My first time flying with Winston (our Maltipoo) was at the beginning of the summer when I flew out to Philadelphia. That is when I learned what I could not live without. (Click images for links)
1. First off, you need a bag or dog carrier. Personally, I love the satchel look. It makes it easy to check on him while carrying other suitcases - when it's just Winston and I traveling together. My favorite function of this bag is that it has a portal window for the dog, it makes it so Winston and I can see each other while running through the airport. This bag also has pockets on the sides and the front and back, which is nice since the dog counts as my personal item. This bag also has breathable holes on all sides so the dog has air ventilation.
2. On our first flight he was on my lap and we didn't have a leash on him. It was a late night flight, and I am one who loves to sleep on planes. In the middle of my slumber Winston jumped out of my lap and took off. Luckily Winston's jump woke Zach up and he caught him soon after. So I would recommend always having a short leash on flights that you can put your wrist through, so your dog has no chance of escaping.
3. If you're worried about your dog getting anxious during the flight or in the airport I would try Calming Spray. At first I had my doubts, but I used it once and now I'm hooked. I spray it in his bag the night before our flight and right before I put him in the bag. If your dog is sitting on your lap I would even recommend spraying some on your legs when you get on the plane. The spray really did help soothe him.
4. For those of you who don't know, a flight from Utah to Philadelphia is about six hours give or take plus all the waiting, delays, layovers, or connecting flights. Winston does not love these long fights any more than I do. He can get very antsy, or excited right before take off - and when we're waiting to get off the plane. Often times he doesn't want to get back into the bag. Similar to a child, bribe your puppy with treats. I always put some in a Ziploc in one of the side pockets. I use them to get him in his bag all the time.
5. If you are taking long flights with your dog, I would recommend planning ahead and check to see if you can get a layover in one of the airports that have a doggy relief area, they're a lifesaver! More airports have them than you think and more are planning on adding them since more people are starting to fly with their pets.
I hope this helps anyone who is thinking of traveling with their pet. I wish I'd had someone share ideas or suggestion with me before my first travel adventure with Winston. He's getting easier to travel with each time we've flown. I hope you and your fur babies can go on some fun adventures together and use these tips! Enjoy your weekend!