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Reader’s report: Large SturdiBag on a Southwest 737-700 plane

Here’s another photo to share with you of a large SturdiBag in position under a plane seat, thanks to reader Kathy. She posted a message this week on Dog Jaunt’s Facebook page, telling me that she’d taken Theodore, her 13 year-old Toy Poodle, on his first plane flight, and all went well — and she was extra-relieved, because Theodore is “a delicate little guy.”

They flew on a Southwest 737-700 series plane, in a middle seat, and Kathy bought the large SturdiBag. Here’s Theodore, en route:

Theodore, in a large SturdiBag, under the middle seat of a Southwest 737-700 series plane

Theodore, in a large SturdiBag, under the middle seat of a Southwest 737-700 series plane

Kathy reports that “the Sturdi Products large carrier you discussed on your website was a godsend. It fit easily under the Southwest 737/700 center seat and I was able to give him water and treats through the well made zippered top opening.”

I’ve written about the Southwest 737-700 under seat space in the past, and, while I was rummaging around for that link, discovered that I’d also posted a picture of my own of a large SturdiBag (and a medium Sherpa bag) on a 737-700, but I’m still grateful to Kathy for her picture and report. For one thing, she’s not me, and I think it helps other readers to hear from more than one person that a carrier works well in a particular situation. For another thing, Kathy had the presence of mind to take a second shot that included the seat card for her plane, proving that it was indeed a Southwest 737-700:

Those of you planning to travel with your pup on a similar plane, with a similar bag, might want to bookmark this post, so you can show a Southwest rep — in a pinch — that the bag will indeed fit under your seat.

It’s also nice that Kathy’s pictures are from May 2014 — it’s just that much more convincing to see a current photo.

Thank you again, Kathy, for taking the time to send info back to the Dog Jaunt community (and for your kind praise for the blog)! I’m tagging this post so that it joins Dog Jaunt’s growing collection of pictures of carriers in action on planes.


  • Constantine

    Hi, I am getting ready to travel with my puppy on southwest. She is a large small dog…beagle about 23lbs, 11 months old. I am considering the extra large sturdibag but not sure if that will be pushing it vs the the large bag. I want to make sure she will be comfortable.

  • Lisa

    I am taking my yorkie via SW next week. I have 3 carriers at home that I am trying to decide which one to use. Let’s just say that I am totally stressed out since this is the first time we have flow with her. I bought the SW one and hate it. it folds down and I don’t see how she can possibly sit in there without it falling on her head. Her favorite one we use for car rides was bought as a Airline approved one, but I think it is an inch too large for SW measurements. The other one I borrowed from a friend who has used to fly her dog, but I am still not convinced that it will pass. Any advise is greatly appreciated.

  • Hi, Lisa — This is probably too late to help you (I’m so sorry!), but if you poke around this blog you’ll see that I typically travel with a carrier that is larger than most airlines’ stated maximums. These posts with under-seat measurements are meant to let you know what size space I’ve actually encountered (and other Dog Jaunters have encountered), so you can decide if your slightly-too-large carrier will in fact work. The airlines’ maximums are often written to take into account a life jacket container, for example, that shortens one part of the under-seat space (but not the surrounding parts), so if you have a smallish dog like a typical Yorkie, and a carrier whose top/sides flex (our favorite is the large SturdiBag, which is very flexible), that “oversize” carrier will in fact work just fine.

  • DoxieLuv

    Thanks so much for you recommendation of purchasing the large black SturdiBag and sharing the tip about opting for the middle seat when flying on Southwest. I flew with my 8 year old miniature dachshund for the first time over the holidays. We flew on a two-leg flight and had no problems fitting the bag under the seat. She was good as gold in the carrier and could look up to see me and vice versa. The bag was also surprisingly comfortable to carry on my shoulder through the airports. The zippered mesh panel on top made it easy for me to hand her treats from time to time, especially during ascending and descending, when I could feel my ears popping. She had the full travel experience: planes, trains (airplane train) and automobiles! 🙂 I would gladly fly with her again, knowing she was secure and comfortable in the SturdiBag. 🙂

  • Sandy

    We are flying from Seattle to Tucson for the first time with our chihuahua Zoe this Saturday. I am happy to be taking her with us, but also anxious because this is new territory for all of us. We purchased a large Sturdibag, mostly based on recommendations here. We will be flying on Alaska Airlines on a 737-900 first and back on a 737-800. Will they make us remove her collar when we carry her through security? She has a microchip, but removing her collar and id tags in a strange place makes me anxious. Anything else we should be considering? Thanks very much!!

  • Argh, Sandy, I’m too late in responding! Hopefully by now you know all about flying with a pet dog, and your experience was a good one. It’s rare for their collar to have to be removed (Chloe’s collar is plastic and nylon, with one lone metal loop, so it never has to come off). [Two minutes after posting this, I realized you’d already written back with your report about the flight, and that it went well — yay, and thank you for bearing with my hideous delay in responding!]

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