Flying with pigs

I Love Lucy

Post   » Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:46 am

I'm posting this here since I doubt as many people will see my other thread in general chat. I was wondering... Who here has flown with pigs, and what was your experience like? Also, what airlines allow this? I have five pigs, so I would need multiple pigs to a carrier. If this is actually a safe and viable option, I'd much rather do this than drive them for several days straight in a car. I'd have to get the car eventually, but I want my pigs going when I go, dammit. Also, I'll only consider taking them as carry-ons.

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Post   » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:55 pm

Airlines have restrictions on traveling with pets. You need to check with the airline your flying. I've never flown with pigs but would imagine flying with five could be quite challenging. How long is the flight?

I Love Lucy

Post   » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:16 pm

It would be about 8 hours total, but an hour of that is layover. It's that or several days in a car, and they'd have to be packed pretty tight since I'm taking the cats in the car, too. Someone on the other thread mentioned that they took several at once, so I'm curious what airlines will allow that...

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Supporter in '05

Post   » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:40 pm

I flew with a pig in a full-size pet-store cage in the checked luggage compartment. I had to sign a form saying that if the cage broke during the flight, I would not hold the airline responsible. She was fine- a little shaken up at the end (it was a 4-hour flight), but otherwise okay. She was in the "safe" checked luggage area, though, with controlled pressure and temperature. She had pellets, hay, and lots of fresh fruit and veggies in the place of water.

In the future, I'd probably put them in carriers rather than cages, but I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.


Post   » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:17 am

I flew with my 6 a few months ago. I did a few trial runs of putting them in crates and walking around the house and taking them in the car just to see what was best for them. Interestingly, I found that the two sets of boars who would usually fight, felt much more secure having all four of them in the crate so they could cuddle together. This will depend on your pigs but for those couple of house I had all my boys together. I padded the crates with towels so they could hide underneath them and so that if they slid around there was padding on the sides. They were slightly shaken at the end but not too bad at all.

Just keep in mind that I live in Australia and purposely flew with an airline called QANTAS as it is known for being fantastic with animals!

I Love Lucy

Post   » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:02 am

So, I think I've decided... if the airline gives me problems about taking multiple pigs in carry-ons, then I'm going to simply buy a one-way ticket and book the seat beside me as well. That's five pigs-- two carry-ons for each seat, and one pig gets the seat. (I thought of this because a lady my mom works with was told by an airline that she couldn't take her pig on a flight without booking a seat for it as well. So, that's what she did.) I'm also considering doing this with my cats (on a different trip). I'm extremely hesitant about putting the pigs (or ANY of my animals for that matter) in checked luggage, so I kind of see this as the only alternate option if they give me issues about them.

In terms of flying with cats... has anyone here ever done it? Do they need any kind of mild sedation? I have one that's prone to awful anxiety, so I'll almost certainly ask the vet for something to make her drowsy, but the others *may* be okay...

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Supporter in '05

Post   » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:10 am

My Aunt is a Dr. and she gave her cat a mild sedative when she flew from MD to AZ. Also, cat flew as carry on.

I Love Lucy

Post   » Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:37 pm

*frown* So the ONLY airline I can find that even ALLOWS guinea pigs in the cabin is Independence Air. And they don't service the West Coast. As far as every other airline is concerned, they limit pets to 1 per traveler. This makes things a little harder. :(


Post   » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:04 pm

This is why we drive long distances. Anytime we need to take a pig with us we always bring a buddy.


Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:57 am

My little cat has flown since he was about 14 weeks old, he gets no sedetation and he is fine!!!

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Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:37 am

I have heard several people fly with their pigs on Delta and they let you take 2 carry-ons.

I Love Lucy

Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:07 am

Hmm. Seems that they do allow guinea pigs in the cabin, but only one per passenger.

I'm starting to lean towards just going with the driving option. Although I *really* hate to keep them in cramped spaces that long. Do you think it'd be safer for them to go by air in cargo like other pets or do the car thing? It's going to be at least a two day trip, and that's assuming no stops.

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All for the Hogs

Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:16 am

My suggestion is to drive. I know it's a pain the butt, however it seems the safest.

What would worry me about stowing them like cargo is the connecting flight you mentioned. I would bet everyone on this board has a horror story about losing luggage through connecting flights or flights being canceled because of weather. I know I have. I got stuck in NY with a thunderstorm and had to stay an extra night with no idea where my luggage was. And that is simply a piece of luggage with clothes. With pigs and cats that could be disasterous.

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Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:22 am

Stay safe driving if that's what you end up doing.

I Love Lucy

Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:25 am

Yeah, I agree there-- but I was under the impression that animals were kept in a separate area and that you're responsible for picking them up and transporting them to your connecting flight yourself. (At least one airline I read said that.)

I'm really worried that if I'm offered a job, I won't be able to take the time to drive my car out immediately, and I certainly don't want to leave the pigs behind. My other worry is that it'll be winter and driving through miles of nothingness in the midwest makes me nervous. If we broke down in the cold, it could be really bad. (The cats could probably deal with it long enough for us to do something, but it could be *bad* for the pigs.)

Ugh. Neither seems like a terribly good option to me. *sigh* They need to invent teleporters already.

[Edit: Half of my concern about driving stems from the fact that my car has 117k miles on it. >_< But... it is a GOOD little car. Never died on me yet. *knocks on wood*]

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Wheek Times 3

Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:52 pm

I flew with a piggy last year, but only one. America West lets you take pets on board (they don't allow any animals in cargo). I don't know how many you are allowed to take, but you can check with them. You'd need a carrier that fits under the seat infront of you (call them and they'll tell you the maximum size). They also require a certificate from a vet stating the guinea pig is healthy and when you get to security, you have to take the guinea pig out so that they can check the carrier.

If you have 5 piggies to transport, it can get quite expensive and quite a hassle. Plus, you might have to buy more than one ticket as I'm fairly sure that America West limits pets to one or two. If you can drive, you might be better off transporting the pigs that way.

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Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:00 pm

If it's too cold, you woun't be able to fly the pigs as cargo anyway.

If you have a carry on carrier stuffed with hay, then how can they tell if it's two pigs or one in there. <smile> Of course, that doesn' rhelp with all five, but, still, it's something.

That said, I know many people who have had birds shipped cargo on Delta I think and things have gone well. But again, if it's too cold where you are going from or two, that won't be an option anyway. Good luck!!

I Love Lucy

Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:04 pm

Unfortunately, most airlines require that you remove animals from the carriers so that the carriers can be searched. >_<

In terms of the cold thing... I talked to a lady at Northwest, and apparently if I few with a layover in the North, I couldn't take them after Sept. But if I fly with a layover far enough south, then I could. I have no idea. For now, I'm thinking driving is the best option... Blah.

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:12 pm

Would you be able to have a friend drive out with you (for company, take turns driving, etc) and then pay for a flight back? I think driving is the best option in the circumstances.

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Post   » Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:41 pm

"Would you be able to have a friend drive out with you (for company, take turns driving, etc) and then pay for a flight back? I think driving is the best option in the circumstances."

This is EXACTLY what I did when I moved back from FL to NY. MY terrific friend joANn came with me, we took turns driving and drove straight through (24 hours) and the next morning I put her one a plane home <cries>

It was REALLY helpful to have her help.

Or, maybe you could have your boyfriend (id that right) fly out to you and drive back with you?

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