Airlines don't allow "snub-nosed" dogs. But my dog's face is special!
December 21, 2013 7:21 AM   Subscribe

I have a Boston Terrier and would like to take him on a plane. Airline rules say Bostons are "snub-nosed" dogs that are not allowed on planes. But this particularly charming Boston is not "snub nosed" at all. His nose is not squishy. No breathing problems. He has a noble carriage! Many people think he is, in fact, some other breed. Is there any leniency in airline policy on this? (Pic inside!)

Mostly looking to fly on Delta within the continental United States. He is incredibly well-behaved and of course, here is the adorable, handsome-faced pup in question (imgur link). Any guidance or experience from other dog owners is much appreciated!
posted by amoeba to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
He does have a noble carriage! Can't you just say he's another kind of dog? A bull terrier/mutt or something?
posted by ignignokt at 7:28 AM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yes, just tell them he's a mixture of a few different things if anyone asks.
posted by pipeski at 7:29 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do you have to specify his breed? Can't you just say that he is a mixed breed mutt?
posted by futz at 7:29 AM on December 21, 2013

Best answer: What a handsome boy!

Is your vet on board with him flying? My first step would be to find that out. Because the inside of his respiratory system might not match his noble snout. But if your vet says it's okay, I'd tell the airline that your dog is "some sort of mix" and go with that.
posted by kimberussell at 7:30 AM on December 21, 2013 [32 favorites]

It seems very unwise to try to circumvent an airline policy the whole purpose of which is to prevent your dog from dying.

You say "no breathing problems" but you're talking about "no breathing problems in normal conditions."

Don't be foolhardy with your dog's health and safety.
posted by jayder at 8:13 AM on December 21, 2013 [20 favorites]

This might be specific to whatever airline you're talking to. I have a friend who flies with her Boston several times a year with no problems, so maybe check other carriers? But yeah just saying he's a mix seems like the easiest solution.
posted by CheeseLouise at 8:26 AM on December 21, 2013

Best answer: Will your dog fit in a carrier placed under the seat in front of you? The ban only applies to pets flown as cargo, bringing them in the main cabin is fine.
posted by phoenixy at 9:39 AM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I know someone who flies with a squishy-faced snorty Bostie several times a year, and I also thought the ban was only for dogs in cargo, so you might look for clarification. But anyway, Terrier-mix should suffice for breed.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:43 AM on December 21, 2013

Best answer: Yeah I think it's only for dogs in cargo. My friend takes his BT on planes on a regular basis.
posted by radioamy at 9:46 AM on December 21, 2013

Adorable and handsome, indeed!

My guess is that it's an older regulation written when Bostons more frequently conformed to breed standards*. Now that the breed is seeing renewed popularity, you see more and more non-conforming dogs (like "red Bostons"), in part due to more dogs coming from backyard breeders & puppy millers. Many Bostons these days don't have a snub nose, just as many weigh over 25 pounds or have a mostly-white head. Still, a conforming, typical Boston will have a short, snub nose - thus the regulation.

If you have the go-ahead from your vet that it's safe for your boy to fly, I'd do as others have suggested and refer to your pup as a mix. Also, he's flying in the cabin, right? I'd never take a chance at flying a pet cargo, although I will fully admit I have no personal experience doing so. Air travel and airline carriers in general just make me wary, I suppose.

*This isn't meant as breed-snobbery: as I type this, I'm looking at my Boston, a rescued former puppy mill breeder with many "faults" on paper but the biggest, most loving heart.
posted by pecanpies at 12:23 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Adorable pup! Had to chime in to say that, even though the only advice I have is what everyone else says, ie if your vet is okay with the travel, list him as a terrier mix.
posted by rpfields at 1:03 PM on December 21, 2013

Best answer: The fact that he does not have a pushed in face does not mean that his airways are normal. You really need to talk to the vet.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 2:11 PM on December 21, 2013

Best answer: I am a former airline employee and have a close relative who was a baggage handler. I hate to tell you this, but knowing what I know, I would never let any pet of mine fly cargo ever.
posted by Jess the Mess at 6:16 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Lovely Boston! Another vote for not putting him in cargo, no matter what the airline says. (Some airlines' regulation vary according to time of year.) As far as flying in the cabin, still talk to your vet. My Boston was athletic and her breathing was not compromised but she had an enlarged heart from a young age and that's common with brachycephalic breeds.
posted by BibiRose at 10:01 PM on December 21, 2013

In cabin or in cargo? Because no one has ever even glanced at my dog in his carrier ready to go in cabin other than to charge me for him at the gate. If the vet is ok with him flying then you are fine.

In cargo is a different story.
posted by magnetsphere at 5:25 PM on December 23, 2013

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