Traveling with a Dog on plane (non Emotional Support)

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  1. #1 Mar 7, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
    Question for my friend.

    My friend recently just adopted a dog (Shih Tzu) and wants to take her from LA to NYC. She noticed that she has seen people at the airport with pets and no carriers. We also talked about, how we always see celebs at the airport with their dogs and no carriers. I said, maybe they are Emotional Support dogs. She mentioned, then why does she also see the same celebs at the airport without their pets (clearly they don't need support all the time).

    Are these people getting fake Emotional Support papers from their doctors? Do all dogs have to go in a carrier, under the seat?

    Pics of celebs without carriers at the airport.


    Same celebs without their dogs (so clearly they can fly with out emotional support from their dogs)
  2. A lot of people take their dogs out of carriers/kennels while walking through airports. However, once on the plane, a dog must be either in a kennel in the cargo section of the plane or in a carrier under your seat.
  3. Neither lady is carrying a carrier.
  4. Maybe the airlines provide them
  5. Just because you don't see one doesn't mean that they flew without their dog in one. You asked the question does a dog have to go in a carrier on a flight, and the answer is yes.
  6. But those are paparazzi pics so who knows who they have working for them in the background. The only time they do not have to go under the seat, is when they are a service dog and cannot fit. For example, I saw a German Shepherd Dog on a plane once that was a service dog and they were in the front row of coach - the bulkhead I think it's called? Clearly a German Shepherd Dog cannot fit under the seat, but if it can, then that's where it has to go.

    My understanding is pretty much anyone can pay to get an "emotional support" animal if they find the right doctor and pay for it. They would still have to go under the seat though if they fit.
  7. You can have your dog on the plane without a carrier if you buy him/her a seat. No lie. (i.e.;, take them out of the carrier during the flight) I was told this when I brought my cat on a flight)
  8. Some snub nose dogs are not allowed to fly in cargo anymore. The dog would have to fit in a soft carrier under the seat in front of you. I don't think they are usually allowed out of the carrier on the plane.
  9. I'd think the dog would need to be in a carrier on the plane unless it's a service dog but are free to walk around the airport as long as they are leashed. On all the fights I've been on all dogs & cats have been inside of carriers, but I wonder if the rule may vary from airline to airline or if you buy them a seat like bagshoofetish suggested. It's easy to get a DR note for emotional support dog, my SIL got one when they got their dog so she could get out of paying the pet rent her apartment now charges for new pets(they didn't used to charge it but I guess they had enough issues with previous tenants to start charging).
  10. I wonder why on earth airlines would even open themselves up that kind of liability. What happens when that dog sitting next to a stranger bites said stranger??
  11. Could not tell you. I have seen people take dogs out of their carriers and put them on their laps.

    This was a few years ago so I have no idea if anything has changed. My cat was so sedated he slept through the entire flight.
  12. Maybe the celeb was flying on a private plane?

    As far as I know all dogs have to go under the seat in a carrier or fly in cargo with the exception of service dogs. Bona fide service dogs are trained to crawl under the seat and remain there quietly throughout the duration of the flight.
  13. I did a lot of research before traveling with my dog this past December from DC to Paris. So here's my 2 cents:

    Yes, a dog has to remain in a carrier for the duration of the flight. The flight attendants are strict about this. DH and I couldn't take our dog out even though we had a row of seats to ourselves, but we were allowed to put our hand or foot in the carrier to help keep our pup company.

    After security, pets are supposed to remain in their carrier at the airport. However, I found that this isn't strictly enforced, or at least not at the airports we were at. We were able to walk our dog around the terminal, and I saw another person doing this as well. Security and airport staff were nearby and did not say anything to us.

    In regards to the celeb pics, I'm assuming they have assistants or staff carrying their pet carriers and/or other luggage for them. Perhaps they pay someone to bring it all to the gate so they don't have to lug it around. They may bring their own carry on or personal item to keep their valuables safe with them, but other less important carry on luggage may go with someone else.

    I'm not sure if all airlines would allow you to purchase a seat for your pet and have your pet out of its carrier the whole time. I never thought to ask this, but I will next time.

    For the record, I wouldn't recommend claiming an animal as emotional support if it truly isn't. I think this makes it even more difficult for other people who want to travel with pets the legitimate way. People claim poorly behaved pets as emotional support, they cause issues, and then the rest of us suffer whether our pet is well behaved or not. I would want to travel with my pet everywhere I go, and unfortunately, since regulations differ and can be quite strict, I have to change my plans to accommodate traveling with my pet, or I have to make the decision to leave her in boarding. I wouldn't lie and claim her as emotional support- if she can't go the honest way, then she/we can't go at all.
  14. If the dog is less than 20 lbs, they can fly in the cabin in a carrier. They can't leave the carrier. You'll need a vet note saying that the dog is cleared to fly. I gave my dog (dachshund) a Benadryl as instructed by the vet and she was quiet the whole time. I have also seen people walking their dogs in the airport but they can't come out in the plane. Never heard of buying your pet a seat, but even if you did I can't imagine they'd get to be out of their crate. The flight attendants were strict about this. It also costs $75-125 each way.
  15. I was on a Virgin air flight where the lady next to me had a Yorkie. It was in a carrier most of the time but she did take it out occasionally and put it on the empty seat that happened to be between us.