Flying with a Puppy

Dog Carrier Tote Bag c/o Amazon, however all opinions on the product are my own.

Flying with a puppy (for free) can be hard and nerve wracking if you’re unprepared. Since Charlotte is only one year old, her behavior can still be unpredictable. Sure, we could’ve paid the $300 for peace of mind and easy traveling, but I’d rather live life on the edge a little bit…which is why we decided to sneak Charlotte onto the plane the first time we let her fly with us (and save 300 bucks).

Flying with a puppy for free Topaz and Sapphire

How to Fly your Puppy for FREE

We first had to train Charlotte to be comfortable with traveling in a dog bag. With some conditioning, Charlotte knew that anytime she went inside her dog bag she was (1) going to receive a treat, and (2) get to go with us in the car (which she absolutely loves). Once we got her used to her dog bag, we knew it would be smooth flying going forward.

Flying with a puppy  Flying with a puppy
Flying with a puppy First, the only person we had to be sure to “sneak” past in the airport was the woman scanning our tickets at our gate right before we walked onto the plane. Security doesn’t check for a “doggie ticket” and neither do the flight attendants. They simply assumed that since we had Charlotte Barkley with us, that we bought a plane ticket for her too.

To avoid getting seen with Charlotte by the women at the gate, we waited at a different gate within a close proximity. We also made to get this incognito dog carrier that looks more like a purse than a dog bag. With minimal netting and it’s sleek appeal we were able to scurry on past the gate check without too much hassle. However, Charlotte was tired of being in her bag and was getting a little squirmy by the time we started boarding, but we made sure to bring a blanket just in case she felt the need to pop her head out the bag (which she totally did). The blanket helped in this instance since it was covering her head.

We loved the dog carrier, but unfortunately it was slightly too small for Charlotte, which caused her to feel a little claustrophobic and made her uncomfortable when we fully zipped up the bag. If she was 3-5 pounds smaller, we’d definitely recommend this dog carrier for anyone trying to travel on an airplane with their pet that is less than 10 pounds! The carrier is light, has good compartments for additional storage, adequate netting, and best of all – it’s incognito! I wish they made this bag in additional sizes because we would definitely be purchasing another.

Flying with a puppy
Flying with a puppy

All in all, Charlotte traveled well on an airplane, especially for her first time. She was a little nervous with the loud sounds of the plane, but with some treats and some cuddling, she was just fine! We’d also recommend feeling out the flight attendants and their views towards dogs. Some loved Charlotte and let her sit on my lap. On our way back from Boston, this guy probably checked 5 separate times to make sure Charlotte was in her bag underneath the seat in front of us. I told her she was a littler nervous on planes so he offered her some dog approved dramamine, but would not let her sleep on my lap.

Have you ever traveled on an airplane with your pet? What was your experience? Is it worth the $300 for peace of mind?

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  • Wow – I’ve traveled with pets but never by air because I’ve always been too nervous to do so. This is a great post – very reassuring and encouraging so maybe I’ll give it a try next time I need to. Thanks.

    • Cassie

      Yeah, honestly most airlines (at least Jet Blue) are very accommodating to pets! Thanks for reading! <3

  • Yeah major props because no way Amaya would ever be this good on a plane… let alone in a handbag as I’m trying to sneak her on! Haha Charlotte is just too cute!

    • Cassie

      Hahaha thanks Shanndelier! It was nerve racking, but it worked out in the end…this time.

  • Danielle Punderson

    youre ballsy! on the plane manifest it specifically shows us which passengers have dogs. as long as you have a chill flight crew, they wont say anything. however, ive worked with many flight attendants that check this hard core and that results in being kicked off the flight and a hefty fine.

    I always recommend to friends to just make your dog an emotional support animal. Super easy to get your doctor to write up an rx and then its no more than $65 to register. That way you never have to pay a fee AND you can hold your dog the whole flight!

    peace of mind + free puppy flying!