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Pet Air Travel

Know Before You Go!

vacation flight

Pet air travel? Which airlines allow pets in-cabin? And just what are the questions you need answers to before you even make a reservation? 

To begin with, not all airlines are not equal! Individual airlines have their own rules, regulations, requirements, and restrictions when it comes to pets. Check the state and federal guidelines that may apply also.

Taking the time to research the best options for you and your pet will pay off in the end with a stress free travel experience.

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What do you need to consider?

  • What airlines service your destination, and what are their pet policies? You may have limited options concerning who you fly with depending on your destination.

  • Can my pet travel in-cabin with me or will he have to fly cargo? In-cabin travel is the safest and most comfortable option for your pet whenever possible. Be aware though, there are weight restrictions for in-cabin pets which include the weight of the pet travel carrier.
  • What is the best time of day or night for pet air travel? We've found that evening flights were less stressful for our pets. Night flights ten to be a little quieter which can help your dog or cat to relax and sleep during the flight. Avoid tranquilizing your pet. Drugs carry risks and side effects, especially if the pet has never taken them, so talk to your vet about safe alternatives for keeping your pet calm during flight.

  • Will there be a connecting flight or can I fly non-stop? If you're taking a flight with a connection and a lay over, you will need to make sure you have enough time between flights to exercise your pet and let him relieve himself. Investigate the airports you will be visiting for pet specific areas available for this. 

  • What can I take along to make my pet more comfortable? Airlines have restrictions about what you can bring on-board, so check with them ahead of time. 

  • What's the best type of pet travel carrier for my pet? Airlines generally allow soft-sided pet carriers or hard case style. Make sure you check with your chosen airline for size and weight restrictions.

  • You will need to carefully consider your seat choices when traveling with a pet in-cabin. An isle seat tends to have less room below making it difficult to stow your pet carrier underneath. The middle seat is usually the roomiest choice, but if that's not an option, the window seat will do.

  • What other restrictions might apply for pet air travel? The type of pet you have as well as their age matters when considering air travel. Is your pet healthy enough for travel? Will you need to carry food or medications for them on-board? 

  • What documents will you need before you travel? For instance, you may need to obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian before you leave as well as other documentation or proof of vaccinations.

These are just a few of the things you will need to consider before making your final reservations. Check with the specific airlines you will be traveling with as well as your vacation destination for a complete list of rules and regulations concerning pet air travel.

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