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  • Writer's pictureElaine Green

3 Ways to transport your pets on aircrafts

A client was asking me to explain to her the various options for transporting pets on an aircraft. Here is the answer.

If you are planning to travel with your pet, you can make a reservation (if the airline you intend to travel with permits pets and allows all options) in two ways.

1. If your dog/cat is small enough (usually less than 8kg in weight and 40cm height) to travel in the aircraft cabin with you, you can add your pet to your flight reservation as pet in cabin. The pet must fit into an airline approved soft or hard case travel carrier which fits underneath the seat in front of you. You arrive to the airport as normal, present all the pet’s documents at check in. When your pet is all checked and approved you take the pet on your flight with you.

2. If your dog/cat is too big or noisy to fly in the cabin with you, you can add your pet as extra luggage to your passenger ticket reservation. There are weight and height restriction on some airlines which must be checked before adding the pet to the booking. You arrive for your flight as normal and take your pet with you to the check in desk. The pet’s documents will be checked and then your pet will be taken by staff to a special pet area at the airport whilst waiting to board the aircraft. You are advised that check-in should be done at least three hours before travel if you have a pet to ensure that the staff have plenty of time to process all the information.

Some airlines allow either of these two options, or just the first or second option. However, some airlines may only allow to transport your pet as Manifest Cargo.

3. As Manifest Cargo the pet is booked on their own flight reservation as Animal Cargo and can travel independently of their owner. The pet will be checked in at the freight cargo terminal of the airport. Your pet must arrive 4 hours before they are due to depart for the flight and all documentation presented upon check-in. Manifest Cargo can be more time consuming and costly process and a customs agent may need to be employed to facilitate the clearance process at the destination. The owner can choose to travel on the same flight if it is a commercial flight, but often the time delay does not make this a practical option.

Here is a great link on youtube which also explains the process:

Information on crate purchase:

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