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flying with dogs

There's a private company that claims it can arrange private flights so that dog owners may sit in first class with their dogs. Dogs must have their own seats paid for at same price as humans. Company wants $30/year membership fee. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing or know of another way to fly with dog so they don't have to be crated?

Posted by
11967 posts

On most airlines, the only dogs allowed in the cabin are seeing eye dogs and lap dogs small enough to fit in a crate that can fit under the seat. (Usually a 20 lb limit.)

I've never heard of an airline that allows pet in a seat. Too much liability.

The only way you can fly with your pet and the dog doesn't have to be crated is to charter your own plane.

What's the company you're referring to?

Posted by
8296 posts

Personally, if I had just paid a fortune to fly first class, I would be quite upset to have a dog riding up there too. The smell when they poop as well as what if they bark.

The fact that there are a lot of people who have allergies to dogs makes me question this whole thing.

Posted by
5926 posts

I saw a bit on TV a while back about an "airline" that was going to fly dogs only in their cabin - no smelly humans, just dogs on their flights. It was more of a charter airline, and domestic only I believe.

Of course, the whole idea is completely fruit loops.

But there are plenty of lunatics in the world, and I'm sure there are some people with more money than sense who would pay to seat Muffy next to you. Lucky you.

Posted by
144 posts

I would rather sit next to a dog than some of the people I have had to set next to. I had a guy on the way to Cabo one time that was drunk and spilled his drink all over the place and threw up. I have had people that smelled so bad we had to move. Give me my dog any day. She is hypoallergenic as well as clean. Most people that travel with pets have well mannered ones. I hope they do get a way people can sit with their pets. I don't think the regular airlines are going to allow pets in the cabin for a whole lot of reasons, though, especially on international flights. Small pets can go now on domestic flights if they can fit in a carrier under the seat.

Posted by
2193 posts

I believe you’re referring to Pet Airways, but they’re not going to fly your dog to Europe on a 19 seat turboprop Beech 1900 aircraft. Some carriers allow small dogs in the passenger cabin in an approved crate, but I’m not sure there’s any way to transport a larger dog other than in the cargo hold. Personally, I wouldn’t want my pet in the hold. I’m curious…why do you have to take your dog to Europe?

Posted by
11967 posts

I checked out DogTravelCompany. What they do is charter aircraft depending on the number of people wanting to go to a certain destination at a certain time. If it's just you, they'll charter a corporate jet. They can handle groups up to 250.

Considering the cost of chartering the smallest corporate jets is about $5000/hour--this option is not for the average person here. Heck, for that kind of money, I'd send my dog to one of those pet resorts where they pamper the pets day and night.

Posted by
416 posts

I suppose it MIGHT be worth it if everyone from the US who was going to Crufts got together and chartered a flight, but I doubt you could get that many dog people to agree on the dates.

As someone who shows dogs, let me tell you, it is BIG business when you get into the upper echelon of competition. Those dogs you see on TV for Westminster? Their owners (frequently groups of owners pooling together to back a dog) are spending over a hundred grand a year to campaign their dog into the top spot. Even on the local level you can drop a lot of money just to get a dog's championship finished. Pro handlers charge around $125 just to go in the ring with your dog. Over the course of a 5 day show you could easily spend $1000 in handler fees and travel expenses and still come out with absolutely NOTHING to show for it. If you send your dog with a handler to your breed's national convention, you are looking at about $250 per DAY or more and in my breed, the national convention is 10 days long. Oh, and the $250 per day isn't including your own expenses if you decide to travel there yourself.

Now as to why someone would need to take their dog to Europe, there are plenty of folks who compete at the international level in their chosen dog sport--conformation (ie Westminster/Crufts type competitions), obedience, agility and protection sports. I would imagine there are even folks who do hunting and herding who compete at the international level. Some of them have sponsors who help with the expenses, but most travel under their own steam and the dogs are in the belly of the plane.

Posted by
416 posts

Oh, and for Jo--dogs are pretty regular when it comes to pooping (usually) and the smart dog person knows how to manipulate things so that the dog WOULDN'T need to poop on the plane. I have only ever flown with a dog ONCE to shows in Boston (flying from Austin, Texas and changing planes in Chicago) and my dog came out of his crate on the other end clean, but quite ready to find the nearest hydrant. :-)

Posted by
2193 posts

Makes sense and certainly answers the question…I didn’t realize Lucy was taking her dog for show in professional competitions.

Posted by
10344 posts

From immediately above post: I didn’t realize Lucy was taking her dog for show in professional competitions.

Where is a statement in this thread, from Lucy, that she's taking her dog for show in professional competitions?

I don't see that?

Posted by
9363 posts

I don't see it either, and just because "smart" dog owners can manipulate their dog's timing doesn't insure that the owner sitting next to you is smart.

Posted by
8296 posts

There is no way you can know this, but I am rather familiar with dogs. I worked for 2 years in the kennels of a dog track. I also worked as a vet technician, as well as having dogs all my life.

The fact is that if you put a dog in a crate they often do not do their "business" in there as they do not like to soil their bed. Seems a bit unfair to me though. How much would you enjoy waiting 8-12 hours without going to the bathroom. That takes some willpower.

