Moving with Pets Guide: Moving Your Pet by Air

Air Transport


Relocating can be complicated when traveling with a pet, especially if you plan on traveling by air. Not all airlines accept pets for transportation, so be sure to inquire when making travel arrangements. Also look into added costs and insurance charges for transporting a pet. It is always a good idea to book your air travel as early as possible.

If airlines allow transportation of pets, find out if you can bring the pet on board with you, or if the pet will travel as airfreight. Some airlines allow pets within a specific size range to be accompanied by their owners in the cabin. These pets will need to be kept in a carrier for the duration of the flight. Some airlines also provide counter-to-counter service in which an airline employee will carry your pet on and off the plane.

Airlines that accept pets for transportation will have specific regulations and guidelines you will need to follow, whether or not you accompany the pet. 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. Your pet may also need a special crate. The airline may be able to provide a crate but you may have to pay a fee.

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

On moving day you should feed and give your pet water at least five hours before the flight departure time. Then provide water again at least two hours before departure. Administer any necessary medication, including a tranquilizer if your vet has recommended it. Let your pet get some exercise when you arrive at the airport. Check that you have provided the airline with all the necessary information regarding your name, correct new address and emergency contact.

Looking into transportation solutions as early as possible will ensure that you and your pet have a smooth and comfortable travel day.