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Posted by
3240 posts

I totally agree with the author.

Last year, we were trying to reach our gate in a packed Phoenix airport. I was standing next to a guy who was looking at his phone and didn't realize that his dog was taking a dump on the floor. He didn't even have a poop bag - luckily I always have a couple in my pockets.

Posted by
1646 posts

What, you mean I shouldn't travel with my emotional support donkey, Yoshi? Sheesh!

Seriously, though, I agree. I have a dog and three cats, and I wouldn't dream of subjecting them, other passengers, or myself to what would undoubtedly be a stressful experience.

P.S. Yoshi is real. He lives at my cousin's acreage, and I love him. My cousin says I'm the only person who can make Yoshi laugh. I don't know if I should be proud or embarrassed that I'm the only person a donkey laughs at, though. :)

Posted by
531 posts

Not everyone is traveling for vacation, they could be moving. I've only traveled by air with a dog one time and that was because we were moving cross-country. My dog at the time was elderly and I wasn't going to have him transported by a third party or have him placed in the cargo area. I was careful to make sure he was able to go in the pet relief areas in both airports.

I will likely be traveling to Europe for 2 months at some point soon and will be bringing my (current) dog. Far too long to leave him in a kennel or with someone else. He will be in his kennel and I will have poop bags aplenty! 😊

Posted by
4077 posts

I'm thinking of the post about a child free area, I'm all for an all-dog area in the main cabin and I'll happily be its leader.

But no, I wouldn't bring my dog unless absolutely necessary.

Posted by
3240 posts

Jill M - I hear you. I have many friends who have flown with dogs across the country.

I once flew with a Collie from Austin to Oakland on a direct, but not non-stop, flight. It was one of the most stressful experiences of my life, Luckily, the Collie had a rock-solid temperament and held up way better than I did.

After the dog was joyously united with his new owner, I was eating and drinking alone at the bar of my hotel in the East Bay. I told the bartender that I had just flown from Texas with a Collie in cargo and I was still stressed out about the experience. His totally confused expression told me something was off. It turns out that he thought I said I had just flown with a COLLEAGUE in cargo!

Posted by
357 posts

My late dog Petra went to Paris and hiking in Switzerland. One of the best experiences of my life and she seemed to like it too. The dog got a bowl of water in very restaurant before I was even given a menu. At least a hundred photos were taken of her on the top of the Jungfrau yoke in her little snow booties by tourists from India. And just FYI in Paris the locals don't understand why we would not take our dogs with us on vacation as their dogs are considered part of the family and get taken every where. I only took the perfectly mannered dog, the international incident stayed at home with a sitter. The biggest plus is that locals come up and initiate conversations as they don't think your a tourist they just wanted to know what breed she was as at that time they did not have mini Aussies. When I could not speak French they very nicely switched to English. There is a bronze statue of a fox in Murren, Petra saw it and hunkered down because she thought it was a real wolf. The only place dogs can't go are some churches and cheese shops. Such good memories, thanks for making me think about them. J

Posted by
9420 posts

I have many friends who have small dogs and fly with them frequently with no problems at all. The dogs are in the cabin with them and not the least bit stressed.

Posted by
4584 posts

The article positions that the reason to fly with a pet is to take them on vacation. There are so many other reasons.

I travel with my dog to take her to my Mom's house - in another city - where she is loved and pampered while I take my typically 3.5 week trips. Mom gets a visit with her granddog and I get a dog break while I go on my trip.

many passengers are clueless about how to fly with their animal companions.

I can imagine this is true for some, just like there are clueless travelers.

It may also surprise some people how much careful planning some travelers do when traveling with their pet.

I plan flight days with my dog as carefully as I plan the rest of my travels, including her meal times and relief breaks before and after the flight. I schedule flights during her usual "nap time." She sleeps through the entire flight.

I arrive at my small airport 1 hour earlier than needed, check my bag and go back outside to the grassy dog area to walk my dog and give her the snack and water I've brought. We relax outside for 30 minutes before going back in through security.

At the gate, she stays in her crate and people watches. I bring a small bottle and give her sips of water.

I pay extra for us to board early and go to the back of the plane so that I can get her settled without holding up the boarding process. I deplane nearly last, again to avoid any holdups.

I fly Southwest - no assigned seats. When someone sits down I let them know there is a dog, in case they'd prefer not to sit there. Only once did someone choose a different seat. Most people say "we love dogs" and they chat with me about her.

Being confined to a kennel for hours

I bought a special travel crate that I can expand once she's on the plane, giving her enough room to stretch out. She loves her crate and spends hours in it at home, by choice.

try to get a little sleep on a plane with a barking dog under the seat next to you

We've flown about 15 round trips together. Some just for extended visits with my aging parents. Never once has she barked or whined on a flight.

Most of the time when I am deplaning with her, nearby passengers are surprised to see her and comment that they didn't even know there was a dog.

To which I always respond, that's exactly the way we like it.

And by the way, it's not cheap. Her flights often cost more than my own.

Yes, there are examples of bad pet/pet owner behavior, just like any other bad traveler behavior. And this article highlights those.

I wish the author had also thoughtfully interviewed any traveler who plans carefully how to travel with a pet and included some of the uneventful and non-disruptive examples.

Posted by
4045 posts

Great response, CWSocial. One-size-fits-all points of view usually only fit one small end of a spectrum.

I don’t travel with a dog or cat, but I will say I see more and more of this now in airports. I was in the guacamole line recently at a PHL lounge with a beautiful (and well-behaved) Australian Shepherd. 🤣 I have yet to encounter a barking dog on a flight, although just like every other possibility in travel I am sure there are some. And I love seeing so many people across “Europe” traveling with their pets. I have a child who flies occasionally with their small well-behaved dog, usually when they are going to be gone for longer than a few days.

On the flip side, I know that allergies are a major concern for some people. I have a child highly allergic to cats. I also have a friend highly allergic to even the smell of potatoes. They have to mention these things ahead of flying - but also have to be prepared to take precautionary allergy medicine.

One-size-fits-all doesn’t fit.

Posted by
4584 posts

Exceelent point, Texas Travelmom.

I also have to call the airline to register a pet for each flight. It cannot be done online.

Each time, I am read the pet travel rules. And I presume that if there were prior instances of bad behavior, we might be denied.

I would imagine this would also allow someone with a severe allergy to call to ask if any pets were registered on the flight.

Posted by
4584 posts

Through some research, I learned that the still-in-renovation Denver airport has built 3 new outdoor decks, one on each concourse. Each has an outdoor pet area with turf and bags to allow travelers with long waits to take their pets out.

Denver is usually my final destination, so I don't have layovers there. But it's a nice option for those who do, or if there were a fight delay.

I plan to check them out when I fly out tomorrow, in case I'd ever need them.

Posted by
8421 posts

Yes but.

I dont think the burden on checking should be on the humans with allergies. I love dogs, but I also love people who have allergies to pets and it's not fair that they should have to defer to pets and be stressed by them.

I also know a couple of people who have a fear of dogs having been bitten as children, and I dont think being asked to put up with them in a confined space is fair.

Surely the airlines could come up with a minor fix for this.