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  • Writer's pictureElaine Green

Pets and Private Jets

In the 21st century you would think that flying pets around the world be easier than ever and that airlines would respond and adapt positively to the growing demand for pet transport. Well you would be wrong. Moving pets has become increasingly challenging and difficult!

Many airlines, understandably, stopped moving pets during the Covid pandemic. Long after the world has started to get back to "normal" airlines and airports have continued to suffer from a lack of qualified and experienced staff. Airlines have continued to maintain their ban on pets as checked baggage and cargo long after other restrictions have been lifted. When airlines and airports get back to full capacity will they reinstate pet travel, or will they maintain the restrictions on pet travel to save money and effort? Today, (Nov 22) nearly every American carrier does not transport pets, and there are no indications of when, or if, service will resume.

This ban has not just affected Americans wanting to move their pets within the States. All airlines are part of alliances such as skyteam, Star Alliance and ,One World . Alliances use each other’s aircraft to share routes, and offer their passengers more flight options.

An example of an alliance route would be a flight from Malaysia to the USA with Star Alliance. ANA Airlines (Japan) and Delta Airlines (United States) share this route flying via Tokyo. But this arrangement for sharing flights does not mean that the airlines provide the same terms. ANA accept pets as check luggage / cargo from Malaysia to Tokyo but Delta from Tokyo to New York do not, so if you had booked your pet with ANA, it would not be allowed on the second leg and would be stranded in Tokyo!

As pet relocation agents we know how to work around these situations for standard breed and "normal pets", but when you add snub nosed, banned breeds, or pets such as rescued animals with anxiety issues, things get very difficult.

Relocating with pets on commercial flights has therefore become nigh on impossible for many owners. This situation has led to more and more people considering charter flights (private jet) as the only viable, safe and comfortable option. Of course, this is an expensive option, but one that can be cost competitive when travelling on an organised group charter flight.

Pet Relocation International (PRI) works closely with experienced brokers to find discounted charter flights (e.g. empty leg and back haul flights) for small groups of passengers wanting to fly from one chosen destination to another.

For example, a popular route from New York to Portugal one-way on a private plane might be available as an empty-leg and be discounted to $100,000. With 10 passengers with pets the cost becomes $10,000/passenger, including pet. Most cargo reservations, if a viable option, for this same route cost up to $6,000 for a large dog + owner’s flight costs, say $7-$8,000 in total. So, when compared to transporting your pet as cargo, a charter flight may only be 20-30% more expensive than transporting. But safer, more comfortable, more convenient, less stressful.

Of course, finding 10 like minded people all needing and willing to travel together at the same time is not a simple, task. We invest a lot of time and effort finding suitable charter flights and coordinating travel groups.

Katy Prochaska needed to fly her dog from USA to Portugal back in 2021. For her own personal reasons flying her dog in cargo was not an option. Katy knew there must be other like minded people who would want to fly their pets by private jet and set about creating Charter Air Travel with Pets. Katy worked tirelessly to bring people in the same situation together and through her incredible hard work and dedication she has managed to help hundreds of other pet owners connect and fly their pets to many different locations around the world. The group to date has over 14,000 members which is truly incredible!

This option is ideal for families who have banned breed pets such as British Bulldogs who are not accepted by any airlines due to the high risk of death in cargo.

Check out these other groups on facebook to explore charter in more detail. US/UK Dog & Pet Repatriation Private Charter Jet Group. Private Air Charters To / From Costa Rica - Pet Friendly

Information on charter brokers can also be found here:

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