Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Monroe, MI
Dogs Name: Athena Sully Rizzo
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So I looked at AA policy regarding transporting animals as cargo, you said you'll be traveling during the winter, AA do not allow animals transported when the temperature is below 45 degrees at either location. However, they may waive this if you have a letter written from a licensed vet basic info plus the temperature your pet is acclimated to but animals will not accepted if the temperature is below 20 degrees even with a letter from a vet. Additionally, pets are accepted on a first come first serve basis and space is limited. There are a lot of variables to consider....traveling as a carryon, your puppy may be too big by the time he is ready to come home. If he can't fly as carryon, there are no guarantees he'll be able to fly in cargo due to weather. You could fly first class or business class on a A321, which the crate would not need to fit under the seat, they are placed in a dedicated animal friendly compartment during TO, landing, turbulence, however combined weight of carrier and pet cannot exceed 20 lbs., which would also be cutting it close. Something else to think about, is the cropped ears, posted/cone adds 3-4 inches or so to height so the carrier would have to be even bigger.
I know you don't want to drive, but it sure would suck to fly all the way there and then not be able to travel home with your pup. What about flying there and driving back? Or you may want to think about forgoing a puppy out of this litter and waiting until the weather is a bit better.
BTW I've made the drive from MI to OK 4 times in the winter and it really wasn't that bad. I'm sure the breeder would be willing to hold him for a few extra days-week in the event of inclimate weather.