Travelling w/ B from Washington Dulles Airport

Has anyone travelled with your basenji (as checked-in baggage) on United Airlines FROM Washington Dulles Airport (IAD)?

If so, how far do you have to walk from the rental car drop-off to the main terminal? If you're carrying your adult B on a crate/kennel, is it a very long walk?

Also, from the airport (departure) main entrance, how far is the walk to the domestic United Airlines counter?

I'm so stressed about this… Sometime in Spring, I'll be picking up my new 2-yr. old B, south of Richmond, VA (from the breeder) and ride 3 hours on the car to Washington Dulles (the only direct flight I could find; none in RIC airport)... I think we may need a couple of stops for break and I don't know anyone in Virginia so I don't really know a good place to stop (and get back on the freeway without getting lost)... I heard there are HOV lanes somewhere on the freeway and I somehow need to know where this is and avoid it (else, the cops will write a ticket) - I have no idea where this is or how to avoid it, unless there are notice/warning signs (which, of course, I don't know)...

After the 3-hour car ride with breaks, we get to the airport (good gracious, I hope it's not a long walk from the rental car drop-off 'coz I'm carrying my B on a 300-series kennel)...

Then check her in as check-in baggage, then watch the plane from the tarmac to make sure she's loaded on the plane, then once on the plane, ask the flight attendant/captain to make sure my B's on the plane, then pray that she really IS on the plane, and suffer (from worry) for 5+ hours until we land... And I can't relax until I actually get her on baggage claim...

Whew!!! I'm already absolutely exhausted just thinking about it... :eek:

Who are you getting your girl from?….. and maybe your girls breeder knows of someone in the area that would know?
And three hours for an adult that is crate trained should be no problem, you shouldn't need to stop... just a potty break before you check in for the flight. And you don't want to feed her for at least 12 hours before.. and not a lot of water either. For water in the crate, you can get the hanging dish and put ice cubes.. then it will just melt down if she wants any... Have you looked on line to see if there are rest stops on the freeway? I assume you are going alone? Anyway that the breeder could drive you to the airport? That would be the best thing

Me again, okay I can help you here too, IAD is the airport I use pretty much every time I fly.

OKay my first question is, is anyone flying with you or is it just you? If someone is going with you, best thing to do is drop them off at the terminal with dog and luggage and then you ore them take the car back. If not it's okay I will explain all that.

@imbj:

If so, how far do you have to walk from the rental car drop-off to the main terminal? If you're carrying your adult B on a crate/kennel, is it a very long walk?

There isn't one, you have to take a shuttle, the shuttle does drop you off right at the door (well across the street from the door to the main terminal). and there are those luggage carts or people with carts to help (I suggest the luggage cart, they're $3 to get but makes life much easier and a 300 series kennel will fit on those no problem (I fit my boxers kennel on them with ease, and Tiggy's kennel fit with room to stack luggage.)

@imbj:

Also, from the airport (departure) main entrance, how far is the walk to the domestic United Airlines counter?

Again I suggest the luggage cart, because when you walk in the door you will see a row of counters and then you'll have to go around to back of those to the united counters, the united counters are on the back left of the terminal, it's roughly 50-74 yards (if that) directly to the counter.

@imbj:

Then check her in as check-in baggage, then watch the plane from the tarmac to make sure she's loaded on the plane, then once on the plane, ask the flight attendant/captain to make sure my B's on the plane, then pray that she really IS on the plane, and suffer (from worry) for 5+ hours until we land… And I can't relax until I actually get her on baggage claim..

United will also have you fill out a tag that has your flight and seat number on it, then once the dog is on the plane they give the ticket to the stewardess and they bring it to you, I always ask though and pester them 😉

I have made the exact flight you are going on (if it's the direct to San Jose). Thats an easy flight. Earlier, I had made the mistake of thinking you were having you B flown out, not that you were flying with her. I'm sorry for that, since you are flying with her you'll pick her up right near where the luggage is (but not on the luggage carousel) and she'll be out first before your luggage, they are the first off the plane.

@tanza:

And three hours for an adult that is crate trained should be no problem, you shouldn't need to stop… just a potty break before you check in for the flight. And you don't want to feed her for at least 12 hours before.. and not a lot of water either. For water in the crate, you can get the hanging dish and put ice cubes.. then it will just melt down if she wants any... Have you looked on line to see if there are rest stops on the freeway? I assume you are going alone? Anyway that the breeder could drive you to the airport? That would be the best thing

Airline rules state that the dog must have been fed in at least 2 hours before the flight (I know especially for United). I usually give my guys a light meal. Coming from Richmond there are a few rest stops, but once you hit 495 to the direct road to Dulles there isn't much stops. But when you go to turn in the rental there is a gas station with grassy area, that will have to be your last potty stop, and you can get some ice for her water cup there.

