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The travel crates in Chile tend to be par for the course for goods sold here: either cheap material (thus price) or you get bilked on a large markup for a quality travel crate. If you have a small dog and can buy a good crate here, it might be worth just buying a good quality crate. If it's a medium to large dog, you'll have to have a crate that allows for about 10 cm of headroom for your dog, per LAN Cargo. The best way to go I think on quality/price/allowance for medium to large dogs is to have a crate/jaula built to your dog's size and allowable by LAN Cargo. Get yourself a good maestro in that case.
I wanted to do a quick follow up on this.
1) KJS, when you had to go to LAN cargo the day of the pets flight, did you need a car to get around to the different places at the airport for the paperwork? We don't have a car but I'm thinking of renting one for the day because the crates are huge and I can't imagine being at the mercy of a taxi driver that day.
2) Our cat and dog are going from SCL via Lan Cargo to New York JFK. Does anyone here have ANY experience with a similar experience?
Thanks KJS! And yet now I have another problem. I just checked my US license and it has expired, thus, will be impossible to rent a car. Oh how I wish things could be easier here! (Like at least having an inter-airport shuttle to move people around it). As we get closer to the date I'm getting so nervous. I really am sending my animals because there's just no other way to get them to NY, but I'm particularly nervous because the LAN Cargo woman I spoke to admitted that once we hand the animals in to them, the animals just sit around waiting in a bodega and she admitted no one will attend to them. She said it was an indoor bodega and since the flight is at night it will be cool/cold and not hot, etc. But still, they want us to be there 5 hours in advance, plus the 10.5/11 hour flight, plus the 1-2 hours of time my parents will spend at JFK trying to retrieve them. That's almost 18 hours they'll be alone or shuffled around. I wonder, KJS, how long was the entire process in hours for your dogs? How did the dogs arrive, tired, dirty, totally fine? I'm also considering putting foam around the interior of the crate in case they bounce around due to turbulence. And I'm also trying to figure out a way to get the actual flight crews attention just before they take off to remind them there are live animals on board.KJS wrote:Fadgaget, the best way would be to rent a pickup, as you have to go to SAG, Adouana, and LAN Cargo offices, which are in separate locations, about a kilometer and between SAG and Adouana on one side and LAN Cargo on the other side. I suppose you could possibly have a taxi drop your dog and crate off at LAN Cargo, then have the taxi take you to SAG to file paperwork, then return to LAN Cargo office, then return to Adouana at the checkpoint, then back to LAN Cargo office. We do the hokey pokey and we turn ourselves around. The time it takes to go through the process would not be in the taxi driver's best interest, unless you were willing to pay. You're probably better off just renting a truck at that point.
Am I over-reacting? Thoughts? If I could afford it I would fly there myself with them on the same flight just to ensure I could nag everyone and remind the crew a million times to have the pilot check the oxygen levels in the hold.....
But I wouldnt do anything special to the crate. If the dog gets upset he is likely to start gnawing at something and any loose bits like foam could be a hazard. The airline may even reject it. Check their regulations carefully, they can be quite sticky.
At the same time, the cage has to be large enough to allow the dog to stretch out. It's true, it's like a person taking a long flight...you need to stretch and move a little to keep from cramping.
Also make sure your dog is well exercised and hydrated throughout the day, which will help with keeping him relaxed and with temp regulation. If he's too wound up or otherwise stressed, it will up his nervousness inside the cage. You should also get him used to the cage beforehand of course.