Not sure if this is the right thread but traveling from Chicago Midway Airport with cat in a few months

Britt88

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Hello,
Hoping to get some answers but also hoping to relieve some massive stress and anxiety on my end as well! I will be moving in a few months and will need to fly will be taking my 5 year old tuxedo cat with me. I will be traveling out of Chicago Midway airport with southwest. I thought about American at Ohare but Ohare is huge and don’t want that stress. And I’m Freaking TERRIFIED about taking her out of her carrier and walking through security as she HATES being held and squirms fast all over the place when picked up. She is also a cat who stresses out very easily but she has to fly. I have no other choiceI’ve heard some people requested a private screening. Does anyone know if Midway airport TSA will do this? I’m also signed up and registered with Precheck boarding. I plan on buying the TSA approved harness and leash if I have to take her through the medical detector so I can at least have that in her going through but I would be more comfortable doing a private screening. I would be on the earliest flight possible which would be around 6:40am during the week either Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m hoping someone has travelled through midway with a similar situation?
 

neely

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Welcome to TCS! :wave3: I have traveled through Midway Airport and taken SW Airlines but have to admit it was some time ago, i.e. before Covid and the pandemic. At that time SW did not let you choose an assigned seat which I did not like so people lined up way ahead of time. I did like that Midway is much smaller than O'Hare but coming from the north side of the city it took forever due to traffic so if you do not live close by plan ahead. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Midway or SW Airlines and have only flown through O'Hare since then but I was traveling alone and not with my cat. Yes, O'Hare is hectic, noisy and much more crowded so I agree for your cat's sake Midway is a better choice, good for you for putting your cat's comfort first. 👍 Also glad you thought ahead to purchase a harness and leash. Off hand I don't know TSA's policies regarding a private screening but definitely call or go on-line to see if you can get the necessary information.

You can talk with your vet about anti-anxiety medication for your cat if you deem it necessary. There are also calming sprays and treats you can try. TCS has an Article that discusses traveling with your cat. Please scroll down to the paragraph about travel by air:
Traveling With Cats [Inc. 36 actionable tips] – TheCatSite Articles

Best of luck and please keep us posted after your move. :goodluck:
 
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Britt88

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Thanks Neely! 😊 I actually reached out to the TSA on Twitter and got a response a few minutes ago. I feel a little but better but my nerves won’t be completely calm until she’s back in her carrier. Lol. This was the response I received - Thanks for reaching out. If you believe that the removal of your pet could result in escape, a checkpoint supervisor can authorize an alternative screening measure. If you're allowed to carry your pet through the metal detector in the carrier, you, your pet and the carrier must all undergo additional screening. Additional screening of the animal may still require its removal from the carrier. You may request to go to a private screening area to help maintain control of the pet. Safe travels.
 

neely

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Thanks Neely! 😊 I actually reached out to the TSA on Twitter and got a response a few minutes ago.
That's great news! You may want to find out the options for additional screening, if any, in order to be better prepared. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to talk with your vet or a vet tech since I'm guessing they have had clients call about being in the same situation. Fingers crossed for a smooth and successful flight. :crossfingers:
 
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