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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:13 pm 
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I took my trip in Dec-Jan and everything worked out fine in the end. I opted for the XL Sturdibag, which is a pretty massive bag at 16Hx20Lx12W. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as an "easy fit" for airplane travel, though it ended up working for myself and Oliver. We flew direct from Charles de Gaulle in Paris to Chicago's O'Hare. The American check-in agent gave me quite a fuss about the size of the bag, even laughing in my face and sharing a great big chuckle with her colleagues about my attempt to take a dog on the plane in the Sturdibag. I really politely protested and said he would be just fine, was eventually directed to the "service counter" and made my case with the agents there. In the end, I was ultimately allowed to board the plane with Oliver.

He was a pretty tight fit because the area under the seats was home to a massive media box, greatly diminishing the amount of space available to me. My seatmate was incredibly kind in allowing me to use some of her space, though she had no idea Oliver was present until I advised her that if she felt any wiggling underneath her feet, it was my adorable puppy. I had read online that carrying a picture of your little one could be handy, so I showed her and she oohed and awwed accordingly. ;-) It also jutted into my foot area, but I tossed a blanket over my knees and the flight attendants were none for the wiser!

In the end, we completed the nearly 10 hour journey with no issues. He was silent until the very end, though he did start to move around a little bit towards the end of the journey. After a 10 hour flight, I was fidgety myself, so I can't really blame him there! As for the flight attendants and cabin crew, I don't believe they had the slightest idea that a little Cocker was hiding under my seat.

I would encourage anyone who really needs to travel with their pooch to consider the XL Sturidbag, but be advised that it could be a tight fit...and furthermore, ground crew could potentially give you grief. Though the initial agent with whom I spoke was American, the service crew members who ultimately made the call were French, so travelers trying to cross international borders would likely need to have a good grasp on the language if they intend to convince skeptical employees of their dog's comfort.

In the end...pretty stressful situation, but well worth it to have Oliver with me over the holidays!

I've included a photo of the XL Sturdibag in action under the United seat with this post. Additionally, I'm including a link to a blog known as "Dog Jaunt." The author has documented her travels with her Cavalier extensively, even going so far as to measure the space under seats on many major airlines. She recommended I try the XL Sturdibag initially (which happens to be recommended for adult Cockers by the manufacturer...though a larger Cocker would be a pretty tight squeeze), so I documented the entire journey in pretty great detail on the comments section of this particular post. Furthermore, for upcoming travelers, there are lots of really great resources regarding other bags and as mentioned, seat dimensions and airline policies :-) http://www.dogjaunt.com/2011/09/readers ... s-too-big/


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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:47 am 
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My dog Chomp is a small 4 yr old Cocker weighing 8.5kg and is 14inches tall (to the collar bone) and about 17inches long. A fairly small size.

I’ve traveled from Beijing to Vancouver putting her in a XL Sherpa on Air Canada and also from Vancouver to Buenos Aires in the same bag in the cabin. Air Canada has great leg room under the seats and a fairly solid size and weight limit. The Air Canada agent did give me a bit of heck for stuffing a dog in the bag (she can’t ,stand up in it without pushing the top with her back) but I assured her it was better than putting her in the belly of the plane.

Like many of you, once you get past the ticket lady the steward and stewardesses seem to love dogs. Strange.

Anyways I am contemplating the Sturdi XL bag. Chomp ate her Sherpa bag one day while we were out (she gets mad when we leave her sometimes) – so we need a new one.

I know she’ll ‘fit’ into the L Sturdi or XL Sherpa bag but I like the idea of a bigger XL Sturdi.

Here’s my question (finally I know); Can I take the poles off the Sturdi XL bag (hence making it SUPER collapsible) when showing them the bag as opposed to showing it’s a Bendable Bag and is ‘ok’ – ? Thoughts on this strategy? ALso, when bending the poles how tall is the sturdi bag. How low does it go.

Also – if anyone has any experience with a transit stop in Hong Kong and a dog either in the cabin or in baggage I’d love to hear from you.


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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:35 pm 
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"Here’s my question (finally I know); Can I take the poles off the Sturdi XL bag (hence making it SUPER collapsible) when showing them the bag as opposed to showing it’s a Bendable Bag and is ‘ok’ – ? Thoughts on this strategy? ALso, when bending the poles how tall is the sturdi bag. How low does it go."

