Traveling with our Cat

One of the things that I’m most nervous (mainly unsure) about with the actual move, is flying with our cat, Miffy. She’s had a particular difficult past few months with kidney issues, so I hope she handles this well.

I’ve had a lot of questions about flying with her. First, she will be flying in the cabin with us, underneath the seat in-front of us. Each airline is different, so you’ll have to look at each of their policies. We’ll be flying with Southwest and they had one of the most relaxed policies.

Southwest Airlines accepts small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs. All in-cabin pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier, as indicated below and are subject to a $75 pet fare each way per pet carrier. The pet carrier counts as the Customer’s carryon bag.

So we made our reservation online and then we called Southwest to make a pet reservation.

Note: When passing through security, Customers will be asked to hold the pet and walk through the screening device while the carrier is x-rayed.

Okay, this part scares me a little bit. We’re going to have to take her out of the carrier, walk through the metal detector, and then put her back into the carrier. Yeah, that sounds easy!

After lots of research with the different airlines about size restrictions, I got the Bergan Comfort Carrier Soft-Sided Pet Carrier (Small, Black):
Cat Carrier

It carries pets up to 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). It measures 17 x 8 x 11.5 inches.

I have read stories (even as recent as today) about pets not surviving on flights, but in those cases, the pet was in the cargo hold and not in the cabin with the passengers. Some other rules from the FFA are:

  • Your pet container must be small enough to fit underneath the seat without blocking any person’s path to the main aisle of the airplane.
  • Your pet container must be stowed properly before the last passenger entry door to the airplane is closed in order for the airplane to leave the gate.
  • Your pet container must remain properly stowed the entire time the airplane is moving on the airport surface, and for take off and landing.
  • You must follow flight attendant instructions regarding the proper stowage of your pet container.
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