Flying on airplane with bird.

WannaBeAParrot

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Jul 5, 2012
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SE Florida and Sullivan County, NY
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Cody-Blu, female Blue-Crowned Conure, Hatched - (approx) June 1, 2014, in a South Florida tree.

Pritti (Cherry-Head Conure) -- Fly in Peace my beautiful boy. Forever I'll love you.
Should I or shouldn't I?

My choice - taking Pritti (male cherry-headed conure, 30 years old, about 14" long) with me vs. boarding him at his avian-only vet, where they have nice cages, sweetest staff and vet let them hang out on individual nice perches daily til office closes for the day. Here's the issue -- if it was going to be a week or even two, I'd board him so he doesn't have to be subjected to stress of all the travelling (car rides to and from airport, airplanes, etc), but I may be there as long as 4 weeks, possibly even 6 weeks (sick family member).

Once there, he'll have a nice cage in good location in nice house in mounains, and I plan to let him out as much as I can, and sleep outside the cage if he wants, and get at least 4 additional hours outside cage (so minimum would be 14 hours / day outside cage unless he chooses to sleep inside. I'll put a play area perch on top of cage, lots of toys around. I don't have a cage there yet and have to decide if 20 x 20, and 24" high is large enough for up to 6 weeks. That cage is already available up there for us to get and clean up well (aka sterilize). I feel so guilty about the cage size most of all. I can purchase a bigger one, 30"Wide x 18"Deep x 36", that will arrive there a day or two after we do (I wrote about it in a thread from the other day, http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/21471-perfect-vacation-cage-conure.html). He'll be in house with people he knows quite well, but a new house to him. I am filled with a combo of anxiety and guilt feelings wondering if I am bringing him because I don't want him to feel abandoned and stressed out if it is up to 6 weeks in boarding -or- because I don't want to be without him that long, both of which are true, but I don't want to mess up his mojo more than is necessary. I have no one that can safely take him in and care for him well enough, or stay in my house for the unknown period of time I'll be away. He's boarded about 12-15 times for a few days, all the way up to two weeks over the course of his 30 years). He's done okay but gets really upset when left there, and mad at me for a couple of hours when pick him up.

Pritti has never been on a plane, but has driven cross country twice. He's never been in a carrier kennel (he has a travel cage for car rides). I purchased this kennel for him because one of my flight options is a smaller jet with a max height requirement of 9". The local amazing bird shop uses these. Airline Approved Bird Carriers . See photos below.



I'll velcro down soft tick towel on bottom and about an inch up the sides. I can lock on a perch and food / water dishes when not moving around. There's a mini door at the top of the kennel that I can stick my hand in at the terminal and car rides to let him cuddle. They said I can keep the kennel on my lap when 'seatbelts off' sign is on. So more cuddle and talking time.

What do you think? Am leaving in 4 days.

Thanks.

:green1:
 

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dishgal1

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Texas
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Forrest -Yellow sided Green Cheek Conure, Nacho- Sun Conure
I would definitely take him and hold him in my lap. You never know what kind of germs you could pick up while boarding him. I think you and he would be less stressed.
 
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WannaBeAParrot

WannaBeAParrot

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Jul 5, 2012
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SE Florida and Sullivan County, NY
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Cody-Blu, female Blue-Crowned Conure, Hatched - (approx) June 1, 2014, in a South Florida tree.

Pritti (Cherry-Head Conure) -- Fly in Peace my beautiful boy. Forever I'll love you.
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thanks for sharing your opinion dishgal. i keep defaulting to taking him, but not so much because i'm worried about germs (this avian vet's place is the cleanest looking and smelling i ever saw) and he's never picked up anything before, but i know there is always a first time especially since this new vet's office lets them out on perches.

i'm already dreading the crazy wild-eyed, nervous look and body language when i get him in the travel kennel. but all in all i know he'd miss the personal time; he gets about 2 to 4 hours a day next to me or on me, and lots more time of me in close proximity and kisses. it's just my opinion, lol, but i think that's the sort of thing that keeps this mature bird going and going.
 