My guess would be no. How would it be anything more than a tote kind of bag effect?

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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:10 pm 
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I have no experience flying a dog in-cabin internationally, only domestically in the US, so I can't help you with that part (and I don't know that particular bag).

But I do want to share that I put my cocker (also a small girl) Into her bag BEFORE we approach the podium, so they don't witness the "getting in"- not that it's hard or her bag too small, just that some people object to "bagging" dogs on principle, as you have experienced.

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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:19 pm 
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duncanmacleod wrote:
Here’s my question (finally I know); Can I take the poles off the Sturdi XL bag (hence making it SUPER collapsible) when showing them the bag as opposed to showing it’s a Bendable Bag and is ‘ok’ – ? Thoughts on this strategy? ALso, when bending the poles how tall is the sturdi bag. How low does it go.
.


This procedure is commonly done with people traveling with agility dogs -- some larger than cockers.

Colleen K


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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:12 pm 
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I missed this thread a few weeks ago and thought I'd take a second to respond.

duncanmacleod wrote:
Here’s my question (finally I know); Can I take the poles off the Sturdi XL bag (hence making it SUPER collapsible) when showing them the bag as opposed to showing it’s a Bendable Bag and is ‘ok’ – ? Thoughts on this strategy? ALso, when bending the poles how tall is the sturdi bag. How low does it go.


No, unfortunately that will certainly NOT work. The Sturdibag is notoriously difficult to build...I spent about 45 minutes just getting those poles into place. The fit is very, very tight and requires quite a bit of force...you definitely cannot pull them out and stick them back in at the airport.

The XL bag squishes to about 12 inches, but keep in mind it will expand in width when you do that...I've never had any issue flying with it, even on tiny little planes. That being said, I have had a lot of close calls, most recently in December when I was flat out told I couldn't board with such a big bag. It worked out in the end but it is a big risk ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:20 am 
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Adam,

I have been doing some research and it seems like you travel quite a bit with your pup and he is "larger" than what is allowed..I have called 4 different airlines, including Southwest, and they all are giving me grief..3 out of 4 were because the bag and my dog had to total 20 lbs, which for me would be more like 30 total..and Southwest didnt say anything about weight but said that the bag dimensions for the Sturdibag would be too big..I cannot risk just taking her and then not being able to board..I refuse to check her and not fly with us..Do you have any suggestions on how I can work around this, since you seem to do it all the time :). .They also said they would weigh her and the bag once we arrive...? Thanks for any input, ideas, or suggestions!!

Jessica


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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:33 am 
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Hi Jessica,

Yes, we do travel a fair bit...most recently for the Christmas & New Year holidays. We flew Southwest and didn't have any issues; it's ironic because Southwest has the some of the smallest dimensions published for dog carriers (8.5 inches high? Does a chihuahua's carrier even meet those standards?) and one of the roomiest underseat areas of all the planes I've flown. :dk At any rate, Southwest is normally my first choice for flying with Oliver.

I'll be honest with you though, while I've never been turned away from a flight with Oliver in his bag, we've had several near misses. For example, we flew over Christmas 2013 and the gate agent followed me onto the plane after he changed his mind about letting me board. I thankfully had very kind flight attendants who overruled his decision, but that was a bit close for comfort. With a bag & dog at 30 pounds, you're going to need a lot of gumption if you hope to board a commercial flight.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

Adam


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 Post subject: Re: ~Any Recommendations for an Airplane In-Cabin Dog Carrie
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 6:09 pm 
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I know this thread is quite old but I'm getting anxious about my upcoming flight. This coming winter I'll be flying back to the US from South Korea with my Cocker Spaniel. She'll be in-cabin with me as an ESA, however, I want to get a carrier for her since she can get a bit anxious in overwhelming situations. I measured her for the 100th time last night and she is 21.6" from nose to the base of her tail, but only 15.6" from nape to tail. Since I don't have to worry about squashing her under a seat, I can get a larger carrier but I don't know what size to get.

Some sites say to use the nose to tail base measurement for carriers and other say use the nape to tail measurement. Since I'm in Korea, it's a pain to return things that are the wrong size . Anyone have any advice? If the large Sturdibag is enough,I'll order that but am fine ordering the XL if that's what she needs. I wish flying our pets was less stressful than it is.


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