Flying with Chloe


Flying with Chloe.

I wasn't surprised recently when I received an email from my airline carrier informing me that I flown over 26,000 miles with them this past year. Placing a measurement to such a number meant that I had circled around the world and then some. Most of that travel time included business colleagues, but I thought wouldn't it be great to have Chloe along for the ride. Well, obviously that wasn't going to happen, but for fun, I wanted to check out what were the rules and regulations when flying copilot with your dog.

One way that they can fly as your partner is to have them declared as a 'service companion', but officially that requires training and in some cases certification. If you're going the service dog route, the pet obviously needs to be well behaved in public, and for those that I have seen in airports and board the plane have passed such qualifications. They were quiet and calmly sat on the floor at the feet of their owner occupying the front row where there is plenty of leg space.

A second method that lands your dog in the passenger cabin is if your pet can fit in a carrier designed to fit under the seat in front of you. To meet this criteria, the dog has really got to be small since that carrier typically can be no more than 17 inches wide x 10 inches deep x 10 inches height, and the dog should have enough space for turning around inside while being cooped up. T-cup size dogs, and maybe a very small puppy would qualify, but not much else.

The primary method in getting your dog aboard most airlines is of course having them ride below in the luggage compartment where a specific size and construction of carrier comes into play, The position of the carrier with the other luggage is also important, in that airlines baggage handlers must space the accompanying passenger's bags away from the sides of the dog's carrier. 

I would never place Chloe in the cargo hole, so I don't see her flying anytime soon, even though this is the way countless dogs and puppies are shipped to their new homes around the globe. It's also the way many of those fabulous show dogs travel from one venue to another. Now there's also one other way, and it depends on the airline of course, but you may even be able to buy your dog their very own seat! 

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