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Flying a dog as cargo

GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
edited May 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
So I've never done this, and the amount of work it seems to entail is making my head swim, so has anyone done this? Basically my best friend has been keeping one of my Corgi's while I moved from Texas to the pacific Northwest, and I'm in a position to get him back. He's too big to fly under a seat, or I'd just go get him myself. So I have to fly him cargo. It seems to be a big pain in the ass. I understand the flight certificate from a vet, no issue. But then I am reading if it's over 85 degrees on the tarmac, they won't load live animals? So...this is Texas, the only time it's under 85 degrees is later at night, so I guess I need to get him a flight late at night? I am assuming an airlines cargo group can coordinate this with me?

The kennel guidelines seem to be crazy as well. Will a basic plastic + metal door kennel from your basic pet supply store work? It's larger, because Corgi's are long and short. To lay down comfortably his kennel has to be pretty big, so I think it meets all the "Get up, turn around, sit up" kind of requirements.

Food and water is another thing. He eats very specific food, but all the guidelines I've read state is that he needs attached food and water bowls that can be reached from the outside (so I assume affixed to the metal door), and that they should be empty. Water is fine, but I don't want them to just feeding him whatever. Do I need to affix a bag of his food or something to the crate? Or are they just going to feed him purina? It won't kill him, I am just picky.

I guess I'm just looking for first hand experience with this. I've read all the various airline pages and guidelines, but they don't give the fullest of picture of how this works in the real world.

Sagroth wrote: »
Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
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Posts

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    i don't see why you would need togive him food for that short a flight. i always though he just needed to be able to lay down comfortably and be able to turn around. though it doesn't have to be full extension.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Well, the guidelines are clear. It either has to be two bowls, or a single bowl with a divider. Just a water bowl is not enough. You're right, on that short of flight, you wouldn't think he needed to eat....but the guidelines seem clear. If they are required to feed him, I'd like it to be his normal food so he doesn't come off the plane with more upset bowels than he's already going to.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    i think you could just attach a zip lock bag of your food. if my dog got some other food, the crate would be covered in bloody diarrhea and i would not be a happy customer.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    It may be a short flight, but if there are delays they might need to feed the dogs.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Well, it wouldn't be that out of control, he'd just get the runs. Still annoying, but not the end of the world. I've been on hold for like 45 minutes with Delta Cargo to look in to the flight, so I'll ask them some of this. I'd still like to hear from some people that have done this. It's monumentally more stressful for me than flying myself anywhere :P

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    Wife and I didn't do a dog but we did a cat from London, ON to Victoria BC (4200 Km, 2600 miles, 4-5 hour flight)

    Being Canada, we did Air Canada but we didn't have to do food or water. Only certain crates were allowed (most pet stores will say if they are cargo ready) but there wasn't anything too complex with it. Your on the right track talking with Delta directly because every company will be different.

    Just be ready for a FREAKED out animal once you get it. We left the cat in the crate until we got home and took it out in the bathroom with us locked in there. Let it decompress from a bad flight.

  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    I flew my dog from St.Kitts to Miami, took 6 days to find a flight on a day that was under 85 degrees... We tried to fly it from St.Kitts to Miami to Brooklyn but once we hit Miami it was impossible to get under 85 degrees so we needed up having to drive the 1,800 miles in a rent a car... and we had to lie to the rental car company that we didn't have a dog or they wouldn't give us the van.

    I'm going to warn you now that they airlines are extra strict with the rules, they will NOT let you fly the dog even at 85.1 degrees because "that's over 85" according to the american airlines manager. My dog was born on St.Kitts (where it's almost never below 85 and is generally 90-100 every day) and lived there for 3 years before I brought her back to the states, and even though we were traveling with a Vet they wouldn't let her fly above 85 degrees no matter how many wavers we offered to sign or had signed by a vet. Also, they will not let you fly if you don't have enough food (there may be delays and if your dog starved it'd be a huge legal issue for them) or even if the veterinary write off is a copy and not an original. As for the crate, they make special FAA approved crates that have easy attach bowls and things.

    Also, my dog HATED flying and was looking at me funny for days after the flight and drive. I would really recommend not traveling with a dog to everyone ever because it's a super giant headache. That being said, it is nice to have my dog around.

  • tech_huntertech_hunter Registered User regular
    I did this a few years ago on American Airlines, from Dallas to Seattle.

