Heading out of town on an adventure or to visit family usually means leaving behind your best friend. After all, most pet owners consider their furry friends as furry family members. It doesn’t matter whether you have a dog, a cat, or another pet – traveling together is not always the most convenient thing to do, especially when that travel involves flying. However, there are a few tips and things you should know when flying with pets that can make the experience much more enjoyable – for both of you.
Before you book your next getaway, let’s talk about flying with pets.
How Travel Impacts Your Pet
If you have done much traveling at all, you know that it can be stressful at times – and you know what is going on. You know you are getting on an airplane and what to expect while onboard. You know you are traveling to a specific destination and what you intend to do while you are there. You know that there may be noises and bumps and lots of different strangers around. You know all of this because you are human.
While it is greatly dependent on your pet, travel isn’t something they understand. The different routines, the different smells, the different feelings and sensations, and so forth can make pets extremely stressed. It can have a negative impact on your pet. When you decide to allow your animal to go with cargo, these are all amplified.
Before you consider flying with pets, it is important to have a pre-travel vet visit. Discuss your travel plans with the vet and have your pet examined to see if travel is a healthy thing for him or her. Different ages, temperaments, or health conditions can impact the vet’s decision. Further, if you get the ok to travel, your vet will make sure your pet has all the necessary shots and may even prescribe a drug for sedation during the trip.
Tips for Flying with Pets
- Read the airline’s pet policy as they are all different. You may encounter restrictions when it comes to weight, fees, carrier sizes, and policies. For instance, it isn’t uncommon for a commercial airline to insist the pet carrier fit under the seat in front of you. Unless you have a tiny pet, you may need more options. It’s important to note that many airlines have done away with allowing those pets declared as “emotional support animals” on board their flights. Be sure to double-check before you book.
- Avoid the cargo if at all possible. You never want to put your pet in the cargo hold. It is just not an ideal situation for your pet – and forget about having connecting flights. Things don’t go wrong very often, but they do. And when they do, you don’t want your pet to be involved. It doesn’t matter how low the incidence rate is – the idea of potentially losing your pet on a connection or due to death is just not what pet owners want to hear.
- Most commercial airlines will charge a fee for bringing your pet on board. This fee varies based on the airline, but it can get hefty.
- Don’t forget to check breed restrictions. You can have everything in place to fly with your pet, but then arrive at the airport and find you cannot board because your pet doesn’t meet the requirements. Certain breeds such as pit bulls are often refused, as are bulldogs and pugs, due to their respiratory issues. Some airlines won’t take certain breeds of cats, such as Persian or Himalayan, either. So before you end up with a surprise, check first.
- Book your ticket in advance. Most commercial airliners only allow so many pets on a flight. The earlier you book your flight, the better chance you have of it being your pet.
- Ditch commercial travel and take your pet on the flight of a lifetime – on a private charter. Private jets have a lot fewer restrictions than commercial airliners when it comes
Pets and Private Travel
It seems like a lot of trouble to take your pet with you on your trip, doesn’t it? It can bring added stress to you and cause undue stress to your pet. And, although following the above tips can really help in adding some comfort to the experience, it still doesn’t make the whole thing pleasant.
There is one way in which you can offer your pets a nice getaway with you – without being subjected to commercial airline policies. That’s flying private.
When you choose to book a private charter, you and your dog can walk right onboard the flight! There is no special must-fit-under-the-seat requirement. And there definitely is no way your dog would fly cargo on a private jet. While the flight experience may still be a little stressful for your pup, it gives you the opportunity to get close to your pet, snuggle, watch a movie, have a snack, and offer comfort while in the air.
Check the rules and requirements of your private jet charter. Many will allow dogs to walk right on, but cats will usually have to be in a carrier.
For many pet-loving travelers, flying private is the only option when it comes to transporting their fur friends. Not only does it come with a long list of benefits for you, but it keeps your pets comfy and safe, too – it’s really a win-win.
Traveling can be a wonderful experience and increase your quality of life. It can do the same for your pet, too, if done in the right way. Don’t subject your pet to the stress and anxiety that comes with flying on a commercial airliner, whether in the cargo or under the seat in front of you. Instead, choose to have a wonderful flight experience with your furry friend on board a private jet charter.