I’ll probably piss some people off with this post, but I feel I have to say something. A friend of mine found herself on a flight to Houston yesterday with both a dog and a cat in the cabin. Set aside for a moment the potential for chaos if either of them got loose mid-flight because one or both owners decided that their precious little snookums needed a break from their cagey-wagey and is such a well-behaved snookums that they’d never be a problem. There’s a bigger issue here.
I had asthma as a kid, and took allergy shots for four years to control it. My asthma wasn’t severe, but I was sensitive enough to feathers that I had an attack more than three years after my last shot just by putting my face (accidentally) near a feather pillow, and there are few feelings worse than the inability to breathe. So it’s easy for me to imagine a person on a flight suddenly being overwhelmed by dander by another passenger’s pet, and going into a full-on panic as a result.
Don’t get me wrong. I love animals. Amy and I have four cats in our home and we feed and care for 5 strays from our neighborhood. But I would never think about bringing one of them into the passenger compartment of a plane with me. Planes are cramped quarters in the best of times, and it’s beyond inconsiderate to make an already difficult situation worse. Your pet is not special to anyone but you, and it could cause great distress to others. Give it a tranquilizer, put it in a carrier, and let it travel in the cargo hold.