I have made the exact flight you are going on imbj (if it's the direct to San Jose). Thats an easy flight. Earlier, I had made the mistake of thinking you were having you B flown out, not that you were flying with her. I'm sorry for that, since you are flying with her you'll pick her up right near where the luggage is (but not on the luggage carousel) and she'll be out first before your luggage, they are the first off the plane.

The shuttle takes you from the rental car drop off to the front doors of the airport. The shuttle should announce which door number you should get off at, but it's the last one you come to for United. Depending on which level you get dropped off at (Departures are on the top level), you might have to go up the escalator and walk some- but it's not too far. I would recommend a luggage cart if you have a kennel and bags.

Depending on when you are traveling- HOV lanes are clearly marked with gigantic diamonds on the road- and there are signs posted that say "HOV only". Hwy 66 is the only road that turns into HOV-only…but that's only during rush hour, inside the beltway (hwy 495) going into DC. And you shouldn't be using that road at all. So just stay out of the far left lanes that are marked HOV. 🙂

Good luck!!

If you want to have water in the crate for him you can get one of those gineapig or rabbit waterers and hang it on the cage. They have to lick the little tube to get the water and it doesn't make a mesh (there's no dripping water).

And how would the airlines know if you did or did not feed the dog? I know when I have flown with a puppins (in cabin in a sherpa) we didn't feed them?…

@tanza:

And how would the airlines know if you did or did not feed the dog? I know when I have flown with a puppins (in cabin in a sherpa) we didn't feed them?…

They have a tag you fill out, yes granted you can say that they have been offered food.

If you think about it would you want to go 15-20 hours with out eating? If you don't feed the dog 12 hours before the flight, plus the 6 hours for the flight (Dulles to San Jose) and then there is time waiting to leave the airport, travel home, etc, that could be another 2 hours. Thats 20 hours since the animal has last ate. This is something I'm not comfortable with, I know I wouldn't want to go 20 hours with out having at least a snack, why do it to a dog, and even more so a pup, this would be unhealthy for them.

Not trying to start a debate, just my view and experience from flying with pets in cargo.

@WBL:

They have a tag you fill out, yes granted you can say that they have been offered food.

If you think about it would you want to go 15-20 hours with out eating? If you don't feed the dog 12 hours before the flight, plus the 6 hours for the flight (Dulles to San Jose) and then there is time waiting to leave the airport, travel home, etc, that could be another 2 hours. Thats 20 hours since the animal has last ate. This is something I'm not comfortable with, I know I wouldn't want to go 20 hours with out having at least a snack, why do it to a dog, and even more so a pup, this would be unhealthy for them.

Not trying to start a debate, just my view and experience from flying with pets in cargo.

Your right, it is everyone's different opinion…. and maybe 8 hours would be a better time frame... I have seen dogs that were fed with 2 hours of a flight and the crate was not pretty upon arrival.... and my own included... however granted I will no longer fly a dog in cargo...ggg if there is any way possible to avoid it... obviously there are times when there is no other way...

Of course there is a big difference between offering a very small about of food and a regular meal 2 hours before. And of course water is important regardless....

Thanks all, for the responses!!! I also sound some folks who are super-extra kind and will be helping me!!!

The Basenji community is so great in helping out each other… My B and I truly appreciate it!!!

I'm going to add that, depending on the day, you should allow up to 3 hours for the trip from Richmond to the Beltway around DC. I know it's only 90 miles, but the traffic around here is unbelievable, second only to LA traffic. And this also applies to weekends. I can't explain it….noone can. It's a crap shoot as to which day and what time it's going to be the worst, but Thursdays and Fridays are the absolute worst. Most people come OUT of DC in the evening, and go IN in the morning, but it's pretty bad both ways. If it's raining, add up to 1 hour to the travel time from Richmond. Again, don't ask. Around here the formula seems to be "Instant idiot driver, just add water..." The southwest 1/4 of the beltway (inner loop) is worse in the mornings and the outer loop is worse in the mornings, but when you near Rte 50, Tysons and the Dulles Toll Road, it sucks in BOTH directions. Once you get on the Toll Road (Dulles HOV lanes), however, you are home free. The Toll Road (non HOV) isn't terrible either. 95 North and the beltway are going to be your biggest obstacles. Agian, time dependant. You're better off doing it on a weekend (Sunday at 3am is the best time, I've found...).

