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Hi, I need some help. My fiance and I are planning on flying from Los Angeles to New Jersey for the winter holiday and would like to bring our 8 month old dog along.

I read on American Airlines that they will not allow dogs on board if the ground temperature on the itinerary is less than 45 degrees F. Is this true?

If so, how do I bring my dog along? I would really love to celebrate his first Christmas with him and celebrate his birthday December 23rd.

Thank you for your time!
 

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If your dog is small enough to take in the cabin with you, then I do not think the outside temps matter. And it doesn't seem to be that big of deal for a crate trained dog to fly under the seat, most seem to settle down okay.

If your dog is large enough (like I am guessing from your signature photo) that he would have to be crated and fly as cargo, then I do NOT suggest taking him with you for a short holiday. Flying as cargo is stressful, expensive and to some degree, dangerous. I would never risk my dog like that for anything less than a long term relocation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I really want to celebrate the holidays/ his birthday with him though ):
 

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Thanks for the reply. I really want to celebrate the holidays/ his birthday with him though ):
He has absolutely no idea when his birthday is and will be just as thrilled to have a special day after you return.

And holidays with lots of people around can be stressful times for dogs- drunk people, kids, strange noises etc can be worrisome to the dog and people dropping food and giving treats which aren't safe for dogs can be worrisome for you.

I do take my dog (driving distance) home for the holidays but we have only adults around who can be responsible AND he can be baby-gated in another room when needed without undue trauma. He certainly doesn't ENJOY the holidays though, its more like something he just deals with.
 

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I flew my rottie to Sweden last summer, and would have been there this summer too if my hubby hadn't been diagnosed with cancer. (Instead of a nice vacation in 70+*F weather she's spent the summer a lot alone at home and panting in over 100*F here at home) Since hubby is doing good I plan on taking her to Sweden next summer again. :)

Some airlines don't have the same temperature requirements because they won't let the crate sit on the tarmac ... and with some airlines, if you have a dog that have no problems with colder weather you can get a vet's note to say so and you can still take your dog.

The first flight was quite stressful for my girl, but the next she knew what was going on and she was just fine. You know your dog best yourself and what she can handle. If you take her ... just remember NOT to baby her when she gets nervous when they move her crate.

It cost me $400 to fly my 80+ # rottie to Sweden.

Friends from Sweden came to visit a couple of weeks ago. Mandy hadn't met them before we went to Sweden and there she met them three times, a few hours each time. When they stepped out of the car here she went wild. I've never seen her so happy before. She ran back and forth between them and me like a maniac for a long time ... She gets happy when hubby comes home, or our son who takes her when I go on shorter trips or to Asia ... She's NEVER been this wildly happy before. Except when I get home from a trip she couldn't come on ... but that is more expected. Somehow I got the impression that they, somehow, connected the experience of Sweden with "home" for her. It was odd.
 

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Hast,we are neighbors. :) You have a beautiful dog I just wanted to say. And I love the fact that more people in my area are joining DF. I see so many mistreated pets and uneducated pet owners in this area it just kills me. Sorry to hijack the thread just wanted to say Hi Neighbor.
 

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Hello Neighbor :wave: do I know you? If so, who are you? Now I'm really curious.
 

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Well we're not actually neighbors but I live about 20 mins from Aiken. I live off I-20 towards Columbia close to exit #39.
 

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I have flown Ozzie 3 times and Tyler twice from Boston to Denver. Boston Logan isn't the closest airport to me, but I chose to fly from there because they offer direct flights. This would be my biggest point of all... do your research. Some airlines do not have stellar records. Also, each individual airline has different regulations regarding temperature, crates, and price. I would say that the most important thing for me was to find an airline that offered direct, nonstop service to my destination. This will minimize the stress put on your dog and your stress as well.

The airline I chose did not price based on weight. It was based on crate size, and pretty much every dog was considered large. It was $500 one way. I consider this to be rather pricey, considering its about double what I pay for my own ticket. However, flying your dog is not something you want to 'skimp' on.

Please do not fly your dog cargo. If you spend 10 minutes researching it, you will understand why. (just to be clear... flying a dog in a passenger aircraft and flying cargo are two very different things)
 

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That's close ... I'm between exit 22 and 29. :) Have you seen our new "dog facility" in Aiken? Dog Day's Workshop We're becoming a large group of happy dog people working with our dogs there. It's so much fun to finally have a place to meet people with similar views and 'play' with our dogs.
 

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<snip>
Please do not fly your dog cargo. If you spend 10 minutes researching it, you will understand why. (just to be clear... flying a dog in a passenger aircraft and flying cargo are two very different things)
The airlines I've checked do not fly live animals in cargo planes, they all go in passenger planes even if it is in the cargo department. They go as "luggage" if the person is on the plane.
 

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I have flown Ozzie 3 times and Tyler twice from Boston to Denver. Boston Logan isn't the closest airport to me, but I chose to fly from there because they offer direct flights. This would be my biggest point of all... do your research. Some airlines do not have stellar records. Also, each individual airline has different regulations regarding temperature, crates, and price. I would say that the most important thing for me was to find an airline that offered direct, nonstop service to my destination. This will minimize the stress put on your dog and your stress as well.

The airline I chose did not price based on weight. It was based on crate size, and pretty much every dog was considered large. It was $500 one way. I consider this to be rather pricey, considering its about double what I pay for my own ticket. However, flying your dog is not something you want to 'skimp' on.

