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View Full Version : Word to the wise, re: transporting pets



thethinker42
02-14-2009, 04:06 AM
Yesterday, I flew from Seattle to Japan with my two cats. This has been a headache of biblical proportions, as you can imagine. (They made it safely though, and are currently snoozing on the couch beside me)

However, one headache in particular really surprised me -and pissed me the hell off. So...word to the wise if you're ever transporting pets via our friendly skies:

One of our kennels was *specifically* sold to us as "airline approved". It has a sticker on it with a picture of an airplane and a thumbs-up. They emphatically said "this is approved for all major airlines", blah blah blah. Nice cage, somewhat pricey, etc.

The airline, however, said, "No way. Can't use this carrier. The top and bottom halves must be held together with screws, not clips." (Not that their website said anything about this...but...) A lot of carriers out there have clips and various other ways of holding themselves together, but according to this airline, it MUST be screws. Furthermore, she said that a lot of pet stores and carrier manufacturers *SAY* their carriers are airline approved, when they're really anything but. (False advertising, anyone?)

$50 later, we got a carrier from the airline and promptly had to pull one of my cats out -- in the middle of the airport -- and swap cages.

So...IF you find yourself traveling with pets via air, please learn from my mistake and ask the airline -- not the pet store, not the carrier manufacturer -- what is "approved" for air travel.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i177/thethinker42/nbc_the_more_you_know.jpg

Wayne K
02-14-2009, 04:26 AM
Good thing my cats are xenophobic and wont travel abroad.

firedrake
02-14-2009, 04:30 AM
When we moved here from the UK, the cat was shipped over via a Pet Carrier company. They made a plywood travelling box for her. It worked a treat. However, it's a right bugger trying to use it to take cats to the vets because it's all hard edges and corners and I usually come away with bruised shins.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-14-2009, 04:40 AM
False advertising in the world of pet products is more prevalent than you think. Always double check. I'm glad that in the end you got your cats over there - next time take me with you ;)

nevada
02-14-2009, 04:42 AM
When I shipped my cat from Fort Nelson I bought a carrier from the airline. I'm not sure I could even have bought one from anywhere in Fort Nelson. small town. very small town. no vet. the funny thing is, the cat went home by air, in great comfort. I went home by bus. about 16 hrs maybe longer. i cant sleep on a bus. still don't know why he got to fly and i didn't.

DaddyCat
02-14-2009, 12:08 PM
The first (and only) time my wife and I flew our first two cats, it was within U.S. borders and the airline had posted their own pet carrier specifications online. One of the cats was small enough to ride in the passenger cabin with us, but our 15 pound guy had to go in pet cargo hold. The cats and the airline handled the initial flight very well.

Unfortunately, the return flight was scheduled for the afternoon of September 11, 2001. We ended up driving back three days later.

emc07
02-14-2009, 12:17 PM
I've been lucky enough not to fly with my 3 kitties so far. I have driven with them loads of times, but that is very different. Very good information to know. Thanks for sharing. Sorry it was so difficult for you.

thethinker42
02-14-2009, 12:55 PM
I had HOPED never to have to fly with my cats, just because I can't imagine it's fun for them, but there was no other way to get them out here, so it had to be done. We did a 5 day road trip from Norfolk to Seattle in September with 4 of our cats...I'd rather do that again than fly internationally with 2 cats...but we'll have to do it again in 3 or 6 years, depending on when we leave the island. I hate flying ANYWAY, so bringing my munchkins on board just adds to the headache and stress. The last thing I needed was to hear "you can't bring that on board" at the airport. *scream*

regdog
02-14-2009, 05:22 PM
Also remember to have an updated copy of the vet and vaccination records. And check with your vet or even the embassy of the country you will be taking your pet to to find out if additional vaccinations or preventative medicines might be needed, or about quarantine laws.

astonwest
02-14-2009, 05:56 PM
Here I thought this was going to be a thread about putting air holes in the container... :)

Carole
02-14-2009, 07:15 PM
Oh, I have one of those too. The kind with the clips that says it's approved for airline travel. Good thing I'm not planning to go anywhere.

Several years ago when we moved from WV to Tennessee, we had two dogs and two cats. Mr. Vagabond drove the moving truck and had one of our dogs with him. Of course, he had the calm, sane one. I had the other dog and the two cats in the car with me. The cats got along really well and so I put them both into this gigantic cardboard box with a big blanket and all that stuff in the back seat, but occasionally I would see a little paw sticking out of one of the holes. It was hilarious. It was like, "Mommy! Mommy, can you see me? Hi Mommy!"

thethinker42
02-15-2009, 12:40 AM
Also remember to have an updated copy of the vet and vaccination records. And check with your vet or even the embassy of the country you will be taking your pet to to find out if additional vaccinations or preventative medicines might be needed, or about quarantine laws.

Oh yeah, no kidding. Coming into Japan, I had about 20 pages (seriously) of documentation for EACH cat. You actually have to obtain permission from the Japanese government to bring a pet into the country...40 days prior to traveling. Fortunately, because we live on base, we can do in-home quarantine, so they don't have to stay in a quarantine facility for 6 months...but yeah, traveling with pets means doing some serious homework ahead of time.

There was actually a couple arguing with the quarantine officers in Tokyo when I went through. I didn't catch all of it, but basically it sounded like they assumed all they needed was a rabies certificate and they'd be good to go. Yeah, not so much.


Here I thought this was going to be a thread about putting air holes in the container... :)

Ohhhh yeah. They told us that was required too...