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  • Post published:12/04/2021
  • Post last modified:12/04/2021
Tips For Traveling With Pets By Air

Post Last Modified – April 10, 2021

A Few Helpful Tips When Traveling With Pets By Air

Table of Contents

Planning a trip involves a lot of preparation and it becomes even more challenging if you’re taking a along a pet with you.

Traveling with your animal friend can be overwhelming, but it can definitely have many advantages as well. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an arduous long vacation, bringing your fur baby makes the whole trip more special and a more unforgettable experience. It can also save you from some very expensive pet boarding fees, depending on your time spent away.

There are many ways to travel with your pet; road trips, on boats, by buses, biking, running and even walking. But if you’re going somewhere far, like out of the country perhaps, then the most convenient option would be by airplane.

Check Each Airlines Pet Traveling Policies


WestJet Airlines

Due to a number of unfortunate incidents involving pets (mishandled, lost, or death cases), airlines have made necessary changes with their pet policies, ensuring the safety of traveling animals.

With that said, make sure that you are fully aware of the rules and regulations of your chosen airline you intend to fly with. Below, let’s have a look at the 3 options you have when boarding flights with pets.

Pets Flying In The Cabin – Baggage – Cargo

There are basically three ways to board your pet on commercial flights; in-cabin, checked baggage, and manifest cargo. Let’s have a look at the differences.



Air Travel With Pets

Pets boarded as in-cabin passengers get to be with their owners inside the plane. It makes it a perfect option if you really want your pet near you. Airlines, which allow this type of flight accommodation, however, provide a limited number of in-cabin passes for pets, and it usually varies by flight. If your chosen carrier has this policy, it is best to book the seats as early as possible. Otherwise, you will get cut.

For in-cabin, pets don’t actually have their own seats; they have to stay inside their kennel that can fit under the passenger seat. The carrier should meet the airlines’ requirements, and it should have enough space for your pet to move inside.

Service and emotional support animals are allowed as in-cabin passengers. But you need to secure a current assessment from your physician and submit it to the airline within 48 hours. This medical document should contain proof of medical license, state that you have an emotional or mental disability, and you need to have your pet with you when you travel.

Your animal companion should sit on your lap or at your feet but never in the aisle and exit paths.

Checked Baggage


Pet Carrier

The first option is only available if your pet is small enough to fit under the passenger seat. But if your beloved animal companion is relatively big, then it needs to travel as checked baggage, which is boarded in the cargo of the same plane you are flying. Aside from that, this is considered as excess baggage, so you will be paying additional fees upon checking in at the counter.

Checked baggage is not exactly a recommended choice, because you can’t monitor or check on your pet whenever you want to. However, it’s difficult to contest a strict policy that passengers need to adhere to. It’s just one of the reasons why you need to do your research and find out the policies of your chosen airline, or major companies that accept pet passengers.

To make sure that your pet is safe while in transit, the cage or crate must be 👮 IATA-compliant. The kennel must be secured with nuts and bolts, and your pet can access its food and water bowls with ease. All four sides of the crate should be well-ventilated, and the floor should come with an absorbent floor padding so that your furry friend can be comfortable during the entire flight.

Manifest Cargo


Dog Inside Travel Carrier

It bears the word cargo, but what makes it different from checked baggage? It means that you and your animal friend are not flying on the same plane. Your pet is on the cargo but flying on a separate aircraft, either of the same company or an affiliated airline.

A manifest cargo is readily available if an airline of your choice does not permit animals on board, and if you have a large pet weighing more than 30 kilograms. Things could be perhaps a very large Saint Bernard, Great Dane, or perhaps a Doberman.

In most cases, major airlines provide a group of people who are skilled in transporting live animals. Booking/boarding your pet on a manifest cargo flight can give you a more comfortable peace of mind. This because the aircraft personnel have extensive knowledge of safeguarding all types of animals for flying.

Of course, companies will do their utmost to make sure your pet is safe at all times. Otherwise, they would lose their passengers’ trust and can even face certain consequences if your furry pal gets harmed. No company likes that kind of spotlight.

Restricted Pet Breeds From Air Travel



This may not sound too good, but it’s something every pet owner needs to know. Another important policy pet owners should be aware of is the list of pet breeds that most (if not all) airlines have restricted.

These types of pets are classified as brachycephalic, which either have flat faces or snub noses. Animals with particular facial structures have difficulty in breathing during stressful situations, like flying. It can also be fatal, since their airways tend to get obstructed. If they can’t breathe properly, then brachycephalics may die.

For your guidance, here are some pet breeds on the restricted list, including mixed breeds.


Affenpinscher , Boston Terrier, Bulldog, French Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Griffon Bruxellois, Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Pug, Shih Tzu


British and Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian, Scottish Fold

Here’s to hoping that the breed of your beloved furry friend is not on the list. But if it is, then you can always opt for another way of traveling with your pet. Road trips and maritime cruising are two travel options you can try. 🙂

Things To Pack For Pets Air Travel


Healthy Pets

To finish all the preparations for getting your pet ready for air travel, you need to pack a few necessary essentials for your beloved animal friend. Here is a list of the items you need.

➡   health records and vaccination documents;
➡   properly labeled medications;
➡   collar, leash, harness, pet bed;
➡   grooming supplies, a small towel, hair rollers;
➡   portable litter, waste pads;
➡   dry food and a bottle of water with their containers;
➡   catnip, toys, treats.

Infographic Supplied By PurringPal:

For your next flight with your pet, read much more about pet airline policies on their 🐶 PurringPal Blog. Policies do vary greatly among individual airlines. As well, check out their colorful handy air travel with pets infographic below.

Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂

signature of author and owner Robert Tellier at https://gr8traveltips.com


Pet travel rates in airlines


Healthy Travel Lifestyle


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