Travel Tips

Flying with Pets: A Complete Guide for Pet Owners

31 May 2024

There are different rules and regulations for pets on different airlines. Even the countries you are traveling to will have rules regarding pets being brought over from overseas. If these are not allowed in a country, you should check this before you book your flight. It will always be your responsibility to find this out, though the airlines should tell you this in advance.  So, good research on flights for pets is important. Mostly you will be allowed to take dogs or cats with you, commonly the pets most people have. You will have only have 2 options, either the pets travel in the cabin with you or they will be traveling with the checked-in baggage.

Trading information

documents for pets

Most airlines will not give you the option of booking flights for your pets online. So, it is always best to call up the airline you are interested in traveling with pets with for all of the details you need. They may ask you to provide some documents like a certificate from the veterinary doctor that your pet is healthy and you may be required to provide proofs of some vaccinations. Just turning up at the airport expecting that you will be able to take your pet with you can prove to be futile. The airlines will want to know the age and breed of your pet. They will also need to know if the pet is pregnant or has given birth recently. All this is for the safety of the pets that will be flying on their aircraft.

The 2 ways to take your pets with you

pet ready for flights

  • The airlines that will allow you to take your pets with the baggage will be expecting you to bring them in a proper container. It should be large enough to be comfortable for your pet and they should be able to breathe properly. The charges you will have to pay will be comparable to those for your baggage and all the weights with dimensions will be considered.
  • The airlines that allow you to take your pet in their cabins, will expect you to pay the price of airline tickets for dogs or other pets for the cabin you are taking your pet with you. Here too your pet will be in a container, so they don't move around causing inconvenience to other passengers. You will even be assigned the seats that the airlines believe will be the best for your pet and you onboard. Often they will allow you to board the aircraft on a priority. You will be allowed to bring pet food onboard too. 

Process for pets

pets on flights

The number of pets that airlines will allow in their aircraft cabin will be limited, so you should try to make sure that you look for flights for your pets early so that you are able to fly on your chosen dates. If the flights already have the allowed number of pets flying with them, you should check if you can check them in with baggage. Also, the airlines are strict about the size of the pets onboard their cabins, so if they are too large they will again be with the cargo. Some airlines will even check if your pet is in the right condition, before allowing them on their aircraft, whether in the cabin or cargo. The pets in cargo often face dangers as there will be no one to look after them when they feel too cold or too hot, so you will be taking your pets at your own risk.

It is all up to you

responsibility for pets

If you are going on multi city flights, you should check with the airlines if they will be able to assist you and your pet. Basically, you should find out all the information at the time of booking the flight for your pet. Most airlines will allow you to take pets on certain routes even if there are connecting flights. They will usually make you sign a document absolving themselves of all responsibility for the condition that your pet reaches the destination in. You should also take a cover to put under your pet's container.

Is your pet ready to fly?

You should also get your pet ready for the flight. Nobody will know about your pet more than you. You will be aware of their needs and habits. Ideally, you should make them get used to the container they will be flying in. You can either put them in a container and leave them alone for a few hours or make them sit next to you in the container they will be in on the flight in. Giving them plenty of exercise before they fly is also recommended. Do not sedate them if they become aggressive suddenly and if you do these may not be allowed on the flight.

The best airline for pets international travel

airlines for pets

If you research online you will find different sites offering different suggestions. It all depends on what your expectations from the flight are. You will be the only one looking after them and you will be able to do this if you are next to each other. The best airline for you will be one that allows your pets on flights with minimum fuss. American Airlines in the USA is regarded as the best for pets while some cannot decide between Qantas and Lufthansa for international flights. If the airlines do not assist with the pets, there's no reason to worry as there are airlines like Pet Air that are dedicated to moving your pets via airways.

By FlightsChannel Team
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