If you have to ship, and can find no way out of it--Continental is very good. They are pressurized and heated and cooled and seem to take reasonable care of the puppies. They do let the puppies sit in an air conditioned van beside the plane, till loading and take-off. Unlike, most airlines, which let the puppies sit on the hot tarmack, with the luggage, till loading. I'm sure you know that you have to get a health exam and health certificate on the puppy, in the buyers name and with the shippers name on it too, dated within 10 days of the flight. I put lots of shredded paper in the crate and it must have air holes on all 4 sides. I also put water and some food if the trip is over 3 hours. I also insure my puppies with them. If the puppy and crate weighs 9lbs or less, its $119.00 plus fuel tax and surcharges, and insurance. If the crate and puppy go over 9lbs. its $189 plus taxes,surcharge and insurance. Insurance is about $3.00. I try to encourage people to fly in and get the pup, but I do ship if its a must. I have never had a problem in 5 years of shipping. The lady could fly into your nearest airport and you could meet her there with the pup and health certificate and she can take the puppy as a carry on luggage (in a crate she brings, specified by the airlines) and store it ubder her seat during take off and landing. I think they charge about $100 for that and its less stressful on the puppy. Hope that helps. CeCe
Continental will ship your puppy, no matter how hot or cold it is, unless it is an english bulldog or a Frenchie. Those breeds won't ship in hot summer. I have also used AA and Northwest, but they won't ship in weather hotter than 75 degrees, in my area, because they let the puppy sit on the tarmack till loading, and its too ht for that. But, in nice weather I have had good luck with AA and Northwest. CeCe
I've used a dog hauler-door to door service. It was nice to be able to be in contact with the driver all the way by cell phone. I also appreciated that she took care to feed and water the pup regularly and take him out to stretch his legs during the trip. Another good thing is that when she picks up a dog for someone and it doesn't look right (thin, sickly, puppy mill, etc.) she'll let you know before the dog sets foot in her van. It took a few days and was a little expensive-$300 even-but I was able to relax and not worry about the pup sitting in a tiny airline crate, possibly spilling his water or being too hot or too cold or trying to find my way around a crowded airport. The dog hauler I used carries the insurance and requires proof of age-appropriate vaccinations. All in all I guess it wasn't really more expensive than using an airline when you figure I didn't have to drive (gas $ & tolls) to the airport, didn't have to pay insurance, didn't have to pay for the crate, didn't have to spend time waiting for a flight to arrive. If you use a dog hauler make sure it is one with good references.
***Edited By: arachyd on 6/28/2006 6:28:25 PM*** Reason: added stuff
Yes, I used a pet courier service before, too-and I was very happy with it. But, both the ones I knew went out of business because they didn't have enough pups shipping to keep up their new a/c van and insurance and make a go of it. But, if you find a good one, they do seem to do well. You would just need to be aware that your puppy would be in much closer quarters with a pup that might possibly have diseases (parvo, kennel cough)-much longer than the 3-5 hour flight on the plane. CeCe
I'm also looking into the best airlines. Although the only direct flight from NY to WI is american airlines (american eagle) ... but if I was to choose I'd definitely go northwest or continental as I have heard NOTHING but great experiences with them.
I use Delta Airlines in the winter/spring months and Continental in the summer/fall months due to temp. restictions with Delta. They are both really great and I have never had a problem with either (knock on wood!). I have only had one pup with a layover, and that was only 45 min., so it was just enough time to unload and reload him to another plane. However, as a rule, if the family can't come to me, I try my hardest to get a direct flight to them. I call the family when I'm on my way to the airport, when I check in, when the pup gets on the plane, and I also call when the pup is expected to arrive. You can check the flight arrival time on the websites, so you can alert the family if there is a delay (if they are unable to check, etc.). I know with Delta, you must give the person that is picking the pup up the Waybill number, and I also remind them to bring thier photo ID. I will double check as to who is picking the puppy up, as well as who may be used as a back-up ( in case of emergency) so I can put thier name on the paperwork as well, so the pup doesn't have to sit. It's a little more involved than just booking a flight, so allow enough time to check-in, etc.
Bull. Continental is no good at all. I had 2 bad experiences and no good ones with them.
the first time I was having a pair of sugar gliders sent in. when I went to pick them up, 15 min before cargo closed, they told me the gliders' flight hadn't come in yet, and at 11 pm we discovered that the gliders had been in cargo since 8 pm. we were there till 3 in the morning trying to get them.we got home at 6 am with no gliders and when we called the airline to complain we were told if we didn't get them before 10 am they would be sent back. so we had to have someone pick them up ant then meet us with them.
my other experience was with honey. she arrived wet and drippy and very uncomfortable.
Actually I spoke with a lady not to long ago and Continental will not ship the puppy if it is to hot. The wanted to ship some time in August and they said that is the hotest month, therefore they do not ship, so make sure and find out.