Trina

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Jun 23, 2012
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Nashville tn
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Screech - Sun Conure
Gitana - Eclectus
I would take him. My mother watches my animals while I go on vacation, twice a year i go visit family in guatemala they are unable to travel to the USA. Last year my mom had my conure for 4 weeks, he wasnt happy with me at all when i returned the little booger gave me the cold shoulder LOL this last time i went 10 days and my husband stayed in the states my eclectus was POed at me which thats ok as she was prolly in the house 2 weeks b4 i left but my conure he acted differently he came right to me and was screechin his little heart out to get to me LOL maybe its because he was still in the house with familiar people around him IDK but he gave me kisses alot he couldnt stop making the noise when i put him on my shoulder
 

Molcan2

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Jul 19, 2011
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Lake Co., Florida
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Princess Rome- Moluccan Cockatoo (18yrs old), Rosie - Galah/Rose Breasted Cockatoo (2yr old)
I would take him with you. I think as long as you are with him he wont be that stressed and the fact that they will allow him to ride with you is a huge plus (i wouldnt do it if they made him stay in cargo). I. Would def take him.
 

Parrotmamma

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May 2, 2012
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Texas
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Crackers ~ a Green cheek conure , Cosmo~ a Timneh African Grey
I would take him with you, he will get over a few hours of travel stress . then will be able to be with you for the entire trip . I think if you board him he would miss you something awful. Plus it's not like he is traveling as cargo . At least he can be with you in the cabin. If it were me I would take him : )
I think you would both be happier in the end.
 

Mare Miller

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May 14, 2011
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sierra foothills of central California
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13yr. old male umbrella cockatoo,
we call him Amigo!

7yr. old Goffin cockatoo, she IS Sassy!!
I agree with every one here. You and he will feel better together. This is new to me, traveling by air with your bird. Where does his cage go when the seat belt fastened lights are on? I couldn't imagine taking Mi Amigo on a plane!! Once started screaming there would have to be an emergency landing!
 
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Mudkips

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May 6, 2012
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Birdy the Green Cheek Conure
I would like to point out that parrots can be less stressed by airline flights then human babies.

Think about what causes stress in flights,
Confinement? - Being held in a small space is the norm with most captive birds.
Air pressure? - When your ears start to hurt on a plane and you worry about how your parrot would feel, keep in mind that birds in the wild will often fly at very high altitudes - High enough to make our ears really hurt!
Turbulence? - Swaying and shaking while perched on a branch on a windy day is much worse then most turbulence.
Loud engine noises? - Well Pritti has been in a car before so this shouldn't be a problem. If you want, you can train your fid to get used to a vacuum cleaner before-hand.

I think it should be fine. Just feel sorry for that crying baby a few rows up who is feeling motion sickness with sore ears and a headache!
 
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WannaBeAParrot

WannaBeAParrot

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Jul 5, 2012
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SE Florida and Sullivan County, NY
Parrots
Cody-Blu, female Blue-Crowned Conure, Hatched - (approx) June 1, 2014, in a South Florida tree.

Pritti (Cherry-Head Conure) -- Fly in Peace my beautiful boy. Forever I'll love you.
  • Thread Starter
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  • #11
I agree with every one here. You and he will feel better together. This is new to me, traveling by air with your bird. Where does his cage go when the seat belt fastened lights are on? I couldn't imagine taking Mi Amigo on a plane!! Once started screaming there would have to be an emergency landing!

@Mare M, New to me too. Airlines allow birds in cabin if they can travel like a small dog or a cat -- in an "approved" carrier. Note -- even though pet carriers say they are airline approved -- the most important thing is to find out the dimensions of the space underneath the seat in front of you where you would slide the carrier/kennel. Most of the small approved carriers are 9" to 11" high. Two of the aircrafts I could have flown had 9" high space. Imagine getting to airport and not fitting - or worse -- fitting on one plane and not on the connection. I chose a direct flight with 9" height space, and I found the one and only "hard" sided carrier that would fit. It was $30 with shipping and can hold a perch even food dishes and has a separate "door" to put hand inside. I totally need to keep him from screaming -- cherry-heads are known for being VERY loud birds. About 4 hours on plane door to door -- EEESHK! Will bring bits of cut up apples (his fav). Will give him my hand to cuddle and get his sleeping buddy in there. Nice soft towel on bottom. Will test my ipod headphone to lay on top for him -- he gets very relaxed when i play yoga / meditation music at home (usually goes to sleep).
:green1:
 
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WannaBeAParrot

WannaBeAParrot

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Jul 5, 2012
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SE Florida and Sullivan County, NY
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Cody-Blu, female Blue-Crowned Conure, Hatched - (approx) June 1, 2014, in a South Florida tree.

