Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New York
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Just flew with my 8 week old
Hi Boondox, I flew home with my Maggie Mae in the cabin about 3 weeks ago on Southwest from Indiana to NY. We had a soft-sided carrier that was bigger than the dimensions said.
With that being said, so much depends on the flight attendants. Going down we didn't check in any bags, so I was carrying pet carrier. The flight attendant was so sweet and asked who was in there. When I told her a golden would be flying back tomorrow that was 8 weeks, she said she wished she'd be on her flight and she would take her to the pilots.
FF to the next day when we have her; my daughter and I found an awesome open area with grass (& snow) & I had my daughter run her on the leash for a good 20 minutes outside (she also wet/dirtied). While we were running, out walks the flight attendant from our first flight and she says, so this is Maggie. (I couldn't believe she remembered) & she petted her for a bit.
We got through security no problem and surprisingly they didn't make her take off the collar (even with her metal tag)--I had to carry her.
I had treats to get her back into the carrier, but she had gone back in no problem. I also wrapped the bottom of the sherpa carrier in a waterproof zipper pouch and then had a chuck on top of that.
When it was time to board, we walk onto the plane & the head flight attendant says, have you flown with an animal before. I tell her no & she starts running off rules, just know you need to have it under the seat at all times, you cannot take her out or unzipper it. She was no-nonsense.
My poor baby barely fit under the seat (thankfully no one was in the middle seat so I had her under there). Yet I pulled the carrier out so she wasn't pushed all the way under & the same attendant came by and said, remember it needs to be all the way under the seat.
Then as the plane starts moving she started whining/crying. I got a few looks and was trying to reassure her by shushing her and saying it's okay. Once we took off I pulled her out a little and put the tray down so it was harder to see.
Thankfully after 15 minutes she fell asleep until we were about to land, when she started whining a little again.
Overall it wasn't a bad experience, but so much depends upon the attendants.
Also Southwest has a policy where puppies had to be only 8 weeks but they never checked her vet clearance or asked how old she was.