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Old Feb 25, 10, 7:24 am   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 6
Flying Airtran with Pets


My family is flying with 2 dogs in-cabin in May. The dogs are approx. 15 - 18lbs. I would appreciate advice from anyone who has flown with dogs in-cabin or any recommendations of what type of carrier to use.

Do they measure the pet carriers to make sure that they are exact measurements? What type of carrier have you used?

Thank you.
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Old Feb 28, 10, 10:05 pm   #2
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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A soft sided bag fits more easily under the seat. In my experience, soft carriers are less likely to be measured because they look smaller. Be sure to make your pet reservation early as there's a limit on the number of pets allowed on a flight.

See below for Air Tran info

Traveling with a Pet
Baggage policies

Small, domesticated cats, dogs and birds that will fit in an approved carrier under the seat are accepted.

•The pet kennel is limited to maximum dimensions of 8.5" high x 17" long x 12" wide.
•The carrier must be leak proof and ventilated on at least two sides.
•There is no weight restriction on pets.
•The pet must remain in the carrier and under the seat for the duration of the flight.
•The pet carrier counts as either a passenger's one (1) carry-on bag or personal item.
Airfare for a pet is $69 one-way and is non-refundable. Six (6) pets are allowed per flight with a limit of one (1) pet per paying customer traveling on the same flight.

As limited space is available, advanced reservations must be made. Of course, service animals (e.g., Seeing Eye dogs) are always welcome onboard regardless of the number of pets already booked on the flight.

Customers traveling with birds to San Juan, Puerto Rico must present required documentation — a certificate and a permit.

•Certificate — The certificate must be issued by a veterinarian within 30 days of travel
•Permit — The permit is granted by the Department of Agriculture in Puerto Rico. Request a permit by telephone at 787-796-1650 or 787-796-1835.
For additional information about traveling with a bird, contact your veterinarian, the US Department of Agriculture or your destination state's Department of Agriculture.

For additional information about traveling with a pet or to book pet travel, please contact the AirTran Airways reservations desk at 1-800-AIR-TRAN (1-800-247-8726) or 678-254-7999 for international calls.

In many airports, AirTran Airways sells pet kennels for a nominal fee at the ticket counter. AirTran Airways does not transport pets as checked baggage.
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Old Mar 25, 10, 2:23 pm   #3
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: DEN or COS
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Originally Posted by shanynm View Post

My family is flying with 2 dogs in-cabin in May. The dogs are approx. 15 - 18lbs. I would appreciate advice from anyone who has flown with dogs in-cabin or any recommendations of what type of carrier to use.

Do they measure the pet carriers to make sure that they are exact measurements? What type of carrier have you used?

Thank you.
I've used the Sherpa brand many times for our smallish beagle. Soft-sided (as suggested by the other response) is definitely the way to go. I have only had one airline measure the kennel (and I had to talk them into letting me take it on the plane) - but I haven't flown on Air Tran.

Suggestions - buy the kennels and take your dogs to the mall in them - walk around with them on your shoulder so you get used to how heavy they will be. Eat a meal in the food court with them under the table so that you (and they) get used to what that will be like.
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Old Mar 26, 10, 12:29 pm   #4
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6
I will be flying tonight with my dog on airtran. I asked them (at the airport ticket counter) if a 10" H soft sided sherpa bag. They said as long as it could squish under the seat it would be fine. Also the dog would have to stand up and turn around. I am not sure if they will unzip the bag and look to see if the dog can do that. My dog cannot stand upright in the bag but he can turn around and curl up at on end of the bag with plenty of room. I dont think any dog can fully stand up in these bags.
Also, we are flying from San Francisco to Atlanta on a red-eye. I think my dog will sleep the whole time anyway.

I will be posting my experience after we get to our destination.
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Old Apr 6, 10, 12:06 am   #5
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6
Smile Successful trip on Airtran

I just got back from my San Francisco to Orlando Airtran flight. I had a layover in Atlanta. Everything went great. The folks at the counter were great. No one measured the bag or made me take him out or check his weight/height. Security was great. I trained Baxter to stay in the bag until I said "OK". This way I would have time to get him ready to come out of the bag at the security gate. (Make sure a leash is on at this point. Security might make them nervous). Baxter was calm and everyone loved seeing him. The men at security melted.
On the flight from SFO to ATL I rode in the last row. It was very noisy and vibrating. Baxter whined for about 30 min or so. I did everything I could to calm him. He finally got tired and fell asleep (It was a red eye). From ATL to MCO I was upgraded to business class (my flight was overbooked the day before and I had to postpone my trip a day - got 2 free RT tickets ). Not a peep was heard from Baxter in business class. Smooth and quiet up front. On the way home I upgraded to BC the whole way. Baxter loved it!
If you fly into ATL and have at least an 1.5 hours, I would recommend taking the pup to their outdoor dog park. It is small but its nice and Baxter got to run around for 45 min. You will have to leave security and go back through. Give yourself time.
Airtran staff told me they offered comp. wee pads for the bathroom if you did not have time to go outside. I brought plenty with me and used the handicap b/r to let Baxter out and walk around. I put the wee pad out but he never used it.
All in all it was a great expereince flying with them. Everyone was so nice.

