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Best ways to safely transport pets to and fro Puerto Rico

suzanne12345 :

US Air says no to guinea pigs too, FYI. Thanks for the suggestions. Will try Amerijet...

Suzanne, I realize your post is quite old, but I was wondering if you found a solution to transport the guinea pig?

Has anyone transported their cat to PR? My cat is too big to fly on the plane with me in the cabin; he weighs 16 lbs. My concern is that he hates to ride in the car for short distances and fear that the long travel will cause psychological problems. He hates being in a carrier (when we go to the vet he is on a harness and leash).  It will take 2 days with United PetSafe.  I have read that dogs bounce back pretty quick, but I haven't heard much about cats. I would hate to have to leave him behind (sniffle), but I want to think what is best for him in the long run. If I were selfish, I would bring him along in a heartbeat'wirh no second thoughts.
Any suggestions? Any thoughts?

Different airline?
Maybe arrive with you instead of a day or two later?

TravelingJ :

Has anyone transported their cat to PR? My cat is too big to fly on the plane with me in the cabin; he weighs 16 lbs. My concern is that he hates to ride in the car for short distances and fear that the long travel will cause psychological problems. He hates being in a carrier (when we go to the vet he is on a harness and leash).  It will take 2 days with United PetSafe.  I have read that dogs bounce back pretty quick, but I haven't heard much about cats. I would hate to have to leave him behind (sniffle), but I want to think what is best for him in the long run. If I were selfish, I would bring him along in a heartbeat'wirh no second thoughts.
Any suggestions? Any thoughts?

Have you looked into different airlines? I thought that most allowed cats and dogs that were 20 lbs. As for shipping not in cabin-try Amerijet. I have no experience with them, but I hear they are good.

I don't think this one-time travel experience will cause any long-term psychological problems, but it will definitely be tough on him in the short-term and take him longer to readjust to life than a dog. I don't have cats anymore, but when I did--a move from one house to another and a 20 minute car ride stressed them out. Their behavior over the years got worse and worse and they were always getting UTIs..I think so many changes in their lives severely stressed them out on a permanent level. Perhaps it may be a concern with your guy if he's already gone through a lot of changes and hasn't handled it well.

Thanks @purplesugar! United is the only commercial carrier that has climate control in cargo. The rule is they cannot be in transit more than 12 hours without an overnight stay at a boarding facility. There are unfortunately no direct flights to PR from CA and most transit times range from 10-15 hours depending on layovers. The rule to have him in the cabin would be that the carrier fits under the seat in front of me. That would be so cramped for him for such a long period of time. I am afraid he would cry.

So much to think about. I will definitely look into Amerijet.

Cat psychiatrists are a litle cheaper in PR than in the states if you were to need one :D

TravelingJ :

Thanks @purplesugar! United is the only commercial carrier that has climate control in cargo. The rule is they cannot be in transit more than 12 hours without an overnight stay at a boarding facility. There are unfortunately no direct flights to PR from CA and most transit times range from 10-15 hours depending on layovers. The rule to have him in the cabin would be that the carrier fits under the seat in front of me. That would be so cramped for him for such a long period of time. I am afraid he would cry.

So much to think about. I will definitely look into Amerijet.

If he's going to cry and make a bunch of noise then not a good idea to bring him on the flight, even if he would fit comfortably. . look into Amerijet and let us know what you find out! :)

Start looking at First Class seating options.  The under seat room is larger and you will have a bigger seat to put him on your lap during the majority of the flight.  We flew our dog from PHX to PR on United, and I gladly would have bought him a SEAT if that was an option.

Veterinarian here.  I sent a terrier to my friends in San Juan via United airlines Petsafe program.  All went well.  The staff was kind & caring.  Very strict on the rules, so prepare well.  I drove him to Newark from Virginia Beach to minimize his flight time, so he was in his owners' arms in San Juan before I got back to Virginia.

Just wanted to provide an update regarding Southwest Airlines! Their policies have changed and I even called and spoke to customer service to verify. Small cats and dogs can now be brought as a carry-on to/from Puerto Rico. In the past they excluded Puerto Rico and didn't allow it, but now they do allow it.

Not sure about your cat, but we brought our 10lb+ kitties both down on JetBlue under the seats without any trouble, each was about 13lbs? They were fine, although the the carrier didn't give them much room to move. Just get a direct flight, if you can. I want to say the fee was $100, and only three animals were allowed on the plane at one time.

Hi Deborah,

I left PR in October 2015 with the two cats I rescued off the street.  I flew JetBlue from San Juan to DC with both cats in separate carriers in the plane with me.  All I had to do was purchase two one-way tickets so that each carrier could be placed under the seat in front.  TSA hand-inspected the carriers so that I didn't have to take the cats out and carry them through security.  I then found a dark, quiet corner of the terminal (I chose to fly on a weeknight to avoid large crowds) to wait until boarding.  Everything went off without a hitch.

My friends in Vieques are involved with animal rescue and send all the dogs they can out of PR.  I helped with one rescue right before I left.  A woman from Canada (who owns a home in Vieques) rescued a sato and needed to get him to Toronto for adoption.  She flies all her rescued dogs on American Airlines. The dog had to be dropped off at the cargo terminal which is actually across the tarmac from the actual terminal.  Once dropped off, the dog is cared for my an AA employee who makes sure the dog has water and is walked before boarding.  We are told that the dogs are not sitting on the tarmac waiting, but are brought to the plane when they are ready to board.

Hope this information helps. 

Scott

To anybody shipping or having your animal with you on a trip to PR, please read this document and be prepared.
Do note that pit bull and some other dogs and mixes are not allowed to be imported to PR.
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_expor … FICATE.pdf

Hands down: U.S. Air. Their pet CARE policy explicitly puts the dogs' welfare as a priority (e.g. Departure location and arrival location must be temperate for dogs to travel, i.e. No extreme temperature differences), and dogs are in air conditioned vans while waiting to board each leg of their trip.
I was late, trying to find the pickup depot and they took good care of my aging dog, and stayed on the phone with me until I pulled right up to the front door.

This is very interesting-it doesn't line up with previous posts that indicate that your pet can ride into Pat in a carrier on the plane with you.
Thanks!!

Small dogs and service dogs can ride as a passenger.

It is my understanding that USAir was bought by American Airlines.

BayAreaTexan :

This is very interesting-it doesn't line up with previous posts that indicate that your pet can ride into Pat in a carrier on the plane with you.
Thanks!!

Different airlines have different rules. Some allow up to 4 pets per flight in the cabin, while others allow up to 3. To my knowledge they all have to fit under the seat and you are required to keep them in the carrier for the entire flight.
As to service dogs, they don't typically fit under the seat, I have no idea what accommodations are made for those if any.

Check with airline and always make early arrangements, you may have to change flights if the maximum number of pets are already booked regardless of fitting under the seat or not.

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