How to Fly With an Impact Dog Crate as Checked Baggage
Featured article written by Hilary M.
"When it comes to traveling with my working dog, I never leave home without my Impact collapsible crate. Not only does it give me peace of mind, if for some reason I am going to be apart from my dog for any given amount of time, but I know it’s a space that gives him a sense of security and has been a fundamental part of our training. Up until now, all of our traveling had been by vehicle, so lugging around our Impact collapsible crate had become a routine procedure. Our most recent trip involved flying, which meant checking our Impact Crate as a checked bag. Something I’d never done before, so I was a little nervous about damaging, losing or even having my crate rejected from an airline as checked cargo.
When I did some digging online about checking an empty crate on an airplane, there wasn’t much to be found. I reached out to the airlines and Impact themselves to prepare myself as much as possible. After I returned home from my trip, I decided to put together this blog post for anyone who finds themselves in my shoes.
Call your airline to learn their checked baggage policy and let them know you’re planning to check a crate.
I called both airlines about a month in advance for my trip. I knew based on the measurements and weight of my size 400 collapsible crate that it should be considered a normal checked bag. Luckily for me, since Sako is a working dog trained to assist me in various tasks, I was able to check his crate for no additional fee.
Collapse your cage with the rails inside of it.
This was a really helpful tip from Impact which I hadn’t previously thought of. It definitely took some work to get the rails in the right position where my crate would collapse, but I’m so happy I figured it out and didn’t have to worry about losing them.
Put a tag on your crate.
It probably sounds simple and the odds of seeing another collapsed Impact cage in checked baggage are probably pretty low, but I still like to be safe and make sure all of my baggage contains my contact information.
Arrive to the appropriate baggage counter with extra time and make sure you are clear about if your crate is accommodating a working animal or if it is being checked as oversized or normal baggage.
This was the part that I was most nervous about. I thought for sure the airline would look at this massive metal briefcase looking item & reject it or hit me with some crazy fee. Luckily, neither of these things happened. On one of my flights they did however check it as abnormal sized baggage which required me taking it to a different window. On my 2nd flight, it was treated as a normal checked suitcase.
Ask about extra insurance and the airlines baggage damage or lost baggage policies.
This was a great tip from Impact themselves. Both airlines that I flew on did not offer extra insurance because the value of my crate was under $2500. However, the purchase of a ticket on most flights includes insurance for the replacement of lost items valued up to this amount with proof of receipt or refund for any extensive damage. Luckily for us, our crate made it to each destination with only a few new scratches to show for it.
Your crate will take a beating and you will have to accept this if you are going to check it.
Of course, the abuse my Impact Crate took while going through the baggage process was nothing it couldn’t handle. But with that being said, it definitely came out with some scuffs and dents that it didn’t previously have. Since the damage didn’t affect the functionality of my crate, I wasn’t bothered by it. There’s something to be said for having a high quality, utilitarian item with evidence of its hard use.
Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with how smoothly my experience went. Although I definitely got my workout in between pushing my suitcase, carrying my Impact crate and heeling my German Shepherd next to me, it was not as challenging as I had imagined. Every time I take my crate along with me on our adventures, I find myself loving the versatility of this brand’s products more and more."
Featured article written by Hilary M. // @Sakos_modern_life