Moving tortoise from Honolulu to Vegas

Lohilani808

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Hey guys!
So I need a ANSWER QUICK! We are moving from Honolulu to Vegas but shipping our small red footed tortoise would be A LOT of money that I dont have ... I'm planning to bring it on my carry on in the airplane. TSA says they allow small pets through the checkpoint but I know airlines don't allow period. I've read through a bunch of forums on this site an a few have made it through the airport with it but anyone from Hawaii ever did it ? My cousin said they recently brought over a a bullfrog from another state on the plane so I'm wondering how that happens
 

wellington

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I wouldnt risk it. It's illegal if the airline won't allow it.
Who knows what will happen to the poor thing if they confiscate it.
Best to rehome him before you go.
 

Tom

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Hey guys!
So I need a ANSWER QUICK! We are moving from Honolulu to Vegas but shipping our small red footed tortoise would be A LOT of money that I dont have ... I'm planning to bring it on my carry on in the airplane. TSA says they allow small pets through the checkpoint but I know airlines don't allow period. I've read through a bunch of forums on this site an a few have made it through the airport with it but anyone from Hawaii ever did it ? My cousin said they recently brought over a a bullfrog from another state on the plane so I'm wondering how that happens
Overnight shipping will cost less than $100.

More importantly, the AZ climate is terrible for a RF. They don't do well there at all. Much too hot and much too dry. Leave the RF in HI and get a species better suited to the AZ climate once you get there.
 

Gillian M

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I totally agree with @Lyn W and @Tom. Better leave the tort and better be safe than sorry.
 

Lohilani808

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Overnight shipping will cost less than $100.

More importantly, the AZ climate is terrible for a RF. They don't do well there at all. Much too hot and much too dry. Leave the RF in HI and get a species better suited to the AZ climate once you get there.
Problem is I leave today ... didn't have time I called TSA and messgae their social media platforms and it says that small pets are allowed through the checkpoint... it doesn't specify what type of pet
 

Tom

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Problem is I leave today ... didn't have time I called TSA and messgae their social media platforms and it says that small pets are allowed through the checkpoint... it doesn't specify what type of pet
That is unfortunate. The airlines simply do not allow live reptiles on their flights. If you get caught with it, you will not be allowed to fly.

The only options I see are to leave your tortoise with someone else and have it overnight shipped as soon as you can, or stay behind and get this handled before you fly.

This still does not solve the problem of having the tortoise in an unsuitable environment if you are able to get it to AZ.
 

wellington

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That is unfortunate. The airlines simply do not allow live reptiles on their flights. If you get caught with it, you will not be allowed to fly.

The only options I see are to leave your tortoise with someone else and have it overnight shipped as soon as you can, or stay behind and get this handled before you fly.

This still does not solve the problem of having the tortoise in an unsuitable environment if you are able to get it to AZ.
Not that it makes a difference with temps/weather but they are moving to Vegas not AZ.
Still not good for a RF without lots of revamping a yard.
 

TammyJ

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Hey guys!
So I need a ANSWER QUICK! We are moving from Honolulu to Vegas but shipping our small red footed tortoise would be A LOT of money that I dont have ... I'm planning to bring it on my carry on in the airplane. TSA says they allow small pets through the checkpoint but I know airlines don't allow period. I've read through a bunch of forums on this site an a few have made it through the airport with it but anyone from Hawaii ever did it ? My cousin said they recently brought over a a bullfrog from another state on the plane so I'm wondering how that happens
It's illegal and for a lot of good reasons. Why take such a risk for yourself and the tortoise? And Tom said it's less than a hundred dollars to ship.
 

Tom

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@TammyJ @wellington
I don't think it is "illegal" to do this domestically. HI allows animals out, and NV allows them in. It would be illegal to bring one in to Hawaii without declaring it and going through quarantine etc.... Carrying on a pet reptile is just against airline policy. There is no law against it, and TSA has no policy against it that I know of.
 

Lohilani808

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Overnight shipping will cost less than $100.

More importantly, the AZ climate is terrible for a RF. They don't do well there at all. Much too hot and much too dry. Leave the RF in HI and get a species better suited to the AZ climate once you get there.
It's more than $100 now and I called a few USPS and FedEx and they said they wouldn't ship it
@TammyJ @wellington
I don't think it is "illegal" to do this domestically. HI allows animals out, and NV allows them in. It would be illegal to bring one in to Hawaii without declaring it and going through quarantine etc.... Carrying on a pet reptile is just against airline policy. There is no law against it, and TSA has no policy against it that I know of.
Yeah so as far as I know there is no official law about this in Hawaii it only states about importing tortoises to the Islands but nothing about exporting them to Mainland ... I've checked TSA website and asked them on their Social Media and they both say small pets are allowed through the checkpoint though it does not specify type or breed of animals. Only airlines policy says no so wish us luck!
 

