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Anyone have recent experience traveling with pets?


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#1 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 04:16 PM

Hi,

 

I've heard a lot about Amtrak's new pet policy but was wondering if anyone had actually taken a pet on a trip with them recently and if so what the experience was like. Did they measure the carrier? Weigh the pet? Did the conductor even notice that the suitcase had a dog in it?

 

The reason I ask is I have a 30lb dog that I would love to bring with me on Amtrak (the rules state a max weight of 20lbs). She fits in a carrier and I take her on the NYC subway all the time. But I've never taken her on a plane because airlines are super strict about weight limits. My experience with Amtrak as a human though is that the boarding procedure is not nearly as strict as it is for an airline so I'm thinking I might be able to do it.

 

What do you think? Has anyone done this before?

 

Thanks,

Samantha



#2 jebr

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 04:34 PM

I haven't taken one on board before, so I'm not sure if they weigh them. However, I believe there is a requirement to check in at the counter, so it's possible they'll be weighed.

 

If it isn't, remember that the dog has to fit under the seat with it in the carrier. If the carrier, with the dog in it, can fit under the seat, it's possible it'd work out.



#3 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:04 PM

I haven't taken one on board before, so I'm not sure if they weigh them. However, I believe there is a requirement to check in at the counter, so it's possible they'll be weighed.

 

If it isn't, remember that the dog has to fit under the seat with it in the carrier. If the carrier, with the dog in it, can fit under the seat, it's possible it'd work out.

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll need to check on the seat height and measure her carrier. However, I've never put my belongings under my seat when traveling sans-dog. I just put my purse by my feet. No one has ever said anything - I didn't know you were supposed to put your stuff under the seat. Is that just for dogs?

 

Anyway would love to hear from anyone who has done this about how it went. I can't imagine they have weighing equipment... sans-dog, there is no check-in or security procedure other than looking at the ticket to make sure it's the right city. BTW this is between NYP and WAS.



#4 crabby_appleton1950

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:10 PM

If this is round trip, what would you do should you get there OK one way,

and then have your dog refused for the trip home?



#5 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:28 PM

If this is round trip, what would you do should you get there OK one way,

and then have your dog refused for the trip home?

 

Yes, that would certainly suck. It would also suck to show up at the initial station and not be able to board. Which is why I'm trying to get more information before I do it!



#6 pennyk

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:37 PM

Most stations (if not all stations) have scales.  They routinely weigh luggage.  I would not attempt to skirt the rules.


Amtrak miles: 215,971; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Autumn Express 2015, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner; Lakeshore Limited (BOS-ALB), Autumn Express 2016, Palmetto.

VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean; Alaska Railroad Denali Star: 356 miles


#7 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:49 PM

Most stations (if not all stations) have scales.  They routinely weigh luggage.  I would not attempt to skirt the rules.

 

Interesting! I've never had my luggage weighed or seen luggage be weighed. I'm really only ever going between BOS-NYP-WAS though, so maybe this is just an uncommon practice as those stations. Have you taken a pet on board? Was the pet weighed? Mainly I'm curious if they weigh pets upon check-in.



#8 Maglev

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:55 PM

I think Amtrak's rules are largely for the pet's wellbeing.  The rules say the pet must fit in the carrier without touching the sides.  While your pet may squeeze into the carrier and be okay for short subway trips, it might not be good for your pet to spend several hours in such a small space on a train.


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#9 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 06:05 PM

I think Amtrak's rules are largely for the pet's wellbeing.  The rules say the pet must fit in the carrier without touching the sides.  While your pet may squeeze into the carrier and be okay for short subway trips, it might not be good for your pet to spend several hours in such a small space on a train.

 

Given that the alternative is driving, which would mean she'd be in the same carrier, just in a car, I'm not so worried about that. Mostly I want to know if they are going to weigh her. Has anyone done this? Was the pet was weighed upon check-in? Thanks.



#10 the_traveler

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 06:24 PM

I think the reason your luggage was not weighed on the NEC was because you did not check any bags. (Only 1 train offers that service.) Carry on bags are not weighed.

Whenever you check luggage, it is always weighed. The limit is 50 pounds per bag. There have been stories where 1 bag weighed 53 pounds and the other weighed 26 pounds - and the passenger had to transfer stuff between bags to get under 50 pounds before it would be accepted.

Edited by the_traveler, 08 September 2016 - 06:25 PM.

Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#11 Bob Dylan

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 06:24 PM

Why would your dog need to be in a carrier in your car?

