I was just wondering if anyone has any funny stories about traveling with animals? Here is one that happened to me a couple of years ago on my way to perform in Las Vegas. This story begins at 4:00 AM at the Dayton International Airport Check-in Station (there is nothing International about this airport, you have to fly to Cincinnati or another major city to get anywhere else in the country). I was standing there with my five doves, my Umbrella Cockatoo Bobby and my Blue and Gold Macaw Lucy. I was on my way to Las Vegas to compete at the World Magic Seminar which was in mid January. I donít know if you have ever been to Ohio but, around that time of year it is more than chilly. The person working the desk told me that the airlines have a policy that you cannot put animals in the pressurized cargo area of the plane like I normally do when the outside temperature is below 45 degrees and guess what; it was 22 degrees on that early morning in Dayton, Ohio. Oddly enough this is not because it is too cold in the plane but because it is too cold between the airport terminal and the plane. I was forced to buy animal carriers for my Macaw and Cockatoo from the airline at $75.00 a piece and informed that they would be accompanying me in the cabin. I might add that these carriers were very cheaply made. Lucy had not been in the carrier ten minutes and she had already chewed a hole in it, so I had to switch her into my hard-shell dove carrier and put my doves into the new carrier.
Well I flew out of Dayton on an extremely small plane and let me tell you that was really interesting with those birds, but I made it to Cincinnati. Then there was a two hour layover and all of my birds were making noise like crazy. We finally boarded the plane and got situated and took off. About twenty five minutes into the four hour flight my Macaw Lucy started making some of the most awful noises that I have ever heard her make and people were starting to stare. I figured that I had better do something to calm her down and they had just served breakfast so I thought ďoh, Iíll give her a piece of banana to try and calm her down.Ē I pulled out the carrier that she was in and realized that Lucy had broken the door off of the cage and chewed away the hinges and was ready to fly. About the time that I noticed this she took off and started flying around the inside of the plane with her almost 48Ē wingspan and not to mention the metal door of the cage fell and almost hit the poor lady sitting in the seat in front of me.
Now Lucy is trained to do a fly back so as soon as I held out my hand she flew right to it. As soon as she landed on my hand she took about the biggest poop that I have ever seen in my life right in the middle of the isle of the plane. If there werenít at least a few wet seats on that plane itís a miracle. Well now I had a loose bird with a demolished carrier to put her in. This really wasnít holding her very well so I was forced to stand in the back of the plane for the remainder of the flight. I can look back and laugh at this now, but I wasnít too happy the day that it happened. But what can I say other than:
-Buying two carriers at $75.00 each
-An airline ticket to Las Vegas: $250.00
-Getting Black Flagged in Delta Airlines Computer: a hassle
-Winning The Lance Burton Award at The World Magic Seminar and getting to see the looks on the faces of all those people on the plane: