Pet Policies To Note When Traveling By Planes
Traveling, as they say, is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. It can broaden your horizon in a way that when you get back from a trip, you will never be the same!
The world has undergone so much progress that you can now share precious travel moments with your pets. May it be for a simple change of scenery or relocation, it is now possible to bring your pets with you!
If you plan to travel by plane, there are several rules and policies that you should put in mind prior to traveling. Complying with the requirements can be a daunting experience as there are a lot of things you need to consider.
Not doing so would result in dire consequences. You would not want your beloved pet’s first flight to be distressing, right?
Here are some of the pet policies to note when traveling by plane.
Choose an Airline
The first thing you have to do is to find an airline company that would fly your pet. Once you have decided on the perfect choice, you have to know its policies.
Airline companies have different rules and regulations regarding pet travel so it is best to do your research.
When traveling with pets, consider them as little bundles of joy that would be crossing miles with you. They would need to get through customs and of course, airport and airline security check.
Part of that security check is presenting valid identification cards, health certification, and permits. You have to consult with your chosen airline the specific requirements it has and the same goes with your country of destination.
This is where it gets a bit overwhelming for most pet owners as there are several permits you need to comply with.
First one is the age requirement. Based on International Air Transport Association or IATA, pets below 2 months (eight weeks) and are unable to eat by themselves cannot travel by air.
Your fur baby fits the qualification? Do not book that ticket just yet.
Most companies would only allow those that are at least 15 weeks old at the time of booking to get on board their planes. That is 7 weeks more than the standard!
Next thing you have to do is get a consult with your veterinarian and get a health certificate. It would also be helpful if you request a record of vaccinations that your pet has had. This will also come in handy when passing your furry friend through customs.
Countries all over the world are classified based on the prevalence of rabies in the area: Rabies-Free, Rabies-Controlled, and High-Rabies countries. Traveling to Rabies-Free countries would require additional blood tests such as a rabies titer test to avoid being quarantined upon arrival.
You would not want that, do you? Additional medications for fleas and ticks might be prescribed for further precaution.
Mode of Flying
Policies in boarding pets vary depending on the airline. It is still best to include available mode of air transport in your inquiry.
There are three common ways to transport pets through commercial flights: Cabin, Checked-In Baggage, and Cargo.
Flying your fur baby in the cabin means that your pet can go with you inside the passenger area. This is, of course, applicable only if you are an adult and your pet is inside an IATA approved carrier.
No, it will not be placed on the overhead cabin where bags are stowed but rather under your chair. This way, you can check on your beloved pet from time to time and feed it when necessary.
Unfortunately, there are certain limitations to this type of accommodation. Not all airlines would allow pets inside the passenger cabin and there is a weight limit.
There are certain cases where animals are admitted inside the cabin in spite of its weight. This is when the pet is a registered emotional support animal or a registered service animal.
You have to make sure that your furry friend is well behaved during the flight so as not to disturb other passengers.
If your combined weight with your pet is over the limit, your best option is to have your pet travel as checked-in baggage. This means that your pet will still be on the same flight as you but will be placed inside the plane’s cargo where the bags are stored.
Please note that you will be charged an additional fee for excess baggage.
If for some reason your airline of choice does not allow animals on board, you can try flying him through cargo or manifest cargo. This is the best choice for large animals that weigh around 70 pounds (30 kgs).
One caveat though is that the animal will have to travel through a different airline. A more expensive fee is applicable if you choose to fly your pet this way.
But hey, the fun you both will be having is going to be worth it!
The last and most unusual option is you fly your pet through a private plane. Ridiculous, right? But if you have the extra resources to spend, this might be a good idea.
Flying through a private jet means that you and your pet can both have a nice time inside the cabin. Just the two of you! But again, it is going to be very expensive. You can find some of the airline costs to transport pets.
One thing you have to take note is that not all animals are allowed to travel through an airplane. Even dogs and cats have certain restrictions based on its breed.
Many airlines have banned animals with flat faces and snub noses or brachycephalic breeds. These animals tend to have difficulty breathing on board which can be a real problem.
Also, some countries do not allow the import of certain breeds. It is best to know about airline and import restrictions beforehand.
Traveling with your pet is no easy feat but not impossible. You as a responsible pet owner should familiarize yourself with the regulations of both your airline of choice and your destination country. Trust us, it would save you from a lot of penalties and trouble to do so!
As soon as you have the permits and process all sorted out, all you need to do is go and have fun!