My friend flies from NY to her her second home in Florida with 3 Pit Bulls quite often.
She said the dogs go in cargo. Their crates had to be a specified size, according to the airlines she flew and for the safety of her dogs. It didn't matter that they were Pit Bulls.
She suggested calling the airline carrier and find out what they require. Also, she made sure she became VERY good friends (ie-tips!) with a few of the managers in baggage.
- fly in a wide-bodied jet (My Dad was the Design Engineer for Boeing).
More room everywhere!
-fly in the morning or late evening so the cargo area isn't too hot
-ALWAYS have your dog wearing his ID. (Remember the AKC dog that got lost at the airport?)
-get a direct flight
-always have your dogs health certificate with you
-do not tranquilize beforehand
-label your crate VERY clearly
-When she gets on the plane, she tells all fight personnel (including letting the pilot know!) she has 3 dogs with her and shows them photos of them dressed up or just being cute.
-She also acclaimated her dogs to lots of loud, strange sounds. They were very well socialized and live part-time at her horse stable with heavy machinery noises going on.
Read this so you are well informed: