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Flying with your dog


Blackbelt Jones
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Has anyone flown with a medium Sherpa bag on United?? United is telling me that I will not be able to fly with my Cairn Clancy in the cabin if my Sherpa bag exceeds the dimensions of 17 X 10 X 10 . My medium sized bag's dimensions are 18 X 10.5 X 11. I called Sherpa and they told me I shouldn't have a problem because the bag is collapseable, but I am scared that I am going to get to the airport and be told otherwise.

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There must be someone at Delta that can answer that question. I am curious to know too. I fly Delta all the time and have never had a problem bringing luggage on the plane as carry ons that were not the exact requirements. My guess would be that they are not going to measure the carrier, they just want to ensure it fits under the seat. What are you doing to prepare your pup for flight? Was it difficult to get Delta to confirm you could bring the dog? My local paper just ran a big story on dogs in flight and mentioned that some airlines will not allow more than 2 dogs in the cabin and it is 1st come 1st serve. This is an interesting topic and I hope more people comment. I also hope people who have more than 1 pup comment on flying with a pooch.

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There must be someone at Delta that can answer that question. I am curious to know too. I fly Delta all the time and have never had a problem bringing luggage on the plane as carry ons that were not the exact requirements. My guess would be that they are not going to measure the carrier, they just want to ensure it fits under the seat. What are you doing to prepare your pup for flight? Was it difficult to get Delta to confirm you could bring the dog? My local paper just ran a big story on dogs in flight and mentioned that some airlines will not allow more than 2 dogs in the cabin and it is 1st come 1st serve. This is an interesting topic and I hope more people comment. I also hope people who have more than 1 pup comment on flying with a pooch.

Hi! Thanks for the link and the responce. We are actually flying on United... and no one at the airline can give us a straight answer, and that includes everyone from the ticket agents to the customer service line. Sherpa says it will not be an issue, but the bag is offically "too big" for United by an inch on each side (the Sherpa bag even includes United on its list of approved airlines). We are very confused. :(

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I flew up to pick up my Westie pup and fly him home back in November on Northwest Airlines. I thought I did my homework planning ahead for my new addition. I ordered my soft sided Sherpa kennel, sz small like was permitted. My kennel came and I set it aside w/ all of the other new puppy items. As my flight date approached, I got everything together that I'd be taking w/ me. The maximum kennel size permitted for NW Airlines was 17Lx12Wx8H. Imagine my fear when I double checked the measurement on my kennel to find out it was 9 1/2" high :o I guess when I ordered, I picked a different color which didn't come in the smallest size and was sent this one. Shame on me for not measuring it when it came, and shame on the company for sending a larger size. I was then in a panic and raced around to all of the local stores only to find larger sizes in stock. With my trip just a few days away, I decided I could make this work. I flew up w/ a small suitcase to carry the kennel and change of clothes for me. I just had my purse as a carry on. Once I picked up my pup, I put my purse in my suitcase and just used the kennel as my carry on. It had pockets for my important papers (license, credit card, puppy info.) I kept the kennel on my shoulder hugged closely to me to look smaller. I was never stopped to have it measured, even when I had to take the pup out through x-ray. On my connecting flight leaving a large city back into my small city, the plane was very small w/ only 3 seats across. We were told to check in anything larger than a traincase up front. Even then, I just hugged my kennel even tighter to me and boarded the plane. Thank goodness for soft sided kennels, I was able to bend it to fit under the seat. My kennel was 1 1/2" too high and I made it work. I would think you will be ok too. I was quite amazed w/ what some people consider carry on. Just make sure you do have the proper papers showing vaccinations and health certificate. That is something I was checked for.

<img src=&quot;http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/maiwag/terriersiggy.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

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I don't think you will have a problem with a softsided bag - assuming your dog is much smaller than the bag. After all, it's not just the bag that needs to fit under the seat and if the United personnel see that your dog is at the limit of the bag's size they may choose to get picky about it.

If you are really worried why not take a trip to the airport with dog & bag and ask?

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My future sister-in-law works for American as a flight attendent...She said that it shouldn't be an issue, especially if it's soft-sided. She said they see it quite often actually.

6amigos.jpg3amigospose.jpg3amigos.jpgRoscopuppy.jpg3amigos2.jpg

We're the Cairns of America

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I"ve flown on United with a medium sherpa several times. No problem. If they ask, just squeeze it into their bag size checker - it'll squish just fine.

Similarly, you'll have to squish it to make it fit under the seats of MOST of their planes. And don't expect to have much leg room left!

