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Frenchie n' Other "Healthy" Lil Pooches Flying In Cabin, n' Carriers Fitting Under Airplane Seats?

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Fredy

I'm a Good elf
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 25, '10 12:05am PST 
Happy, Safe Holidays Dogster's! We'd tried posting this before in an old thread from more than a year ago.. but it got lost frown
So we're crossing our fingers and trying again..

We really would appreciate some help n' advice..We're preparing for a necessary trip and we're really anxious ..after reading up on all the airline regulations.

Mom weighed me this morning and I weighed in at 22(lbs).
I'm 12" to the top of my tail (shoulders to back)and 12" from the ground to my shoulders.

Mom searched till she was blurry eyed online,and then we called and hiked to Petco, to try a few on for size. Due to the holiday, pickin's were slim. We got in one bag called "The Ultimate Sherpa Bag With (recessed) Wheels" and were thinking it's definitely gotta be a 'small'. Well, mom took out her handy tape measure she'd brought along and found it was 20" and a nice sales person found the tag inside marked "Large". Ouch! ;(
I looked like a cross between "ET" n'"Yoda" with my neck n' my ears stickin out. (I gather when they say stand they don't mean stand and turn around with it closed?)

They say Sherpa Bags, have a tag that says which airlines they are approved for.. but none of the available bags had any tags. It seems they'd all had quite a workout!

When mom zipped the bag.. I wasn't exactly thrilled. I was crouched w/ my head down and could lay down, and turn, but I didn't do a full turn around. I was too busy trying to dig my way out. Although, mom coaxed me with a treat and I showed her I could turn toward the back of it, if I really wanted to. There were no other choices in my size available and we've ultimately tried 3 other stores with no luck.

If there is any other bag that is better suited for me? Please, please do tell mom! She'll need to order it pronto and get me used to the idea.

These are two bags we were looking at. Anyone's thoughts or experience Pro, and or, Con will be much appreciated!

1.
The Ultimate Sherpa Bag On Wheels

Sherpa in Large = 20" L X 11.5" W X 11.75"H.

"Accommodates dogs up to 22lbs"

2.
Studi Bag

18"L x 12" W x 12" Flexible Height
"Accomodates all cat breeds, toy to small dogs up to 25 pounds"

Some people say online in different forums mom read.. that anything over 19" won't fit under the seat of a plane? We've been reading certain domestic airlines are more permissive/flexible with soft bags (It's mentioned on the American Airlines site via the Sherpa link which people may find helpful about their bags airline travel reimbursement guarantee program).

http://www.sherpapetgroup.com/guaranteed_on_board

Meanwhile, We'd really, really appreciate any recent "Frenchie", or other Dogster family members feedback on flying "cobby" built pooches that they'd be willing to share.

Mom was hoping a recessed wheel bag would work, because she isn't really able to lug me around on her shoulders. But mom wants me to be good to go and comfortable and.. is willing to sacrifice for me.

PS.
Also, do people call and book reservation for their pooches flights first and then go online and finalize their peoples reservation/bookings online? It seems that it could be a problem/challenge? Especially, since you can't book a reservation for your pet online. You have to call the airline and reserve for your pet and then pay in person at check-in.

Delta indicated 4 dogs/cats in cabin per flight. Has anyone had to change, or cancel a flight because of this?

Again, Happy Safe and Healthy New Year ALL~!
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Louie

Louie the bold!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 25, '10 4:41am PST 
My Frenchies have flown in cabin on several occasions. We did use that large sherpa bag, and it does scrunch under the seat pretty well. HOWEVER... my dogs are all accustomed to crates from puppyhood and are crated often, with travel to and from shows. My Jones is 26 lbs and, while he can't stand up and stretch in that Sherpa, he just goes into it and lies down for the whole time.
I haven't flown recently with a dog so I really can't help you as far as being bumped, etc., goes. It has never happened to us, but we always arrived really early.
You could try posting this on frenchbulldog-l@yahoogroups.com. There are many exhibitors there who fly their guys to shows fairly regularly. Perhaps they might help?
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Toby

As if I could- get cuter!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 25, '10 4:56am PST 
These are all questions for the airline. You need to ring them, explain your issue and ask them to guide you through the process. Anyone can say what happened on their flight, but airline restrictions change so often that even if somebody flew a month ago it may be out of date.
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Scooter

Work hard; Play- harder.
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 25, '10 6:27am PST 
I've never heard of an airline allowing you to book the animal as carry-on before booking yourself.

Yes, there is a chance that if you book your place online then you will have to change your flight due to the number of pets booked. OR, you can look online (through the airline's site) to get the flight numbers and then call to book making sure they understand you will be booking the pet at the same time.

Depending on the airline, and the type of ticket, it can cost $100-$150 to change your ticket.

