A few weeks ago, I discussed pets traveling in airline cabins, exploring in particular the effect of pet allergies on other passengers.
This week, as I was booking my seat assignment for BlogPaws West, I started wondering about pets that travel as baggage. Frontier Airlines, my carrier to Denver, writes of its pet policy:
Your pet will be handled with great care and will be treated as one of the family. For their safety, pets must travel in an approved travel container as follows:We charge a fee of $150 each direction per kennel, so please make sure to give yourself extra time for checking in. You’ll need to pay this fee at the ticket counter when you check in.
Wow. It’s only $75 each way for a pet in the cabin. Also:
Your pet must be harmless, inoffensive, odorless and require no attention during transit.
What’s with this harmless, inoffensive, and odorless business again — not to mention the “no attention” requirement? Why are pets being held to higher standards than, well, human family members (no offense, Tilda, Rebecca, and Shari).
But I digress.
I initially assumed the baggage and cargo holds were not pressurized and temperature controlled, making transporting your pets foolhardy (in my mind), but learned from PetTravel.com that this was not the case:
If you cannot accompany your pet, or they are too large to fly in the cabin, dogs and cats typically are transported as cargo or as checked baggage…You may only transport your pet as checked baggage if you are a passenger traveling on the same flight as your pet and the combined weight of your pet and its crate is under about 70 pounds. (This weight varies by airline.) If flying cargo, your pet may travel unaccompanied, either through the regular cargo channels or through an especially expedited delivery service that several airlines have developed….Pets traveling as cargo are transported in the same pressurized holds as those in the checked baggage system and this area is temperature and pressure regulated similar to the cabin.
I also learned that most problems with flying pets occur on the ground because of flight delays. Back to the Frontier Airlines site:
To protect your pet’s health and well-being, temperature restrictions have been established to ensure your pet isn’t exposed to extreme heat or cold. It’s not safe to transport your pet if the forecasted temperature in any city on your itinerary is below 45°F (including the wind chill factor) or above 85°F.
For this reason pets are not allowed to travel to certain cities — including my home, Tucson — from June to September.
My first question: Huh? Why doesn’t the baggage/cargo hold remain temperature controlled as the cabin does on the ground? Passengers aren’t subjected to uncontrolled temperatures –though they often demand cold beers, unlike dogs — on the ground.
And: Have any of you traveled with pets on vacation — as opposed to transported them for a more permanent stay — in cargo or baggage? If so why — e.g., did you want your pet with you but have a time constraint? And was it worth it?