Airline Policies You Should Know When Traveling With Pets

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Airline Policies You Should Know When Traveling With Pets

If you plan to bring your pet on your next plane trip, definitely, you’ll be able to do it. There are a number of airlines that allow pets on board their planes. However, it is important to know the policies regarding pet air travels.

Air passenger companies are not all the same, so the rules vary from one company to another. And this goes the same with the costs. Like any other services, traveling with pets has a price. The fees range from $50 to $800, depending on the airline and the section you’d like to place your pet. You can check this out for the pet traveling costs of popular airlines from different parts of the world. In some cases, you also get to travel with your furry buddy for free only if you have a service pet, according to Business Insider.

Aside from the costs, here are some common airline regulations on transporting pets. Do take note of these to ensure a smooth and safe voyage with your furry friend.

Restricted Pet Breeds

In an article published on Time website, from 2005 to 2011, there were 189 reported cases of animal deaths on commercial flights, and the majority of those animals were brachycephalic breeds.

These breeds have flat faces and snub noses, which cause difficulty in breathing. It’s a medical condition known as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), and it usually happens in stressful situations such as getting under extreme heat conditions and traveling by airplanes. When the planes fly higher, the atmospheric pressure becomes more dangerous for the pets.

Do you think your animal friend can already fly with you? For your guidance, here are some pet breeds, including mixed breeds, that most airlines have banned from boarding their aircraft.

Dog Breeds:

– Affenpinscher

– American Pit Bull

– Boston Terrier

– Boxer

– Bulldog (American, English, French, Old English, Shorty, Spanish Alano)

– Chow Chow

– Mastiff

– Pekingese

– Pug (Dutch, Japanese)

– Shih Tzu

– Tibetan Spaniel


Cat Breeds:

– Persian

– Burmese

– Himalayan

– Exotic Shorthair

How To Transport Pets

If your furry friend happens to be on the list, don’t worry just yet. The pets on the no-fly list may not be applicable to all airlines, so it is best to do your research and find out whether your chosen company can still accommodate your pet or not.

But just a heads-up; you may want to scratch out Jet2 Airlines, Easy Jet, Fly Dubai, Royal Air, and Indi Go from your options as these airlines don’t allow pets on regular flights.

Presuming that your animal friend is allowed to travel with you, the next thing to do is know where to put your pet. There are usually three options: cabin, baggage, and cargo.

  1. Cabin

If you want your pet to be near you, then the most preferred option is the cabin. However, you must know that not all airlines permit animals to stay in the cabin even if they do allow pets to get onboard the plane. As previously said, every company has its set of pet travel rules. But the basic policies that most airlines follow are the following:

– pets should be under the supervision of the adults;

– and they should be inside the required carrier that can be kept under the seat

The carrier’s size depends on the space underneath the passenger seat, so you should be able to know that before making the reservations. Another important factor to consider is the weight. Airlines allow a maximum combined weight (pet and carrier) of eight to 10 kilograms as part of the passenger cabin. It can be calculated as excess baggage or has a separate fee, depending on your destination.

But if it’s a service animal, then the pet can be with you during the whole trip. You just have to make sure that it’s registered, and you can present the necessary papers before your scheduled flight.

  1. Checked Baggage

If your furry friend is not a service pet and is too big for the passenger cabin, then you can check him or her in the baggage. This option is a good alternative if your chosen airline does not allow pets inside the passenger area. Some of these companies include Virgin Australia, Emirates Airlines, and Qatar Airways.

For checked baggage, your pet is usually considered as excess baggage. However, you should know that this option is not available if the animal’s weight goes beyond the airline’s imposed weight limit.

  1. Cargo

The last option is the cargo. If your animal companion stands more than 11 inches or is too heavy to be in the checked baggage, then the only way to transport it is through the plane’s cargo. Although this isn’t an ideal choice, airlines have boarded millions of pets every year with a relatively low possibility of accidents. To maximize the safety of your pet while in the cargo, here are tips you can apply:

– Visit your veterinarian before your flight. Your pet must be always healthy while going on a trip. Sick animals may become more stressed if they are sick or suffering from an illness.

– When traveling with pets, choose the fastest route; if possible, book a non-stop flight to avoid the hassle of transferring from one plane to another. It’s more convenient for you and your furry companion.

– As for the carrier or crate where your pet is going to stay, make sure that it has the proper identification, and it complies with the requirements of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA).

– Consider asking for a calming medication for your pet if it tends to misbehave while flying. Many airlines don’t accept tranquilized pets as it can affect breathing, which can result in a serious condition.

Additional Reminders

Traveling with pets is not without papers. Airlines will always ask for documents regarding your pet’s health, records of their vaccinations and medications, as well as other certifications that give pets their clearances to board the plane. It also goes the same with your destination. For instance, if you’re going to Vietnam with your pet, you need to present a veterinary certificate and the pet’s inoculation record.

Always ask your chosen airline about the requirements weeks or even months before your flight so that you’ll have enough time to secure them.

Aside from that, it would be best to get on the plane with an empty stomach to avoid the inconvenience of going to the bathroom. Find a place where your pet can relieve itself before boarding. You can also ask an airline staff about a relief place for pets inside the airplane. That way, you can take your furry friend to the designated area right away.

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