Get thee (and thy dog) to the airport
December 20, 2016 6:29 PM   Subscribe

First, pet tax. Tomorrow my dog and I fly home for the holidays! Only problem: I don't have a car, and my dog's crate is a big one (30" x 27" x 40").

Uber recommends requesting a ride, then calling the driver and asking if they're willing to take a dog. If the driver declines, cancel the ride and try again. This is my plan A as of now. I'm in the Twin Cities, leaving for the airport in the afternoon, so hopefully there will be a fair number of drivers working. My only concern is that the crate can't fit into a small car, so I'm going to have to find a driver who is willing to take a dog, and who also happens to have a larger car. For those with more Uber experience than I, what are the odds of finding this unicorn driver? I'm worried about cancelling the Uber too many times and causing a positive feedback loop, where my rider rating keeps getting worse and no one wants to pick me up, I miss the plane, am disowned by my family, etc. etc. etc. What would be a good plan B? Is there a particular kind of taxi service I should be looking for?

In case it wasn't obvious, I'm super nervous about traveling with my dog! Crate training's gone really well, and I feel confident that the dog will come through like a champ, but I am a nervous wreck.
posted by MrBobinski to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
You could just call a regular taxi company and request an accessible van.
posted by rockindata at 6:34 PM on December 20, 2016 [17 favorites]

The Twin Cities should have UberXL which is a (more expensive?) option where you get a larger car. Still have to check if they are OK taking a dog but should increase your odds.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:54 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I think Airport Taxi (this one) will take you and your dog and crate in a van. I have boarded pets at Now Boarding, and Airport Taxi shuttled people between Now Boarding and the airport.
posted by clavicle at 7:00 PM on December 20, 2016

Agree with UberXL. It is a bit more expensive but great for when you know you have a lot of luggage or anything else large, since there will definitely be space. Lyft has a similar thing called Lyft Plus.

Honestly, I would probably not even bother calling ahead to check if they will accept the dog, assuming your dog is the type who can handle a car ride without freaking out/peeing everywhere/causing other major problems. (If your dog is NOT that type, you...probably should not be flying with your dog, though I suppose it is too late for that.) I have taken Uber/Lyft with my cat numerous times to get to the vet, airport, etc. and I have never had a driver complain or refuse to take me or anything.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:48 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd call a regular taxi. You can schedule it now and make appropriate inquiries. Call to confirm the driver is on his way at the right time tomorrow.
posted by amtho at 7:51 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Your dog is stunningly beautiful and that photo is amazing and you should call a regular taxi. I just wouldn't even take a risk with Uber under these circumstances.
posted by HotToddy at 8:27 PM on December 20, 2016 [9 favorites]

I'm adding to the people saying phone a taxi, don't mess with Uber. Airport Taxi and Town Taxi are the same company, for reference.

In the world of pricier options, Supershuttle/Execucar will take pets. Given the size of the crate, I think you'd have to book the whole van and request an accessible van (which has the first two rows of seats removed and loads of space inside--I was once in a Supershuttle with a bloke travelling with a racing wheelchair which was probably a good seven feet long folded). You'd have to book an SUV through Execucar. I'm not sure which of those is cheaper. But for people reading this in the future, if your pet's carrier can sit in your lap, Supershuttle will happily take you. (They suggest you make a note for the driver in the booking, but I think I've forgotten on occasion.)
posted by hoyland at 4:13 AM on December 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Firstly, that dog is literally breathtaking omg, please give me him.

Secondly, I have done this twice. I just called regular uber people, and said "Hey I have a dog, if I bring a blanket is it okay?" The first guy said no, the 2nd guy said yes. The 2nd time I did it, the first guy said yes. I live in a small metropolitan area, a bit smaller than the Indianapolis metro area. You should have no problem with this where you are.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:38 AM on December 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thanks for your help and kind words everyone!

Some outcome data, for future readers: I called two Uber XLs, and had disappointing experiences. Both drivers accepted the ride and said they were fine with the dog, but one appeared to just stop driving toward the pickup location, forcing me to cancel. The other decided to cancel the ride after we found the kennel could only fit in the car on it's side, meaning the dog would be travelling in the car, not the kennel. Citing allergies and not wanting to get his car dirty, he decided to cancel the ride, but then instead of cancelling, drove the car around the block and charged me for it!

What worked was disassembling the kennel (a bit of a pain because of the number of bolts, food and water trays, and stuffed animals in there), and wedging it into the trunk of a tried-and-true Crown Victoria. The driver very kindly let the dog sit in the back with me.

Made it to the airport just in time. 1,600 miles later, puppy is happily dozing at my feet. Thanks again, Ask MetaFilter!
posted by MrBobinski at 6:11 AM on December 23, 2016

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