Our car and our things had been loaded onto a trailer and all that was left was a couple of suitcases to pack and tickets to book.
I had assumed that our little dog would easily be able to travel with us. I was so wrong. When I read the fine print that a pet has to be able to fit under the seat in front of you (Unless a support dog), my heart sank. I then decided he would have to go under the plane with the suitcases, but no matter what airline I tried to book with, they no longer flew dogs as cargo in the summer, apparently there were several instances of animals dying on the tarmac while awaiting transfers.
You see... This guy... We love him a lot. He's part of our family.
He has been with us since he was a puppy, we love him dearly. How were we going to get him back to Texas with us?
I chose to blog about this post, because it was so confusing and so stressful when I found out that our pet couldn't fly with us. I know that many pet owners feel the same way I do, and that your pet means a lot to you. Rest assured, there is a company out there, that will put your mind at rest and your pet will be safe with.
It's quite an ordeal, getting your pet on a plane using Pet Safe, but it's all for the welfare of your pet.
The first thing you're going to have to do is "request" a flight for your animal. You don't book a plane ticket like you might normally. You can request that your pet be on the same flight as you, but you have to make the request through Pet Safe with United Airlines and you MUST give the airline at least 5 days notice.
You do that at The United Airlines Website.
United Airlines will email you with the dates that your pet will be flying. The price of your pet to fly, will depend on it's weight and it's shipping container. You must use an approved pet travel container. Rocco weighs roughly 18 pounds and he cost $300 to fly. However, unlike regular plane tickets, you won't pay for your pet's reservation until the day he/she flies.
Rocco is a Miniature Schnauzer, but there are many breeds of pets that aren't actually allowed to fly on United Airlines flights. Any breed of dog that is brachycephalic (short or snub-nosed) or considered having a strong jaw are unable to fly. There are also a few breeds of cats that are excluded, this list is due to health concerns and the full list of excluded pets is on the United Airlines website.
After you have your flight reservation.
Make sure you have the correct travel crate. Your pet will have to be able to stand completely up and turn around and lie back down and you must be an airline approved crate. When I purchased our crate, it was through Amazon and it specifically stated it was airline approved.
You will also need to get a Health Certificate from your Veterinarian stating that your pet is healthy and able to fly. This certificate can't be any older than 10 days.
You will also need to print and sign a copy of this form from the United Airlines site
7 days before you fly, you will need to scan and email these two forms as well as a photo of your pet and a photo of the crate you plan to have your pet fly in to the Pet Safe office.
PetSafe/United Airlines will email you back and let you know if they accept your information. Once you're approved all you have to do is show up at the airport with your pet's health certificate, the release form, a photo of your pet and the money to ship your pet.
My brother's information was also provided, as he was the one that took Rocco to the Seattle Airport.
Your pet's photo will be put on the side of the crate.
You won't be dropping your pet off where you check in for a flight, you will have to take your pet to the United Airlines cargo part of the airport. If you're unaware of where that is, you can call the airline and they will let you know.
(Stock photo found with Google Search)
Rocco flew from Seattle, with a layover in Houston and we finally picked him up in Dallas
When we picked Rocco up in Dallas, he was standing in his crate and looked a bit confused. But when he heard our voice, when we opened his kennel (Which they zip tie closed) he was so excited. He wanted a drink and a wee... but overall, he was happy, he was healthy and he made it safely from one end of the States to the other!
All in all, it was a good experience. Every time I called concerned to United Airlines, and every dealing I had with them, was professional and they put my mind to rest about the safety of our dog. I would recommend United Airlines to fly your pet. Our experience was a pleasant one!
Contact the PetSafe Desk at 1-800-575-3335 or 1-832-235-1541