Flying Private With Pets
“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”
– Andy Rooney
We receive a lot of inquiries from pet owners traveling with their pets. All of them are concerned with the safety and comfort of their beloved furry family, and many are faced with limited options for transport.
Commercial Air Travel
In the U.S. the commercial airlines are very restrictive with their rules governing pet transport. Below are links to the pet travel policies of major U.S. airlines:
If your pet qualifies for travel on a commercial airline be sure to book your travel well in-advance. Airlines only allow a limited number of pets on each flight, both in-cabin and as cargo. Also, take steps to ensure that your pet’s trip will be safe and comfortable. Consider these travel tips from The Humane Society for a successful journey.
Unfortunately, many pets do not qualify for commercial airline travel. My 65 lbs. bully mix is too big for carry-on and a breed not allowed to be checked. ?
Some pet-owners opt to ship their pets. If you choose this route, I strongly recommend that you carefully vet (no pun intended) the company you select before entrusting it with your pet. International Pet and Animal Transportation (IPATA) offers a global network of professional pet shippers and is a great resource for learning about safely transporting your pet.
Shipping your pet by air cargo is not suitable for all animals. Age, infirmity and temperament can make air cargo difficult or dangerous for many pets.
Breed can also affect the safety of your pet traveling by cargo or checked baggage. Short-nosed (brachycephalic) dog breeds have a greater risk of death during air transport. These breeds are at risk of respiratory issues under normal conditions, and air travel increases the risk. Their shortened noses make them vulnerable to the changes in air quality and temperature that occur during flight. Although cargo holds are pressurized, temperature and circulation are not monitored as closely as in the cabin. The crate that is carrying your pet can also affect ventilation. Unfortunately, since the hold area is not monitored, in the event your pet requires help it will go unattended until it is unloaded.
Whether your pet travels as carry-on, checked baggage or cargo one rule to follow:
Do NOT sedate your pet for air travel!
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) warns against tranquilizing pets for air travel because of risk of heart and respiratory issues. In fact, most commercial airlines will not allow a sedated pet to travel.
Despite the cost, flying private often presents the best option for traveling with a pet. A private charter allows you to decide how your pet will travel. Not every aircraft allows pets, but as brokers with access to thousands of aircraft, we can find an aircraft to accommodate your needs and requirements.
Benefits of a private charter for your pet:
- Fly In Cabin
- Air pressure and quality is closely monitored in the cabin and best for at-risk pets.
- Allows owners to monitor their pet’s condition.
- Pets are at ease when their owners are nearby
- Fly Uncrated
- Allows optimal air circulation and comfort.
- Offer water to keep your pet hydrated.
- Avoid The Terminal
- Private flights circumvent the hectic commercial terminal. This reduces noise and other sensory input that can overstimulate your pet and make them anxious.
- Reduce Travel Time
- Arrive to the airport only 30 minutes prior to departure.
- Upon landing immediately deplane and receive your baggage.
- This makes the entire journey more seamless and less disruptive to your pet’s nervous system.
- All breeds, sizes and types of pets welcome
Tips for Private Charter with your Pet
- Let your travel partner know upfront that you are traveling with a pet.
- Be clear about how you are willing to have your pet travel.
- Inquire about possible fees involved.
- Make sure you have the proper documentation to travel with your pet.
Visit our Flying with Pets page to learn more about flying private charter with your pet.
Animals are extremely intuitive and can sense the stress of their people. Through your voice, body language and other subtle clues, they can detect your emotional state. For your pet’s well-being (and your own!), regardless of the travel method you choose, try to maintain a positive, stress-free attitude so that your pet can maintain one as well.