First Come, First Served

October 3, 2007

in Animal Stories

Last year was my first time in the United States (I moved to Florida after I graduated from college), and for Christmas, I decided to go home to the Bahamas to spend the holidays with my mother. Since it is only me and my pet cat living in Florida, I thought it would be cool if I took her along.

So I do all the required paperwork, arrive the required two hours before my flight with one drugged-up cat in tow, and I am assured my spot on the plane, along with my kitty. I wait the two hours, my flight comes in on time, and as I’m about to board, I get pulled over by a flight attendant and told that my cat must go in the baggage compartment.

I go “What the hell?” It is then explained to me that there is a passenger with a small dog on the same flight, and they’re both already on board. Since only one animal can be in the luggage compartment, this woman’s dog got it.

I then inform the woman that I was told that the first person who was traveling with a pet who checked in, their pet automatically got that one spot in the cabin. She goes: “Well, the woman with the dog was here first.”

I go: “No, I was here first. I was the first one to check in. I was told I could take MY cat on board.” At this point I’m starting to get angry – but trying to keep my temper and also trying to remember that my fellow passengers just want to leave as well. This continues for several minutes, and I’m seriously debating the idea of finding this woman and bawling her out.

The problem was, the plane I was on…their baggage compartment isn’t very…livable for animals. DASH-80 I think the plane was. I didn’t see the problem with the both of us having the animals in the cabin. I point that out and was told, well, there can only be one.

Twenty minutes later…I don’t know what happened, but they had to go back to the ticket agent – I think even call the Bahamas – my cat and I were allowed on board. No idea where the dog was, and for the whole flight I halfway expected the dog’s owner to come up to me and start something.

When I landed in the Bahamas though, I did hear some barking. I guess they let him stay in the cabin after all. But still, first come first served…

Signed, Irked in Palm Beach

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

kate July 15, 2008 at 11:34 am

Next time leave your cat in a kennel.

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empii73 July 29, 2008 at 9:12 am

it is a short flight…the cat will live just fine riding in the cargo hold. rather petty and obnoxious

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Matthew September 15, 2008 at 4:00 am

The Dash-80 was the prototype Boing 707 so it wasn't that! I guess you mean a Bombardier (DHC) Dash 8 twin turboprop?

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Anonymous September 23, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Animals smell. They belong in the baggage compartment.

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anonymous October 12, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Do you really think your cat wanted to fly on an airplane? I am sure your cat did not think it was "cool". Stop being so selfish and leave your cat at home next time.

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Jennifer November 3, 2008 at 8:44 am

Don't pay attention to the nasty comments. Good for you for insisting that you be allowed to bring your cat aboard–some planes don't have pressurized and climate controlled cargo holds, and if she had ben forced to ride in one, she would be dead. If you complied with all the regulations and paid the extra money to be allowed to bring on an animal (anywhere from $80-$150), then you should be allowed to, no matter how many animals they booked. Feel free to bring her anytime–I would rather sit next to someone with an animal than another screaming, squirming rug rat. Why we allow people to fly with children younger than 16 is beyond me.

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JL December 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Drunks and obese people on a plane smell much worse than a cat or dog, especially one sitting under a seat in a bag. I defy you to know 90% of the time that an animal is even in the cabin. Can you say the same thing about kids or drunks or obese people?

You did the right thing. I would never travel with my dog in the hold especially in this type of plane. You were right. Why wasn't the woman told to put her dog in the hold? Maybe a higher-priced ticket bought at the last minute?

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Phoebe April 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

It seems like a lot of animal haters post on the comments in this section. Why all the nasty comments? It seems silly to me that they insisted on only one animal on the plane. A dog and cat in the same row is a bad idea, but I don't see the problem with a dog and a cat in separate sections. As a cat owner, I would definitely prefer to have my cat with me and not in some disgusting luggage compartment.

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bradfield April 4, 2009 at 6:46 am

I think this issue is more about airlines lame-ass rules, that they don't even keep. I'm happy you insisted on keeping your animal with you, airlines should def be more clear with that they accept and what they do not allow.

most of the time, I think they're just trying to piss you off =)

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Jill April 5, 2009 at 7:03 am

Jennifer: You say "Don't pay attention to the nasty comments." Then you proceed to post this nasty comment: "Why we allow people to fly with children younger than 16 is beyond me."

Why they allow YOU to fly is beyond me.

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TB April 5, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Animals in the cabin? NO ONE likes a smelly pussy.

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Jen April 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Leave your pets with a sitter. Some of us HUMANS on the plane do have allergies.

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Atari June 6, 2009 at 10:26 am

I agree with Jennifer.

Why is everyone being so rude to the Original poster?

He paid the extra money and was informed that his cat WOULD BE allowed to be on the flight.

By all means, he DESERVES what he paid for.

Bunch of boorish, unfair, feckless morons.

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drug-the-haters not- November 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Wow, people here are really passionately hateful about a cat flying! If you have an allergy, take your allergy meds.

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Odi June 22, 2010 at 4:45 am

Fuck the cat. Leave it at home alone. Should be ok for about a month or so. If you come home and find it dead…who fucking cares.

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BernOnFire June 22, 2014 at 7:15 am

Odi I can see you have no respect whatsoever. You act so brave on the internet, would you say that to someones face?

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