Life is full of first times, especially when you have a service dog. Even with all of the training your dog has gone through there may be times when a bit of pre-planning is necessary, like when you are traveling by air for the first time. Here are a few tips to make getting through it easier for both of you.
Book flights early
By booking as soon as possible, you will get the preferred seating to accommodate your service dog. When you book your airline tickets, be sure to tell them that your service dog will be accompanying you. Often, airlines already have designated seating for people with service dogs. Also, when boarding, the captain will be able to inform your fellow passengers to not pet your dog because while it is working.
Schedule airport transportation
Use airport transportation like LAX Car Service to take you directly to your terminal. It will make things easier on you and your dog if you don't have to deal with parking and navigating from there to the terminal. Your driver will know which terminal to drop you off at simply by knowing the departure information on your ticket.
It's a good idea to book the airport transportation for your departure and arrival destinations ahead of time so the company can send you a large enough vehicle, depending on the size of your service dog and any other passengers who may accompany you.
If the travel time to the airport will be long, ask the transportation service to schedule a pit stop or two for your service dog before arriving at the airport. That way, your dog will arrive at the airport with an empty bladder.
Mail luggage to your destination
Send your luggage to your destination via a postal service. That way, you won't have to deal with packing dog food and handling the luggage. If you are staying at a hotel, ask the receptionist how to address your package so it can be delivered directly to your room when you check in at the hotel.
If necessary and if time permits, ask the transportation company if they can include a stop to the post service office before you are dropped off at the airport. If so, be sure to schedule enough time so you can get to the airport on time for your flight.
Getting through screening
The Transportation Security Administration is very accommodating for those who have service dogs. However, it's a good idea to ask your dog's trainer for some guidance or additional training since airport screening procedures are new to your dog.
You'll want to have your dog wear a harness that is free of metal. Make sure nothing is contained in the dog's harness or backpack that could cause the detectors to go off or your dog may be patted down and screened.
Where to go for bathroom relief
There are apps you can download onto your Smartphone or android that will tell you where you can take your dog to relieve itself when it needs to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, in some airports, these areas are outside of the security area, which means you and your service dog will need to be screened again. This is why you'll want to have the transportation service make a quick pit stop for your dog before reaching the airport.
At your destination, the first thing your dog will likely need is another area to relieve itself, depending on the length of the flight. Use your app to locate these areas. If possible, ask your transportation service to pick you and your dog up there instead of at the regular taxi stand.Share
7 July 2015
Typically, my husband and I ask our neighbor to give us a ride to the airport when we are going on a trip. In return, we drive her when she needs a ride there. However, we were going out of town soon and she was feeling under the weather, so I decided to go about seeking other arrangements. I was surprised to learn just how many ways one could get to the airport. You could take a limo, town car, taxi or ride share. I created this website to give information about each of these options and answer some of the questions you may have about each option.