From Buffalo...On Saturday at around 1:30PM, I loaded my kitty, Leo into his carrier. He protested, but I did what I had to do. We drove to the airport and got there a little after 2.
I checked in to my first flight (separate airlines so they could only issue the first part of my ticket) and said goodbye to my dad. I asked him to wait for me to call to make sure I got through security okay with my kitty. I went through security and when I reached the first agent, I explained that I had my cat with me and if it were possible to go to a private room to get screened. They allowed it and asked if I would like to be screened that way or normal. I said it didn't matter to me, so a female agent took my kitty and I went through security like normal. I got my stuff and went with the officer to the room. I took Leo out of the carrier (although he was very hesitant to come out) and another agent took the carrier and put it through the x-ray. They were so nice about the whole thing. When we were done, we went to find our gate. It was about an hour before the plane started boarding. I was able to get on wifi and talk to my husband a little.
To Philadelphia...We got to Philadelphia and I had to get to the terminal on the opposite side. We landed in Terminal F and I had to get to Terminal A. Terminal F is disconnected from the rest of the airport and the only way to get there is a shuttle. Luckily, I was able to get to the shuttle just as the attendant said "last call". I got to the gate as they started to board. Luckily, this was the international flight, so the line was really long to board. I still had to get my boarding pass and pay for the kitty. It took a while for the attendant to get my receipt (he had to call it in to a colleague), but I got it in time and waited in line to board.
Leo was very well behaved during the flight. I didn't hear him at all. Every so often he would move in his carrier so I knew he was doing okay. The carrier didn't fit under the seat in front of me, so it took my leg space. I wasn't really able to get up the entire flight because I was in the middle seat and I didn't want to disturb the person next to me. Next time, I think I will look into flying first class. That's a long flight not to be able to move.
To Germany...We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany after about 8 hours. We had to take a shuttle to the arriving area for international flights. The shuttle probably took about 15 minutes. We then had to go through passport control which took about 15-20 minutes. Then we had to go through security AGAIN. The line was so long, that probably took 30 minutes. By the time I saw a clock it was about 10:15 and the boarding started for my next flight at 10. I ran/walked to my gate, which was hard to do since I had a 12lb cat. When I got to the gate that was on my ticket, it wasn't showing my flight, so I checked the board again and it was 2 gates over. I ran to that gate and the agent kinda gave me a hard time asking me why I was late. I'm like WTF! I didn't even have time to pee. It wasn't my fault that it takes so damn long to go through security. By the time I sat down on the plane I was so sweaty and shaky because I hadn't really eaten in a while.
I did have a good conversation with the person next to me. The ice was broken when I asked if he had any cat allergies. We talked for about an hour. I don't even know his name. I wish I had exchanged contact information.
To ItalyIt was so great to see my husband again and to have someone else carry Leo!
A couple of things I have learned:
- If possible, try not to fly Economy on the long flights. It's so uncomfortable. If you do, get an aisle seat so you can get up whenever without feeling like you are disturbing another person.
- Give yourself at least 2 hours between layovers
- It cost me approximately $300 for the cat
- Have the health certificate and vet records, even though I was never asked for them
And now to repeat the process for Toad