Managing Pets On Board

Firstly, we must come clean: We LOVE dogs. We had a Corgi for 16 years and she traveled almost everywhere with us, many times on planes.

The other day, while disembarking from a plane, we walked by a seat occupied by a dog. He/she was standing on all fours in the middle seat, which didn’t appear to be spoiled nor a repository for something more solid, with the owner in the window seat. Since the dog’s kennel was in the overhead bin, we could only assume either the dog spent the flight held in place by a seat belt or in the overhead bin, neither of which is allowed.

Most airlines allow pets on board. Most cruise lines do not. Cunard is an exception…more on that later.

Back to the plane.

Many hours after leaving the aircraft, we discussed dogs-in-flight with two other dog lovers in our family. The vote was unanimous. Not allowed. We all remembered how the Corgi Hummersurvived all her flights in the luggage compartment, which was temperature controlled, and the process seemed to be fine with her, as it was with us.

Times have really changed.

In checking to see what the pet regulations were on this particular airline (Alaska), we were astounded. Shocked. Speechless. Not only are dogs and cats allowed in the cabin — we once saw a dog running up and down the aisle — but so are rabbits and household birds. What if your household bird is a parrot? Wouldn’t that strain your patience to hear “Polly wants a cracker” for three hours. And rabbits. If the flight’s long enough, they could multiply!

If the pets produce offensive odors or too much noise, according to Alaska, they’re taken off to the baggage compartment. Really? And who’s going to step outside and take them there? And what about other passengers who may have pet allergies. It’s not okay to have nuts on a plane because of allergic reactions, but it is okay to have pets that could cause allergic reactions. Talk about nuts!

Then there’s Cunard.

If you’re going to allow pets to travel, do it right…and Cunard does. On all Transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary 2, pets are allowed. In a kennel. With a kennel master. Full-time, which means he walks and feeds them and does…other things. The kennel’s open all day, allowing pet owners to visit often, and kennel capacity is 12 (unless they can share a bunk).

It’s not exactly Noah’s Ark. All breeds are welcome. There is only one stipulation, besides having “parents” willing to pay the rack rate for having pets in a cruise ship kennel.

They must have a pet passport.

In the news…

• Carnival Miracle changes itinerary to avoid Troipical Storm Blanca
• Norwegian unveils new promotion: Freestyle Choice Spectacular

• Carnival Corp's AIDA Cruises celebrates 20th birthday in Germany

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Celebrity Solstice
7 nights
July 17, 2015
Seattle (return): Ketchikan, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria
Oceanview: $945
Cost per day: $135
www.celebritycruises.com

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