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Traveling by SuperShuttle with a dog

Photo by Steve Lyon

Photo by Steve Lyon

You’ve seen the SuperShuttle vans, and probably more than once — they’re blue, with gold lettering, and they’re all over the place — in 26 cities, it turns out, serving 33 airports. SuperShuttle’s like a shared taxi — the vans pick up and drop off passengers who live in roughly the same geographic area. You spend a little more time on the road, traveling to other passengers’ homes, but the price is pretty good.

A customer service representative told me that small dogs in carriers that can fit on your lap are allowed on board for no extra fee, but only one per passenger. Be sure to mention that you are traveling with a dog when you make your reservation (traveling to an airport) or when you meet your driver (leaving an airport), and be sure to make it clear what size your dog’s carrier is. If you are traveling with a carrier too large to fit on a lap, or with more than one carrier, call (800) BLUE-VAN (258-3826) ahead of time to discuss your options. [6/28/11 Chloe and I finally rode on a SuperShuttle van together this past weekend, going from SFO to downtown San Francisco, and no one turned a hair — I told the driver she was with me, but he never even looked at her carrier.]

I suggest, by the way, telling the reservations agent that your departing flight is leaving a half-hour or forty-five minutes earlier than it actually is. Otherwise, in my experience, vans sometimes arrive at the airport closer to departure time than I’d like (I prefer to get to the airport an hour and a half before a flight, especially with a dog). On one memorable occasion, the van broke down, and I was super-grateful for the extra hour’s cushion I had built in to our departure time.