Thursday, November 6, 2008

Off to the Races

This is the story of traveling from California to the ARBA Convention in Louisville, KY. I doubt that a major military invasion requires more planning than this trip. Months ago we started checking flights and airfares looking for the best deal. Tickets were purchased and crate space for rabbits was reserved and paid in March. That turned out to be a brilliant move because the price per crate increased from March to October when we flew from $150/crate to $275/crate each way!

Several of us left San Francisco on the same flight to Atlanta. In total we had the rabbits for at least 6 exhibitors on our flight. You can imagine how happy the Delta staff were to see us when we showed up at the airport ~3:30 - 4 am. Now you know why Jenny, Susie, and Katie look so sleepy in the photo below (plus there was some story about noisy traffic that kept them awake but I bet they were just excited!).

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6 am (and it did by the way. Yeah Delta!), but we knew we needed to be at the airport extra early to be sure everything was done on time. When you fly with rabbits as excess baggage, there are extra forms to complete and lots of stickers to go on the crates. The agents at the Delta desk are nearly always pleasant, but still hassled. Some of them know what to do with the rabbits and some don't. Plus it is necessary to get those rabbits through security and they don't just hop through the scanner. There is just no way to predict exactly what will happen and how long it will take. When you fly with your rabbits to a show, everything works out in the end 99% of the time. But when you fly with your rabbits, something you didn't expect happens 99% of the time!
The punch line to this story is that we made it to Louisville on time with all the rabbits. Some of the rabbits were heat stressed when we arrived which hasn't happened before in my experience (that is the thing that fell in the 99% unexpected). We are talking to Delta about that. All of the rabbits recovered and there was no permanent effect (remember 99% of the time all ends well).
More on Convention tomorrow.....