Why would you want to manipulate your pet, your loving companion that way? Let them be dogs.

As to sitting next to drunks or smelly people, or babies with poopy pants, yes, that is annoying, but that is a chance occurrence. Sitting next to a dog, I am almost guaranteed there will be some odors I would prefer not to smell.

Posted by
8 posts

I would love to have you think I'm a dog pro but I am not. I am grateful for you all's input. I guess my calculation was way off on the cost. I'm just a dreamer.

Posted by
881 posts

It's been years since I researched this (dog died before we moved to Europe 2004), but don't most EU countries have quarantine/isolation times for traveling with your dog, don't they vary by country, and isn't Ireland really super strict about it in particular?

FYI - Lucy, LOTS of airlines allow dogs/pets in the cabin. Rules vary. Here's a great site to check it out on: http://www.dogfriendly.com/server/travel/airtravel/airpettravel.shtml

Posted by
11450 posts

I love dogs,, I really do,, so I would never advocate crating the poor things and shoving them in the dark for 8 to 12 hours,, too scary for any pet. If one is moving to a country,, fine,, but just for a visit,, no way. I wish there was a way dogs could fly in the cabins with their owners,, but I know it wouldn't work,, there is always osmeone allergic( and its not fair to make them suffer for long periods either, the air in planes is bad enough as it is) or someone terrified of them, or some moron who THINKS their dog is well behaved, but it barks and growls .. so.. poor pups must and should stay home..

I do wish they didn't have to go in the cargo area( yes, I know it is a special area etc).. it must be so scary for them.. and as pointed out,, no peeing or eating or drinking,, and often for longer then the flight, ,remember they have to be "checked in" hours before flight too.. poor things.

Posted by
26 posts

The laws in the EU have recently changed. You can go to the consulate website of the country you are entering and download the forms required. You will need to take your dog to an accredited Vet within 10 days of your flight with the forms you downloaded from the consulate. The Vet will fill them out and you will need to send or carry the completed forms to the USDA Animal Health and Plant Health Inspection Service for stamping. The USDA is the only agency most EU countries will recognize for these health certificates for entry of your animal. After that it's up to you and the airline to decide how your dog will travel (in the cab or in the belly)In addition, most major airports now have "Pet Relief Stations" now so your dog has an opportunity to hit nature before the next flight.

Once you are in the EU with your papers you can take your dog around "most" European countries without a hassle. England used to quarantine but has now relaxed their laws except for 3rd world countries.

Like people, taking a dog on a flight should be based on the ability to cope with it. A clean healthy dog that can control it's actions is much more pleasing than a crying baby, smelly passenger or individuals that consume 1 1/2 seats (1/2 being yours).

Remember how many hours a dog sleeps per day. Most dogs sleep the majority of the day and do so on a flight, If your dog is comfortable, it's fluids reduced (their not exercising anyway)most will fly without issue. If your animal is traumatized easily and not healthy than you should use common sense to avoid flights just as you would do for a human.

The big problems arise when people fail to use common sense regarding the impact of others and bring dogs that are untrained, aggressive, dirty, whiny, untrained etc. Those should stay home. However, as I stated above, a clean, well mannered dog with nature control would be welcome on any flight I was on over some humans I have had to sit next to.......

Posted by
2193 posts

What about Dachshunds...are they welcome in France...do they require a certificate?

Posted by
1 posts

Most airlines will allow you to carry on a small dog even for international flights. I am actually flying to South Korea with my chihuahua next week. There are always restrictions. However, you DO need to check on the particular country's restrictions on pet immigration. According to my recent research, most EU countries and Japan have about a 7 month process to bring your pet and they require Microchips as well as 2 recent rabies vaccinations. It is most definitely not worth the hassle for a vacation for the average pet owner. The best thing to do no matter the destination is RESEARCH! Find out before you book the flight!

Posted by
14 posts

The basic rule is that if your dog + his carrier bag is 8kg or less, he can come in the cabin with you. He also needs to fit under the seat for take off and landing. If your dog is bigger he has to go in the hold. You should check with your airline first for exact requirements. Typically the bag must be zipped shut, but have mesh so he can see out and breathe. Dogs are actually meant to be under the seat during the whole flight, but this is negotiable. So far we've only flown SAS and they've been great. I was on a very empty flight and they let him sit on the seat next to me. Other times he's sat on my lap. I usually check his hard crate so I can crate him in the hotel and if it's empty, they don't charge me an extra baggage fee (in addition to my suitcase) when I flight out of Stockholm (Arlanda) You're only meant to have the dog bag and no other carry-ons, but I've also found this is loosely enforced by airline officials.

Posted by
228 posts

Well this is a fun post! I thought I'd join in just for the heck of it! Can you imagine, paying $5K to sit in First Class, and next to you across the aisle is someone's dog sitting up in a seat, staring at you as you take every single bite of your dinner, licking his chops and pleading with you to give him just one measley scrap? And then when he, and they always do, shakes his entire body... the dog hair flies and lands... guess where? Into your glass of bubbly. So it's night-night time, and you put in your ear plugs and don your eye mask, recline your seat back, and just begin to doze off (remember, this is first class, not the economy seats, you actually can sleep in these chairs) and "Woof" breaks the silence and startles you so badly your hernia pops back out!