I recently went on my first flight from San Francisco to Orange County. This was a test run to see if I can handle longer flights. I’m happy to report that I did great and that I’ll be going on more flights soon!
I was asked a ton of questions about my experience so sharing the most frequently asked questions and answers below:
How are you able to fly in the cabin?
I am an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) which allows me to fly in the cabin free of charge. Every airline has its own rules about ESA pets so you’ll have to check with each one separately but I flew Southwest this time and they are very pet friendly.
What are some tips you have about flying?
Secure extra leg room:
Since I am too large to fit under the seat, my mom was able to purchase a ticket for me separately so that I can use the extra legroom. The ticket can be fully refunded after the flight (this is for Southwest only, not sure about other airlines). This came in handy because our flight back home was fully booked and I wouldn’t have been able to lay down if it wasn’t for that extra seat!
Request to get pre-boarded:
Pre-boarding is something that most airlines will allow since you’ll need extra legroom to be comfy on the flight. When you arrive to the airport, go to the airline counter to see if they can give you pre-boarding. They will re-print your boarding pass with a pre-boarding note. You will probably want to sit in the first row where there is the most legroom so try to be the first to board to secure the seat.
Potty breaks at the airport:
Every airport has “animal relief” areas. This is a small space where your pet can go potty usually with turf and a plastic fire hydrant. There are usually signs but if you want to be extra prepared, you can look up the map of the terminal you’ll be in to see where these relief areas will be. I was taken on potty breaks after getting through security and right before boarding the plane.
How to remain calm:
Get the energy out:
Prior to the flight, my parents tried to exercise me like crazy to get all of my energy out to make sure I wasn’t too crazy on the flight. I got extra long walks and played ball and chase. Although I still had a lot of energy, I remained pretty calm on the flight.
Because I was so excited, I got very thirst during my trip. Bring a portable water bottle and fill it up after security to ensure you stay hydrated before and during the flight. Pace yourself with water if it’s going to be a long flight.
Feel free to DM or email me with questions! Check out my pinned travel story on Instagram here.