As you plan for your flight with your pet

Choose the most direct flight to your destination. This will help reduce the stress on your pet.

If warm temperatures are a concern, book an early morning, evening, or overnight flight when the temperatures are cooler. If cold weather is an issue, book your flight for the middle of the day.

Contact the airline you and your pet will be traveling on. Make sure your pet has a reservation and find out if there are any new travel restrictions or issues you need to be aware of. You will want to inform the airlines as early as possible as some limit the number of pets on a flight.

When you choose a kennel/carrier for you pet make sure:

  • It is sized correctly. There should be enough room for the animal to stand and sit in a natural position, turn around, and lie down. Some airlines require brachycephalic, or pug nosed dogs and cats, to have a kennel an extra size larger for their safety.
  • The kennel door closes securely. A major cause of pet injury during airline travel is the animal getting out of the kennel. The door must not be locked as federal regulations require that your pet is accessible in the event of an emergency.
  • Approved for air transport.

If your pet is not crate trained, you should begin crate training as early as possible to ensure that your pet is comfortable in the kennel. Trying to escape and actually escaping from the kennel during the flight is the most common cause of injury for pets that fly. Some pets may take up to 6 months to become comfortable in a kennel, and some may never completely accept the kennel. If your pet does not become comfortable with the crate before the flight, you may want to reconsider flying your pet.

If you are traveling to a foreign country or Hawaii, make sure that you have met all the quarantine and health requirements of your destination. In some cases failure to do so may cause your pet to be destroyed.

Honestly evaluate how you think your pet will react to the experience. If you feel that your pet might injure itself by attempting to escape from the kennel during shipment, you should look for other options in transporting your pet. Not every pet is a good candidate for air travel. You know you pet and are in the best position to make this decision.

Federal regulations require that pets be at least 8 weeks old and weaned at least 5 days before flying.

Animals who are in heat or who are pregnant should not travel by air.

Comments

geet wrote over 5 years ago:

Hi iam traveling from oman to india, banglore with my 4years old shih tzu. Is it save to keep him in the cabin or cargo, becouse the airlines suggest that in cabin he will hv a breathing problem, pls reply. Thanks.

Lopez wrote over 5 years ago:

I am traveling with my two year old Shih-tzu to Vina del Mar Chile. Can someone please recommend me some airlines that would allow for him to be checked in the cabin? i am really scared due to the reading i have read on this website traveling with him. I am moving due to job placement i recieved in Chile. My dog is my only family i have.

Rickie wrote over 5 years ago:

I am traveling with my mixed breed Labrador in August, from either Boston or Seattle to Honolulu, as we are moving there. Does anyone out there have any tips for the best airlines to travel, which routes, etc? Temps in HNL are rather high and I am very familiar with the temp regulations but I have to be there for my new job. I want to give my 11 yr old mixed Labrador the 'least' stressful flying experience possible. I can fly him on Continental directly from Newark NJ to HNL, which is an option-the flight is long, but direct...and I am also considering that option, to avoid plane changes. Does anyone have experience flying a large dog from Newark NJ on Continental Airlines to Honolulu? Any tips from experience is really appreciated. I love my dog, as we all do! Thank you. Aloha.

Carolyn wrote about 5 years ago:

Hi Rickie,
My husband and I are facing exact same move. We have booked our 11 year old large yellow lab on the Continental flight (non stop) Newark, NJ to HNL later this month and am nervous. It his first flight, but we hope the non stop will help. Note that it gets in at 5:50 pm and examiners won't be able to check your dog until next day (as they leave at 5PM) - had wanted direct release...how about you?
Aloha ad mahalo for any feedback.

Alain wrote about 4 years ago:

Hi I have a schnauzer 13 lbs Ill flight with him in my airplane from south America to USA,can help me with what paper i need for entry the country
Thank you

pat wrote over 3 years ago:

HI, I AM GOING HOME TO HAWAII AND I HAVE A CAT WHO WILL BE WITH ME ON BOARD. MY CONCERN IS IS THERE A WAY TO KEEP HER CALM, OR IS THERE ANY KIND OF SEDATIVE TO MAKE HER RELAX .IT WILL BE AT LEAST 6HRS FOR THAT FLIGHT. ALSO DO THEY NEED FOOD AND WATER ON BOARD? WHAT IF SHE NEEDS TO DO HER THING , THEN WHAT. BE WAITING FOR YOUR COMMENTS. THANK YOU, PAT

lynn krupp wrote almost 2 years ago:

i have 2 cats and i am disabled and wanted to know if i could bring them on the plane with me. i am not comfortable putting them on cargo this will be the first time they will be flying. let me know if i can do this. Lynn Krupp

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