Please do not fly your dog cargo. If you spend 10 minutes researching it, you will understand why. (just to be clear... flying a dog in a passenger aircraft and flying cargo are two very different things)
I should clarify on my post that I used "cargo" to mean "in the baggage hold" not "shipped UPS" ; where your checked bags go is sometimes called the cargo hold interchangeably with baggage hold etc.
The baggage hold is pressurized but their heating systems vary and the heat isn't always consistent.

Some comments from pilots....
The 727 foward cargo pit is normally heated but if the cabin needs a higher differential due to a pressurization problem then the cargo heat outflow valve gets closed, and the dogs get cold.

The rear is pressurized but unheated.
And a response to the above comment...
On the DC-9 they call it the "puppy-snuffer switch".
Even on a direct flight, you can end up stuck on the tarmac for hours or diverted to another airport etc.
And in winter, in the north, you can have major ice delays. Having worked at an airport and seen the issues that winter brings when trying to load luggage, de-ice the planes, etc, I really wouldn't fly a dog in the middle of winter (or summer due to heat).

I figure that airlines have blackout dates (based on temps) for flying animals for a reason.
 

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All the above is correct. My comment on cargo was based on my experience with United. They have specific 'cargo' planes that you can fly your dog on. This is the only option (that I know of) for someone who wants to ship a dog but not buy a passenger ticket.

You are correct, Shell. There is no guarantee, even on direct flights, that you and your dog won't be stranded. That is why it is important to be objective on the day of your flight. If the weather is at all questionable (too hot, too cold, too much moisture) then we don't fly. The airlines have temperature regulations for good reason, and those regulations should be carefully followed and adhered to.

You will also need to see a Vet and get the proper paperwork done before you board your flight. IME, your dog must be examined no more than 7 days prior to flying. Your Vet will (should) also put special temperature instructions on that paper.

IMO, it is not worth flying your dog for short holiday stays. Try to find a friend or family member to watch your pup while your gone, or find a kennel to board.

(Oh, and Shell, I am curious as to where the pilot comments came from. Do you have the link to more threads or other forums where this information is available?)
 

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<snip>
You are correct, Shell. There is no guarantee, even on direct flights, that you and your dog won't be stranded.<snip>
There are some airlines that will guarantee not to leave a crate on the tarmac. They will load "live cargo" last and unload it first.
 

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(Oh, and Shell, I am curious as to where the pilot comments came from. Do you have the link to more threads or other forums where this information is available?)
Aviation forums; threads like this:
Are cargo holds pressurized?
Cargo holds heated?

And basically it jives with what I know from talking to pilots and mechanics at a previous job.

Since the OP is flying between major cities, he might consider Pet Airways (where the dog flies in the cabin with an attendant).

There are some airlines that will guarantee not to leave a crate on the tarmac. They will load "live cargo" last and unload it first.
I didn't mean a crate sitting out on the tarmac waiting to be loaded; I meant the plane, ready to go, sitting and waiting. Like this case of 10 hours spent stranded which does happen enough that they had to pass $$ penalties for excessive waiting times.
 

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I have heard about an air-line that is just for pets. I cant seem to find it now tho, (im not good at looking things up) so i dont know where to send you to look it up :( but from what i remember it is a great way to send your dogs to major cities. Might be something for you to look into? If you find it~ let me know? Good luck.
 

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I have heard about an air-line that is just for pets. I cant seem to find it now tho, (im not good at looking things up) so i dont know where to send you to look it up :( but from what i remember it is a great way to send your dogs to major cities. Might be something for you to look into? If you find it~ let me know? Good luck.
Pet Airways

Here's the link for you

Very limited number of cities but they do serve Los Angeles and NYC
 

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Thanks for the links Shell.

I agree that pet airways (and other similar companies... I know there are a few of them) is the best route to go. However, it is not always feasible and is rather expensive.

As far as being stranded, I think getting a direct flight (a must IMO) and being conscientious about the weather (make sure to check your destinations weather forecast too!) helps. Choosing an airline that does last on, first off for live cargo is also a huge bonus. I request a seat over the wing on the cargo loading side of the plane so that I can monitor my dogs as they get on. Seeing them actually being put on the plane takes a huge weight off my shoulders. I know they have tickets that they hand you when the dog is loaded, but still... better safe than sorry. United has been very good to me in this regard, and I can say that my dogs were really the last thing to be put on the plane. I also really appreciated how careful the baggage handlers were and that they were given water (per my request after TSA). I would definitely fly with my dogs again.

OP... I would really consider the fourth post. (by Shell) Try to be objective about why you want your dog with you. Holidays are stressful and busy, and pets can be a 'burden' on your family. Will you be staying at a relatives house? If so, make sure they are 100% for you bringing your pup. Also, please consider that your dog will probably need a lot more attention than he normally does, as he will be stressed in a new environment and looking to you for cues. Flying with dogs takes a lot of careful planning and preparation on the departure and arrival end. Also consider the price of the journey, including getting an airline approved crate, vet visits (you will need to see a vet in NJ too before your trip home), your ticket and your dogs ticket. Make sure you have someone to drop you off at the airport and pick you up.

My biggest question to you is if you will have the time/energy to dedicate to him during your holiday break. It doesn't make you a bad owner if you don't: you deserve a vacation too! There are a lot of details to be considered too, such as if your dog is comfortable being crated, if he is motion sensitive, easily stressed, etc.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask!
 

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If the aircraft is "stranded" on the tarmac the hold that carries live cargo has the same temperature as the cabin holding people. I've gotten the same advice from several pilot friends; ask the steward to check with the captain that your dog is in the hold. He/she knows exactly what they have in that hold... down to breed of dog.
 
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