3 Tips for Traveling by Plane with Pets
As so many people consider their pets part of their families, it’s easy to understand how they quickly can become travel companions. While traveling by car is by far the easiest route to travel with your pet, going long distances might make this tricky and many pet owners turn to booking air travel. Anyone who has ever flown a commercial airline has most likely seen a cat or dog in the airport along with their owners, but unless you have traveled with your pet by plane you may not be familiar with the best practices. Here are some of the top trips for traveling by plane with your pet.
Read the airlines regulations, thoroughly
All airlines have easily accessible information on their website regarding pet travel that helps you prepare ahead of time, so you know what to expect. These guidelines and requirements often include carry-on pet requirements, shipping options for large pets, and service dog rules as well as size limits for kennels and age requirements of the pet. Delta airlines has an easy to navigate webpage dedicated to just this that also includes their fee structure, how to book your pets ticket, and what to expect when you visit their Delta Sky Club®.
Purchase the appropriate carrier
It’s important that your carrier not only follows the rules and regulations of the airline you are flying, but also that it is comfortable and size appropriate for your pet. Since travel by air is often quite long (especially when you add the time from the entrance of one airport to the exit of the next) this is even more critical that there is appropriate space for your pet to be safe and sound. Even though most airlines will accept either hard-sided carriers or soft-sided carriers (which may be more comfortable for your pet), you will still want to do your homework as some soft-sided carriers are acceptable only to certain airlines.
Use direct flights when you can
While layovers can be annoying for humans, they can be even more stressful and exhausting for pets. It’s important to try and use direct flights whenever possible to avoid any possible delays and the extra stress of two boarding processes. Layovers can be unpredictable and add time to an already long journey, so it’s best to avoid when you can so your pet has the least amount of time in transit as possible.
Safety is paramount
While over 2 million pets and other live animals are transported by air every year in the United States, it’s important to remember that air transportation systems were not specifically designed for the carriage of animals. Prior to traveling, there are a few key people you should contact regarding your travel arrangements that the AVMA suggests. These people include your veterinarian, the airline or travel company, your accommodations (hotel, motel, etc.), the USDA (to learn about that state’s regulations) and the foreign consulate (for international travel).
If you have questions regarding traveling with your pet for this upcoming holiday season or simply need to schedule your next appointment with the Bregman Veterinary Group, all you have to do is click here to get started!