Preparing to Fly

We're flying from Texas to Florida for Thanksgiving, and since Nox's last time on a plane was when he came via cargo to live with me, I figured it'd be a good idea to help him understand how it's going to be.

Here's how it went for us:


We are flying out of Dallas Love Field, so we called the airport, and asked if we could get a gate pass to go over to Southwest air side, to get a feeling for how it's going to be. They informed us that we are free to walk around the airport, but can not go onto an air side without a ticket, or permission from Southwest.


Called Southwest, who informed us that they have a contract with a company called K9 Companions only, and that we are not allowed to go onto their air side without a ticket.

Called the airport again trying to see if, worst case, we could just go through TSA, because let's be honest, that's probably going to be the most stressful part, and we were directed to TSA themselves.

Just call the airport you're traveling through and ask to be connected to TSA

Thankfully, TSA is very understanding, and saw that we were just trying to familiarize ourselves with the process, because there's not really a rule book or guides on what to do. There's the TSA guide but that's about it, so they were willing to let us come in, in the morning, and just circle TSA over and over. Here's how it went....

You can visit the TSA Cares page,
and go through how to make your travel easier.

What you do is call the airport that you'll be traveling from and ask for a Passenger Support Specialist and set it up to have them meet you when you arrive at the airport. They will take you through security and make sure both you and your dog are put at the front of the line, and make it easier for you to get to your gate.

You should also call and set up a specialist at the arriving airport as well, and familiarize yourself with the layout of the airport to make note of the pet relief stations so that you can let your service dog relieve themselves before and after the flight.

Things we learned while training:
-The harness (as long as nothing is in it) and leash did not set off the metal detector
-If your dog touches the side of the metal detector, the alarm goes off and you have to do it over.
-Most passengers, and even some TSA agents are scared of dogs, so if you can keep leashed, it'll make everyone more comfortable
-Know where the elevators/ pet relief areas are
-Be prepared for small children to want to pet your dog, it happens
-Options for going through the detector
A. Disconnect leash from harness, dog goes off leash through detector, waits, you go, reconnect leash have your hands swabbed
B. Dog goes through detector, on leash, waits, you go, have hands swabbed.

Personally we vote Option B, just because it's easier. We have a 2 dog leash, and for close proximity we just connect the ring allowing for a 2nd dog to the harness to make it a short leash, and disconnect it when he needs to have distance.

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