Many people travel with their animals for many different reasons. Pets are considered part of the family and many consider them their children. Making sure your pets are comfortable when traveling is extremely important. I have traveled with my dog several times, she is a veteran and travels very well. If you haven’t traveled with an animal or don’t often here are 7 tips for flying with pets.
1. Check with your airline on their rules and restrictions. Not every animal can be taken into the cabin and will have to go under the plane. Keep in mind during the some months and depending on the location some airlines may not put your pet in the belly of the plane. Why? It can get too hot or cold and there may not be temperature controlled areas. You wouldn’t want your pet sick or D.O.A would you?
2. Check with the airline to find out how much it will cost to travel with you pet. Also book early. Airlines typically only allowed a certain amount and types of pets to travel in the cabin. Don’t argue with an agent either, they didn’t make up the rules, they are just following them. So if your adamant about bringing your ferrets in the cabin and the airline doesn’t allow it, then they either have to go under the plane or back home.
3. Don’t lie and get a fake Emotional Support Animal certificate. Agents will look at the letter to see if it is authentic. Also don’t be like the woman who asked a friend’s gynecologist to provide her with a letter. That isn’t going to work either! Don’t abuse the system, if you really need an animal to fly, even if it is a pig or goldfish then by all means, get the proper paperwork! Don’t forget to bring it with you to the airport.
4. Make sure that the carrier for your animal can fit comfortably under the seat if your pet with be in the cabin. Check the airline for dimensions for the carrier. The animal needs to be able to move and reposition itself inside the carrier and be comfortable. For reviews of some of the best airline approved pet carriers and other travel accessories, take a look at The Goody Pet website. This is also important as your pet is required to stay in the bag. If it is an Emotional Support Animal or Service Animal that is entirely different story. Those animals can sit on your lap or the floor of the plane.
5. If your pet is going to be in cabin or under the plane you want them to be comfortable. Make sure there is a blanket, towel, or t-shirt they can lay down on. Maybe even a toy or two. Whatever is going to put them at ease. Make sure there is some way they can get water when necessary. If that means putting a water bottle drip in their crate or opening the bag and giving them some from a cup.
6. You should also know that the carrier is also considered having a bag. So you will only be able to bring a personal item on board in addition to your pet carrier. So be mindful of what you try to carry-on board. The carrier will most likey take up some leg room under your seat, so your bag will go in the overhead bin. You also will not be able to sit in a bulk head seat or an emergency row exit with an animal.
7. Make sure that your animal has used the bathroom prior to getting in the carrier. Some airports have relief areas, but they are outside of security. Also depending on how long your flight is, this is also important.
Have you ever traveled with a pet? How was your experience? Do you have any added tips for traveling with pets?