Pets and airplanes: here is what you need to know

Traveling with your pet can be fun if you know how do it.

Flying with your cats and dogs is complex, yes, but if you organize everything correctly your trip will be as smooth as you expect.

Do not leave your furry friend home for the holidays, bring it with you and follow our tips to make this experience harmless for both you and your pet.

Travelling with your pet: first arrangements

Before deciding to embark on a plane trip with your dog or cat, here’s our advice: go to your vet to submit your four-legged friend to a complete check-up, in order to make sure he can face a journey by plane.

Once you have checked its health, consult the regulations of the airline you will fly with; most companies accept pets on board, but each has its own regulation and, of course, its own tariff.

Usually, it’s not possible to buy your and your pet’s ticket by the airline’s website because only a precise number of animals is allowed on each aircraft.

Moreover, speaking with the customer center directly, will give precious information about very important matters, such as the allowed dimension of your pet’s carrier and its total weight.

Be certain that your pet is more than three months old: dogs and cats under the age of 3 months are not allowed on the plane.

Documents: which ones will you need?

Although it may seem strange, animals have the obligation to travel with an identification passport too; usually, this type of documents are issued by veterinary health services and it attests all the information about the health of your four-legged friend.

According to what is stated in the Regulation (EU) 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013, animal identification can take place in different ways:

  • Through a tattoo identification (if applied before 3 July 2011)
  • Through an electronic identification system (microchip or transponder whose identification number must be shown on the passport)
  • Via an individual identification passport

Pets on an airplane: cabin or hold?

When you decide to travel by plane with dogs and cats, you need to solve a huge moral dilemma that involves your pet’s comfort and stress during the flight: which arrangement can be better for him, cabin or in the hold?

Often, the answer to this question depends on the size of the animal in question.

Usually, airlines allow their passengers to bring pets in the cabin when they weigh no more than 10 kg (carrier included). 

If your furry friend weighs more than 10kg, he must travel in the hold; it can be a troubling decision to make, but there are some very important and standard rules that airlines must follow in order to assure the wellbeing of the animal during the flight. In general, the following rules are respected:

  • Medium or large dogs must travel inside the pressurized hold inside special cages
  • Carriers, in addition to respecting the size limit imposed by the airline in question, must allow the ‘animal to be in a comfortable position, to be able to turn and crouch on itself
  • The animal in the carrier must have neither leash nor muzzle and these objects must not be present inside the carrier
  • The animal shouldn’t have a bad smell and must not represent a danger for passengers
  • The bottom of the carrier must be solid and waterproof

Now, if you are worried about how to reach the airport carrying your pet, what we recommend you is to choose the solution that takes most of the stress out of your dog or cat.

Avoid public transportation and choose a shuttle service that can ensure you both the most comfortable situation.

Our service includes pet transportation, so do not hesitate in contacting us for more information!  

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