flying by myself (for the the first time) and also flying with a pet for the first time! We will most likely be flying Southwest Airlines, nonstop. I will need to take her crate, her bed, her bowls, some emergency oops "doggy bags", some treats (for ear popping), some baby wipes (again, for oopses), a couple of toys, her food, and electronic wireless collar and units. I was thinking I would pack her crate with her stuff and put it in checked baggage, but I wasn't sure if I wouldn't be better off shipping everything ahead of time but her crate, food and bed. In a pinch, her sister eats the same dry food, so if it didn't get there, it would be okay.

I also need (I know I've asked before, but it was a while back, sorry!) to know what bag you used if you have flown Southwest. I'm hoping to borrow a bag, but if I have to, I'll buy one. Any tips for keeping her happy and quiet during the flight would be appreciated too, along with anything that you think I should know that I have no clue about, lol. I'm going to ask her vet, and at the least I think I will give her an allergy pill before we leave (zzzzzz). I'm excited but also very nervous, and any nervousness I can get rid of beforehand so Rose isn't wound up anymore than normal would be for the better! ;) She does travel well in the car, if that factors in to any of this...

26th February 2012, 10:05 PM
I flew with BB from Charlotte, NC to Omaha, NE (American) but found the best bag for her to fly in! It is www.sturdiproducts.com - there is a flight bags section and size large is recommended for Cavaliers. I like this because it fits under the seat better than other brands, is very light weight and has velcro covers so it can be as open or closed as needed. It worked great for us, in addition I had a harness on her with the leash handy for ease of going through the metal detector. We limited water and food before the flight and gave her 1/2 an allergy pill about 1 hour before heading to the airport. Worked great - she was very quiet the entire flight and I could not get there direct! Good luck!

27th February 2012, 12:11 AM
I have flown with animals a few times (maybe 10 flights total). The sturdibag is absolutely recommended. Sherpa is leading producer of airline kennels, but their sized to fit under first class seats, not coach seats- it doesn't fit! The sturdibag, is light, spacious and slides under the middle seat perfectly.

Why are you bringing her food if someone will already have it at your destination? Offer to pay for amount she eats, and just bring a small container of food.

Make sure you have her vet health clearance, it can't be more than 10 days old. Most of the time they won't check it, but if they do you MUST have it.

Otherwise, don't worry, even though it's new for you, the airlines do this all the time.

27th February 2012, 12:26 AM
Check with your airline carrier. I'm not sure but I think I hear Southwest may have recently changed its policy of pets flying. I have only flown once with a dog he was great just spend most of the time chewing the soft create (ok maybe he was nervous- Yorkies are high everything) also you can check on tsa's website about rules for dogs in airport check points. Its going to work out ok don't stress. I would much rather be on a flight with few dog barks than a baby screaming to whole time lol


27th February 2012, 01:00 AM
You need to make a reservation for the pet because there is government rule that only a certain number of pets can be on each flight, I have not heard of any specifics with Southwest.

For the TSA check point, make sure you have a harness and lead handy for Rose, the carrier goes through the X-ray machine and you carry the animal through the metal detector with you. They will not make you go through the body scanner with the pet.

27th February 2012, 01:37 AM
It sounds like you have thought about a lot of different factors about the flight, Furrfoot! I hope you don't mind me adding some additional questions to the thread for you and other posters:. How large are your cavaliers that you have flown with? I would really like to fly with my guy (also in the U.S.), but I worry he will be too big! He is 9 months and 15 lbs, and has a fairly long body. Is it reasonable to fly coach? And, do you have to keep your doggie under the seat the whole time, or just on landings and take-offs?

27th February 2012, 01:44 AM
Thank you! I will check into that carrier and will be making my flight reservations this week, and will check out their pet info before I book it. I have also ordered her a mesh "escape proof" harness for the trip! I guess that is a good thing for the TSA checkpoint- I wondered how that went. I will have it on her for the trip anyways, so that will be okay. Thanks for the heads up on the vet stuff- I will get that done before we go. As for the food, I still have to bring her canned food and her oatbran, so I just figured I might as well take it all for 2 days :P .

27th February 2012, 01:45 AM
BB is about 8 LBs and fit comfortably under the seat, I have also flown with a 12 LB Yorkie but not sure on the max weight. You do need to leave the pet in the carrier during the entire flight. The airline sites should have some weight recommendations...

