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This is an interesting thread to follow.

It will be rare that I fly as it flares up my facial/ear pain (pressure) so I don't travel much. But I have been pleasantly surprised so far at how well Serenity (she'll be about 40-50 pounds full grown) has learned how to tuck under booths. We are a family of four and I was a little worried that there wouldn't be any space for her under the booth with all of our feet and so far she's tucked just fine and seems comfortable. Some of the booths we are in for dinner honestly seem as small with four of us there as airlines I've been on. So I think as long as your dog has learned how to curl up/tuck it should be okay in a lot of situations.

That being said - with as rare as I fly I might be one of the people that purchase a ticket in advance just to not deal with the hassle factor. Or know that Serenity will be in the same aisle as my family anyway so it won't matter if she takes up more than my foot room's space. I'm the same person that purchased a ticket for my kid on a plane even though I could have had him in my lap for 3 hours. Felt safer and way more comfortable.
 :wink: oh, it's no big. I've always had a massive fear of flying. I don't fly unless I absolutely have no choice.

I find those shows interesting, but they confirm everything that terrifies me about planes.

I now have a collection of rules and tricks I use to lessen the death trap feeling although it's still pretty bad.

Hate planes with a passion. Animals do nothing for me either. The dog used to make it worse because I had to think about the dog in addition to the [censored] plane. A flight attendant recommended a support animal once and I was like WTF, no. Lol.
At one point the plane dropped suddenly about 10'

Well, that's enough of this thread for me lol.

ZF, if you come back to read it, firstly, I lived (obviously) and secondly, I'm so anxious on planes. I can handle it, but I drug myself to the point that I can function but am definitely chillaxed some. The Mayday Disasters show on NatGeo had a 6 hour marathon a day or two before I went on a very long plane ride when I was 9 and the trip there didn't bother me, massive crying and panicking on the way back. Never had plane issues prior.
At one point the plane dropped suddenly about 10'

Well, that's enough of this thread for me lol.
Jubilee has been on two trips by plane, though six flights in total since there was a layover on the way to and from from on the second trip. Here are some pictures of her on every flight. In several pictures I moved my legs so I could take pictures of Jubi without my legs in the way, but I typically laid my feet across her like a foot rest.

Here is a video of her tucked while taxi-ing and taking off, and for the rest of the 4 hour flight of course.

The bulkhead seen in my pics in Flights 1-2 was larger than any I've ever seen before on the first flight but on both it was way, way too big and because Jubi is trained to curl up anyway she kept sliding and I had to tuck her between my legs and it hurt my leg muscles to have to corral her balled body in. Not a pleasant experience, especially since there was heavy turbulence. I'm glad she has no issues with things that move quickly and erratically. At one point the plane dropped suddenly about 10'. I nearly had a heart attack, but Jubi lifted her head to look at me and put her head back on my foot.

Jubilee is a hair under 50 lbs, I don't know what you consider your medium size dog to be, but her size has in no way been even slightly prohibitive at her curling up. On the Seattle flight (detailed flights 3-6) there was also an 80 lb GSD service dog belonging to a friend who flew with us. He sat in the same row as us and despite being 30 lbs larger, curled up exactly the same as Jubi did. That's what a dog flying on a plane must do. If they cannot, it is reasonable to send the dog under in cargo.

A dog who is standing and moving around is a nuisance, and honestly can't be that much emotional support anyway because the owner would have to be constantly managing them while people around got angry, particularly if the plane had to be grounded. That is far more anxiety than i would want to deal with, particularly if I was bringing an ESA to help with anxiety (I don't know what your reasoning is, just speaking personally). If your dog is a medium size there should be no reason at all that he can't squeeze in and curl up comfortably for the flight. Neither Jubilee, nor her 80 lb GSD friend had any issues with discomfort with the curling. A passenger behind was kicking sporadically under the seat at my friend's GSD so she had to squeeze him further in front, but other curling alone presented no discomfort.
Can't speak for non- bulkhead, but I used to get the window seat in bulkhead and the dog would curl up in that corner against the walls. Since I always try for red eye we usually had the next seat or entire row to ourselves. The few time I had a full flight during the day the dog curled in that spot and no one much cared and they weren't in the way. Once I flew at night and threw a coat over the dog while he slept & the dude next to me was totally surprised a dog got up when we landed. He never knew he was there.

