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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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cats and airplanes

I'm moving across the country this summer, and probably will be taking my two cats with me (long story... either way they'll be with someone who cares about them, don't worry). I had planned to take Ariel in the cabin with me, and Jasmine in cargo, because Ariel hates moving vehicles and I thought she would be more comfortable near me.

So I was doing some preliminary research on the net and found this from the ASPCA website:

The ASPCA wants pet owners to think twice about flying their pets on commercial airlines, especially if they plan on checking them in as cargo. The Air Transport Association has reported in the past that approximately 5,000, or 1% of the companion animals that are flown on commercial planes have been injured, lost or killed during transport. Although Congress has passed a law that requires the airlines to establish a separate reporting system if an animal is lost, injured or killed and will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, the conditions in which animals are shipped have not changed.

Animals continue to be shipped in cargo holds that are not temperature controlled. "Unless your animal is small enough to fit under your seat and you can bring them in the cabin, the ASPCA recommends pet owners to not fly their animal," says Lisa Weisberg, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy.

This made me totally freak out! I don't want to take the risk that something might happen to Jazzer.

What do you guys think about this? Have you flown your cat in cargo? Is there any other way of transporting animals cross-country? TIA!!!

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 01:10 PM
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I've never done it, but you also need to consider when your flying. I know a lot of airliners won't fly pets in cargo in the dead of summer. Not sure if that's everywhere, but definately here in the southwest. Like the article said, no temp control. I think many won't allow pets in cargo after June 1.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I will be flying alone, and I don't own a car.

I'll be flying from Montreal to Vancouver. It's about a 5-hour flight, and I always fly non-stop. Unfortunately, it is in the "dead of summer" - June 31. The airline does allow pets during the summer unless the temperature is extreme.

I also read that it's not always recommended to tranquilise animals... something about how the effects on the respiratory system are unknown at high altitudes? I'll get a checkup at the vet before we go, so I'll definately ask about that.

I worry about ground shipping - I would imagine it would take about a week to get across the country. Is there any better guarantee that nothing would happen to them?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 01:53 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't transport my cat in cargo. Even if I had to buy an extra ticket for an empty seat, I would transport them in the cabin.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 02:17 PM
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Any chance that both cats would fit into a single carrier?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NewRagdoll
Could you possibly turn it into a cross country trec/vacation? If so, you could rent a car.
I think you have to be 21 to rent a car, don't you? Otherwise, that would be cool!

Hmm. The idea of buying two tickets might work, I know sometimes they offer 2-for-1 seat sales, although I'll have to dip into the student-loan-that-I-don't-even-have-yet for that.

And even if I could cram both cats into one carrier, yehudap, I think they'd probably kill each other from the stress of flying and I'm pretty sure the airline wouldn't allow it.

Thanks for the great suggestions guys... keep them coming!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by NewRagdoll
I would think the heat in Canada wouldn't be that severe.
No offence NewRagdoll, but this kinda made me laugh. Since she's travelling in late June, the heat could be VERY bad. It's been known to get pretty nasty up here in the "cold white north" in the summer months we can actually wear SHORTS! (I'm kidding you know, I just like to pick on people who think it's always cold in Canada).

I dont have any tips on travelling with your two... but having heard the horror stories from Air Canada specifically about animals and travelling in cargo, I wouldn't EVER do it. I'd find another way around it. Best of luck!


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 04:19 PM
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Hello, I got monte from a breeder in Florida and I live in Michigan, so I purchsed a round-trip ticket for myself on Northwest Airlines and then paid an additional $80 to bring Monte with me in the cabin. I did not give him anything meds to calm him, and trust me he did not need it...he slept the whole flight home!

I know that Northwest does allow 2 animals in one carrier, but there are weight restrictions (total weight with carrier). I would suggest checking on line with the airline in Canada and it will list all the requirements.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 07:07 PM
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I would never ever fly an animal in cargo. My brother worked for an airline in college and loaded plans. He said that most employees don't care that there was an animal in the cage and would just toss them like it was a suitcase. There was not speacial treatment given to animals- no matter what the airline may say( at least for the airlines he worked for). As the artilcle said cargo is also not heated and it gets pretty cold in the air or very hot while the plane is boarding and unloading.

I have flown w/ an animal and it was not too bad. Once w/ a cat and once w/ a dog. They were flown in the seat next to me. There were both given valum and slept the whole time. I had one layover and the employees for the airline took me and let my dog use the bathroom outside. If you call ahead and let them know you have an animal they usually help you out if they can. Good luck.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: cats and airplanes

Hi John!

I actually grew up in Vancouver. I've been in Montreal the past two years, just for a change, but I'm planning on going to school in Vancouver in September, and I'm moving in with my mom to help cut costs. Yay for moms! Plus I'm homesick, and Vancouver rocks. My mom called me yesterday and she was like, "dear, it's twelve degrees today and the crocuses are coming up. How much snow did you get last week?"

Originally Posted by BCExpat
I only vaguely remember this ... she apparently came on something that told her you could take a cat in the cabin, but if anyone complained (i.e. "I'm allergic" or "it's making noise" or "I just have a grudge against the world") the cat would have to be moved into the hold.
I wondered about that too... what if someone was allergic? I'm definately going to call the airline to see if that's true, but it doesn't really make sense to me. It would be such a hassle to put the cat into cargo if it's already been checked for the cabin... especially if I'd already checked two suitcases, kwim? Maybe I could just keep the cats quiet until liftoff... then it's tough luck for anyone who complains... j/k!

I'm definately going to check into that though. Thanks for the info!
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