Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kitty Tales: Week 1 - Traveling with a kitten

As most of you know, I flew with my 8 weeks old kitten with me on the airplane from LA to SF. Let me tell you, I was so nervous! I was panicking the week before and the day of because I wanted everything to go smoothly. And now looking back, everything went perfectly and there was  no troubles at all! I was stressing out for nothing! Here is an overview of my experience.

I did a lot of research and found a good article on catster. This was really good for basics and it even has some personal experiences from cat owners who have flown with cats before. I did furthur research on the "best pet friendly airlines" and found that Southwest was one. The cost of flying my kitten was $75 and with the two free check in luggage, it really helped me fly comfortably with my kitten. This is especially because the carrier counts as one carry on itself. And you are only permitted one carry on item (small size suitcase) and one personal item (purse, backpack).

I called Southwest after I booked my own ticket to reserve a spot. That's very important.

I read the FAQs for "traveling with pets" on the Southwest website and was happy to see that it answered most of my questions (included that there are no documents necessary for flying)

In my previous post I talked about my Bergan Cat Carrier. It was perfect! I had to give some time for my kitten to get used to it, but he liked it fine. I practiced the night before by putting him into the carrier and driving around the block. He did meow a little bit and try to escape, but quickly calmed down after realizing there was no way out.

The two most nervous things I was worried about were:
1. Taking my kitten out at the security check area.
2. My kitten meowing like crazy on the flight and annoying everybody around me

Security Check
When I took my kitten out at the security check area, he did not move or become scared at all! It was so easy. I walked right through and then I did have to get my hands wiped for security reasons. All the security people were staring at my kitten and "oohing" and "awwwing"! So much attention! But the security check did not take long at all! From check in to going to the gate took only about 20 minutes but that was also due to the fact that there was no line at check in or security.

At the gate
My kitten was calm and just slept a little . 

On the plane
One of the main reasons why I chose Southwest was also because it has open seating. This means that the passengers choose their own seats. My boarding number was A 30, so I was basically the 30th person to board! Therefore, I sat in the 9th row. That was very comfortable. I sat in the aisle seat. Also, out of courtesy, I asked the people sitting next to me if they are allergic to cats. This also helped because at least the people knew I have a cat so if he DOES meow... they were warned! 
Here is a picture of my kitten and carrier under my seat. Fits snug but not too bad. On the plane, the engine and airplane sounds are loud so you can barely hear a little meow. So even if my kitten did meow, I never heard it. 

The flight was two hours as opposed to the usual one because there were some technical problems due to weather. But regardless, kitten was perfectly happy!

Here we are at baggage claim

Hope you enjoyed and beared with this long post! Happy traveling!

No comments:

Post a Comment