Pets Guide: Air Transport

You may transport your pet by air either accompanying you or as air freight. Some airlines provide counter-to-counter service so your pet will be carried on and off the plane by an airline employee. Remember not all airlines accept pets for transportation so be sure to inquire when you are making your travel arrangements. Also be sure to check about charges and insurance charges for transporting your pet, whether dogs, cats or some other pet.  

It is of the utmost importance that you book your air travel as early as possible. Airlines that accept pets for transportation will have specific regulations and guidelines you will need to follow irrespective of whether the pets are accompanied or unaccompanied. For example you may be required to be at the airport a couple of hours in advance of the flight to check your pet in and your pet may need a special crate. The airline may be able to provide to you a crate for your use or you may have to purchase one from the airline.

Generally the airline will have guidelines on the crate types allowed and your local pet supply company will be able to sell you the required crate. You pet should be able to stand, turn around with ease and there should be adequate ventilation. The bottom of the crate should be padded with newspaper or other absorbent material. Add a favorite toy on move day to give a sense of security. Try to slowly get your pet accustomed to the crate at home before the big day.

On move day, feed and water your pet at least 5 hrs before the flight departure time and water again at least 2 hours before departure. Remember to administer any medication and if your vet has recommended a tranquilizer before departure be sure not to forget. When you arrive at the airport exercise your pet and check you have all the necessary information provided to the airline staff regarding your name, correct new address and alternate name in case of emergency.

Some airlines allow pets to be accompanied by their owners in the cabin with the passengers if they fall within a specific size range. These pets will need to be kept in a carrier for the duration of the flight.