General Question

brittspace's avatar

What's the best airline for flying with my large dog?

Asked by brittspace (45 points ) September 26th, 2011

It’s been years since I’ve even researched this. I hate the idea of flying my dog, Addi, but unfortunately it can’t be avoided. This will be her first time in a plane. The facts:

She’s a ~60lb Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
We have to go from San Francisco CA to Louisville KY, so that means a connecting flight as well.

So what’s the best airline for dogs, besides the boutique pet airlines that don’t hit many locations? Where will my gal be the safest?

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6 Answers

janbb's avatar

You may not have a lot of options based on where you are going and what their costs and policies are.

My son has traveled to France several times with a Brittany. They found Air France the best for that trip based on cost and availability. The dog had to travel cargo and they gave him a Xanax. He survived unscathed.

Buttonstc's avatar

If it were my pet, I would spring for the dedicated pet airline knowing how devastated I would be if anything happened to them and I could have prevented it with money.

From the reports I’ve seen about pet airlines, they do so much more than just have fewer stops. They really care for the pets and keep a close check on their well-being.

Regular people airlines put them in with the cargo and unless you luck out and there’s a really unique baggage handler or flight attendant, you’re pet (family member) is just that—baggage.

rts486's avatar

I recommend Continental. The holding space is pressurized and heated. At the transfer point they let my dog out of the kennel and they don’t leave the animals out on the tarmac.

janbb's avatar

@rts486 raises some great points. Maybe the best thing would be to closely question the conditions and policies of any airline you are considering.

rooeytoo's avatar

It has been a long time since I have flown a dog, but the last one was a bouv who went from LA to Sydney, about a 14 hour flight. Sedatives are not recommended because they tend to dehydrate. The most desirable way from a safety and financial point of view was to put the dog on the same flight as you are taking as excess baggage. Then you can watch for the dog to be loaded and unloaded and know that it will not spend an excessive amount of time on a baggage cart or in the sun. Also crate choice and set up with non spillable water container is a must as well. Check with airlines. The crate my dog came in was fixed up with a giant hampster type (licker bottle) for water. That worked very well. Also extra holes were drilled in the sides for adequate ventilation.

YARNLADY's avatar

NONE. Do not fly your dog. Hire a Dog Transporter to drive her there.

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