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Topic: Snakes and Doves on a plane
Message: Posted by: Alexo (May 11, 2009 09:45PM)
Figure this would be a good place to get info on FAA and Airline policies
on traveling with birds and reptiles. A lot of the language on the airline
websites seem to only pertain to Dogs and cats so I was wondering if you
guys had info on how to go about transporting 5 doves and a Ball python.

Regarding the python, I am afraid of her getting too cold. Any ideas on
how to keep her warm during long trips?
Thanks in advance.
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (May 12, 2009 12:18PM)
The FAA leaves it up to each airline to set its own animal travel rules. Unless they have changed their policies in the past 4 years, the only way any airline allows reptiles and birds is to check them as cargo. They will not allow them in the cabin.

Years ago when I lived in New Mexico and my wife was still living in Wisconsin, she wanted to bring her bearded dragon to my house so she could take care of it while she was visiting me instead of leaving him with her brother.

None of the airlines would allow him in the cabin, even though our vet wrote a letter on our behalf explaining that he would be far less trouble than a cat or dog (which are allowed in the cabin) because he would go to sleep once he was put in a dark cage. He also explained to them that reptiles are hypoallergenic and so no one with allergies would be bothered. Can't say the same for the cats and dogs. Further, he explained to them that the cargo hold was a dangerous place to travel for a reptile because of the drastic change in temperatures from in flight to the the ground. His professional opinion was that it was safer for the dragon to travel in the cabin and that he would not cause harm to anyone on board.

Despite the vet clearing him for flight in terms of his health and his possible "danger" to other passengers, no one would allow us to take him on board. Now everytime I fly and I hear a little yap trap dog on the plane, it makes me mad!

Anyway, good luck in your fight. Let me know how it goes for you. Hopefull the idiots have opened thier eyes since 2005.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 12, 2009 12:59PM)
Shipping doves through the Post Office is cheaper, safer and faster than shipping them via the airline. Usually if you have them at the Post Office by 11 AM they are at any destination in the USA by 3 PM the next day. (Yes, they still fly on the plane but at about 20-25% of the cost and without the hassles airline employees seem to take great pride in causing. The Government's contract gets you through the red tape and the pure ignorance there.)

I'm no help on snakes.

Call your Post Office. Rural Post Offices have more knowledgeable people in this area of expertise than big city Post Offices. They ship chickens, ducks, turkeys, quail, etc. frequently. When one tells you that they don't know, believe them! Call someone else.

Good luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (May 12, 2009 02:51PM)
If you need to ship your snake, check with a reputable on line breeder. They ship all the time. They can advise you on which carriers are best and how to pack the box.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (May 12, 2009 07:40PM)
Southwest: http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/animals.html

Delta: http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/special_travel_needs/pet_travel_information/pet_requirements_restrictions/index.jsp

Continental: http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/travel/animals/default.aspx

United: http://www.united.com/page/middlepage/0,6823,1038,00.html?navSource=Dropdown07&linkTitle=assistance

AA: http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?p=/travelInformation/specialAssistance/travelingWithPets.jsp

Frontier: http://www.frontierairlines.com/frontier/plan-book/travel-info-services/family-pets.do

JetBlue: http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webisapi.dll/,/?St=402,E=0000000000006052213,K=2538,Sxi=3,Case=obj(2032)

US Airways: http://www.usairways.com/awa/content/traveltools/specialneeds/pets.aspx
Message: Posted by: freefallillusion1 (May 12, 2009 10:29PM)
Had a similar experience...

Way back in 2001, I flew to Vegas to do a show for a relative and wanted to bring my iguana (an integral part of the show back then). I called the airline and asked about bringing a small animal on board. I figured it would be no problem as I had seen many people with animal carriers. The representative told me that there was a small additional charge for having to deal with the animal dander. I asked "What if my animal doesn't have hair?". There was a long pause and she then asked what type of animal I had. When I said that it was an iguana, it quickly became apparent that she had never had to answer this question before, and I was put on hold. After a long wait, she came back on the phone and read me a HUGE list of rules for flying with a reptile. She told me that the iguana would have to fly as cargo, that it would have to be secured inside a wood crate which meets their specifications, that they would only offer this service during certain months (a temperature thing, which is good), and that there was an enourmous fee involved. In the end, it would have almost cost more for the iguana to fly than for me. I totally agree that it bothers me when I see someone bring an ankle biter on a plane with no hassle, yet I'm infomed that the world will surely come to an end if a dreadful reptile is brought on board.

One possible solution- look into the cost of hiring a private plane. I had a friend who was going to buy a monkey, but it was several states away. As you can imagine, airline travel was not an option. The cost of driving was way up there, not to mention the stress of a multi-day trip on the monkey. So, we found a pilot who was totally fine with it and, had the transaction gone through, that would have been the way.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (May 12, 2009 11:37PM)
The odd thing is when we had the dispute with the airlines, they hid behind the excuse that most people are uncomfortable in the presence of reptiles and that if he were to escape the crate it would create havoc on the plane.

The reality is that every time we take one of our lizards out in public, 99% of people receive them well and are curious about them.

Oh well, as Ron White says, you can't fix stupid.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (May 15, 2009 07:49PM)
I moved my snakes to Europe by having a reptile store in Denver ship them by Delta Dash.

The pet store put my 4 cornsnakes in pillowcases inside of a styrofoam box, which was inside of a cardboard box. There were holes that were made in the styrofoam and the cardboard. Newspaper was put between the pillowcases. The box was clearly marked in two languages: "Live NON-venomous reptiles."

They needed health certificates [$75] and they had to be shipped on a specific day of the week. Use a shipper who does this regularly! This was really tricky for my shipper. Don't forget, you have to know someone to ship them back on the return trip end!

My cost was about $250 from Denver to Frankfurt. I bet it would be about $150 for a one way shipment in the USA, plus vet certificate.

Might be easier to drive!

Just FYI In the winter, the reptile store said they put little heat packets inside of the shipping cartons to keep their reptiles warm.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 15, 2009 08:58PM)
Brings up an interesting point I just remembered. Farmers used to have chickens, pheasants and such shipped to them by post office all the time. I remember my grandmother telling me about ordering in some egg layers.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 16, 2009 10:11PM)

They can still do that! Unfortunately, it seems only rural post offices understand that.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: SnakeBabe (May 19, 2009 10:47PM)
If I can not drive to the location with my animals in my care or under the supervision of one of my trained assistants I just don't accept the job.
I will never again trust the care of my snakes to anyone other then my staff.

Hugs and Hissessss,
Message: Posted by: Alexo (May 20, 2009 10:11PM)
That's my main thing. I'm kind of a worry-wart when it comes to my animals and would be driving myself crazy if I didn't know how they were doing. There's nothing I'd have to fly to anytime soon since all my gigs are rather local but if the time came I was wondering, but with FAA the way it's been it'll probably change by that time.
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (May 21, 2009 12:15PM)
Alexo, the problem isn't with the FAA. It's with the airlines. I went to the FAA first and they told me that it's up to each airline to set their own animal policies. From there we had to go individually to each airline and ask what their policies were.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (May 21, 2009 04:07PM)
Alexo, drive to the gig if you can. It would be easier on you and your beloved babies. Plus, it would likely be cheaper.