Winging our way across the Atlantic

After arriving on ferry from the British Isles to Hoek van Holland, we took the Sprinter train, a regular commuter route from Hoek van Holland to Schipol Airport. We had a rail and sail ticket so we needn’t bother to buy train tickets as well.

As the train left the station it was relatively empty but as we got closer to the major cities, the train was soon crammed with commuters. On one of our journeys, Mummy took the both of us on the ferry and she struggled with having two of us and luggage when we joined the crowds using the commuter trains in Holland.

We arrived at Rotterdam Centraal and connected with an Intercity train where we needed to pay a 10 Euro supplement to the rail and sail ticket. We had about 14 minutes to spare so Mummy didn’t bother to find out where she can buy one, thinking to just get it on the train. She purposefully didn’t have Euros on her – given we were in transit and everyone takes cards, but we found out – alas, not on the train!  Mummy offered the train conductor £10 and told them it was still worth more than 10 Euros.  (cheeky Mummy!) They couldn’t accept the pound note but said, it was ok for this time! That was very nice of them. Thank you!

The Schipol Airport stop was only a brief 20 minutes or so. Mummy took me outside for a little stroll before we went to check-in.After a bit of relief, we headed back inside and proceeded to check in when Mummy looked at me earnestly and said, “Are we good to go, George? From now on, it is going to be all concrete till after we cross the vast ocean, and only then will you be able to relieve yourself again.
I don’t really know what all that meant in terms of time and space, but I’ll go along with it.We had to stand and wait quite a lot. After checking in, we had to go through security – where they held me while Mummy went through the scanner. And then more queues as we went through passport control. Finally, free from queues, we sat down and took a breather …
And realised I am in Amsterdam! LOL! Mummy asked if I could pose with those letters! A little retail therapy to waste time.  And in the spirit of going to America, Mummy thought she would have to good old stand-by!

Three hours went by quickly and it was time to board the flight. Into the bag I went, but stuck my head out till the last minute.Once we got in line to board, I had to be zipped in.

And here I am in my Sleepy Pod. I can see Mummy the whole time and now and then I nudged her for a little stroke. Seven hours later we arrived at John F Kennedy Airport. There were more queues and I remained in the bag – regardless of whether they allowed me out of the bag or not, Mummy didn’t trust me to hold myself! No photography allowed till we got out of customs check. And see what we saw on the signage –Pet Relief Area!  Mummy was literally running towards it! Finally I came out of the bag – and what’s this?Snow?!?!?!  Looks more like black ice!  It was very cold and windy and Mummy was pleased that I did my number 1 and 2 very quickly and we went to find our transportation.Mummy was concerned about Yellow Cabs if they took dogs when someone reminded us about the Dial 7 car service. That was a good idea as we could tell the car service that I was going to be one of the passengers. And off we went – and I started to pant – again! I looked out curiously at the new sights. There’s definitely a lot of concrete out there. Thankfully there was not much traffic going into Manhattan but traffic leaving it. It was a good 45 minutes of panting till we arrived at our destination! Is this our “home away from home”?So Darcy had been here before, Mummy? Wish she was here too. I can’t wait to go to Central Park tomorrow!!! I’ve heard all about it – Darcy told me she got lost there and that there were lots of dogs – all sizes, but we could only go off leash before 9am. I’m not going off leash? Why?!?!?!!

May’s comment:  George did really, really well. This is his first big trip.  We have taken very long train journeys (to Berlin) and he had flown on several planes (to Dusseldorf and to Mallorca) but never one so long from London to NYC was almost 24 hours!!! Yes, of course he did travel by van from Hungary to the UK!

We flew KLM from Amsterdam because we’re not allowed to fly pets in cabin into the UK – an archaic law that has not been taken into consideration especially since the issuance of a Pet Passport. (I guess with so much else going on – it’s not on their priority list.)

Return flights, as we know are always the most economical. We could have flown a return flight on Air France from Paris, Austrian Air from Vienna or SwissAir from Zurich. The reasons for not flying from Vienna or Zurich are simply the logistics of getting back to the UK. We could have taken a flight out of the UK to Zurich and made a connecting flight but on our return, we would have to navigate our way through the continent to return.

