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Cat friendly Airlines?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have to make a move from MA to FL in a few months and although people keep encouraging me to drive down with my 2 Bengals I don't think that's a good idea because they hate being in the cat carrier and howl nonstop everytime. So I can't imagine driving all the way to FL with 2 howling cats.
I have heard that some airlines will allow passengers to bring their pets onto the plane with them, does anyone know if this is true and if so what airlines?
It still doesn't solve my problem of the cats howling because they will howl on the plane but I'd rather listen to 3 hours of howling than 24 hours of it.

Anyone who has had to travel with their cats please feel free to give me any suggestions.
post #2 of 18
I made a 16 hour car ride with a Main Coon who HATED his cat carrier. I went to the vet and she gave me some tranquilizers that calmed him during the car ride. All he did was curl up and go to sleep.
As for flying, my Mom used to do it all the time with the above mentioned cat. She would get him vet checked and was able to stow him under her seat in his carrier. Before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge that kitty had logged more frequent flyer miles that I had!
post #3 of 18
I have had to travel with my cat by airline twice...one thing you need to check with each airline is the type of cat carrier you must have and the size that they will allow in the cabin, my cat was too big for all the Canadian airlines and so he had to travel below in the live cargo hold.
post #4 of 18
Yes, there are airlines who will allow you to fly with your pet, but I have no idea which ones. I think you would need to call and inquire. Most of the people I've known who have flown with cats had to get the soft sided carriers that look like carry on luggage. I think the rule is it has to be able to fit under the seat.

I personally would never ever trust my cats to fly in the cargo hold of any airline. I've heard too many horror stories about how they get treated. One of the happiest days of my life to date was when my neighbor's husband stopped by after putting his wife and their cat Misty on the plane to Germany and telling me that they wouldn't let Misty fly in cargo because it was too hot. He had to drive to petsmart, get a soft sided carrier, and get it back to the airport before the plane bordered. He was annoyed and hubby and I were high fiving each other. Knowing that Misty (who was a very good friend when she lived nearby) was going to Germany in the cargo hold was causing me an unbelievable amount of stress and worry.

Happily, they all made it there fine and Misty has settled into her new home (and already made a couple of cat friends).
post #5 of 18
Non friendly: Frontier, AirTran, JetBlue

Friendly: Delta, Continental, United, USAirways, etc.

You'll have to double check with the individual airlines. Those that allow pets in the cabin only allow one pet per person and charge from $50-$80 per pet in the cabin and $75-$100 in the cargo hold. Each way, not per ticket.

I've flown with pets in both successfully.

You can google the pet fatalities monthly via the FAA.
post #6 of 18
I flew my two cats from California to Atlanta on Delta. I had to ask my mom to come out to California and fly back to Atlanta with me because, for some reason, we were only allowed one cat per person. We needed to get a certain size carrier that would fit under the seat. Also, I had to get a vet certificate before I left.

Remember to reserve the flight early because they sometimes have a number of pets limit per plane.

Also, you will have to take your animal out of the carrier briefly when you walk through security.

I would never put my cat in the cargo hold either -- I've heard too many bad stories there too.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the feedback. I don't want to put them in the cargo hold, I also have heard that many animals die or get hurt there. I'm not sure how I'll handle it thought because I can't imagine them fitting under the seats. My oldest is only 8 months and he's already 10lbs and very long. He also has a heart murmer so I don't think the vet will be able to give him any type of tranquilizer.
I guess I'll have to talk to the airline and figure it out.
post #8 of 18
Another non-pet friendly airline is Southwest. I have never flown with a pet, but I've heard stories about carriers being searched because of the metal in a cat collar! I couldn't imagine putting my cats through the stress of cargo, being taken out and put back in, etc.
post #9 of 18
I flew on Delta to Salt Lake City and the woman in front of me had a dog with her on her lap. So they are probably pet-friendly.

Aren't you concerned at all that your cat's constant howling will be annoying to everyone else on the plane though? You say you don't want to listen to it for the whole drive, but I don't see why everyone on the plane should either. It wouldn't bother me personally but I know alot of people who would want to throw your cat out the window after 15 minutes of incessant yowling.
post #10 of 18
It is going to be stressful whether you drive or fly. Flying would be my preference as it is over faster.

There are companies which specialize in transporting pets, many of which use their own planes. Look into Pet-Air, Pet Transporters, Pet Taxi- just Google "pet shipping".
They are pros at what they do, and can better answer any specific questions you have.