On the lighter side of things, these are some general driving guidelines that will make your travel as fast as possible:
Watch out for cars with MD tags, they REALLY can't drive. Make sure you stay in the left lane and drive as slow as possible, that's apparently what everyone ELSE does...and you want to fit right in... If their turn signal is NOT blinking, that means they are about to change lanes. If their right signal is on, they are going left and vice versa. If you want to change lanes, try the freeway on ramps and off ramps and the shoulder of the road, they are really good for going around long lanes of traffic and cutting people off who've been waiting patiently in line. If you see a stalled car or a car with a flat within 500ft of the highway, slow down to about 15 and take a really long look. Make sure when you slow down, and this is really important, that you almost lock your brakes or else you won't cause enough accidents behind you. The more accidents you cause BEHIND you, the more clear the road will be for you since you've, in essence, eliminated the traffic to contend with. When the lane in front of you is clear, floor it and drive as fast as possible until you see brake lights, then slam on the brakes. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think that covers everything. I've been here for 10 years and I think I've got it all figured out. 😃

@TuckerVA:

I'm going to add that, depending on the day, you should allow up to 3 hours for the trip from Richmond to the Beltway around DC. I know it's only 90 miles, but the traffic around here is unbelievable, second only to LA traffic. And this also applies to weekends. I can't explain it….noone can. It's a crap shoot as to which day and what time it's going to be the worst, but Thursdays and Fridays are the absolute worst. Most people come OUT of DC in the evening, and go IN in the morning, but it's pretty bad both ways. If it's raining, add up to 1 hour to the travel time from Richmond. Again, don't ask. Around here the formula seems to be "Instant idiot driver, just add water..." The southwest 1/4 of the beltway (inner loop) is worse in the mornings and the outer loop is worse in the mornings, but when you near Rte 50, Tysons and the Dulles Toll Road, it sucks in BOTH directions. Once you get on the Toll Road (Dulles HOV lanes), however, you are home free. The Toll Road (non HOV) isn't terrible either. 95 North and the beltway are going to be your biggest obstacles. Agian, time dependant. You're better off doing it on a weekend (Sunday at 3am is the best time, I've found...).

On the lighter side of things, these are some general driving guidelines that will make your travel as fast as possible:
Watch out for cars with MD tags, they REALLY can't drive. Make sure you stay in the left lane and drive as slow as possible, that's apparently what everyone ELSE does...and you want to fit right in... If their turn signal is NOT blinking, that means they are about to change lanes. If their right signal is on, they are going left and vice versa. If you want to change lanes, try the freeway on ramps and off ramps and the shoulder of the road, they are really good for going around long lanes of traffic and cutting people off who've been waiting patiently in line. If you see a stalled car or a car with a flat within 500ft of the highway, slow down to about 15 and take a really long look. Make sure when you slow down, and this is really important, that you almost lock your brakes or else you won't cause enough accidents behind you. The more accidents you cause BEHIND you, the more clear the road will be for you since you've, in essence, eliminated the traffic to contend with. When the lane in front of you is clear, floor it and drive as fast as possible until you see brake lights, then slam on the brakes. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think that covers everything. I've been here for 10 years and I think I've got it all figured out. 😃

OMG I about peed myself laughing because it's so true!!! But I might add that it's not people with MD plates, I've seen my fare share of morons with VA and Washington DC plates.

Here's my theory about all drivers in the DC-Baltimore metro area (and anyone driving on the belt way) is they took everyone in the world who FAILED their drivers test and put them in that area.

@WBL:

But I might add that it's not people with MD plates, I've seen my fare share of morons with VA and Washington DC plates.

:mad:

/VA plates here…

I originally hail from Atlanta, so I am a good driver. I'm a very good driver. Very good driver. 243 toothpicks. Wapner. Judge WAAPNER.

@TuckerVA:

:mad:

/VA plates here…

I originally hail from Atlanta, so I am a good driver. I'm a very good driver. Very good driver. 243 toothpicks. Wapner. Judge WAAPNER.

😛 I didn't mean you specifically, I know you're from VA, but you weren't born there 😉 so you don't count LOL. I meant to add I'm not poking at you, but I'm sure you'll be okay, lol 😃

No offense taken. I just like to 'stir the pot' sometimes. 😉

@TuckerVA:

No offense taken. I just like to 'stir the pot' sometimes. 😉

:p :p :p :p :p :p :p

I'm from Atlanta too! And now sporting Virginia plates! lol… 😉 There are a lot of idiot drivers out there!!

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