Let’s be honest, nobody wants to be separated from their pet. The prospect of leaving your pet behind, having to book them into a kennel/pet boarding facility, or having to hire a stranger to care for them in your absence can be stress-inducing, and is the last thing a person needs while travelling. The good news is that you don’t need to bother with any of these less-than-ideal options and can instead opt to travel with your pet alongside you. Whether flying domestically or going on an intercontinental journey, there are various ways of carrying your pet with you to any destination. Before doing so, you need to be aware of and comply with the rules and regulations for flying with a pet. Let’s look at these.
The first and foremost criteria to meet before flying are the airlines; your chosen airline must be pet friendly. Fortunately, some of the most pet-friendly airlines are headquartered in North America, meaning you have some options to choose from. JetBlue Airways is a good option, as they allow dogs, cats, and service animals, and allow pets to travel in-cabin. Provided you book your seats correctly and don’t select seats where pets cannot travel (like the exit row), you should be good to go.
There are other airlines offering pet-friendly flights and accommodating the needs of different animals. frontier airlines, for example, allow passengers to fly with a wide array of pets like dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, guinea pigs, and service animals. On international flights, the list shrinks to only permit cats and dogs to fly.
There are other options to choose from, with a multitude of airlines giving their passengers the option of travelling with their pets. Delta Airlines, Air Canada, and American Airlines all allow typical house pets and smaller animals inside the cabin. The allowances do reduce with international journeys though. One thing to note is that all these airlines let pets ride in the cabin with the passengers, but not in the cargo hold. If you have a larger pet or if your journey is a lengthy one, you’ll need to specify the cargo option while making your booking, and this option does cost an extra fee; depending on how long your flight is, these charges can range from $50 USD to $200 USD, so factor that in while planning your itinerary.
European airlines are also known to be relatively pet friendly. Most of the time, they give you the option of travelling with your pet in-cabin and in cargo. They do have size limits and only permit small pets to fly in the cabin, but that is a standard safety guideline which nearly everyone enforces. Swiss International Airlines and Lufthansa are pet-friendly airlines and take extra steps for the comfort and convenience of the passengers. Swiss International Airlines allows pets to travel on any route they fly, which is an impressive feat. Lufthansa also allows two pets per passenger, but cannot promise complete route coverage, instead opting to leave some destinations as unserviceable or available through Lufthansa Cargo air freight services.
There are other pet-friendly options in Europe as well. Air France Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, and Royal Dutch Airlines all permit dogs, cats, and service animals to fly on board. All European airlines impose weight restrictions, which is up to 8 KG for in-cabin transit and charge a fee for flying in the cargo hold. An exception to the generally permissive in-cabin travel policies in the UK, as pets are not allowed in-cabin while flying to the UK regardless of the airline.
Within and across Asia, Turkish Airlines is well-connected and travels international routes. Your pets can fly in-cabin and in the cargo hold, with up to two pets permitted per passenger. Dogs, cats, birds, and service animals are all allowed on board.
Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways offers routes across the middle east and beyond. If flying to or through Dubai, you can take your pet dog/cat or falcon with you, provided you fill in and submit an online form available on their website a minimum of 7 days before departure. Emirates airlines also provide specialist care for those animals riding in cargo and mandate a minimum six-hour connection time so the specialist can provide your animal with rest and refreshment needed during their long journey.
There are numerous reasons you may be travelling with your pet. From transferring residences to a relaxing vacation, the important thing is to be prepared for the journey. Depending on your destination, these preparations can either be relatively easy or cumbersome. On average, while travelling internationally with your pet, you will require one or more of the following: a vaccination record, an international health certificate, basic vaccinations for your pet, an ISO-compliant microchip, and a pet crate. Further requirements may be imposed, such as the results of a rabies titer test (RNAT), so make sure to factor these in while planning your travel and making your bookings.
Flying internationally with your pet? Having conducted 8,000+ relocations, we’re here to help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 08908909020 to start your journey today.