27th February 2012, 02:15 AM
Rose is a bigger Cavalier- she's 17 lbs. But the SW Airlines "official" bag carries up to 25 lbs, so I guess we're okay. About the Sturdi bag...it says it's 12 inches tall, but I'm guessing by the description that it will squash to fit under the seat? The crate has to fit into one of these seats:

Window Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H
Middle Seat: 19"L x 19"W x 8.25"H
Aisle Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H
though I shouldn't have a hard time finding a seat, since I will be preboarding either as a disabled traveler (I haven't done this yet, but since I will be by myself, this trip is the one where I find out if I qualify) or we'll pay for early boarding.

Oh, and here's the link if anyone is interested: http://www.southwest.com/html/generated/help/faqs/pets_faq.html .

Love my Cavaliers
27th February 2012, 03:02 AM
I also use the Sturdibag and have flown with Riley more times than I can count. She is a dream on flights. No one ever knows she is on the plane. I've never given her food or water on the plane either, but I do give it to her right when we get off. The top of the Sturdibag does squish down to fit under the seat. I've only had one person ever say they're allergic and they asked the flight attendant to help them change seats. I always check in first and get my boarding pass and then take her outside to pee before going through security. Going through security, I've been told to take off her harness so I don't know if they'll let you keep the all mesh one on or not. I carry Riley in my arms through the airport and have never had anyone tell me to put her in the bag. She has SM and she feels much more secure in my arms, so I'm glad of that. But Riley only weighs about 12 pounds - easier to carry than Rose's 17 pounds. The last time I flew with Riley on American, they actually weighed her and the bag together (25 pounds is American's weight limit also for the pet)and then asked to see her in the bag to make sure she had room to move around in it. They also asked me to sign a paper saying she was not sedated. I'm glad they're being careful, but I think they overcharge to carry pets onboard the plane. Yes, you do have to keep them under the seat the entire trip, even during takeoff and landing. When we're getting reading to deplane, I open the top of the carrier so she can stick her head out and see me and I can pet her. Then I make a beeline for the outdoors so she can pee before I get my luggage. She's never had an accident yet and she's flown at least 15 times with the trips each being 4-5 hours long. If you can, carry a purse that goes across your body rather than just over your shoulder. I've found that one just over my shoulder is constantly slipping and is more hassle than one across my body, especially when I carry her in the ariport and am also carrying her bag. Sorry this is so rambling - whenever I had another thought I felt that I should write it down.

Good luck. I love having Riley with me when I get to my destination. She's the lucky one of my four that gets to travel. She's the easiest and the calmest and I also worry about her the most with her SM if I leave her at home with someone else. If I think of any more travel tidbits, I'll chime in again.

27th February 2012, 03:46 AM
Rose could stand to lose a pound, maybe we'll work on both our figures before we go, haha. Thanks for the advice! I will definitely be checking in regularly for more advice! :)

This is the carrier that Southwest sells: https://www.shop.creata.com/wcsstore/SouthWest/index.html but I can't seem to find the same dimensions on the almost identical Teafco Argo bags :/ . Leaning towards the Sturdibag at the moment (thank you for the link!), it looks and sounds like a good pick as long as it will squish to 8.5 inches, and it keeps Rose and the carrier under 20 lbs.

27th February 2012, 03:59 AM
The sturdi bag will fit under the seat there is small flexible plastic ( like boning) that helps the bag keep its shape but bends easily to fit under the seat. I own a Sherpa bag and have borrowed other bags from friends to travel with, the sturdi one fits the best. On the harness thing, I have not had TSA require me to remove it but perhaps the checkpoints I went through were less rigid. Good luck to you and Rose!

27th February 2012, 04:15 AM
The sturdi bag will squish down beautifully. The southwest one looks pretty nice as well (at that price you'd hope so).

The biggest difference I can see, is sturdibag has fabric panels over the mesh (they Velcro back), so you can choose between privacy, or let them look around. I thought Guinness would feel safer being able to see out, but he preferred the privacy.

You may want to check the weights, the sturdi bag is very light in my opinion, and you absolutely must be under the 25lb limit.

Here's a blog, it doesn't really get in depth, but it's probably as informative as you'll find:


27th February 2012, 04:30 AM
Good article, thanks!

1st March 2012, 04:58 AM
I just bought a SW bag via ebay. It should be here next week. :)