I am still jet-lagged, tired, and ridiculously sore from carting the critters and all my crap across a couple of continents, but I figured I should post to update those of you who aren't my facebook friends.
Two of my former co-workers, HM and JY, went with me to the airport. It makes carting all your critters and crap around much easier when you have two dudes who are more than willing to do it for you. If only they'd been around for my layover, when I had to maneuver it all through Customs and Immigration under my own steam. Ahh well. Anyhow, the check-in procedure went really smoothly. There were no problems with the reservations for the critters (despite the booking nightmare), although I was very disturbed to learn that the free checked luggage limit is now one bag instead of two. As such, I had to pay not only for Charlie and Mochi to travel ($200 each), but I had to pay $75 for my second suitcase. Oh well.
Mochi was really, really terrified when we got to the airport - he was shaking like a leaf and looked completely miserable. Charlie, in contrast, was just pissed off. Mochi calmed down when HM bought him some beef and squid jerky, but I was really concerned about how he would react once he was loaded onto the plane. Charlie got to travel in the cabin with me, but Mochi was below with the baggage. I worried about him the entire flight. He came through unscathed though, and was totally thrilled to see me on the other side.
Charlie bit me going through security in Seoul. If you're carrying a pet in the cabin with you, you have to take it out of its travel bag, and carry it through the metal detector while its bag runs through the x-ray machine. Charlie was both pissed off and scared, and they took FOREVER to scan her bag. Finally, when they pushed it out, and it came thump-thump-thumping down the rollers, she panicked and went into full-feral-fight-and-flight mode. I held on for dear life, even when she sunk her teeth into my thumb. Then, after shoving her back into her bag, I calmly stuffed my thumb into my pocket and pretended it wasn't bleeding. Wasn't so sure they'd allow a bitey beast onto the plane. Other than that, Charlie was good. She didn't pee in her bag until just one hour out from our final destination. (I was really worried that there might be a cat-pee incident midway across the Pacific, but no.)
I totally lucked out on the airplane. Not only did I get a window seat, but the seat next to me was empty. I was able to curl up and go to sleep for a few hours, and I could stretch out when I was awake. I haven't had that much room on an international flight since 2000. It was fantastic.
We're home now, and I'm trying to kick my ass into overcoming jet-lag, although flying from Korea to the US is always rough.
Charlie and Mochi on their new bed :-)