Lohilani808

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I'm still going to try and take it through TSA I do have someone to come pick her up and hold her till i can get her shipped in case she does not make it through but I really want to take her on the plane so I'm thinking that as long as I am able to pass TSA I can immediately put her in our carry on and just don't open it till we get to Vegas
 

TammyJ

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@TammyJ @wellington
I don't think it is "illegal" to do this domestically. HI allows animals out, and NV allows them in. It would be illegal to bring one in to Hawaii without declaring it and going through quarantine etc.... Carrying on a pet reptile is just against airline policy. There is no law against it, and TSA has no policy against it that I know of.
Thanks for the correction!
 

wellington

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@TammyJ @wellington
I don't think it is "illegal" to do this domestically. HI allows animals out, and NV allows them in. It would be illegal to bring one in to Hawaii without declaring it and going through quarantine etc.... Carrying on a pet reptile is just against airline policy. There is no law against it, and TSA has no policy against it that I know of.
That's what I meant. The airlines as the OP already knows does not allow it. So its illegal to bring on and would be confiscated.
No it's not illegal to bring in or out of the states involved.
 

Tom

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That's what I meant. The airlines as the OP already knows does not allow it. So its illegal to bring on and would be confiscated.
No it's not illegal to bring in or out of the states involved.
That is not how this works. Airlines don't make laws. There is no law in any state that says you can't have a tortoise on an airplane. It is simply airline policy to not allow such things. Its not illegal in any way.

Further, airlines don't confiscate private property. They don't have the legal authority to do that. If caught, they would simply not allow you to fly and you and your tortoise would be escorted back to the terminal to go on your way. It would have nothing to do with law enforcement or any branch of the government unless is was an international flight ad you had already arrived here in the US with an undocumented reptile. I have done this latter deed and they let us go after a brief discussion. Even if the airline caught you with something illegal like drugs or a weapon, they would not confiscate it. They would call the airport police, or other government authorities, to come deal with it.
 

Lohilani808

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Honolulu, HI
Hey guys!
So I need a ANSWER QUICK! We are moving from Honolulu to Vegas but shipping our small red footed tortoise would be A LOT of money that I dont have ... I'm planning to bring it on my carry on in the airplane. TSA says they allow small pets through the checkpoint but I know airlines don't allow period. I've read through a bunch of forums on this site an a few have made it through the airport with it but anyone from Hawaii ever did it ? My cousin said they recently brought over a a bullfrog from another state on the plane so I'm wondering how that happens
UPDATE!!: Tortoise has made it on the plane.. TSA didn't care when we passed through as long as we just told them ... immediately after checkpoint we put her back in the carry on
 

wellington

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That is not how this works. Airlines don't make laws. There is no law in any state that says you can't have a tortoise on an airplane. It is simply airline policy to not allow such things. Its not illegal in any way.

Further, airlines don't confiscate private property. They don't have the legal authority to do that. If caught, they would simply not allow you to fly and you and your tortoise would be escorted back to the terminal to go on your way. It would have nothing to do with law enforcement or any branch of the government unless is was an international flight ad you had already arrived here in the US with an undocumented reptile. I have done this latter deed and they let us go after a brief discussion. Even if the airline caught you with something illegal like drugs or a weapon, they would not confiscate it. They would call the airport police, or other government authorities, to come

That is not how this works. Airlines don't make laws. There is no law in any state that says you can't have a tortoise on an airplane. It is simply airline policy to not allow such things. Its not illegal in any way.

Further, airlines don't confiscate private property. They don't have the legal authority to do that. If caught, they would simply not allow you to fly and you and your tortoise would be escorted back to the terminal to go on your way. It would have nothing to do with law enforcement or any branch of the government unless is was an international flight ad you had already arrived here in the US with an undocumented reptile. I have done this latter deed and they let us go after a brief discussion. Even if the airline caught you with something illegal like drugs or a weapon, they would not confiscate it. They would call the airport police, or other government authorities, to come deal with it.
Can't compare illegal drugs to a tortoise. That is a law enforcement thing. Of course the airline couldn't just confiscate drugs.
Hawaii has an agricultural check point. Yes they can confiscate if trying to bring anything in or out agricultural.
Now a tortoise is not native to the islands, not sure if they would care about a tortoise being taken out, probably not.
However, either way you want to say it, illegal, against the rules, the tortoise likely won't get on. If the OP can't afford to ship, not likely they can afford to just lose the cost of the flight and stay back with the tortoise.
Either way, it shouldn't be done because it is wrong!
 

wellington

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UPDATE!!: Tortoise has made it on the plane.. TSA didn't care when we passed through as long as we just told them ... immediately after checkpoint we put her back in the carry on
I was just going to say the post of mine and Tom doesn't matter any more as you would have already left and either you got lucky or the tortoise stayed behind.
Glad it worked out.
 

Lohilani808

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Can't compare illegal drugs to a tortoise. That is a law enforcement thing. Of course the airline couldn't just confiscate drugs.
Hawaii has an agricultural check point. Yes they can confiscate if trying to bring anything in or out agricultural.
Now a tortoise is not native to the islands, not sure if they would care about a tortoise being taken out, probably not.
However, either way you want to say it, illegal, against the rules, the tortoise likely won't get on. If the OP can't afford to ship, not likely they can afford to just lose the cost of the flight and stay back with the tortoise.
Either way, it shouldn't be done because it is wrong!
I actually got it through TSA didn't care
 

SanctuaryHills

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I'm guessing it was small enough that they didn't bother to make a fuzz about it. After all, how disruptive can a tiny tortoise be in the right container?

Like the experts have said, make sure you control that humidity. Going from HI to NV is going to be quite the shock for a very tropical tortoise.

Good luck! Post pictures when you get the chance =)
 

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