Air Travel Rules: Flying With Pets

If you are flying with a pet for the first time it is best to know the rules of the road so to speak. You will find that you are subject to a whole new set of air travel rules where pets are concerned. Best to know them before leaving for the airport, with your pet or pets in tow.

The first step is to make sure that your particular pet is even allowed. Certain pets are allowed to be on airplanes, but that does not mean that all airlines will allow it. If you are planning on traveling with your pet, you will need to inform your airline upfront. This is vital because not all airlines will allow you to bring a pet onboard. Therefore, if you do not check with your airline before heading to the airport, you may be unable to board your flight.

You will need to keep your pet contained. That means that if you are traveling with a dog or a cat, that animal will need to be in a carrier. When purchasing an animal carrier, it is important to know that not all carriers are permitted onboard. If you will be keeping your animal in the cabin with you, as opposed to having your animal treated as checked baggage, you will need to make sure that your pet carrier will not negatively affect other passengers. Your pet carrier must not block aisle ways or encroach on other passengerís seating spaces. In addition to these general rules and restrictions, you may find that each airline has their own set of pet carrier rules.

Almost all airlines require that your pets have the proper documents before being allowed on their airplanes. These documents most commonly include information on your pet's health. Most airlines require that your pet undergoes a medical evaluation before being transported by airplane. This information is not only used to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to fly, but that they are protected with the proper vaccinations that will protect your pet, other passengers, and the airline staff.

Once you have received clearance from the airline you intend to fly on, purchased the appropriate pet equipment, and obtained the proper health checks for your pet, you are ready to travel. On the day of your flight, you may want to arrive at the airport a little bit earlier than recommended. This will help to ensure that you can straighten out any unforseen problems that may arise, without having to miss your flight.

When you and your pet arrive at the airport, whether it be early or not, you will both be required to go through airport security. Your pet will be required to pass through a metal detector, just like everyone else. If you are using a pet carrier, it is also likely that your pet carrier will be subject to examination. This examination most commonly includes being sent though the x-ray machine with your carryon luggage; however, it is important to note that your pet will not have to go through the x-ray machine; the metal detector should be enough.

As previously mentioned, not all airlines allow their passengers to fly with their pets, even in the cabin or below deck. That is why it is advised that you determine whether or not your pet can fly with you, ahead of time. In addition to different air travel rules, you may also find that some airlines charged extra fees for pet passengers. In the event that you are charged, you will be notified of this charge ahead of time.

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