Maggie in Venice
Maggie's Vari-Kennel: a "pod" for pooches

Can a Beardie be excess baggage?

Boeing_767 photo

ABOVE: Barring unpleasant surprises, Maggie will join us on a Boeing 767 flight from JFK to VCE.

Arranging Maggie's transportation to Venice hasn't been easy. In December, a Delta Air Lines cargo agent quoted us an air-cargo rate of $843--not cheap, but not enough to cause panic, either. However, when we went to book Maggie's flight in early January, Delta insisted that its JFK-VCE cargo service didn't accept live animals--regardless of what we might have been told earlier. Taking Maggie as baggage didn't appear to be a realistic alternative, since Delta wouldn't accept pets when the local temperature was below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (as it often is at our airport in late January).

The next-best cargo option appeared to be Lufthansa, which didn't serve our city but had an interline arrangement with United. The quoted fare, however, was mind-boggling: $416 for a 400-mile domestic segment on United Airlines, plus another $1,400+ for the Lufthansa flights. The one-way total was twice what we were paying for our roundtrip Delta tickets--and, unlike Maggie, we were entitled to meals, free drinks, and a movie.

Then we got our first piece of good news: Delta had just changed its minimum-temperature from 20 degrees to 10 degrees. This meant there was a good chance that we could haul Maggie to Venice with us as excess baggage, and for a mere US $230 one-way. Her #500 "Extra Large" crate would even fit in the Embraer 75 commuter jet that we were taking from our home city to JFK.

There was only one only catch: If the temperature was below 10 degrees on our day of departure, one of us would have to stay behind with Maggie until the weather got warmer--and to add insult to injury, we'd have to pay a penalty of $250 to $500 for changing our flight(s). Still, at least we'd found a way to get to Venice with Maggie, and at a reasonable price. Now all we have to do is watch the weather reports and hope there isn't a cold snap at our local airport on the day we're scheduled to fly.

Photo: Robert Weber.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)