Pet Friendly airlines
General AIRLINE POLICIES
In addition to the USDA rules, each airline establishes its own policies. Consequently, it is important to check with the air carrier you intend to use. However, the following are some provisions you will likely encounter at most airlines:
1. Airlines generally require health certificates from all shippers. So it’s a good idea to have a licensed veterinarian examine animals within ten days prior to shipment and issue a certificate stating that the animal is in good health. Airlines may not require health certificates for service animals used by passengers with disabilities.
2. A pet may be transported as baggage if accompanied on the same flight to the same destination. Some air carriers may impose a special fee or “excess baggage” charge for this service.
3. Pets may be shipped as cargo if unaccompanied, and many airline cargo departments employ specialists in the movement of animals. Animals must always be shipped in pressurized holds.
4. Some airlines allow the kennel to be carried in the passenger cabin as carry-on luggage if it fits under the seat.
Travel Tips for Pet Owners
In addition to compliance with federal regulations and airline company policy, there are a number of precautions the owner/shipper can take to ensure the welfare of a shipped pet.
1. Before traveling, accustom your pet to the kennel in which it will be shipped. Make sure that the door latches securely.
2. Do not give your pet solid food in the six hours prior to the flight, although a moderate amount of water and a walk before and after the flight are advised.
3. Do not administer sedation to your pet without the approval of a veterinarian, and provide a test dose before the trip to gauge how the pet will react.
4.Be sure to reserve a space for your pet in advance, and inquire about time and location for drop-off and pick-up.
5. Try to schedule a non-stop flight; avoid connections and the heavy traffic of a holiday or weekend flight.
6. When you board, try to tell a pilot and a flight attendant that there is a pet in the cargo hold. The airlines have a system for providing such notification, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it yourself.
7. For overseas travel (including Hawaii), inquire about any special health requirements such as quarantine.
8. Write your name, address and phone number on the kennel, and make sure your pet is wearing a tag with the same information. Consider purchasing a temporary tag showing your destination address and phone number. Bring a photo of your pet, in case it is lost.
9. With careful planning, your pet will arrive safely at its destination.