Do be careful with over-length - with the way they're packing seats on the planes now, the sherpa just barely fits between the seats and they

squish width-wise and height-wise MUCH better than length-wise.

Get an aisle seat if possible! No exit row seats, no front row of the cabin seats - they don't have usable space under the seat in front!

United does limit the number of pets per cabin on their planes - the last thing they want is the passengers barking at each other!

(Usually, first class is limited to 1, and coach to 2 - coach only gets 1 if there's no bulkhead between coach and first class - their reservation

agents are quite happy to explain these things if you ask nicely)

BUT they allow you to reserve a space for a pet. Since you've got to pay for the dog anyway, you just reserve pet space when you make your own

reservation - they won't charge you until you get to the counter to check in. (no curbside checkin, no online checkin, etc when you have a dog reservation!)

Also, since the dog is a paying passenger, they don't count towards you carry-on limit, and even (on united) get their own checked bag allowance (1).

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I've an additional question regarding plane travel. Has anyone run into wide variation in the weight limit of the pet that can travel? I've heard taht some airlines limit at 14 - 15 lbs while others permit up to 20 - 25 lbs. Has anyone had their pet's weight checked when flying? And does anyone know which airlines allow pets up to 20 lbs?

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I've never had the dog checked. At most, they've glanced at the sherpa to make sure that the dog isn't bulging out the sides. (The faa rules require enough room for the dog to sit upright and to turn around - I think the weight guidelines are an attempt to make sure this will be complied with - in practice, if the dog seems content in the bag, the airline person is content.) The practical weight limit is your own - you'll have to carry the dog in the sherpa everywhere from the airport entrance to the airport exit - the only place they allow the dog out of the bag is at the security checkpoint, where you have to take the dog out, remove any collar, and then carry the dog through the metal detector, wait for them to finish x-raying the sherpa and collar, then put the dog back.

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I"ve flown on United with a medium sherpa several times. No problem. If they ask, just squeeze it into their bag size checker - it'll squish just fine.

Similarly, you'll have to squish it to make it fit under the seats of MOST of their planes. And don't expect to have much leg room left!

Do be careful with over-length - with the way they're packing seats on the planes now, the sherpa just barely fits between the seats and they

squish width-wise and height-wise MUCH better than length-wise.

Get an aisle seat if possible! No exit row seats, no front row of the cabin seats - they don't have usable space under the seat in front!

Thank you ALL so much for the replies... you have put my mind at ease. And thanks to your suggestions Tomq, we switched our "Clancy" seat to an aisle seat. :) Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experiences!

And Clancy seems to like the Sherpa bag just fine... we are slowly getting him used to it.

Thanks again all!

Cheers from Chicago!

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Hi,

My close friend recently used a Sherpa to pick up her 8 week old yellow lab from the breeder.

Like you, hers was just a tad larger than the specs listed on JetBlue's website.

When she called the airline, they did tell her there should be no problem because it was soft-sided and could be compressed somewhat to fit properly.

They told her the airline had the exact size available for sale if there was a problem.

She was concerned about him fitting comfortably into the carrier as he had grown much faster and much larger than what had been anticipated. In the end, all was fine. Although, I am sure my friend added years to her life from the worry of it all.

Happy Travels,

Barbara

Edited by pookiegirl
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Dunno if you've already "taken off," but don't sweat it.

I fly American with my 9-month-old Izzie, in a Sherpa (not quite sure the size, but I know it's not a small). You have to kind of smoosh the top side down a bit to get it under the seat, and to get the bag to clear the bottom-of-the-seat bars and such. Try putting it in at an angle. I really need to look up the "official" size for under-the-seat carryons, but I tend to think it's a little bit less than what the airlines tell you, because of the mechanicals that are beneath the seat. But you should not have a problem at all.

American has never weighed Izzie, has never checked the bag's size, has never made sure she could stand up and turn around in it. They USUALLY check the health (rabies shots) certificate, though on our recent flight out (Izzie's 3rd flight!), the gal at the counter didn't.

Good move to choose an aisle seat; gives you a little more room to maneuver the bag into place.

One thing to be aware of: I've heard that some airports are stringent about enforcing a "pets must stay in their carrying bags" rule. At Reagan National in D.C., I let her out on a leash while we're sitting in the boarding area, and she usually wanders a foot or two, sniffing--as long as it's not crowded (you don't want anybody tripping over your dog or hurting it). Then she just lays down near me, watching people. This past trip, a woman sitting next to us who was really missing her dogs made nice to Izzie, petting her for quite a while! But it was a bear to get Izzie back into the carrying bag. Some airport people might scold you if you take your pup out of the carrying bag.

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