Trying a destination with your pet is a beautiful adventure. But, what’s the proper way to bring pets on a plane? Currently, there are three ways for a pet to travel aboard, including as hand luggage, in-cabin alongside you, or as excess luggage (inside or as cargo).
The options for your pet rely upon several factors, for example, the breed and size of your pet, the airline organization, the type of airplane, the destination, and whether you will travel on the same flight as your pet. If you are keen on traveling with your pet, the process can be expensive and complicated.
You can put your cat, dog, or another animal “under the plane.” Some airplane types have a tight cargo hold that keeps up with similar conditions as the cabin where you will sit. It includes booking ahead of time, as there are insufficient spaces, and paying a fee settled by the airline.
To start, flying with pets on a plane relies upon the aircraft, travel destination, and the breed and size of your pet. Here is how to figure out the choices, from cabin to cargo. So let’s dive into it!
Pets Flying In-Cabin
If your pet is small, it can fly with you in the cabin. Of course, that may fluctuate according to different airlines at an additional small fee. We usually count a small pet among the portable item. Your pet should stay in the travel bag during the entire flight span. When a pet qualifies as small, the aircraft impose certain limitations on the pet’s height, weight, size, and type.
To observe the airline’s pet travel strategy, contact the airline and inform them well ahead of that you plan on traveling with a pet in the cabin. This progression will assist you with acquiring clarity on whether they allow your pet to fly with you in a cabin as airlines limit the number of pets permitted on each flight.
Other than that, airlines additionally control the size of the travel bag you will carry your pet in. So, ensure your travel bag meets the prerequisite. Similarly, you need to measure the pet’s weight while placed in the carrier to guarantee it falls under the maximum weight limit. If the weight surpasses, agents at the airport gate will deny entry and further negotiations.
Requirements for In-Cabin Pets
- Due to rabies vaccination requirements, puppies and kittens must be at least two months old on domestic flights and at least four months old on international flights.
- Pets can’t travel with unaccompanied minors.
- Pets must fly on the same flights as the passenger is responsible for them.
- If there is an emergency, oxygen service won’t be accessible for pets.
- Pets must stay in the kennel with the door closed while in the airport’s boarding area and on board the plane.
- Your pet’s kennel must stay underneath the seat in front of you.
Pets Flying as Checked Baggage
The airline flies pets as baggage. It is relevant for medium-sized pets who travel in the cargo hold beneath. For the entire flight, they will keep your pet inside the kennel that meets the airline endorsed size restriction.
When your pet needs to be sent as checked baggage, you need to show up early at the airport to run through the process smoothly. To guarantee that your pet has a smooth flying experience, contact the airline to learn about reasonable travel dates for flying a pet.
Airlines don’t permit pets to fly in the baggage hold on overly hot or cold days. There are additional restrictions on the number of pets traveling as baggage on flights. Thus, you need to contact the airline before departure.
Pets Flying as Cargo
Pets are air transported as cargo when they are flying alone. It is the situation mainly when you send your pet unaccompanied to a location.
Considered an expensive plan that depends on the variation, the most common way of sending a pet as cargo should start early, beginning with whether the airline permits travel for the particular breed your pet is.
All the other travel prerequisites remain the same as the guidelines of flying a pet through-checked baggage.
What to Prepare Before Flying with Pets on a Plane
Before the travel, remember to prepare the following:
- Up-to-date vaccination record (against rabies)
- Up-to-date veterinary health certificates (deworming, de-ticking, clinical examination); issued max. 48 hours before departure
- Unique passport (issued by a vet) with a report of color, breed, gender, and other information regarding microchip or unique markings/tattoo
- Suitable transport container
- Microchip implant
Please note that it is only allowed to transport animals at least three months of age and when at least 21 days have passed since the last valid vaccination against rabies.
How to Train a Pet for Air Travel?
- A few days before the flight, get your pet used to its travel transporter; before the trip, attach a label to the transporter’s side, a tag with your pet’s name, and feeding instructions.
- The check-in process may be longer with pets with small pets able to pass through checkpoints. We suggest arriving at the airport at least 3 hours before your scheduled departure time.
- Walk your animal before the journey.
- Refrain from providing food or water to your pet a few hours before departure.
- Give your pet a little water just before departure.
- For safety, put the leash and muzzle on the outside of the transporter or in a carry-on bag
- Giving tranquilizers to your pet should be consulted with a veterinarian.
Regulations of Import and Export of Animals in Specific Countries
Finally, always take the time to read and understand any regulations on the import and export of animals in your destination country and general rules on animals’ well-being. You can find such information, e.g., in the consulates of the country concerned.
Prepare the certificate of vaccination (against rabies or distemper) and a valid veterinary certificate for your animal. The certificate should confirm several things about compliance:
- Regulations of the country of departure
- Country of destination
- Any transit airports
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