I hope all this info helps.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 8:15 am   #6
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Location: Pittsburgh
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That is great that you did not have any trouble flying with Baxter!! It sounds like everything went smoothly. I have a few questions, if you don't mind:

What is Baxter's size?
Which Sherpa bag did you purchase?
Did you have any trouble fitting the bag under the seat?

Thanks for you help!!
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Old Apr 14, 10, 12:16 pm   #7
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
I flew AirTran with my dog back in December (I had scoured these forums prior in fear my dog would be to large to fly, or get denied at the gate- typical parinoia.) My dog is about 15 lbs, he's light- but he's got some long legs so I knew he'd never pass the stand-turn-around-test. I bought him a size large Sherpa bag and decided to hope for the best for my flight.

When I checked in the man at the counter only asked to see my carrier so he could put a tag on it (I don't think he even looked to check on the dog inside.) Asked if I paid the pet fee, and that was that. Walking onto the plane I don't think anyone even checked or noticed I had my dog with me. The large Sherpa however, was a tight fit under the seat- I had a window seat so it was even more awkward sqeezing him in- but he did fit. Judging by my plane, I'd say go for the middle or isle seat for the most under-seat space. It took me a while wrestling the carrier to get it all the way under the seat in front of me, but like I said, it did fit in perpendicular so that he was facing me.

On my flight back I was given an isle seat in the very last row of the plane, the carrier was also a tight fit back there since there seems to be smaller floor space the farther back you go. We're making the same trip again in May, and I think I'm going to spare the extra like $6 to reserve a middle or isle seat in the front of the plane to avoid the panic of realizing the carrier barely fits.

Let me know if you have any other questions I know how stressed I was before my first flight with my pooch, so I'm more than willing to help!
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Old May 14, 10, 1:46 pm   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pittsburgh
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Thank you very much for the details, all very helpful info. My flight leaves tomorrow and I'm getting nervous! I hope the dogs aren't took frightened on their first flight!

Who checks the dogs? The person at the lugguge/ticket counter? Or the person before boarding the plane? Also, are you allowed to walk the dogs through the airport?
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Old May 15, 10, 12:01 am   #9
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Location: The Castro, San Francisco, California
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SFO-AMS with dog in cabin

I fly 4 times per year with my dog, a 15lb (6.5kg) Boston Terrier. I have never had a problem with check in or weight. In the 20 or so times I've checked in with United, Delta or KLM they have never looked at the dog so much as weighed him. My dog is really well behaved and never makes a sound. If he can see me, he's happy anywhere. He also has no problem with not relieving himself for 10 hours if nec. The zipper on the carrier has been completely broken for two years and no one has ever commented on it.
On a flight from Puerto Vallarta to LAX in April 09, the passenger next to me begged me to show him to her. He snoozed on her lap nearly the entire flight, the FA even commented on how cute he was (though I wouldn't count on a typical FA allowing this.)
You are not allowed to walk the dogs through most airports. Once in the gate area, you probably can let the dogs out for a bit if they are well behaved. In short, the check in process is the easiest part of the whole trip. Good luck and don't worry so much.

Last edited by x1achilles; May 15, 10 at 12:06 am Reason: added info
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Old May 15, 10, 3:33 am   #10
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Thank you very much!
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Old May 25, 10, 8:49 am   #11
Join Date: May 2010
Location: London UK
Posts: 3
Would anyone have a link to the large Sherpa bag used on US flights as it would be very handy when we move.

Thank you in advance.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 2:18 pm   #12
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1
Question Will a LARGE Serpa soft pet carrier fit under seat Alaska Air?

I want to buy the Large Serpa Ultimate Pet Carrier, w/ 3 "roll-up" sides. I checked with the Serpa customer service, was told that even though Alaska website specifies: "no more than 17 long x 12 wide x 10 high" if I buy a Large (20" L x x 11.75" W x 11.5" H) it is supposed to be soft enough to squish down that extra 1 1/2 inches under the seat. Possibly the length will stick out a bit, but I can probably smush that in too. The pet I am rescuing is only 9 pounds and 17 inches long, but has long legs (technically a shoulder height of 13 inches). I am told he goes into a cat crate no problem, and could "make do" with a Medium Serpa (18" L x 11" W x 10 1/2" H) but would appreciate the extra height as I can pull the bag out once in the air and open the top so he can stick his head out a little (plus make it more usable for a home bed). I am try to find out if anyone else has successfully used a LARGE Serpa carrier (that is the same specs as the large above) and worked it under the seat all right. Am I understanding correcting that no one at the counter is really "Looking" at or "examining" or "measuring" the actual carrier, so if at a glance it is soft enough (I plan on making it pliable!) those couple inches one way or the other don't really count? (if you asked them they'd have to say no, but if you just do it low key no one really notices?)

Thanks so much! I've been looking all around for days stressing out about whether or not I could get away with a Large, wanting to do right by the dog as a priority. Has anyone had a "bad" experience? (on Amazon, some people have complained about height being more than 10")

PS: You can search for Serpa bags on amazon and find many. Then go to the Serpa website to get complete descriptions and photos.
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