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Survived a Flight!


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Well, Currey and his uprights are now officially residents of NY. We'll miss Portland and its doggy friendly attitude a whole lot, but my job has taken us on to new frontiers.

When I posted asking about flying, several folks requested that I share my experience so that they might do the same in the future.

I flew a red-eye non-stop cross country flight on Delta. You have to call to book, and they charge you $50 for the dog and $10 to book a flight talking to a real person. They had told me that the maximum crate dimension allowed was a medium sherpa - they even sell their own signature Delta Sherpa bag - but I already had the large one. I decided to be safe and buy the Delta bag too, because being turned away at the gate seems an unattactive alternative. I didn't need it, so now I can return it!

Currey was fantastic all through the airport. We had some issues with his pre-flight potty break, as he was too scared to potty near all the buses at the terminal. I was allowed to keep his collar on through security - they said a little metal doesn't usually set it off, so give it one try and take it off if it fails. At the gate, as suggested, I asked to pre-board, and they allowed that. I was seated in the very back row. TIP: This was FANTASTIC! I used seatguru.com to look at the seat map. On Delta's 737 they've got a row at the back that is too narrow for three seats, so they have removed the window seat. Also, the leg room is quite generous in this row - like an exit row, almost. So for take-off and landing, the dog had to be stuffed under the seat, but in-flight, he could be out sitting in the space where the window seat had been. This was a very very good thing, because he was very unthrilled about being under the seat. He was really good for the first 30 minutes we were in the plane and on the ground. We had a bit of a ground delay... and then he let out the YIP! at the top of his lungs. Everyone around me just gave me the "you've gotta be kidding me" look. One woman across the aisle gave me the look every time he made a peep. THe guy next to me was far less than thrilled, and probably allergic, by the way he sneezed. The flight attendants were awesome, though. Since I was in the back row, and on first, I spoke to them about putting his crate next to my seat and told them that I was moving cross-country on this flight and very nervous about how my young dog would behave, and they were very sweet and kind to me. (It probably helps that I'm nearly 30 but am usually mistaken for being more like 18 - 20 - people have more pity on sweet "kids" sometimes!)

Rest of the story - 5 hour flight, he cried and yipped for the first hour. The string cheese helped, as he couldn't cry when he was busy eating, but I couldn't stop, even for a second, or he'd go NUTS! Eventually, I put his prong training collar on, and gave him pops when he complained. I think he just wanetd to come out and see the people. He finally settled after an hour or so, and I got a nice short nap in....at about 3 hours into the flight, a woman decided to bring her screaming baby to the back of the plane - apparently those of us in the cheap seats aren't as terrible to wake than the people around the seat she was assigned to. This got Currey super fired up, and I eventually sat down on the floor with him and let him out. It was dark, and the middle of the night, and I stayed sitting on the floor (yes, there was that much room!). It was so hot on the flight - many people got sick, even though the flight was smooth. He was really warm and panting, and so happy to come out of the crate and just sit in my lap. If I could have taken him up to the seat, he would have slept the whole time, i think. I stayed down there for about 30 minutes, but then someone passed out and hit their head from the heat and dehydration, and they had him laid out in the back of the plane, so I thought it prudent to put the dog away.

The rest of the flight was wimpering, whining and occasional yips, but noone was sleeping with the medical emergency going on right behind us anyway.

Anyway, all and all, we survived it, but I hope to never fly alone cross country with a dog again!!!

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Wow Jodi. I'm sure you're glad that's behind you. What a stressful experience. BUT... WELCOME TO NEW YORK!

Where are you going to be located? Where are you from originally? I find New York to be quite dog friendly too. People are crazy about their dogs here.

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Pardon me for asking this, but what about potty for the puppy on a very long flight such as yours? If your neighboring fliers were upset about a little yelping, how in the world would they have handled that situation? Just one of the many things I hope I never have to experience!! I admire your devotion to your dog and your handling of an obviously difficult event. Good luck in NY.

Jim, Connie, Bailey & Sophie


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All I can say is.."God bless you!" I don't know how you survived that experience. What the heck happened that the heat was so bad on the plane?

I wish you all the best in your new job - what will you be doing?

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oh thank god we have a motor home and that's exactly why!!! Bless your heart, what an ordeal....

Terry, mom of Dori and Ellie Mae


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good on you both. i flew a four hour flight with a change of planes with a lhasa apso once. my problem was that ground crews don't seem to always understand their company's own policies, and one officious type tried to stop us at the layover. can't read tickets issued by their own company. i think the air pressure changes are scary for the dogs and probably painful, but it is a heck of a lot nicer in the cabin than in the cargo hold!

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It sure was an adventure! And now, after two nights of actual sleep in an actual bed, I'm feeling much more amused by the experience!

I'm not sure what happened on the plane - the blowers just blew temperate air the whole time. You just kept hearing the "need help" bell go off, and then there was the flight attendant walking back with yet another sealed baggy over and over! I felt so bad depriving the dog of as much water as he wanted to drink, but I really didn't want to deal with what would happen if he really really needed to go to the bathroom, because while he would never soil his crate, he would really get loud with his complaints!

Sarah - I found the Delta bag on clearance for $40 at PetCo. Actually much cheaper than the standard medium Sherpa.

Izabella's Mom, we're located just outside of Albany. The one thing I've noticed is that there are no off leash dog parks here, the only one I've heard of is for only residents of a certain town. I'm originally from PA, but have been away from the east coast since 2000. I've already forgotten what humidity feels like, and am about to go shopping for some REAL summer clothes!

I'll be teaching chemistry at a small college here - same job as I had in Portland, only this one is tenure track rather than temporary, hence the move.

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I'm glad you both made it okay, I'm still trying to figure out how you managed to sit on the floor!!!! One of these days I'll work up my nerve and pack mine up to go...I'm not sure if hubby could survive the trip!!!! Thanks for sharing your experience and good luck on your new venture!

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I'm still trying to figure out how you managed to sit on the floor!!!!

There was lots of room! The entire window seat was taken out of the row - it was great. Okay, so it didn't hurt that I'm 5' nothing and I can sit indian style :P

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