Pritti (Cherry-Head Conure) -- Fly in Peace my beautiful boy. Forever I'll love you.
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  • #12
@mudkips -- thanks for that info -- it's was very helpful to get that logical thinking back in my brain. it's like new mother flying for first time with first baby. lol.

@ everyone -- thanks so much for your input and reinforcement of my feelings that bringing Pritti is a better choice than leaving him boarding for so long. I value all your input so much because I know it comes from your hearts and your experiences as bird moms and pops.
 

Rio Mom

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Apr 7, 2011
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Pepper - Congo African Grey/

Rest in Peace Rio
I'm with everybody else, I would take Pritti with you. :)
 

Alisana

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May 31, 2012
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Queensland, Australia
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Yuki - Snow white budgie; Luna - Blue budgie; Pocket - Hahn's Macaw
Take him along!

If you can carry him on board, even better. Be careful about where you choose to sit in the plane - sometimes the fuel from the engines can give off a pretty strong smell. (I've noticed it sometimes when sitting at the back of the plane - enough to make me feel dizzy in some cases*) Talk with the airline or other people who have flown with birds to get advice/recommendations on the best location to sit.

* - Note: I am very sensitive to air borne products/traces; roach/fly sprays make me throw up, some deodorant cans make me feel sick/dizzy, the smell of bleach can make me throw up, etc. The list goes on. My case of smelling fuel and getting dizzy may be just me, OR it was that particular make of plane. I'm not sure.
 

Mudkips

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May 6, 2012
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Birdy the Green Cheek Conure
No problem Wannabe. :)

I had some similar concerns when I first walked into an elevator with Birdy perched on my shoulder. I was expecting the worst - 15 seconds of screaming and flapping in a small box!
Turns out he didn't seem to even notice it was moving.
 

BobbyFeathers

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Oct 15, 2014
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Bobby Feathers, GCC, hatch date April 10 2014
hello guys! we are new here since we got our first conure 2 months ago!! I used to have budgies but me and my husband fell in love with a conure we saw at the shop and once we heard it was hatched on the day we got married we had to have it! Bobby has been amazing, she is a very funny, cuddly, and interesting bird! we give her a lot of attention, she is always out of the cage and I must say she is already spoiled :)

the problem we have is that my family is in Croatia, Europe, and we live in Las Vegas. we have no family members here, so we want to take Bobby on a trip to Croatia. especially since we are planning to stay for 2 months...Now, that would be at least 2 layovers, and now reading the airline policies I see they dont accepts birds in the cabin for the intercontinental flights :(( she would have to go in the cargo!! I am very afraid of this, I am afraid she could suffer a shock and that something could happen to her. we took her one day in the car with us just to go 5 mins away and she started shaking and vomiting....when we came home I read she probably got motion sick...

do you have any advice on this because we want our little Bobby to be safe and healthy, but she might also be sad and depressed if we are gone for 2 months!!!

please help us out guys....

thank you!!
 

Jessie

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Sep 21, 2014
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Florida
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Nanday(Rio) Approx. born April/2013
hello guys! we are new here since we got our first conure 2 months ago!! I used to have budgies but me and my husband fell in love with a conure we saw at the shop and once we heard it was hatched on the day we got married we had to have it! Bobby has been amazing, she is a very funny, cuddly, and interesting bird! we give her a lot of attention, she is always out of the cage and I must say she is already spoiled :)

the problem we have is that my family is in Croatia, Europe, and we live in Las Vegas. we have no family members here, so we want to take Bobby on a trip to Croatia. especially since we are planning to stay for 2 months...Now, that would be at least 2 layovers, and now reading the airline policies I see they dont accepts birds in the cabin for the intercontinental flights :(( she would have to go in the cargo!! I am very afraid of this, I am afraid she could suffer a shock and that something could happen to her. we took her one day in the car with us just to go 5 mins away and she started shaking and vomiting....when we came home I read she probably got motion sick...

do you have any advice on this because we want our little Bobby to be safe and healthy, but she might also be sad and depressed if we are gone for 2 months!!!

please help us out guys....

thank you!!