That leaves Air France and KLM. To travel from Charles De Gaulle Airport, we would have taken the Eurotunnel crossing with Folkestone Taxi to Calais, and then catch a train to the Airport. That can be done in one day versus our taking the Stenaline ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland and then a commuter train to Schipol Airport.

Yes, the journey was arduous but it all went smoothly. One can drive of course but I don’t like driving and besides, George would be panting himself crazy! But it is possible and that’s what matters. The things we do for our dogs! LOL!

Once again, I am very impressed by little Georgie. He stayed so calm through all of the hardest bits. His only issue is travelling by car – no matter where we are – Germany, Spain, UK, America – he continues to pant anxiously. Every other means of transport is fine for him.

17 Comments

  1. Sian Widner

    Glad you made it!! Have fun!!

  2. Laura Cordovano

    So jealous you are in NYC. Have fun and enjoy. George is going to get lots of attention! Xo

  3. Rebecca Hamilton

    Well done George! You little star!! Have a fabulous holiday the both of you 🙂

  4. Jill Keiser

    Great that George and you fared so well over your long journey to NYC! Looking forward to more posts on the fun times you’ll have!

  5. Josephine Wilde

    This is fantastic. Looking at the logistics of taking my pooch away. So america, there is no quarantine time or anything? Thanks for the great blog post.

    • Miss Darcy

      If you have an updated Pet Passport then you’re fine to go. No quarantine required in the US or any of the European countries.

  6. Ian Harrison

    Clever little George and what self control lol!

  7. Cheryl

    I’m so glad you’ve arrived safe and sound! Good job George, you did great!

  8. Dianne

    Am really interested in this trip with George so do you mind some questions please? How heavy is George? Did he have to stay in his bag fully, could he have his head out, during the flight? Did he have to stay on the floor of the plane? Was the pet carrier your only hand luggage allowed, could he have a drink ok?

    Well done George and Mummy! Have a lovely time.

    • Miss Darcy

      Hi Dianne, happy to answer all questions. 😊 George is 6kg. Yes from the moment we got in line to board, he had to stay in his bag the whole time. Depending on the airports he can be in the lead till boarding. At Heathrow for example he had to be carried in a bag from security onwards. At most European airports they can be in the lead till boarding. I am not sure about the US airports but I chose not to let him out if the bag until I was safely outside to air him for a wee. It really depends on the airline. In the past I’ve had my dog in a bag on my lap, I’ve had the dog in my lap, but mostly just expect to have them in a bag on the floor and anything else will be a bonus. And yes I had a piece of hand luggage along with pet carrier. I wouldn’t want more as it is quite burdensome to carry pet and bags. I opened part of the carrier to give him treats and I even fed him through the gap. Yes you can put a small bowl of water inside. It gets easier or rather you become more relaxed when you’ve done it once. And also don’t fret – George pants at the beginning and then he stops and realises things are not going to change and relaxes. He just wants to see me.

  9. Sally

    Lovely to hear you got there safe and sound. Well done both of you… that is quite some journey. Have fun xx

  10. Jacquie

    Wow! What a journey I must catch up on your earlier blog entries.

  11. Sue

    As there isn’t much room between the seat and the one in front how do you manage to put a pet bag on the floor ? Or are you flying business class ? That flight is long , it’s seems such a long time for them to wait to relief themselves. What about in the airport is there anywhere for them to go then ?

    • Miss Darcy

      We were not allowed to fly Business with pets on KLM.
      We managed with leg room. I had it in the long way so I could put my feet on either side of the bag.
      This way he could see me too from the bag too and I could reach inside the bag to give him food and water..
      If your dogs sleep through the night, which mine do from the last walk to next morning, it’s almost twelve hours – so they can easily hold. This was only a seven hour flight plus two hours before and an hour after we land.
      There is nowhere inside the airport to relief themselves so I always take them for a walk before boarding and immediately after we land.

  12. Deborah Picken

    Isn’t it wonderful where you can travel with your pet. Enjoy your stay keep us posted and have fun x

  13. Rowena Ritchie

    You’re such an inspiration Miss May! Well done George!

Leave a Comment