To ensure safe pet travel by plane, check airline policies for specific pet travel requirements. By paying extra attention to details, you and your pet should arrive safely. Before traveling, see the veterinarian to get pet travel advice. Some veterinarians feel it's best to sedate pets for trips, especially if they tend to be anxious around people and when experiencing new adventures.
Other veterinarians opt for holistic approaches using herbal calming treatments. Some vets feel that natural remedies are best, like soothing shirts worn by pets which are specially made to calm animals during storms and frightening events. Remember that you know your pet best and are familiar with its particular quirks and temperament.
American Airlines only allows small cats and dogs. Charges are $125 for bringing pets along in-cabin, and $200 when you check pets into cargo areas. Remember that pets are normally only allowed to fly as cargo during certain months, excluding hot summer months.
Pet rules on American:
- Pets can fly in-cabin to North and Central American destinations (except Hawaii) and select other countries
- Owners must secure reservations before flying with pets
- Pets must be in airline approved pet carriers
- Pet carriers must have waterproof bottoms and be big enough for pets to move
- Allow extra time for security checks when traveling with pets
- Special rules may apply for international travel
Agents may ask about pet health records and questions like when pets were last watered and fed. These questions are for your safety, and for safety of pets and other passengers.
Delta's pet fees are $125 for U.S. flights, $75 for flights to Brazil, and $200 for international flights.
Pet rules on Delta:
- Pets must be in approved carriers
- Carriers must have waterproof bottoms, fasten securely, have good ventilation, and room for pet movement
- Pets must be at least 10 weeks old
- Some international locations don't allow pets to travel in-cabin; double check with the airline beforehand
United allows small cats, dogs, household birds, and rabbits to fly in-cabin, within the continental U.S. Fees are $125 per pet. An extra $125 is charged if domestic layovers last longer than four hours, or 24 hours for international layovers.
United Airlines pet travel rules:
- Pets must be over eight weeks old and over one pound to travel
- Carriers must be airline approved, no bigger than 17.5" x 12" x 7.5" for hard-shell containers, and soft-sided carriers no bigger than 18" x 11" x 11"
- Carriers must fit comfortably under the seat in front of you
- Pet carriers count as one piece of carry-on luggage
- Pet owners should notify United Airlines early about traveling with pets
On United Airlines, pets usually cannot fly on international flights. It's best to check with airline representatives beforehand to see if they can travel with you.
The important thing is that you and your pet arrive safely and happily. Do research and carefully follow airline rules to ensure the best trip with pets.