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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Birds & Airlines (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dave Womach
452 Posts

Profile of DaveWomach
Hey Everyone,

In the past 3 months, I have flown over 35,000 miles both domestic and international, with a total of 8 birds. During these travels, I have encountered problem after problem with airlines. Has anyone out there run into similar problems, and have solutions, to any of these problems?

I travel with:
5 doves
2 parakeets
1 umbrella cockatoo

United Airlines just doesn't let me fly, because I have a cockatoo, which they don't consider a pet since he's an "exotic animal."

American Airlines says it's ok to fly with as many as I want, until I try to fly home from another country, then they say I can only fly home with 2. I've had to "smuggle" my birds home in this situation several times, and really don't enjoy it.

Alaska Airlines says I can only have 2 animals...

I'm about to go crazy with this traveling. Customs is easy compared to the airlines. Does anyone have some advice that I can try. Preferably something that is LEGAL. I'm open to suggestions.


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Special user
880 Posts

Profile of sperris
Dave, give me a call when you get time. I've been flying with 9 birds in cabin for the past just about five years and have only been stopped twice. I'll tell you how I get through it. Alot of it is psychology, don't let them see you sweating, and playing dumb.

Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20504 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders

In the "good ole days" most of us old guys simply wrapped a bird in a handkerchief and stuffed it in our wear-on London Fog coats (Six to eight birds were no problem.). Since the new alerts, this has become impossible. Another method is to ship them by the Post Office overnight. I've never had a problem with that.

Cruise ships can be a problem and coming back into the USA from over-seas. Sometimes the best bet there is "buy birds there and leave birds there." Cruise ships apparently "have ways". Don't ask questions and don't take your best birds. That's why Lucy and I keep about a hundred white doves on hand all the time. There is a need to allow for birds in transit.

I don’t think the enforcement is consistent enough to predict and satisfy every time. Often it is luck of the draw. I would like to hear what others do.

Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

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Regular user
160 Posts

Profile of magicfreak_NV
Just wondering if anyone else has any tips, tricks, advice ect..

as I have run into the same problem as well

also what ships are allowing birds these days?
I know RCCL is not
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Regular user
Andy Amyx
143 Posts

Profile of Amyxdove
It's the cockatoo that will get you every time. Dave call me when you can.

Andy Amyx
Andy Amyx

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Inner circle
7378 Posts

Profile of hugmagic
Word is from my sources that the Pacific Rim area is going to get even worse with birds going in an out.

Maybe we will have start a bird depot where act can pick up birds once they arrive. Wouldn't that be a mess?

Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Wade Live
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Veteran user
322 Posts

Profile of Wade Live
I think Dave has took on a few more birds since this post started. hahahaha!
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New user
63 Posts

Profile of DoveDaddy

The absolute best airline for shipping animals as cargo or traveling with animals is Continental Airlines. They even accept small pets for travel in the cabin.
For information on Continental's PetSafe programm go here:

There have been merger talks between Continental and United Airlines. United has one of the worst policies for traveling with animals so it does not bode well for the future of airline travel with animals if Continental and United do merge.
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New user
Las Vegas
90 Posts

Profile of SnakeBabe
I took my animals overseas once...just once, and it was a nightmare. So, I made a decision a long time ago that I do not travel with my animals unless I can (or one of my employees) have constant supervision. So that has limited me to shows in the USA only that I can drive to. I loose so much work because of this but it keeps them safe.

Hugs and Hissessss,
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Loyal user
288 Posts

Profile of trey
Private jet.... I don't think they would mind if you have a 100 birds. But it costs around $10,000.00 domestic. International flights are ALOT more!

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Elite user
Dave Womach
452 Posts

Profile of DaveWomach
Wow, this post was over 4 years ago... and what am I doing late tonight?...

Any guesses???

Yes... filling out CITES permits for not 1, but 4 CITES listed parrots... (and one that isn't listed)... I guess I didn't learn...

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