10 Tips for Flying with Your Pet
If you desire to take a trip with your beloved pet, and will be flying, there are some important strategies that you need to bear in mind. By paying heed to these strategies, you have taken important steps to ensure the safety and welfare of your pet and overall enjoyable travel experience. There exist 10 tips that you should pay particular attention to when flying with your pet.
Book Your Flight Early
Airlines only set aside a certain amount of space for traveling pets on each flight. This includes pets permitted in the cabin as well as those that are stowed in the luggage bay below the craft. Pay particular attention to reserving your flight early around major holidays. Not only is there an uptick in the number of people generally traveling around major holidays, a higher percentage of people bring their pets along for trips during these time periods. “Flying with Your Pet”
Verify Your Pet’s Reservation
If you make your travel reservations online, you may not be able to book for your pet. Thus, when traveling with a pet, you may streamline the process by making your reservation by phone. Even if the online portal appears to allow you the ability to book for your pet, follow up with a phone call to confirm your pet’s reservation.
Educate Yourself on an Airline’s Pet Policies
Policies regarding traveling with a pet can vary sharply from one airline to another. In addition, these policies can change in heartbeat and without notice. Therefore, before reserving a flight, make sure you do your due diligence and understand an airline’s pet policies, including any fee that is assessed for traveling with your pet.
Procure an Appropriate Pet Carrier
Make sure that you obtain a pet carrier that satisfies airline requirements, is safe and comfortable for your pet and is as easy as possible to carry about with you. The size of a pet carrier should be sufficient to allow your furry friend the ability to completely stand up and turn around without a problem. Check with the AAPCA online and learn about ideal pet carriers and recommendations the organization makes in that regard. If you will be carrying your pet onboard, the carrier needs to fit under the seat. The carrier with your pet must never go in the overhead bin. “Flying with Your Pet”
Identification and a Pet Carrier
Make sure the pet carrier you will us has comprehensive contact information on it. This needs to include all of your contact information. Consider placing this information inside and outside the carrier. Include the name of your pet on the outside of the carrier. You will also want to include comprehensive information of a person at your destination as well. In this way, if you somehow get separated from your pet in the process of traveling, which can happen when a pet is stowed in the baggage area, airline officials will have someone to contact in the destination city, if necessary. “Flying with Your Pet”
Give Your Pet Time to Get Used to a Carrier
In advance of your trip, make sure your pet has time to get used to a carrier. If nothing else, when it comes time to travel, the fact that your pet’s scent is all over a carrier will make your furry friend less confused and a bit more comfortable with a carrier when it’s time to fly.
Arrive at the Airport Early
Make sure you arrive at the airport earlier than you would in the absence of your pet. You want to make sure that you have time to deal with any issues that might arise, whether related to traveling with your pet or not. With that said, while you definitely want to arrive early, don’t overdo in this regard. Your pet isn’t going to be happy crammed in a carrier. Unnecessarily keeping your furry companion in a carrier for an unnecessarily long period of time isn’t helpful to your pet, to you, or anyone else you might come into contact with during your journey. “Flying with Your Pet”
Take a Direct Flight
Whenever possible, when traveling with a pet, book a direct flight. This admonition holds true whether you will have your pet on board with you or checked in the luggage bay. If you carry your pet onboard, you won’t have the hassle of maneuvering through the airport with him or her in an attempt to make a connecting flight. If your pet is traveling below, you don’t run the risk that something will go awry in moving your companion animal from one flight to another. A truly unsettling situation is one in which your pet goes one way and you go another.
Avoid Sedating Your Pet
Veterinary and animal welfare professionals are nearly universal in their belief that a pet should not be sedated for a flight unless absolutely necessary. In other words, you should not sedate your pet as a matter of routine or as a means of relieving you of responsibility for tending to your pet more broadly when flying.
Visit the Vet
Speaking of the veterinarian, within 10 days of departing by plane with your pet, visit the vet. The vet will need to confirm that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and that your furry friend is otherwise in good health. Your vet will prepare a health certificate indicating that your pet is good to go when it comes to taking a flight. “Flying with Your Pet”
Once again, by following these tips when traveling with your pet, you will have taken a significant step to ensure that the journey is safe and as easy as possible for both you and your pet. The key to successfully implementing these tactics is to be certain you play ahead when you intend to travel with your pet. Flying with your furry family member is not something that you can undertake … on the fly.