Flying from US to Czech Republic with Lenny- so complicated right now, is it even possible???

Hello! My family and I are going to stay with my husband's family in the Czech Republic for a few months starting around October of this year. I've been looking into all of the different complications of getting Lenny there and it's just overwhelming and I don't know if it will even be possible. I can get him registered as an Emotional Support Animal, but ESAs are only recognized on flights directly to or from the U.S. Right now, there are NO flights to Prague from anywhere in the U.S. :(. We can get from the US to another nearby country (like Poland) with him in cabin. And then from there it gets more complicated.

So seems my options from Poland to CZ are to either:

  1. Take my chances that the airline would allow Lenny to be a normal in-cabin pet, even though he exceeds the weight/height limits to be an in-cabin pet? He's about 22 lbs.

  2. Let him fly cargo from Poland to CZ. It's about 1.5 hours. (I hate even thinking about this).

He's 15. He's never been on a flight before. He's generally healthy with some minor kidney issues and sight/hearing issues.

Anyone have any insight?

last edited by Tayda_Lenny

Hi Michelle... At his age I would be very concerned with cargo shipping... and many overseas do not accept in cabin?.... have you talked to the airlines?

Hey Pat,

I am in the process of calling airlines now. According to their websites, they all (except for British Airways) allow ESAs on board flights directly to/from the U.S. But I know things may have changed since COVID so I'm definitely going to confirm. Hoping someone has some insight into how strict they have found the airlines to be in Europe with regards to the stated sizes/weights for the in cabin pets. I was hoping since we'd be transiting and therefore already past the ticket counter and security they might not notice..... and then worst case if they do notice, we could put him in cargo for the 1.5 hours.... 😞

First off I know NOTHING about flying a pet overseas. But, I am concerned about a 15 year old dog with some kidney issues. You would need to call the airlines overseas, but don't just talk to "someone"; you would need a supervisor or someone in authority to tell you what their policy is all about. I would be greatly concerned about putting Lenny in any cargo hold on any plane. Its been known (not to add to your stress level, but something to think about) that luggage attendants have been known to put dogs in a different cargo bay and the dogs freeze to death, or not enough air for them to breath. I have a 15.5 year old basenji who is semi deaf and I wouldn't even think about doing something like that to him. I do hope you get all the right information and that everything goes smoothly on this flight for you and Lenny.

Assuming you can get from the US to Poland, getting from Poland to the Czech Republic is a piece of cake. Just have a vehicle pick you up at the airport and drive you to your destination.

I've chosen this alternative when traveling without a pet. Once you factor in security delays and the fact you have transit to/from airports, it's about the same time as flying and quite a bit faster than by train (assuming that would work). It's a totally custom experience, so I'm sure your driver will be more than happy to stop for Lenny to do whatever. On the cost front, if there are two people (you say "we") then the van is likely about the same. If more then the cost is likely less. A bonus is you can go from airport to your in law's doorstep.

Of course if you are flying into Frankfurt or Paris then this won't work. Generally Europeans are more relaxed about dogs in public places so that would be an advantage.

Having said that, not sure about travel restrictions due to COVID. Those might change things. You'd have to Czech (sic).

I'm also assuming you know your dog, so unlike others I'm not overly concerned about the plane trip(s). Even a short trip in a crate has to balanced against weeks of living apart from his pack, which comes with its own trauma.

last edited by DonC

@tayda_lenny said in Flying from US to Czech Republic with Lenny- so complicated right now, is it even possible???:

Hey Pat,

I am in the process of calling airlines now. According to their websites, they all (except for British Airways) allow ESAs on board flights directly to/from the U.S. But I know things may have changed since COVID so I'm definitely going to confirm. Hoping someone has some insight into how strict they have found the airlines to be in Europe with regards to the stated sizes/weights for the in cabin pets. I was hoping since we'd be transiting and therefore already past the ticket counter and security they might not notice..... and then worst case if they do notice, we could put him in cargo for the 1.5 hours.... 😞

Hi, how are you doing? Many airlines as I understand it will not let animals in plane, only in cargo.... hopefully someone from overseas can help, but I can give you a contact that might be able to help. email my your email contact and I will send an email to you and her (Katie Campbell who is BCOA's contact to AKC and has lots of experience with overseas travel with Basenjis). If you don't have it you can find my email on my website, link below

last edited by tanza

@basenjimom2

Yes, I really don't want to fly him in cargo. I"m 99.9% sure that I would not do it. I have been posting on some Czech ex-pat pages where people regularly fly back and forth (in this case, from Canada) with their dogs and I hear, for example, that Luftansa - is great with pet transport. I'm trying to find out exactly what that means.

I have a friend in MN that has offered to take him for the duration of our trip - which is wonderful and I trust her. But I don't want to be without him.... so trying to find a way to make this work....

@donc

Thanks for the info - and LOL re "I'd have to czech". Thanks for the tip about the car taking us to CZ. My husband also found out today from the Polish Embassy that we would NOT have to quarantine in Poland for 2 weeks - we could simply transit on to CZ either by rail or by car... so that may have solved our problem. I see that LOT airlines flies directly to Warsaw from SF, and I could get Lenny on board with me as an ESA. According to their website it's possible but I want to verify with an actual person. I've spent a total of 3 hours on hold today with their call center. I'll keep trying... thanks!

@tanza

I will email you! We are ok - hanging in there with all of this craziness. Hope you are well!

KLM - best possible airline for transporting puppies anywhere. I would avoid BA for this purpose. No Pets-in-Cabin.

Many airlines don't allow P-i-C over large stretches of water, so do make sure before booking cos at his age, I wouldn't subject him to anything else.

Driving from Poland into CR should be a breeze.

Travel safely

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