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Thread: Possible pcs from Germany to the states with 2 dogs in the future

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    #1

    Shocked Possible pcs from Germany to the states with 2 dogs in the future

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    Help guys! I'm getting super nervous because now we are getting closer to a possible pcs. We're in Germany..I got my two dogs here. I'm taking them home with me no if ands or buts, but now I'm getting incredibly nervous something will go wrong or get super complicated. Has anyone been through the process? They will be in L and XL kennels and I just picture somehow me going home early (cause I'm pregnant and will have to leave by a certain time regardless) with two giant kennels and being super stressed and panicked. Also we're looking at putting in for Ft. Lewis so they potentially have two flights. I was thinking of maybe splitting up the journey and possibly spending some time home in between. How easy is it to fly commercial with orders with dogs? Will the cost be really high? I know we're looking at 200-300 per dog for the patriot express flight from Ramstein to BWI, but I'm wondering if the cost is about the same on a commercial flight, and maybe it would be easier to just go that route. I'm thinking United Airlines... I have a few months to prepare but this is keeping me up at night. Any experience or advice would be super helpful.
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    #2
    I flew by myself with Finn from Hawaii to Florida a couple years ago, I know it's not exactly the same situation but for us it was very easy. We flew on United with the petsafe program because we were traveling in August and they keep the animals in air conditioned vans until they're boarded. We had two flights, and both times I was notified by flight attendants when he was boarded onto the plane and that made me feel better.

    I don't remember the exact cost of his ticket but I want to say it was around $350 or $400. It might be different for you since mine wasn't an international flight, but I think it's pretty much flat rate within the states so if you choose to fly on different dates that's probably around what you're looking at for the US part. I would honestly just go ahead and do it all in one trip though if you can swing it and you're only trying to go home to save them from a layover, it's expensive and really stressful. Finn was fine, but I was terrified the whole time because you hear so many bad things about flying pets in cargo. It really, really sucks to have to leave them there though and not be able to see them or comfort them. When we dropped Finn off at the cargo place they had to pick his crate up in a palette to put him on a scale and it was the saddest thing I've ever seen. He was panicking and crying and he actually made me cry. Once I picked him up in Orlando though he was totally normal, happy to see me and as healthy as I left him.

    As stressful as it was though, the process itself was very simple. When I was booking my flights I called the petsafe program with the flight numbers I was looking at to confirm that they had space for him, and then once I got my ticket I called back and had him booked. He had to be dropped off at a cargo place a few minutes away from the actual airport, so I filled out a little paperwork and he got weighed and then I went to the airport. When I got to Orlando, they wheeled him out at the baggage claim and looked at my ID and everything and then gave him to me. It really couldn't have been easier and I feel like he was treated well.
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    That gives me a little piece of mind. I'm hoping we can get a direct flight to our destination but it may be too far. Not sure where it might be yet. If we do go home inbetween it will be for a few days/weeks so hopefully that will alleviate some stress. And if it's possible or necessary maybe we can drive instead too once we're in the states. Glad to hear good reviews on petsafe. That's what I'm considering if patriot express doesn't work out.
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    #4
    We just flew back with our pup in July and it wasn't as high stress as I imagined it would be.
    First, we made sure to get a kennel that was big enough for our dog because the German airlines are super strict about the dog's having enough room to move around. One of the guy's who was on the same flight as us had to get a bigger kennel at the airport because the one he had was deemed too small by the attendant person. The airline representatives I spoke too said that there's basically no such thing as a kennel that's too big.
    Second, budget enough money for your pups, especially because its not guaranteed that you'll get a flight on the patriot express. Our tickets home were with Lufthansa and we paid about 350-400 euro for our dog to fly with us. The cost is dependent on the size of the kennel and we had the largest kennel in existence because we didn't want to be forced in to buying another one at the airport if the airline said ours was too small.

    Other than those two things there wasn't much to do. Our dog is really anxious so we had to prepare a bit for that, but that was more us preparing for him freaking out in the airport since I didn't want to drug him. Also, because we flew commercial our flight was straight through from Frankfurt to Seattle so we didn't have to worry about changing planes. Cezar didn't eat or drink for about some hours before our flight since it was 10 hours straight through, and in his crate we put a toy and a towel that we'd slept with to smell like us.

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    #5
    Start trying to get out as early as you can, even if it means being apart from DH longer. That way, you have more chances to catch the PE and get a flight spot. If you wait, then all it takes is one or two flights without pet spots open and you'll be forced to fly commercial. If at all possible try to leave before school gets out for summer.
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    #6
    As soon as you have a flight, you need to book your pet ticket. They will only have so many slots for your pet. The farther out you can, the better. Summer is massive PCS season. They are tight on spots too.
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    #7
    They keep rumoring May but also late/mid summer. Hoping for May for obvious reasons. It almost sounds like going commercial might be the best way if we can get a direct flight. I definitely know to call as soon as we get orders though, but I'm not sure I want to go ahead to Fort Lewis without DH. Not sure what I'd do at landing by myself and two dogs..will also be pregnant. but thanks for all the advice and experiences! definitely easing my mind. So far I have 1200 saved up for the two of them for their journey.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Start trying to get out as early as you can, even if it means being apart from DH longer. That way, you have more chances to catch the PE and get a flight spot. If you wait, then all it takes is one or two flights without pet spots open and you'll be forced to fly commercial. If at all possible try to leave before school gets out for summer.
    - great point(s) made there.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Start trying to get out as early as you can, even if it means being apart from DH longer. That way, you have more chances to catch the PE and get a flight spot. If you wait, then all it takes is one or two flights without pet spots open and you'll be forced to fly commercial. If at all possible try to leave before school gets out for summer.
    We had to fly commercial and liked it just fine. Army paid for everything but our dog and it was a direct flight to Seattle.

    "The purpose of life is not to simply be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
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    #10
    I flew from Portugal to Japan(alone) with 2(1 large, 1 small) and from Japan to Turkey (with DH and DD)with 2(both small). We did Military and Commercial flights with both with zero issues. I just made sure when it came to the commercial flights that I called in advance to make sure the pets were booked on the flights.

    If I remember correctly the commercial flights were $250 per pet for the trips across the US. So the 2 flights from Baltimore to Seattle cost me $500 total. From Seattle back to Baltimore it was different because we stopped in Texas on leave so I'm not exactly sure how much we paid.
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