Europe, Pets

Transatlantic Flights and TSA Inspections

Our last day in Virginia with Sofia….

IMG_1539 {Royal Lake}

Our day was fairly uneventful we drove to Philly, unloaded 6 suitcases, 1 cat and 1 XXL dog crate. Got everything checked-in and then it happened.  The unthinkable….

Cleo’s personal TSA pat down…

{no pictures were allowed or I would have had Josie snap a few}

…if you know our cat Cleo you know she doesn’t like to be touched, patted or held unless her majesty gives you permission. Truthfully I’m about the only person she tolerates. Apparently, Cleo’s crate activated an alarm when they were scanning the crate.  Meanwhile, I was holding her while other passengers were gawking at our beautiful prissy kitty asking questions about travel with pets and where we were going.

{That’s when it happened}…her crate was ready to go so I was signaled over with an okay.  I was about to place her back in to the crate and the TSA supervisor, who’d been called over to do the second check, asked me to hold her out away from my body.  So here’s our princess hanging in mid air at the airport getting a pat down.  After a low growl I was given permission to put her back in her crate and she was sent up the conveyor belt  (little like a Disney ride) to join her brother who had already ridden the ride to the cargo hold.

cleo pat down

Seven hours or so later at 5:20 a.m. we landed in Frankfurt, Germany.  The flight was nice the plane had 150 open seats so we were able to spread out and get comfortable.  Meals, movies and complimentary wine followed.  Free wine, well of course! American Airlines provides a pretty comfortable experience.  After landing we were herded like cattle to the customs area where we seperated based on the citizenship of our passports.  EU, EWR and CH passports holders went through a scanning device which was faster.  All other passport holders went through a line that led to German custom officers who looked over our passport.

Once in the baggage area we quickly located our luggage, but couldn’t find Cleo or Theo.  I also got my CC card stuck not once, but twice in the cart machine.  Finally I decided to use euros from the kids.  Three carts and 8 bags or so later we’re off to look for the furry kids.  We head down to oversize baggage no animals just a few pairs of skis.  We’re heading back to the baggage area when Josie spots our babies.  They had been brought up on an elevator and dumped right in front of the doors and then abandoned (at least that’s what it looked like). Theo spots us and signals his happiness with loud constant tail wagging against the sides of his crate. Happy moment!

All is well everyone is in Germany.  Ernie is waiting outside and we are finally united.  Our first day in Germany begins…

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