Tips for Booking a Flight with your Pet
2 min read
Booking an airline ticket can be almost as stressful as the flight itself. No wonder so many people find flying a daunting way to travel!
And if you have never traveled with your pet previously, its possible you may be nervous about booking that flight!. Not to worry, we have gathered some tips and considerations on what to expect while booking that flight. Read below so that flight day can easy peasy for both of you.
- Do your research. Both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the United States Department of Agriculture have their own set of regulations regarding pet travel. Regulations will vary depending on your destination and the size of your animal. Pro Tip: If you haven’t flown with your pet before, best to take a shorter flight to test out what kind of travel she is
- Whether you are loyal to a particular airline or if you’re just searching for the airline that offers you the best value be aware that each airline has their own pet policy. For example, pet owners inquiring about dog air travel may find that certain airlines do not allow short-snouted breeds of dogs on planes due to the potential for breathing difficulty. And remember, these policies are different for service animals and emotional support animals.
- Book your flight at least six weeks in advance. You can call ahead prior to booking your flight in order to confirm that your pet will be able to travel to your destination and that there will be room on the flight for both of you. Take this opportunity to ask questions about size and weight restrictions, additional costs, plus any other specifics of your chosen airline’s policies. If you don’t get a chance to call ahead, then definitely do so within 24 hours of booking the flight so you can make any necessary changes without paying a fee
- Once your flight is booked, immediately begin the process of acquiring the necessary pet air travel documentation. If you are traveling abroad or even to certain states such as Hawaii you may need additional docs. Aside from pet identification (such as a collar with your full name, telephone number, and address), you may have to visit an accredited veterinarian to acquire a recent Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. Your airline may require an acclimation certificate, which your vet can also provide.
- Finally, prepare for the trip itself! As you’re packing your favorite neck pillow, ensure that your pet’s carrier is safe, comfortable, and appropriately sized. Consider your own leg space, too, since you’ll likely have to stow the carrier beneath your seat during the flight. Pack your pet’s favorite toys for comfort!
Remember that there’s nothing wrong with asking questions. If something about your preparation seems off, inquire with your veterinarian and with your airline. Once you’ve followed these steps to prepare, all that’s left is to enjoy your flight. Happy travels!