Have you looked into the laws of taking your bird into another country? I think every country is different but sometimes you need certain paperwork.
 
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WannaBeAParrot

WannaBeAParrot

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Jul 5, 2012
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Cody-Blu, female Blue-Crowned Conure, Hatched - (approx) June 1, 2014, in a South Florida tree.

Pritti (Cherry-Head Conure) -- Fly in Peace my beautiful boy. Forever I'll love you.
  • Thread Starter
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  • #18
Here is a link to a site with a grid of most airline's rules regarding international travel. It's from 2013. You might be okay with United, Air France, Swiss Air, Alitalia or a combination of some others.
International airline pet policies for in-cabin travel » Dog Jaunt
You should check the countries you will be having airline layovers, and where you will bring your birdie; check to be sure they will permit entry.
 

BobbyFeathers

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Oct 15, 2014
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Bobby Feathers, GCC, hatch date April 10 2014
Thank you for the link!! I am going to call the airlines today since it is not clear whether the bird can be in the cabin, some say it cannot be for the transantlantic flights so I am worried about that, I cant have Bobby be put where the bags go it sounds awful!! we can have a friend come every day to our place and play with her a bit and change the food and water but she will miss us too much I dont know if thats a good idea...since this is our first conure, I am not sure but I guess they do get sad and depressed when they areaway from the owner?
 

EnglishMuffin

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Mar 1, 2014
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Vancouver, Canada
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Sootie- Yellow-sided GCC
Bobbyfeathers;

I recently moved from Vancouver, Canada to Liverpool, England with my YSGCC.

Firstly re: transat flights- air transat and united airways allow in-cabin travel on long haul flights. However, some individual EU countries (UK included) won't allow any pets to arrive in their soil in the cabin, because of various disease restriction laws. So you have to check the laws for each country you lay over in.

Secondly: for every country you layover in, you need both an import and export permit. You also need a clearance company in those countries to handle vet checks on the bird before she goes onto her next flight. Each clearance company will charge you around $500 for their services. Export and import permits are usually free, although some may charge some nominal fee around $80. CITES papers cost about $120 and again, you need both import and export papers.

All the paperwork has to be arranged ahead of time, and it takes months. It took me four months to get everything together but I was right down to the wire, getting my final paperwork through only days before my flight. Don't forget if you're dealing with mainland european countries like croatia where they are known for dodgey beurocracy, you'll need to allow yourself more time. Give yourself 8 months at least and don't make any solid travel plans before you have all the paperwork in place.

The total cost for me bringing Sootie to the UK was just around $2000, by the end of it. If you have multiple layovers, you can add a $500 charge for each layover destination for the clearing company's fees, as I said.

As far as stress levels go: Mine with through the roof but Sootie was completely unbothered. She was in handling for a total of about 18 hours, between being dropped off at cargo in canada and picked up in the UK (she traveled in the cargo hold). I checked her carrier and there were a couple of BIG poops, so she must have slept for at least a few hours. She'd eaten a lot of her food and even shredded the one toy I left in there, so she'd been playing and pooping and eating normally during the time. She showed no signs of stress when I got her back, apart from being obviously relieved and excited to see me.

Each bird is different though. She's a total warrior. She's not afraid of anything and she's been exposed to a lot of new and strange things since she was a baby so she takes well to new experiences.

If you can afford to do it, then I wouldn't let fear of stress hold you back. But don't forget that I was flying only one way- I'd have to pay everything over double if I fly back to Canada. If you're planning a return trip you have to pay for everything on the way there and back again. It could run you back as much as $5000!
 

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