Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Traveling from the USA to Europe with Seymour

I have been researching how I can take my dog Seymour to Europe with me. Many of the sites I've found have inaccurate information as to which airlines allow pets in the cabin. For example, sites have stated that American Airlines and Continental allow small pets onboard. I called both and looked at their pet policies and it isn't true. I got excited with Continental and found a pretty good deal on a flight to either Spain or France and then called the airline - and it was a no go for pets in the cabin.

So far, the only airline I've found that allows pets in the cabin is AirFrance but the cost of their flights were over twice as expensive and they say it is an additional $200 to have a pet in a carrier under the seat. They also limit the number of pets onboard so you have to make a reservation for your pet separately and check in frequently to remind them of your pet reservation.

An example of the difference in flight costs: I could fly round-trip on Continental to Paris at the beginning of Sept. for about $1000; the same trip on AirFrance was over $2500 - and neither of those prices included the cost for Seymour. I'm not giving up because my goal is to go to Europe for 3 months this year with him. And I do not want him to fly with the checked luggage. I don't think my little chihuahua-mix would survive.

The alternative travel plans would be to drive to Canada or fly to Costa Rica. Although I want to visit Canada again, I don't want to deal with the cold weather. And I have been to Costa Rica but I would need to figure out the bus system - because I would never drive there - and figure out where I would want to stay.

For those of us who feel that our dogs are part of our family, it's one thing to find a place that is considered "pet-friendly" but another thing to try to get there!

I'm still working on it and will write updates as I get more information.

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