Most people let their dogs have free reign in tbe car!

Cats are another story!😁

Edited by Bob Dylan, 08 September 2016 - 06:25 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#12 SarahZ

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 07:26 PM

Why would your dog need to be in a carrier in your car?

Most people let their dogs have free reign in the car!

Cats are another story!

 

Safety. Being in a secure carrier, especially with padding, prevents the animal from flying into the windshield, etc. during an accident. Some carriers are specifically designed to work with the seat belts in your back seat, much like a child safety seat.

 

Additionally, loose dogs climbing all over the driver are a huge safety issue. When I was with the Big Insurance Company, I handled a few claims involving dogs doing something stupid that caused an accident - leaping onto the driver and blocking visibility, getting down by the driver's feet and preventing them from braking, putting their weight on the steering wheel, etc.


Edited by SarahZ, 08 September 2016 - 07:27 PM.

Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

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#13 KmH

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 07:59 PM

These rules apply to everyone*.

* Except you.

 

Might a conductor discovering a not within the rules pet on a train opt to have the pet and owner put off the train at the next convenient grade crossing?


1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#14 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:12 AM

If anyone has experience travelling with pets, please reply. Thanks!



#15 crabby_appleton1950

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:52 AM

I think the reason your luggage was not weighed on the NEC was because you did not check any bags. (Only 1 train offers that service.) Carry on bags are not weighed.

Whenever you check luggage, it is always weighed. The limit is 50 pounds per bag. There have been stories where 1 bag weighed 53 pounds and the other weighed 26 pounds - and the passenger had to transfer stuff between bags to get under 50 pounds before it would be accepted.

I saw that in San Diego while waiting to go to L.A.  A group of five people kept unpacking suitcases, repacking, getting their bags weighed, etc, etc.  After about 30 minutes they either got it right or the Amtrak guy let it go.



#16 crabby_appleton1950

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:57 AM

If anyone has experience traveling with pets, please reply. Thanks!

People here are trying to help you with our comments, suggestions, etc.  We may not be offering answers you'd hoped for.

If you think your 30 pound dog can pass for a 20 pound dog, and you follow all the other regulations, you might be able to do it.

 

But realize you are violating the regs, and may pay the consequences.



#17 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 10:01 AM

These rules apply to everyone*.

* Except you.

 

Might a conductor discovering a not within the rules pet on a train opt to have the pet and owner put off the train at the next convenient grade crossing?

 

If it makes you feel any better about the incremental 10 lbs, I am quite slim and I assure you that our combined weight is less than the average male or American female.



#18 Guest_Samantha_*

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 10:19 AM

 

If anyone has experience traveling with pets, please reply. Thanks!

People here are trying to help you with our comments, suggestions, etc.  We may not be offering answers you'd hoped for.

If you think your 30 pound dog can pass for a 20 pound dog, and you follow all the other regulations, you might be able to do it.

 

But realize you are violating the regs, and may pay the consequences.

 

 

Ha well you are right about that! Obviously I realize that this is 10lbs more than technically allowed, and that I might get away with it, and that I might not. That's in fact precisely what I'm trying to figure out by posting the question. I think it would be best done by hearing the experience of someone who has actually done it; I will then use that knowledge to inform my decision. Thanks



#19 KmH

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 01:20 PM

Allowing pets is a new program.

Consequently, few have had a chance to travel with their pet, and fewer still will have attempted to test the limits of the rules.

 

Let us know if it works out for you if you decide to risk testing the rules.


1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#20 Guest_Samanth_*

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 03:21 PM

Allowing pets is a new program.

Consequently, few have had a chance to travel with their pet, and fewer still will have attempted to test the limits of the rules.

 

Let us know if it works out for you if you decide to risk testing the rules.

 

Will do! More aggressive Googling yielded the following website, in case anyone else out there besides me cares about this: http://www.dogjaunt....in-to-portland/

 

There was no room at all under the seat in front of me, and I don’t recall whether there was a space that I could access under my own seat. I put Chloe’s carrier on the ground in front of me, with my purse, which was comfortable for us and apparently acceptable to Amtrak.

As I was writing this post, reader Cassidy wrote to me about her recent experience traveling via Amtrak with Azuki, her 23-lb. Shiba Inu. Cassidy, thank goodness, fills in the missing info: “Their website also says she had to stay under my seat the whole trip, but there was a huge metal bar in the middle of all of the seats such that not even my backpack would fit under. So I put her in my lap (which she prefers) and the conductor didn’t mind at all, nor did the person sitting next to me.”





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