Airlines to Clarify Rules for Flying Pets

BY Rachel Cagle
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"If you thought it was complicated to fly with your pet, you’re right, says The Washington Post. Just like traveling with family members, it can be stressful and confusing to coordinate your flights together. For our furry friends, getting in the air is not as simple as buying a ticket and showing up to the airport, even if you’re only traveling within the country. There can be certificates to obtain, medicine to be prescribed and fees to pay."

"But it’s doable. Every year, more than two million live animals are transported by air, according to the Transportation Department. To help you figure out a game plan for flying domestic with your companion, we got answers from pet professionals to the most common questions."

"How do I know if my cat or dog can fly?

Ultimately, the airline you’re flying will have final say. Your pet’s age, health, size and breed will all be taken into account when officials determine whether it can board a plane."

"As far as age goes, the federal Animal Welfare Act from the Agriculture Department states that dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and weaned for at least five days, but airlines may have older age minimums. You’ll also have to provide a certification from a veterinarian that your pet is healthy enough to fly."

"Then there’s breed. Snub-​nosed, or short-​nosed, dogs and cats, like pugs or Persian cats, are more likely to die on planes in cargo than breeds with longer noses. Many airlines ban them from flying checked or in cargo. Owners of small snub-​nosed breeds can arrange for their pet to join them in the cabin. Owners of larger snub-​nosed dogs, like pit bull terriers or mastiffs, are out of luck; they’re too large for in-​cabin flying."

"Can my dog or cat fly in the cabin with me, or will it need to go into cargo or be checked?

Size plays a major role in your pet’s arrangements. If your pet is small enough to travel in a ventilated carrier that fits under an airplane seat (among other requirements that can vary from airline to airline), you can usually bring it onboard domestic flights for a fee. Note: If you bring a pet onboard, its carrier will count as your carry-​on bag, so you’ll have to check other luggage.

The other methods for pets big and small are making them cargo or checking them. Heads up that some airlines have restrictions on crate sizes, which might mean that larger dogs won’t be allowed to fly."

"Do I need to let the airline know about my pet ahead of time?

Airlines may have a limit on how many pets can fly in the cabin, making it a first-​come, first-​served situation. Register your pet with your airline early."

"How much is it going to cost?

The price varies depending on how your pet is being transported and which airline you choose. You can expect to pay roughly $75 to $125 each way for pets traveling inside the cabin and $200 for pets that are checked or in cargo. Prices can skyrocket to more than $1,900 for very large dogs, or for special circumstances."

There are still many things pet owners need to know before flying with their fur babies: vet and crate requirements, bathroom policies, etc. Airlines can make the information finding process easier for for Cat Owners by promoting their pet policies where travelers can find the finer details. Cat Owners, according to AudienceSCAN, are 14% more likely than others to enjoy receiving how-​to emails from businesses, and last year, 46.4% of these consumers took action after receiving email ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on airline services and airport operations, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.