While US airlines allow people to travel with their furry friends there are a few limitations and prohibitions plus each airline have similar but different rules.
Research before you go:
First, call the airline of your choice to make your pet booking because there is a limitation on how many pets can be onboard inside the cabin. The usual limits are 2 in First Class and 4 in the Main Cabin. Although some states don’t require a veterinary health certificate, some states do require it so it’s best to just get one to be on the safe side. The certificate is good for only 30 days so plan accordingly.
International travel with your pets can be a little more tricky so definitely check with the country’s importation laws along with the airline restrictions. Some countries prohibit pets and will either confiscate your furry friend or make it extremely difficult plus time-consuming to get them out of quarantine.
While I think pets should fly for free the airlines don’t agree so be prepared to pay at the airport between $100 – $400 each way depending on the destination.
There are a few countries that prohibit pets with the exception of service animals in the cabin which means they must travel as cargo. While our pets are precious cargo, I would never put my cats down in the dark, cold, noisy, scary belly of the plane.
At airport check-in:
Have you vet health certificate ready & be prepared for your friendly ticket agent to go through a checklist to make sure you can carry your pet onboard. Please have a spacious kennel for your furry buddy so they can stand up and move around. It must be well ventilated on at least 2 sides and have their favorite toy or a personal small article so they can smell your scent.
Once you arrive at the fun and lovely security line without TSA Pre-Check then first remove your required personal items and place them on the belt then remove your pet from their kennel and carry them through the metal detector. After your fabulous pat down place your buddy back in their kennel and lastly gather your personal belongings.
After you land at your destination please take your pets out of their kennel for a much-needed stretch. If you have cats like me then leave them in their kennel unless you have a leash for them.
I personally think dogs and cats handle plane rides differently from each other. I took my cats on a short 2-hour flight from New York to Atlanta and after we landed they were on 100 with a serious attitude. They hissed, growled and talked in strange scary tongues at me for the remainder of the evening. Although I’m not quite sure I think my Marley attempted to strangle me in my sleep but that’s still under investigation. Trust and believe I will never fly with my kitties again.
Come back next Tuesday for more Travel Tips!
What was your experience traveling with your pets?