Because more pets are being included in family holiday travels, Trupanion releases a list of tips that will help get everyone to their destination safely.
(Vocus) November 29, 2010 — Pets today are a part of the family and it’s no longer comfortable for many pet owners to leave their pets at home while they celebrate the holidays. So as the holidays approach, pet health insurance company Trupanion reveals tips to keep in mind when traveling with dogs and cats by air.
Confirm your flight arrangements the day before you leave to ensure there have been no unexpected flight changes.
Mark the kennel or travel bag with your pet’s name and your phone number.
If your pet will be traveling with you in the cabin, arrange to check in as late as possible to reduce the amount of time your pet will have to spend in transit.
Arrive at the airport early, exercise your pet, and personally place him or her in the crate or bag they will be traveling in.
Be aware of heightened security measures by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Present the animal to the officers at the security checkpoint. If possible, place the carrier on the X-Ray machine and walk your pet with you through the metal detector.
When boarding the plane, let the flight attendant know that your pet is either with you under the seat, or in the cargo hold.
Pick up the pet promptly upon arrival at your destination.
While most airlines have similar rules regarding traveling with pets, each airline has a few specific regulations, so always check with your airline directly. Here are some of the regulations for a few popular airlines:
Alaska Airlines – Space for pets traveling in the cabin or in the cargo compartment is limited, so make sure to book early. When traveling with your pet in the cabin, the pet is considered your carry-on item. Fees are $100 per pet each way.
American Airlines – Cats and dogs are the only types of pets accepted for travel. There can be no more than seven pets in the cabin on any single flight. And while checked pets do not need a reservation, checked pets are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. There are a number of restricted dogs, including Mastiff, Pug, Boxer, and Pit Bull; and a few restricted cats including Persian and Burmese. Cabin pets are $100 each way, checked pets are $150 each way.
United Airlines – Kennels larger than 115 inches and pets weighing more than 150 pounds must travel via United Cargo. Pets flying without their owners also must travel via United Cargo. There are certain breed restrictions, including the Lhasa Apso, French Bulldog, and Pug. Cabin pets are $125 each way, checked pets are $250 each way.
Trupanion also reminds pet owners to pack for their pet as well as themselves. Include food, favorite toys and treats, dishes, beds, leashes, and any other essentials your pet uses on a day-to-day basis.
“While we never want to think of our pet becoming lost during holiday travel, it’s also a good idea to plan for it in case it happens,” says Darren DeFeo, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce at Trupanion.
DeFeo advises to make sure the pet wears identification on its collar, and to bring along a recent photo to show people if the pet goes missing.
Following a few simple rules, allowing for plenty of time, and staying calm will ensure that everyone arrives at their destination happy and healthy.
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, two sons, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family..