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Intercontinental Airline Travel with 2 cats...

Discussion in 'Cats - all breeds / types' started by PilotKitten, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. PilotKitten

    PilotKitten New Member

    How on earth am I going to do this? Lol... am I insane? :shock:

    Hiya everyone... I know it's been a long time since I've been around. School has been kicking my butt and I was off busy getting married and stuff. :mrgreen:

    But anyway... here's what's going on. My new husband is in the Air Force and we're going to be stationed in Italy. He should be leaving for there within a few weeks and I will be joinig him hopefully around the 2nd/3rd week of December.

    I know I need the vet's health certificates and there's no quarantine in Italy (thank goodness... not sure I could stand to leave my babies in some strange place for months) but what I'm mostly concerned about at the moment is the actual airline travel.

    Neither of the two kitties travel well. Aoisha gets upset for about half an hour and meows/howls quite loudly, but after that he settles down and has no problems. Molly on the other hand goes #2 like there's no tomorrow. But this is with car travel... neither has been on a plane.

    So, I need advice. Tips. Comments, etc. Oh, and recommendations on pet carriers. I'm going to try to see if it's at all possible for them to fly in the cabin with me (I know it's a stretch but it's worth a shot), so I guess recommendations for the smaller carriers you can take and put under the seat... as well as the harder bigger ones for the cargo hold.

    Also, I may have to end up putting them on the plane without me and having them picked up in Italy by my hubby. Since the AF is paying for my ticket, I don't know yet what airline or what day/time etc. So, they may be traveling to him a week before I show up.

    Oh... and how much is this going to cost? :shock:

    :?: :?:


    ETA: Also... if they have to go in the cargo hold could I put them in the same carrier if it's large enough? That way they can sort of comfort each other a little bit maybe? :?:
  2. PilotKitten

    PilotKitten New Member

    No one knows anything? :(
  3. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Ive looked into this a few times and it is hard to get information, different airlines have different policies :? Sorry.

    Personally Ive heard too many horror stories about pets being shipped in the cargo hold. There was some information thatt I found a couple of years ago so I will look around on the net today or tomorrow. I do know one of the things mentioned in there was to personally let the flight crew know that you have a pet in cargo.....Im not sure if they can alter the temperature in there or something.....Ill see what I can find.

    I did read something recently (it was for a European....short flight airline) that small carriers can be kept with you so, ive seen the same info for some international airlines but I cant remember which ones.

    Do you know who you are flying with??? They should be able to give you the info you need, the type of crate is important, only certain ones are accepted on some flights.

    I dont think they can be in the same crate. When pets are extremely stressed, even the closest of buddies can tear each other up pretty bad, more so if they are confined to a small area.
  4. TabbyLover

    TabbyLover New Member

    When I researched this 2.5 years ago...

    American Airlines had the best policy of the ones I called. And the policies about pricing etc really DO vary quite a bit from airline to airline.

    You can have animals on board in a soft-sided carrier that goes under your seat, but there is a 2 pet limit per flight.
    Not just yours - anybody's pets. And they won't guarantee it will be yours ahead of time. (Frankly, though, I haven't seen a lot of people flying with their pets so it might not be a prob...)
    The thing is, the bag has to fit under your seat. No problem for your 1 cat, but you would have to buy a ticket for your other cat.

    I ended up having to ship my cats in the cargo hold. It was the only way for me at the time. They turned out just fine, of course, but I am not trying to deny that there must be horror stories out there since Delauk has read them. I had to buy two of those big hard-sided carriers, they would not let me ship them together.

    My cat Ninja arrived at the airport completely normal. Like, let me out of this thing, let's play mama!
    Tobey the wussy pussy took several hours to stop hiding in this corner of the new apartment. But then again, he probably would have acted that way if I'd driven him to the new apartment. Ninja is just a really resilient cat.

    Some vets suggest drugging the cats who don't travel well. The one I had at the time did not recommend it, so I didn't do anything like that.

    I believe I spent in the neighborhood of $300 to ship two cats freight.

    But that was a california to texas flight (3 hours or so)
  5. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    I found a pretty good link with rules and regulations of different airlines...


    I would recommend, if the cats are going in cargo to use the hard sided kennels/crates, not the soft ones, I would imagine they would have to be secured in the cargo hold but just in case....with the soft bodied kennels something could fall on them or something. (just my opinion though)

    A lot of the problems Ive read about are with dogs that were sedated, sedatives can/do lower heart rate, blood pressure, there could be side effects that you wont know about including seizures, they can vomit and choke. Ive also read of quite a few were the crates were knocked around and doors opened, crates were damaged and in some cases were thrown around by baggage handlers in the same way they throw suitcases around. Dogs have escaped onto runways etc.

    Heres a dog site (UK) but there are some general tips on there that might help.

  6. PilotKitten

    PilotKitten New Member

    I'm not picking the airline. The AF is buying my ticket and tells me where to show up.

    Anyway... thanks for the help.
  7. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Maybe you could ask the AF which airline they will be sending you on.
  8. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    pilotkitten, try sending a pm to Lil96, she is always on the dog board and she flew her cat and dog from germany to states last year and had the same questions as you did and they made it fine

    good luck


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