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Old 09-10-2002, 03:46 AM   #1
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Small dogs in the cabin?

I frequently see passengers with small dogs (in soft-sided carriers) in the cabin. Because I love dogs, I generally talk to the owners who say that their dogs are regular flyers. I have a new dog in the family, and checked the web sites of Continental and Southwest for more information on this, and was pretty surprised to see that Continental posts restrictions (limits the number in the cabin and requires a fee) and Southwest states that it does not allow other than canine companions for handicapped people. Is this possible? Or is the reality much different from the stated policy (as with a required check in two hours before an international flight)? Does anyone have recent experience with little furry flyers on these airlines?

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Old 09-11-2002, 10:59 PM   #2
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My only experience mimics yours -- I see small pet carriers in the cabin with some frequency on Continental domestic and international flights. Clearly there's a way to accomplish it.

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Old 09-12-2002, 11:57 AM   #3
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I don't have any specific experience or knowledge about bringing small animals onboard planes. It would seem to me that if the pet is small enough to qualify for the regular carry-on restrictions and can fit normally underneath the seat, the airline shouldn't really care what's in it. It seems to me that they might not even notice as long as the animal isn't making lots of noise. If you just checked in at the e>service center and boarded normally, the wouldn't really have any opportunity to give you grief. The gate agent and FAs would probably be more interested in "ooh and ahh"ing over your little pet more than anything else. Maybe another ITYT user will post with some more specific personal experiences.

The regulations are really strict for large animals that are being kept in the cargo holds of the plane, especially on long flights. However, that doesn't seem to be the issue here.

Traveling can be very stressful for an animal. You might consult your vet before going on a trip. Many people have a prescription of acepromazine, which is used as a sedative for dogs. Allowing the animal to sleep through the whole trip and not worry about the takeoff/landing/etc might be best.

Additionally, be prepared to argue with security screeners if they try to insist that your pet must go through the x-ray with the rest of your luggage. Although the cage for your pet must go through the x-ray machine, the pet is not required to; the pet can walk or be carried through the metal detector like a regular passenger. If arguing is getting nowhere, demand to see the "GSC" (ground security coordinator) who should be standing on the other side of the checkpoint monitoring the operations.

Good luck.
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