Be aware that new people and animals coming to South Florida will initially find the heat and humidity stifling. I would avoid summer through November if at all possible. If it is unavoidable make sure you have your plans in order regarding getting picked up- you don't want them sitting around outside in crates for any length of time at all.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
I flew on Delta to Salt Lake City and the woman in front of me had a dog with her on her lap. So they are probably pet-friendly.

Aren't you concerned at all that your cat's constant howling will be annoying to everyone else on the plane though? You say you don't want to listen to it for the whole drive, but I don't see why everyone on the plane should either. It wouldn't bother me personally but I know alot of people who would want to throw your cat out the window after 15 minutes of incessant yowling.
That thought crossed my mind too. I'd be too embarassed knowing that my beloved kitty was bothering everyone else. Also, how about other passengers that might be allergic to cats?
post #12 of 18
I've flown with my pet on Jetblue and I thought they were very friendly about it. I paid $50 extra for him and had to have the carrier under the seat for takeoff but had him on my lap (in the carrier) the rest of the flight. There is only about 8 inches under the Jetblue seats but my cat was laying down in his soft carrier so that was plenty of room. The only difficult thing was going through security and getting him back in the bag after walking him through the x-ray. Thankfully a cat-friendly fellow passenger helped me out since the TSA people refused to touch the cat! Good luck!
post #13 of 18
They made you remove the cat from his carrier?
The possibilites for escape boggle my mind- when a cat freaks out there is no way you can keep hold of it!

I don't like that.
post #14 of 18
I was just wondering when you say crate what exactly do you mean cause I picture like a wooden box with some holes in it.
post #15 of 18
First I would never tranqualize a cat when flying or driving. Cats have weird reactions - even if the vet ok's it!

I've flown with many cats (showing) - I use the soft-sided carriers that fit well under the seat. The cats don't like take off and landings (pressure/noise) but are fine once in the air and usually fall asleep.

Also you need to take the cat out of the carrier when going thru the scanners - the bag is scanned. You hold the cat - never had a cat that tried to get loose I just quickly stuff them back in the carrier....

One thing to keep in mind - you are only allowed to take one cat on board per person with a max of 2 animals on board (in cabin). If you have more then one or not enough people, then the rest have to go under the plane in cargo with a very sturdy VeriKennel carrier that is airline approved. Most of the lighter weight ones are not heavy plastic and could break open under the plane.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by imsandiluv View Post
I have to make a move from MA to FL in a few months and although people keep encouraging me to drive down with my 2 Bengals I don't think that's a good idea because they hate being in the cat carrier and howl nonstop everytime. So I can't imagine driving all the way to FL with 2 howling cats.
I have heard that some airlines will allow passengers to bring their pets onto the plane with them, does anyone know if this is true and if so what airlines?
It still doesn't solve my problem of the cats howling because they will howl on the plane but I'd rather listen to 3 hours of howling than 24 hours of it.

Anyone who has had to travel with their cats please feel free to give me any suggestions.
I'm with you on I'd rather fly with a cat on a plane in 3 hrs vs driving for 24. However, the other passengers may not appreciate 3 hours of a howling cat.

I've flown Delta and Northwest with a cat in a soft sided carrier under the seat and wasn't charged. It was a while ago though so who knows now.
post #17 of 18
My husband flew back with our new kitty in November on ExpressJet (which I believe is run by Delta.) The cost for him to fly was $50. We then drove another 3 hours from the airport back home. He had no problems and Hypnos was a model traveler. If you do plan to fly, my advice is:
1) Contact the airline well in advance so they are aware of your kitty.
2) Find out what carriers they accept and how much it will cost you to travel with your pet.
3) Try to find a flight that will take you from point A to point B if possible, with no stops/plane changes.
4) If you decide to try a calming agent on your cat like Bachs Rescue Remedy, that you try it before the actual flight to see how your kitty reacts.
post #18 of 18
I'm in the group that doesn't think it is a good idea to fly with a yowling cat. If enough people complain, the airline may change its policies and you will have ruined it for others.

We have moved to three states in the last thirty years. The shortest drive was 10 hours. We had a van (better for the move than an SUV), with space for the carriers and the litter box. Every 3-4 hours, we would pull over and let the critters out of the carrier for a few minutes. We did NOT open the vehicle doors.
Zoey settles down after 30 minutes of highway driving - the continuous motion and Classic Rock seemed to calm her down. The first thirty minutes of meow, meow, meow, meow is a bit rough. For the kittens, we covered their carrier with a blanket. Four hours up and four back, in the ice/snow and it was great. I plan to try the blanket with Zoey next time.
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