    I had a late flight from Dallas to arrive early morning in Seattle, I got the vet certificate and vaccination records. I got a crate, which you have to secure the gate of the crate I used zip ties which they just cut off in security checked the crate and put their own zip ties on it.

    You just have to be lucky in regards to the temp, I almost had to reschedule because it was 2 degrees too cold in Seattle. Even though I would be arriving when it would be warmer. Fortunately after an hour the temp went up and I proceeded through. This was probably the most stressful flight I have ever undertaken. I remember having to have water but I dont think I had to have food and this was on American Airlines, so maybe they have changed their rules. I was also transporting my mother who had to have an oxygen concentrator, which was a whole nother level of BS. This was around this same time of year as well, weird.

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  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    Could you also possibly fly down one way and drive a rental one way back? I know it's not the cheapest option by far, but it would sure seem like a fun time with an animal you love

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Driving from Texas to Portland in a rental is not an option right now. I can't miss that much work, and it would cost 5x what flying him will cost.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    Have you considered something like this?

    www.wemovepets.com/

    I didn't see a price calculator there but I did some google searching and it looks like relocating your corgi would cost somewhere between $500 and $1000

    It's done in climate controlled storage and it's all ground transport.

    It may be out of your price range, but I thought I'd throw it out there. They seem to be based in the continental US and have several branches scattered across the nation.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    I didn't even know that existed. I'll look in to it. The plane ticket is going to cost 250+ regardless, so I'm willing to pay a premium to have him moved in relative safety and not have the stress of wondering if the flight is a go or not because of temperature.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Ooof, $1133 to move him from Houston to Portland. I'll deal with the head ache of the airlines for that price.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Okay, just got off the phone with Delta.

    453 for the flight, and all the airports involved are "Summer Pet Program" airports, meaning I don't need to worry about the temp at all, they make sure everything is good with that, keeping him in climate control the whole way. Gonna book this flight in the next day or two.

    Thanks for the all the advice everyone. I'll post pictures when he gets here :)

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    Don't give him any tranquilizers before the flight. They may refuse to take him if he's taken any drugs; that's what the airline I work for instructs.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Yeah, I'm not going to tranquilize him. The effects of tranquilizers at high altitude are unknown. He's not that skittish anyway. He's a Corgi, they should be born with cool shades attached, they are so chill.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm not going to tranquilize him. The effects of tranquilizers at high altitude are unknown. He's not that skittish anyway. He's a Corgi, they should be born with cool shades attached, they are so chill.


    That's why the airline would deny the pet if it was. Does Delta do advanced payment for pet as cargo? Also, always take the earliest flight possible as it gives you more leeway in terms of missed connections/delays.

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    "Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are smarter than one man. How's that again? I missed something" Lazarus Long
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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    DaMoonRulz wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm not going to tranquilize him. The effects of tranquilizers at high altitude are unknown. He's not that skittish anyway. He's a Corgi, they should be born with cool shades attached, they are so chill.


    That's why the airline would deny the pet if it was. Does Delta do advanced payment for pet as cargo? Also, always take the earliest flight possible as it gives you more leeway in terms of missed connections/delays.

    Yes, they do advanced payment, out to 14 days. Also, because all the airports are part of their Summer Pet Program, I was pretty distinctly told delays due to temperature wouldn't be an issue. Only like, actual normal delays, would be a problem. I guess the 85 degree rule only applies if the dogs aren't kept in climate control until just before take off. It's when they are going to be sitting on the tarmac for hours that the rule applies. With the Summer Pet Program, the participating airports specifically have facilities for housing the pets until just before take off.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    I've had some friends in the military fly pets, and they typically tape a big ziplock bag full of food to the top/side of the kennel along with some treats. Depends on how busy the crew is, but they do get fed if its a "longer" flight (my most recent knowledge is from a transatlantic move so yeah).

    All good experiences though! Once the kennel was actually "too big" to fit into the aircraft, so they let both my friends dogs fly coach! A 80 Lab/Shep mix and a 110 lb labradoodle. Yeah, fun times.



  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Yeah, this is all turning out a little less stressful than I thought at first. The wheels are in motion. He's going to the vet tomorrow to get his flight certificate. Once I get the thumbs up on that, I'll book the flight for this weekend with Delta. He should be here Saturday or Sunday. I'll post pictures :)

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
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