An Insider’s Guide to Traveling with Pets
Traveling with a pet can be challenging, especially considering the overwhelming abundance of new rules. Kelly E. Carter, president of thejetsetpets.com and AOL’s pet travel expert, and Sheron Long, international traveler extraordinaire and author of “Dog Trots Globe — To Paris and Provence,” share some of their secrets:
— Know the weight, age and kennel size and closure restrictions for the airline you’re flying.
— Due to recent incidents Some carriers, including American Airlines no longer transport short nosed breed Canines, Check with your airline regarding specific restrictions
— Carry a file that includes your pet’s vaccination records, proof of rabies, contact info for your vet, a photo of your pet, a list of any meds, and even some references from hotel concierges where you and your pet have stayed before
— Do your homework before you depart and always book early. Airlines offer a restricted number of cabin spots for pets, and they fill up fast.
— Find out about frequent flier miles, since those policies can change with each airline.
— Try to fly nonstop.
—Several airlines may have restricitions on checked in pets flying in cargo if the Destination city atmospheric tempurature is below a threshold temperature. Make sure to verify with your airline.
— For international travelers, each country has its own rules and regulations, regarding animal quarantine periods and required paperwork. Muster up some preparation and lots of patience.
— Airline Fees vary for pets, so have your pocketbook or credit card ready at the airport.
— Know exactly how much legroom you will have under the seat-this is where most airlines will make room for your pet. Seatguru.com lists the dimensions of any seat on almost all aircrafts.
— Ask for a window seat to avoid your pet getting jostled around when other passengers want to leave their seats.
— Food is not allowed inside of actual pet carriers but tape a Baggie to the outside just in case your flight is delayed or if it the duration of the flight is longer than 12 hours.
— To prevent any messy ‘accidents’, don’t give water or food to your pet in-flight. Use ice cubes and let the animal lick them as needed. Some also swear by using a moistened piece of natural sponge placed in the kennel.
— Do not feed your pet a sedative; most airlines will not take an animal under sedation
— Most airlines will not be able to check in pets curbside. Grab a skycap(located curbside) for assistance with checking in any large Kenneled pets and head straight to the airline check-in desk.
— If your pet is flying in cargo, ask the conditions it will be transported in from the terminal to the aircraft. Some airlines have air-conditioned or heated transport vehicles.
— Place an article of bedding or a toy inside the kennel with your pet, this has been shown to comfort and reassure pets while separated from their owners.
— Check Petflight.com for various airline rules involving pets.