How To Travel With Pets In Flight? 9 Things Worth Considering For Hassle-Free Travel

Hello people,

Are you a dog or a cat lover and planning a trip but confused about how to travel with pets in flight? This article is just for you!

Everyone has to board a flight now and then. Be it for work, a trip for the free spirit, or family gatherings.

We all want to make sure not to miss out on anything. But wait a minute! Your dog or your cat is sitting by the door looking at you as you make plans and rush around the house packing your luggage.

Sucks? Doesn’t it?! You want to take your pet along too and are concerned about how to start with it. But don’t worry about it.

We jot down the information you always need for travelling with your pets. Those dear ones also need a break. A vacation sounds perfect for them too.

Will the airlines allow my pet? 

The airlines these days are also allowing pets to travel with their owners. Be it a dog or cat. Many airlines have a long list of rules and regulations regarding pet travelling.

But because of the pandemic situation, many airlines have changed their rules for travelling along with a pet. 

You have to reach the airport earlier than boarding time so it is not rushed for them too.

Travelling with your dog or cat is very different and exhausting from travelling solo. It is complicated and expensive but a little research will make it just fine for you to find out how.

Airlines may also have an awkward clause of “pet shipping” as they call it where they ask for documents and other needed checking before the pet can enter.

We have to follow the guidelines provided by the airlines and one should read them very carefully to avoid further setbacks. 

First thing is to check which dog breeds are allowed and which are not. Pitbulls and pugs are generally banned because of specific reasons.

Pitbulls are aggressive and fierce, and pugs are not boarded on cargo because of their facial structure, which hampers their breathing.

List Of 9 Important Things To Consider While Travelling With Pets

Below Are some of the basic and must points which we need to keep in our mind while travelling with dogs and cats.

1. Booking a flight together with your dog

Some flights need to make reservations beforehand so you can safely board with your pet. They have a policy about the number of dogs allowed per flight. Making sure to call and ask them about the space will be a wise decision.

2. Importance of veterinary visit before a trip

After you have booked the tickets for your flight, you need to make sure to visit a vet and get your pup checked out.

The vet will provide you with a health certificate mentioning that the pup is fit to fly along with you and is vaccinated. Airlines ask for this particular document with your ID while checking you in.

The certificate should be valid for 30 days and if it’s not, you may have to take your bub to the vet again for a new one.

3. Be alert about pets’ emotional states.

If by any chance, you have to travel and it’s urgent, only take your pet along if you have no options left. Most people would hire a pet sitter or leave them with a neighbour/family member who is willing to take care of their pet.

Your pet may feel left out and sad but just think about how stressful it is for them. There will be a crowd, loud noises, too much light, and fewer bathroom breaks. The change in surroundings and air pressure can be stressful for a dog or cat.

4. Is your destination also suitable for your pet?

Before starting the booking, make sure you check the climate of the location you are travelling to. Keeping an eye on the climate and weather is a big task because if your pet is not suited for hot regions, you should avoid taking them there.

Similar goes for pets who can’t handle colder temperatures. Book your hotels wisely around places that won’t be a problem later, you might want to take them on a tour if the place is suitable.

5. How to prepare your pet before a flight

The dog/cat must be groomed and brushed properly before they step on the journey. If the pet is shedding, you can bathe them and brush them right before you step out of the home.

You should not feed them 4 to 5 hours before boarding, but water is fine (not much though). Remember to keep a bowl of water and food inside the kennel/carrier.

You can lay a water-absorbent mat inside the carrier for any leaks that might happen along the way. Motion sickness can set in at times so make sure that you have gathered some advice from your vet.

Attach a photo of your pet with its name on the kennel/carrier for being careful.

6. Size of pets that Airlines allow

Big-sized dogs are not allowed. The pet should be below 20 pounds to travel in flight. The smaller ones are sometimes left with the owner to board usually with conditions that they must stay inside the kennel to avoid disturbance to other passengers.

