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Flying With Your Pet? What You Need to Know

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  • Flying With Your Pet? What You Need to Know

    Most pet owners think of their pets as treasured members of the family. Naturally, these members would want to travel along to the airport parking lot with everyone else heading out on vacation. But before you make plans to bring Fido or Fifi along, consider the risks and regulations regarding traveling with your pets around the U.S.

    At the Airport

    When you arrive at the airport parking lot, it's a good idea to transport your pet in a carrier across the asphalt, as it could be very hot on his paws. At most airports in the United States, your pet is required to be in a proper carrier when it enters, unless you have a service dog on a leash.

    Due to a 2009 regulation that requires all airlines working in cooperation with airports to provide relief areas for service animals, there are now "pet-friendly" airports that can handle other types of dogs and cats located throughout the country. Relief areas typically include an outdoor area for your pet to stretch its leg and take care of business.

    If your pet is traveling in the airplane cabin with you, remember that he'll have to go through the same type of TSA security screening as you do - he will be required to pass through the metal detector and could be subject to a physical inspection, or pat down. Not even cuddly pooches are exempt from the TSA's screening procedures! And because you never know how Fido or Fifi is going to react, allow yourself extra time to get through security before boarding your plane.

    Airline Regulations

    When traveling as cargo or checked baggage, your pet's carrier must be of a certain size and cannot exceed a specific weight limit. Your portable kennel is usually required to have rigid sides and you must provide a water and food bowl and have an absorbent lining in the bottom. Of course you wouldn't expect your beloved Labrador to be cramped into a cat carrier but do be aware that most airlines require a certain amount of space for the animal to move around comfortably before allowing the carrier into the cargo hold.

    Make sure your animal is old enough to fly comfortably and book a nonstop flight, if at all possible to cause minimal trauma and delays. Think about the temperature, too. It's not a good idea to travel with your pet during extremely hot or cold periods at your destination or departure city.

  • #2
    Re: Flying With Your Pet? What You Need to Know

    Just to clarify. The pet doesn't go through the luggage xray machine. You need to take the pet out of his carrier (which does go through the xray and carry him through the metal detector

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    • #3
      Re: Flying With Your Pet? What You Need to Know

      Danie.. that was a wonderful explanation on flying with pets. I once fly from Canada to US..very short distance and was thinking about it for a whole journey and I think its really best to drop them off at home.

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      • #4
        Re: Flying With Your Pet? What You Need to Know

        If you are planning on moving your cats by flying them with you, be aware that most airlines will insist you use an IATA (International Air Transport Association) approved carrier to transport your pet. An IATA approved carrier requirements are based on a species needs and animal size.

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