Travelling with pets and assistance dogs


 

Leaving a pet at home when one has to travel can be traumatic for both the owner and animal, so much so that now increasing numbers of people are deciding to take their pets with them.

We have prepared a brief  guide for those who want to fly with their animals.

 

animals transport

 

Firstly here are the basic rules which take effect when travelling within Europe (this is a general overview of the most important ones):

  1. Your pet must be tagged with a microchip (dog, cat or ferret),
  2. Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies (dog, cat or ferret),
  3. Your dog must be vaccinated against Echinococcus multilocularis when entering Finland, Ireland, Malta, United Kingdom or Norway,
  4. Your pet (dog, cat or ferret) must have a passport from veterinarian,
  5. You must have container big enough for your animal. The container should have air holes from 3 sides minimum, enough space to turn around/stand up/sit down/lie down in its natural position, moreover, a food box and water bottle must be placed inside the container.

As you can see there is a lot of preparation involved! In most of countries microchips are already obligatory (as are vaccinations). Remember that you need some time after  vaccination or medical treatment to be able to fly with your pet (after vaccination against rabies you have to wait 21 days before the departure date). Contact your vet for more information about the first 4 points.

 

Next point is important as well – pet carrier. The most important is to ensure the container your pet is travelling in is safe and secure. It must be leak proof. The food and water containers should be accessible from the outside. The pet should not be muzzled or have a collar. Make sure your furry friend is familiar with the container – travelling by plane is very stressful experience. Container must be equipped with metal handles, as plastic ones can be broken whilst in transit. Some dogs (known as ‘fighting’ dogs) should have different types of carriers – check with your airline for more details.

 

Below you can find more info about travelling with animals in different counties:

Australia (click here)

Canada (click here)

Europe – IATA (click here)

Japan (click here)

New Zealand (click here)

USA – USDA (click here)

 

As you can see all general rules (like medical or formal cases) are set by governments or special organisations. Each airline has its own rules and regulations on how to travel with pets on-board.

 

Pet passport

 

Below are a few examples how it works in different airlines:

 

British Airways:

  1. Can my pet travel with me in the cabin? – NO (except OpenSkies flights between Paris and New York)
  2. Can my pet travel with me as checked baggage? – NO
  3. Can my pet travel as cargo? – YES
  4. Can my assistance dog travel with me in the cabin? – YES, like in every airline

 

  1. OpenSkies flights:
  • pets can fly in the cabin with you if they weigh is less than 6kg/13,2lb (with container),
  • pet carrier must be large enough for your animal to be able to get up and turn around,
  • container can have maximum: length 45 cm x width 30 cm x height 24 cm,
  • pet is not allowed to leave the transport carrier during flight,
  • only one animal per person is allowed, there is room for maximum 6 animals in the airplane,
  • costs: 196 USD or 125 EUR per animal,
  • if your pet or container is bigger than written above than it will go to the aircraft hold.
  1. British Airways is not transporting pets as checked baggage.
  1. Cargo: Contact with IAG World Cargo – company responsible for transporting pets on British Airways.
  1. Registered assistance dog can fly with you in a cabin free of charge:
  • On all international flights to/from London Heathrow, Gatwick and City and on all UK domestic flights,
  • You must have leash and muzzle.

 

Lufthansa:

  1. Can my pet travel with me in the cabin? – YES (certain flights)
  2. Can my pet travel with me as checked baggage? – YES (certain flights)
  3. Can my pet travel as cargo? – YES
  4. Can my assistance dog travel with me in the cabin? – YES, like in every airline

 

  1. Cabin:
  • your dog or cat can be transported in your own carrier (55 x 40 x 23 cm maximum, water and bite proof),
  • maximum weight of animal with a box is 8 kg,
  • pet is not allowed to leave the transport carrier during the flight,
  • animals are not included in the free baggage allowance,
  • you must inform Lufthansa about your pet no later than 24h before departure date,
  • costs: within Germany: 35 EUR, within Europe and third counties: 50 EUR, Intercontinental: 70 EUR.
  1. Checked baggage and cargo:
  • if your pet is too large to fit in the cabin it will go to a special cargo section,
  • pets are not permitted to travel as a checked baggage to countries like Hong Kong or the United Kingdom (they must fly as a cargo),
  • weather forecast must show temperature between 7ºC and 30ºC in departure, transfer or arrival city (except pug-nosed dogs – up to 27ºC),
  • fighting dogs must be transported in special containers (exclude puppies between 3-6 months) in line with IATA regulations,
  • costs as checked baggage: within Germany: 70-150 EUR, within Europe and third counties: 100-200 EUR, Intercontinental: 150-300 EUR (depends of the container size),
  • unaccompanied animals can travel with Lufthansa Cargo.
  1. Assistance dog can fly with you in a cabin free of charge:
  • harness and muzzle are recommended,
  • on long-distance flights written confirmations that the animal can defecate and urinate on command is necessary.

 

DELTA:

  1. Can my pet travel with me in the cabin? – YES (certain flights)
  2. Can my pet travel with me as checked baggage? – YES (certain flights)
  3. Can my pet travel as cargo? – YES
  4. Can my assistance dog travel with me in the cabin? – YES, like in every airline

 

  1. Cabin:
  • dogs, cats or household birds* can travel in a cabin for a fee (paid in check-in counter),
  • for flights to Hawaii pets are not permitted to travel in the cabin,
  • pet counts as one piece of carry-on baggage (Pet in Cabin fees still apply),
  • costs: USA/Canada 125 USD, Brazil 75 USD, Virgin Islands 125 USD, Puerto Rico 125 USD, outside the USA 200 USD.

*household birds are permitted during flights within US only

  1. Checked baggage and cargo:
  • pets as checked baggage must be booked at least 48 h before departure,
  • you can have two kennels per flight,
  • accepted animals as checked baggage: cats (except snub-nosed cats), dogs (except pug or snub-nosed dogs), household birds (US domestic flights only), guinea pigs (US domestic flights only), rabbits (US domestic flights only), hamsters (US domestic flights only) and marmots (US domestic flights only),
  • giant-sized kennels must be transported as cargo,
  • for flights to/from South Africa, the United Kingdom or Hong Kong pets must travel as cargo,
  • other animals (like reptiles or primate including monkeys etc.) must be shipped as cargo,
  • costs: checked baggage on all flights: 200 USD/EUR.

 

Low-cost airlines:

Very often you are not allowed to travel with your pet at all. It is because of fares – they want to transport people as cheap as they can. Aircrafts have no rooms in cabins or inside aircrafts hold (it must be special place for animals with stable temperature).

The best option when you have animal is to organise all formalities before you even think about travel. As you can see there is a lot of restrictions so be sure you double-check everything with your airline.

 

animals transport 2




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