7. Transportation for bigger pets

Bigger pets are situated inside the cargo vault for the timeline of the flight. Be sure to hurry to your pet as soon as you land. They missed you a lot being in that space alone for so long.

8. The flight Ticket cost of your pet

The cost of booking a space for a dog can be almost similar to that of a human. Few airlines may charge more or less depending on their rules and regulations.

Checking out their website and cost structure is the base of building your budget. The average cost can vary from $150 to $500 depending on the distance.

9. Airplane bathroom usage rules for pets

Dogs wouldn’t ever want to wet where they sleep or rest so it is not likely that they will be doing it for a short journey. But for the long journey, there are some tricks you can put to use

  • Give the pet a bathroom break just before boarding; it makes it easier on them.
  • Lay a water-absorbent mat, you can use the thicker ones or lay two of them together to avoid mess because if they need to go, they will have to do so inside the kennel itself.
  • Pack tissues, extra use and throw mats, hand sanitisers, zip locks, towels, and a blanket for the pet.

Emotional support dogs or companion pets for the disabled are sometimes allowed to use the cabin bathroom.

By now, you have a good idea of what it’s going to be like and how to prepare for it. These steps may sound complicated at first, but as they say: “trust the process.” You can achieve the perfect way of doing it by following these guidelines for a comfortable and safe journey for you and your dear pet.

Be it a cat or dog, the change of surroundings may scare them, and they might feel threatened, so calm them down with those soft whispers and tell them that it is okay now.

Keep checking your departure, arrival time, and airport maps ahead of time.

Enjoy those trips with no hesitation while you always have the upper hand in any issues that might occur. Have fun!

FAQs about how to travel with pets in flight?

Can you take your pets with you on a plane?

For a one-way cost, which is paid upon check-in, small dogs, cats, and house birds are allowed to travel in the cabin. They have to be small enough to fit in the pet carrier that slides under the seat in front of you.

How do you bring pets on a plane?

A pet travelling in the cabin requires protection in a hard- or soft-sided cage that has been approved. The cage must fully fit just below the seat in front of you and stay there at all times. Hard-sided cages can be as big as 17.5 inches long by 12 inches wide by 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm).

How much does it cost to travel with a pet on a plane?

Dogs and other pets flying in the cabin often cost a fixed price from $50 to $250 for each one-way flight. Larger animals must travel as cargo, where they are confined to a pressurised, temperature-controlled space under the aircraft.

What do you need to travel with a dog on a plane?

All passengers travelling their dogs through cargo must complete the airline’s formalities and submit a veterinarian-signed health certificate for their dog. Before your pet travels, this health certificate needs to be issued (usually 10 days or less).

Can my dog sit on my lap during a flight?

Can They sit on my lap with my dog or cat? No. Pets must remain in their carrier, which must be stored under the seat in front of you, for the duration of your domestic journey.

Which airline is the most pet friendly?

Hawaiian and American Airlines, who were deadlocked for the second position, were beaten out by Alaska Airlines, which takes the lead. Pet-friendly policies on Frontier and Southwest are better than those on Spirit, JetBlue, and Delta, making them good choices for you and your dogs. Our research shows that United is the airline with the worst pet policies.

Where do dogs pee on planes?

Dogs are required to pee themselves within their carrier. This is true for animals that fly in the cabin, the hold, or even on cargo flights. The exception is frequently service dogs (and occasionally emotional support animals). They might be permitted to use the restroom on the aircraft.

Tell Us In The Comments Your Advice on how to travel with pets in flight?

Also, don’t forget to book your personalized holiday package with Fiery Trippers. Let us make your vacation a romantic as well as a dreamy getaway.

Avatar of Rahul Siddharth

He is a dedicated travel writer with a wealth of 10 Years + experience that enriches his narratives. He holds a degree in Hospitality and Hotel Administration from IHM Dehradun, which he couples with hands-on expertise in the field. Drawing from his diverse experiences, Rahul's writings offer readers a captivating glimpse into the world of travel. Embark on a journey of exploration and inspiration with Rahul as your guide. Read More

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