Saturday, December 25, 2010

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The Trip to Phoenix

Our journey started off easily enough. We arrived at the airport about 6 am on Sunday. We have flown with US Airways before with Bingo and expeted them to be pretty good about Her Royal Highness. When we got up to the kiosk, there was one frantic guy behind the counter and a couple of ladies further down. I asked the guy if I needed to count her crate as luggage as last time it was considered an assistive device and we didn't have to pay for it. He looked at us and then away.

"Uh, let me ask." He called over the supervisor. Sure, she said. We do it for strollers and baby seats, why not for crates. "I'll sign off on it." He turned to another lady and said, "Can you handle them? I'm full with these." Then he wandered off to his other terminals.

Fortunately, he left us with an animal lover. She LOVED HRH. "Oh, hello lover!" She said. "You are a pretty one. Let me get you fixed up." Then she proceeded to get us set up with the crate, and checked us in and got us signed off.

Then we rode the elevator to the tram, which HRH managed very well. Security didn't blink at her. After the tram ride we got off and went to get into the security line but we were waved into a special line (read very short line). That was nice. We explained to the TSA people that this was HRH's first flight and we were going to take off her leash and coat and then one of us would go through and stand there and the other would hold her while the one on the other side would call her to come through. The TSA agent said to keep her coat on. Then I asked if I could film it.

"NO." Stern look.

"That's why I asked." Smile.

I went through and Fred held HRH. We had to wait for three people to pass and then HRH got to go. I called her. She ran through right into my arms. No problemo.

When we got up to the gate the agent was already working on getting us the bulhead seat and had called up a mom and her daughter. They were moved to an empty row and had an empty seat between them. The agent apologized that she couldn't move the other person in our row.

"No worries. You have been super. We really appreciate all of your help." I tell you, US Airways personnel have always been exceptionally nice to work with and very helpful.

Once we got on the plane, the flight attendents were awesome. They even told the boy next to us, "Once the flight gets in the air, there is a row three rows back that only has one person in it and has an open seat by the window. That way, you can have more room and can give them more room for their gude dog."

Sneaky and manipulative, these US Airways flight attendants. I like 'em! As you can see from the photo above HRH was curled up in one seat are only and didn't extend over into two other areas like Bingo did. She slept the whole way and was a very good girl. When we landed I broke away quickly to find a spot for her to pee and as I was going out to the South an attendant stopped me and said that there was an official spot for pets over on the North side of baggage claim (see photo below).

Sure enough, there was. Unfortunately for HRH it was right next to the heavy traffic noise of 5 lanes of traffic and she just couldn't do her business with all that noise and commotion and humanity looking on. She wandered around sniffing and looking a bit anxious. So we went back inside.

Mom and Dad came to fetch us and we were off to lunch and to deposit our baggage at the house. Our vacation had started.

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