However ive had more than one passenger switch seats with someone who liked dogs and the one guy who stayed, but didn't like dogs. My dogs averaged 80lbs.

I've mostly flown JetBlue & Virgin.
I fly united all the time but their customer service has declined so much it is ridiculous. I had to change a flight yesterday and they hung up on me THREE times!  :facepalm: I have about 100,000 miles and am stuck with them.
Based on the main cabin seats we got on our last flight, I don't see how even a medium size dog like mine could fit much of their body under the seat in front of them. And they can fit any part of them under my seat because the passengers behind have their things there.  What's more, I've been on flights where there is a metal bar along the floor under the seat in front of me- I assume to keep things placed there from sliding out in turbulent weather. It makes that space even less accessible.

So I'm curious how larger dogs manage to fit in spaces like that without taking up ANY adjacent floor space. My dog lies under the seat on public transportation and can make herself pretty small when needed, but no amount of training can make a dog fit into an impossibly small space!
Does anyone know where I can get a non-metal lead? Can't seem to find any!

I bought a collar and leash at the 99 cents store. Used bolt cutters to remove the metal ring on the collar and metal clip on the leash. Then used a plastic cable tie to connect the leash to the collar through the loops where the metal parts had been.
All in all it took about 5 minutes to put together, looked better than a rope, and it worked great.

You can take mountain climbing rope from the hardware store and use a bowline or other knot to make a small loop in one end, run the other end through the loop and have a slip lead with no metal on it.  You can also take your chance with a regular inexpensive slip lead which has very little metal and might or might not set off the metal detector depending on how sensitively it is calibrated.  If it does set it off, they wand/frisk your dog.  If your dog isn't wearing any gear but the collar and leash, they're just going to feel under the collar.  They are not permitted to do cavity searches without a veterinarian and a court order.  The pat down for humans is more invasive because they have to try to feel every place where there is clothing obscuring the vision.  That's going to be a much smaller area for the dog.  Under the collar or harness and under the vest and inside any vest pockets.  If the dog is mostly naked (just collar and leash) there's not much to frisk.

It is generally easier to back the dog in if you're going to try to put part of him under the seat in front of you.  This might or might not help with loading him in bulkhead.

Useful skills:
1. backing in
2. going in forward and turning around in a tight space
3. being chill in a down stay while the handler pushes them the rest of the way into position (as in slides them across the carpet, not wads them up like a pill bug)

Bonus points for:
1.  being able to toilet on a piddle pad or in a diaper on command

You can micro manage it by telling the dog step by step how to do it, or you can create a container that is the approximate dimensions of the space the dog will need to squeeze into and telling him to get in the container and letting him figure out how for himself.  I use method two, but that might be because I have problem solving dogs.  I start with a laundry basket and decrease size from there.  You can create a custom container by cutting down and reassembling a cardboard box in whatever configuration you want.

Airline websites will generally give you the dimensions of the under seat storage area.  I can't recall but you might be able to get floor dimensions through seat guru.  Otherwise, you can call them and ask.  Or guess based on your own past experience.

Practice loading yourself and your dog into one car seat with you on the seat and the dog and your feet in the foot well for that seat.  I actually do this differently than I typically do airline seating but I think that's mostly because of needing to get the door to shut without catching his tail fluff in it (tail fluff is +/- 8" long).  To load into the front seat of a sports car I enter first and position my left leg in the foot well, while leaving my right leg on the pavement or running board beside the seat.  Then I call the dog in.  Then I position my right foot with the dog and my other foot in the foot well and shut the door.

Usually with an airplane I back my dog into position, tell him to down, and then shove him under the seat in front if I'm in regular seating, or I point where I want him in bulkhead and let him go in head first and stuff himself.  Both Tardis and Ruby are more flexible than Cole was.  They can both donut themselves easily.  So maybe they could go into regular seating head first and curl themselves into it.  I haven't tried yet.
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