Long-distance pet transport.
Today we will discuss the practical and fast solutions for getting your cats and dogs on airplanes and transporting them cross country.
The airlines are not very helpful when it comes to this service because most times, they would like to put your pet in with the cargo.
I feel that using the cargo hold of an airplane for transporting the dog or cat that you love is careless and probably dangerous.
There are too many loose pieces of luggage in the cargo area and the temperatures down there are not as closely monitored.
Many people also use driving services that will stress you both out as well.
Your pet can sometimes be cooped up in a van.
They will be loaded with other pets who may be sick, defecating, or in the best-case scenario, barking and meowing for a multi-hour, multi-city trip with lots of stops.
The drivers are usually awesome people but have no choice but to keep their eyes on the road.
Your pet may never recover psychologically from this long day or days.
Transporting cats and dogs across the country by air can be a daunting task.
However, with proper planning, pet owners taking animals on a plane can be safe and comfortable.
By understanding what airlines require surrounding pet transport on airplanes, even long-distance journeys can go off without a hitch.
This article will discuss the various considerations when it comes to transporting cats and dogs on airplanes, as well as suggestions for ensuring a safe and pleasant journey.
Your best choice is to have a person book a flight specifically to take your pet cross-country.
These people have picked up the name “Pet-Nanny,” although it is often guys.
The trip will be hours shorter and they will give your fur baby 1 on 1 attention for the entire flight.
There are 3 main ways to get a pet across the country via airplanes.
You fly with your pet
Putting your dog in Cargo
Getting a flight nanny to take care of everything.
Registering your cats or dogs are emotional support animals.
Whether you choose to use a flight nanny for pet air transport or you will fly with your dog yourself, here is the process when you get to the airport with your fur baby.
Before you head to the Airport
3 airline pet policies you need to follow when taking animals on a plane.
Dog age proof
Proof of rabies shots
Airline Approved pet carrier
Breed Restrictions policies.
“Checked pets” process at the ticket counter.
Make sure you are there even earlier than usual.
When I was a flight Nanny for a little while, I would get to the ticket counter 3 hours before my flight.
There are usually 2-3 lines at the ticket counter.
You will need to get on the line that says “Special Services”
Make sure you are not on the “Check Bags” line which is usually the longest line in the airport.
Once you get to the airport ticket counter agent, simply tell them that you are adding a pet to your flight.
They have a dog policy and certain breed restrictions which are usually biased against snub nose dogs.
They also want to make sure that checked pets are healthy enough to fly.
Some agents will have you open the carrier to make sure your pet has enough room to move around and is not balled up in the carrier.
The carriers are made to fit under the airplane seat in front of you.
The footrest area is now the property of your flying dog.
The airline customer service agent will need to see a document proving the age of your pet.
Cats and dogs on an airplane must be more than 11 weeks old.
Once this document is checked, the dog and the carrier will be placed on the cargo scale next to the agent.
Most airlines only accept pets up to 20 lbs.
If your dog exceeds the weight limits, chances are, they are too big for the carrier which means they will be uncomfortable and must be shipped via the cargo hold.
If the age and size work out, they will ask you for your animal health certificate.
This animal health certificate needs to be less than a week old.
It must outline that your cats or dogs on airplanes are vaccinated and rabies-free.
Once they scan the health certificate, they will fill out a little tag (usually green in color)
On this tag, will be your dog’s breed, your name, and your flight number.
You will be asked to sign this tag and affix it to your aircraft pet carrier handle.
The pet fee will be anywhere from $75 to $150 depending on the airline
This is called an in-cabin pet fee which should not be confused with a pet cargo fee.
You are then on your way to the security area.
Getting your pet through the Security Check Point.
Once you get to the security checkpoint, the guards will ask you to take your pet out of the carrier.
When I transported cats, I would always alternatively ask to have the pet carrier searched in a private room.
Cats are more moody and violent when being transported by airplane in a pet carrier.
I preferred the private screening room with cats because they always get fussy when taken out of the travel carrier.
The officers will have no problem screening you in a private room although it may add a few minutes to the process.
while you wait outside of the line, they will run the rest of your baggage through the metal detectors.
They will need to have at least 2 officers in the room with you and your pet, so you will have to wait until another officer is free.
You never know the temperament of a dog breed until you see how they are behaving.
What is the best pet carrier for cats or dogs on airplanes?
When I moonlighted as a Flight Nanny, I always to pet parents to use the Sherpa Brand pet Carrier.
Your pet will be in the actual cabin with everyone else who is flying that day but in a soft-sided airline-approved pet carrier.
Your pet will be by the flight nanny’s side for the entire trip.
This mode of transport is as stress-free as possible for your pet and for you.
The downside is pets must be under 20 lbs.
Some airlines won’t allow your pet if he or she is over 15 lbs.
If you are on a plane with a whiny cat, you should probably invest in some noise-canceling headphones.
How much does pet transport by airplane services cost
Different Pet Travel rules for Major Airlines
|Very Restricted||Typical Restrictions||Most pet friendly|
|Almost NO breeds are eligible||Sub Nosed dog restrictions||Most breeds and sizes are OK|
“My experience has taught me to avoid American Airlines with your pets at all costs”
The other airlines are many times cheaper
These are the prices at the time of the writing of this blog.
These prices are if you are going to take the dogs on airplanes yourself.
If you would prefer to hire a pet flight nanny, they will charge you about $1 dollar per mile for the concierge 1 on 1 service.
I suggest using Flying Pets and you can only contact them by email.
They work out of Atlanta.
They have the cheapest prices I’ve seen for pick up and drop off at major airports.
What is a “Major Airport?:”
If the city has a basketball team, it usually has an NBA Basketball team, then it usually has a Major airport.
The prices will be almost $ 2 per mile for minor airports.
The Flight Nanny will meet whoever is dropping your pet off right outside of the drop-off (Departure) area.
They will then take your pet to the counter, register your pet, and take them through security, to the gate and the pet relief area.
Flying Pets will take pictures of the journey and text them to you and the other party many times throughout the trip.
They will then meet the pickup party outside of the arrivals section of the airport.
Many people say it’s a much easier process than doing it yourself.
They will instruct you not to stuff your pet with food before the trip.
Cats and Dogs will let it all out as soon as they hear the engine noise.
It’s almost impossible to give the pet and its cage a good cleaning while 30,000 feet in the air.
The flight nanny will be crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with over 100 people.
And it will smell terrible.
Pros and Cons of taking your dogs on airplanes.
1. It can enable pet owners to take their beloved animals with them when they move to another city.
2. It allows pet owners to visit family or friends without having to worry about finding care for their pets while they are away.
3. Air travel is generally faster than other forms of transportation, allowing pets to arrive at their destination quickly and safely.
4. Airlines have regulations in place that ensure the safety and comfort of animals being transported in-cabin or in cargo holds.
5. Pet owners have greater access to pet-friendly accommodations and activities when traveling with their pets by air as opposed to other modes of transportation.
1. Airfare for transporting pets can be costly depending on the airline, the size of the animal, and the distance traveled.
2. Animals may become stressed or anxious due to the unfamiliar noises, vibrations, and climate changes associated with air travel.
3. Pets may be confused about turbulent air and bark.
Now you should know how to safely transport your pet like a King…