As for the carriers, most are made to sorta scrunch down to fit under the seat. Scooter's Samsonite bag can fit either way (sideways or with lengthwise); it's 11.5X11.5X20"L.

Another alternative might be to look at oen of the backpack type bags; some of the backpack models also have wheels with retractable pull handles. I think Lilith has one for either her or Luna.

What the airline personnel will be looking for, as far as the dog, is that 1) not "stuffed" into the bag 2) not sedated. Some do have stricter weight limits than others and I have actually seen then have the ticket holder place the dog/carrier on the scale. It isn't a common thing, but it can happen.
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Louie

Louie the bold!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 25, '10 7:14am PST 
I agree with Scooter... as long as my Frenchie can lie down comfortably and not appear to be stuffed I suspect that is why we've never had an issue, even though he can't really stand well. I also think it makes a HUGE difference if the dog is calm yet alert. If they are huffing and puffing or barking at people they are more likely to get weighed and/or measured. I always booked the dog at the same time as I made my original reservation, usually pretty early. I think the only bump problem would be dependent on the number of service dogs on that flight, which is impossible to tell in advance in many cases.
ETA... I remember hearing about some serious issues where a number of Frenchies got dumped for size on the way back from the National Speciality this past Fall. I can't remember exactly, but I believe it was Delta, and they had flown out with no issues on the same airline. Someone on the yahoo L-list would probably remember the details.

Edited by author Sat Dec 25, '10 7:17am PST

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Rocky

If you don't- claim it, it's- mine!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 25, '10 8:21am PST 
I just traveled this summer with Rocky- in cabin for an international flight to the Dom. Rep. He is 22lbs and about a foot tall as well. He is lean but is very tall for and all muscle. We tried every bag out there and decided the sherpa-large was the most roomie. He could lay comfortably and could turn around although he couldn't stand with it closed. I didn't get any trouble to or fro. I walked him in all the way past the security point and then put him in the bag when we were entering the plane (JFK- they have a doggie pottie area too, outside). When checking in I didn't even really show him to the register person I just handed him my flight ticket and passport and he told me to have my pet checked by agriculture and sumtin department. They looked at this vet paperwork, stamped it and we showed those when we went throught the check point and that was that. Once we were seated I put him right by my feet and opened the top of the bag. I do trust that he doesnt bolt and that way he could stand or sit for a bit and turn more comfortably. We flew through American Airlines to and Jet Blue back. Jet Blue was even nice enough to give me a seat with extra leg space. I did make sure I was extra nice to everyone just in case. safe flight!
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Fredy

I'm a Good elf
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 25, '10 9:14pm PST 
We Can't begin to thank everyone for your terrific advice. We really are so very appreciative and feel much more relieved! We're going to try to book American, or Jet Blue as we've read many more positive pet friendly reviews on their airlines. We will definitely check in with the french bulldog yahoo group as well. hug Please give your pals a special treat from the Fredy!!

PS. Toby, unfortunately calling the airlines.. .Well, it depends on the agent you speak with as there seems to be some confusion.. . We in truth have a lot more confidence in the advice of tried and true fellow Dogsters wink

Edited by author Sat Dec 25, '10 9:16pm PST

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Scooter

Work hard; Play- harder.
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 26, '10 1:37am PST 
Louie, the spaces they have to reserve are for pets. Service Dogs don't count towards the in-cabin limits; ask anyone who has flown on a flight headed to a major SD gathering. wink Scooter has only flown as a "pet" one or two round trips, before he graduated to full SD status (since most airlines don't recognize SDITs).

Rocky, most airports will not allow pet dogs to be walked through the terminals. The areas before the security checkpoint are covered by the airport (and most have a written policy about pets) while after the checkpoint, it is covered by the airline (which also generally has a written policy). I cal assure you that you would quickly be told to bag the dog at BWI, Atlanta, and in JAX. You were also lucky that they allowed you to leave the bag open enough for him to have his head out; that is against FAA regulations.


As for the potty areas, you have the disabled community to thank for those; they were installed as part of changes to the ADA.

Fredy, you will have to take him out of the bag at the checkpoint. I'd suggest looking for an all nylon slip lead (like some use for dog shows) since most leashes and collars will set off the metal detectors. His bag will have to go through the x-ray machine. Most of the bags have a small pocket that will hold a regular collar and leash.
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Louie

Louie the bold!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 26, '10 4:05am PST 
Scooter... thanks for that info. Now that I think about it, of course they are "medical equipment" and not counted. I would have worried less with travel IF I had been on Dogster back then!!!!
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Fredy

I'm a Good elf
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 26, '10 7:08am PST 
Scooter..Ahh I would have never thought about the tags and collar. Thank you as well for the "Slip" Tip!
Looks like American Airlines is more relaxed on soft carrier dimensions, seems JetBlue has a limit of 17" Length frown
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