The other day I found myself wishing Samuel L. Jackson was on my flight to Vancouver. Not because I am huge fan, although I do think he is quite a good Actor. And not because he is one of my Island or Dinner fantasy attendees. No, because he knows what to do about Snakes on a Plane.
Thats right Snakes on a Plane! (NSFW Version)
Would he actually save the plane and all the passengers if the circumstances found Samuel L. Jackson and Snakes on a plane? I think so.
Although I did not find myself on a plane filled with snakes, I did find myself on a plane filled with domestic pets. Why people, why do you insist on bringing your pets on a flight to see Grandma? Grandma doesn’t want to see your pet, she wants to see you. Grandma doesn’t want to have to clean up after your pet or feed your pet or listen to it’s whining, whimpering and barking either. Do Grandma a favor, leave fido at home.
Now before you all go PETA on me, hear me out.
Why do you bring your pet? I know you have a cute, designer carrier, but your Pet doesn’t care. Is it because you can’t stand the idea of leaving him or her behind? So you have a dependance issue. Is it because you can’t afford to kennel it? But you can afford to buy a plane ticket for your pet? Or maybe you don’t have any friends or family that can take your pouch for a few days. Why? Tell me please.
What I have found frustrating and sad as a professional flyer is that people who travel with pets typically don’t know the rules, and if they do, they don’t care if they follow them. I am not talking about Service Animals, in fact I don’t mind at all traveling with Service Animals, well most of them. My experience with Service Animals is that they are very well trained and mannered along with their owners. They are working animals that assist persons with disabilities. There is no limit to the number of service animals that can be on any flight. Service animals do not need any health certificates to travel and they do not need to be confined in a container or cage. No, it’s you people with the lovely poodles or labradoodles, that don’t know what to do.
My opinion is that people travel with their pets out of their own selfish needs without giving a thought to the effect it has on their pet. Have you really thought it through? Pets by default are used to having a very regulated lifestyle. In most cases pets are scared to death to fly. It is not a part of their normal life, you are in fact hurting your pet. Let’s look at what happens. You take your pet from it’s comfortable home and shove it in a carrier that is too small for it, because that carrier has to fit completely under the seat in front of you. Have you seen how small a space that is? Then you leave it in the carrier for hours, stuffed under a chair. Then your pet starts whimpering and crying, it isn’t because it’s happy. It’s scared and does not understand what is happening. Then in mid air you feel guilty so you pull the carrier out to talk to your pet only to be told you can’t do that.
So you proceed to do it anyway when the flight attendant isn’t paying attention to you. Which in turns makes your pet whimper and cry more for your attention, because it’s scared. Then you decide to unzip the carrier just enough for fido to poke his head out, that is not allowed, keep it zipped up and under the seat, like luggage. And all this time, your fellow passengers are getting uncomfortable sitting next to you. It’s is your pets nature to want to be petted, hugged and talked to when it’s scared, but all your actually doing is making it worse for the pet, you are not comforting it.
Stop the madness and stop taking your pets on flights. If your going on vacation, let your pet have one too. Put it in a kennel or a friends house where it will have a fun new experience, but one that is not that different than it’s used to. Treat it the way you would want to be treated. Would you want to be shoved into a carrier thats too small, stowed under a seat for hours at a time? I don’t think so.
I have been watching this take place every week for a couple years now, and I often wonder who is training who? Is it the Pet Owner who has trained his or her pet? Or is it the Pet who has trained his or her Owner? If you truly love your pet, leave it home.
If your not aware there are very specific rules regarding pets in the cabins of planes. And before you decide to take your pet on a trip ask yourself if it’s in the best interest of the pet you love. And if the answer is yes, then please make sure you know the rules. And there are a lot of them. The FAA has general rules for all Airlines, however most Airlines go above and beyond the general rules laid out by the FAA. If you have flown on one Airline then switch to another, the rules may be different. Click here to learn about the FAA Rules.
What kind of general procedures do most airlines have in place?
If an airline allows you to travel with your pet in the cabin, you must follow all FAA regulations. Usually, most airlines have additional policies and procedures for you to follow to make sure that the flight is comfortable for all passengers on the airplane. These additional procedures may include
A limited list of the types of pets that you can bring into the cabin
A limit on the number of pets in the cabin
A limit on the number of pets that may accompany you on the airplane
A requirement that your pet be harmless, inoffensive and odorless
A requirement that your pet remain in the container for the entire flight
A requirement that you be able to produce a recently issued health certificate for your pet.