Forget Martha Stewart. Here’s how we play house and keep the furry ones who live there happy, too
To properly pull off the trip for all parties simply takes a little extra preparation and a few precautions, not to mention some additional Benjamin’s.
If you think you may have a situation that would call for booking a last minute flight, such as to visit an ailing parent, and would need to bring your pet along, you might want to do some sleuthing now. Policies and procedures can change at any given moment though, so check back every 6 months or so to make sure that things haven’t drastically changed.
You might also want to get some “doggy downers” from the vet. It can help you, your dog and the other passengers if your pet has a little added incentive to stay calm.
Don’t expect to just show up with your dog and book a flight. Most carriers have pretty strict guidelines as to the number of live animals that are allowed per flight and may limit pets flying in cabin to only one or two per flight.
There are generally three ways your pet can fly, in the passenger cabin, as cargo or as excess baggage.
The Unfriendly Skies?
If you can, you want to skip sending your pet as cargo. If for some reason you’re not accompanying your pet or if your dog is too big to meet the requirements (usually 100 pounds, which includes the weight of your pet and the carrier. Carriers may weigh 30 pounds by themselves), you could be stuck with no option but to go cargo. It tends to be a bit more dangerous as well as being very expensive.
Excess baggage is the way your pet needs to travel if they are too big to fit in a pet carrier that can go under the seat in front of you. Also, realize that some breeds, for a variety of reasons, are not permitted to fly as either excess baggage or cargo. Additionally, there may be other restrictions based upon the route being flown or time of year, for example during summer months.
Please make sure your pets are safely stowed under the seat in front of you.
Flying with your pet in the cabin is the safest and easiest way to fly. It’s also usually the least expensive way, usually running around $50 - $100. There are tight restrictions regarding the number of live animals allowed in the cabin per flight, so book as far in advance as you possibly can.
You can find all the specifics for particular airline carrier’s pet policies by visiting their web sites or contacting them by phone. Many have extensive literature that not only outlines the rules and regulations, including things like having proof of rabies shots or the exact under-the-seat dimensions.
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