We all love our pets. Approximately 70% of the population has a pet and almost 30% of the population owns at least one dog.
If you have a pet you probably also hate leaving them behind. While some people put their pets into daycare when they go on holiday, a lot of people choose to travel with theirs.
Unfortunately while driving with your car or going by boat can be easy, flying with your pet isn’t as straightforward.
In this guide, we’ll cover all the important aspects that you’ll need to be aware of if you’d like to fly with your dog or pet.
Initially, we’ll cover Private Jet travel, since this is our business, however, we’ve also got plenty of information for commercial airline travel with pets too.
Private Jet Travel With Your Pets
Traveling with pets on private jets still has a lot of the same limitations that commercial airlines have. Limitations which we cover below.
However, on private jets, you’re allowed to take any kind of pet you’d like. With commercial airlines, this is limited mainly to dogs and in some cases cats. Where it becomes difficult is that not all operators allow pets on board. Operators and their pet policy can be broken down into three simple groups;
- No Pets Allowed
- Allowed with a surcharge.
The latter is the most common one and the cost for this can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. While some limit their policy to dogs and cats most realize that a reptile, parrot, or gerbil will most likely cause fewer issues. Therefore they don’t mind if you bring your pet along as long as they are kept securely and you pay a cleaning surcharge. In fact, there have been extreme cases of pet ponies, and even emus on private jets.
If you’re looking to travel with your pet, then contact us and we’ll create a flight tailored to you.
Is Flying With Your Pet Risky?
As with all travel options, flying with your pet is risky. Air travel is especially dangerous for animals with “flat faces” such as pugs and Persian cats. The reason being is that at altitude the air is thinner and this can lead to breathing problems. This is less of an issue if they are traveling in the cabin compartment but can be a huge issue if they are in the luggage hold.
Therefore, if you own one of these pets it’s best that you leave them at home. However, if that’s not an option, see if you can find an alternative travel method for them.
Additionally, if you’re flying to or from the US, you can use the US Department of Transports Air Travel Consumer Reports to see if your chosen airline operator has reported any incidents (which they are bound to by law).
Where Your Pet Travels
When it comes to traveling with your pets, the most important factor is where your pet travels. For private jet charters, this isn’t a problem, since if the operator allows it, they can fly in the cabin. Unfortunately, for commercial airlines, this is significantly more limited.
Each commercial airline limits where pets can travel on a flight. This varies by company but the general rule is that only service and emotional support animals can be checked, and pets under 10kg can be carried in a carry-on.
Checked travel is the best for your pet in all aspects. Unfortunately, most commercial flight companies strongly restrict checked pets. Not only do they have to meet strict criteria, only one checked pet is allowed per flight. However, if you can manage it, you should use this option. It provides the most comfortable and stress-free travel for your pet.
The next best option is to carry your pet in a carry-on. You’re required to put this under the seat in front of you. Understandably, this is limited to small pets and luggage size.
The luggage compartment (cargo hold) is the worst option for your pet, but unfortunately, sometimes it’s the only option. The restrictions on traveling in the luggage compartment are a lot fewer. Additionally, there are strict rules and guidelines the airport has to meet so your pet will be safe and secure. Furthermore, if the temperature is too high or too low on the day of flying, you won’t be permitted to as it would pose a health risk to your pet.
Service Animals and Emotional Support Pets
With commercial flights, a lot of the time the only pets that are allowed to travel are service animals and emotional support pets. This is because most pets are untrained and would therefore cause mayhem in the passenger compartment.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that even emotional supports pets won’t be allowed on board in the united states anymore as many people have been abusing this system. The reason for this is that it’s relatively easy to register a pet as an emotional support animal. On the other hand, getting a service animal is extremely expensive and requires a lot of training.
Pet Flight Restrictions
Whether you’re traveling with commercial airlines or private jets, the normal restrictions are all the same. However, check with your provider before booking as some provide additional checks or paperwork.
- Vaccinations – Your pet must be up to date on their vaccinations and will need a rabies shot before traveling
- Breed – Some companies don’t accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs of any ‘mix’
- Age – All pets must be at least 8 weeks of age and in some cases 16.
- Quarantine – Depending on your host and arrival country, you might require to put your pet into a quarantine
Type of Carrier
Check in advance if the airline requires any special kind of carrier as most airlines require IATA standard hard sided carriers. Additionally ask at the airport what the procedure is when having your pet’s carrier x-rayed, you don’t want them getting an unhealthy dose of rays. However, for most scenarios as long as your pet is well trained and you give them food and entertainment they shouldn’t have any problems on a medium-length journey. However, do make sure to get a kennel that’s large enough for your pet to move around in comfortably.
Variation By Countries
Flying with your pet varies considerably depending on where from and where to you’re flying. While it’s straightforward and simple in the EU and the US, if you’re flying another router then we’d recommend looking into the details.
Flying with your pet is unfortunately a long and complicated process and there isn’t a single straightforward guide that could cover the whole topic. If you’re flying private then it becomes significantly easier but it does come with a cost. In conclusion, make the best decision for you and your pet both financially and emotionally.