So your flight date is approaching or you just want to get informed about flying with pets. You are at the right place as in this blog post we’ll answer such questions like: “What if you don’t want to fly without your pet?”, “How can you travel with your four-legged companion on a plane?”, “What difficulties might arise?”, “What documents and certificates do you need to prepare in advance for your pet?”
To ensure a pleasant journey for you and your furry friend, WowFare has prepared several important points for you to consider. We recommend familiarizing yourself with these guidelines to understand which tickets are suitable for you and your pet. We’ll provide detailed information about all the necessary steps. Read on!
Necessary Documents and Vaccinations for Your Pet Before the Flight
You need the following documents:
Veterinary health certificate;
Additionally, you must ensure the following procedures are done:
Microchipping (The chip must comply with the SO11784 or SO11785 standards);
In some cases, you will also need a certificate confirming that your pet is not of breeding value and a certificate determining the antibodies to the rabies virus in the animal’s blood (for entry into Europe, Israel, Japan, and some Arab countries). Please note that obtaining the latter certificate may take around 14 working days or sometimes longer. It can be received from registered canine organizations.
All the procedures and information are recorded in the veterinary passport. Ensure all these are done no later than a month before your flight. Additionally, remember that certain dog breeds are not allowed in some countries. For example, you cannot fly to Germany with fighting dog breeds such as pit bulls, bull terriers, and American Staffordshire terriers.
Note! The microchip should be implanted no less than three months before departure.
How Your Pet Will Fly: In the Cabin or the Cargo Hold
The first thing you should do is find out whether the airline you plan to fly with allows the transportation of pets. Select your flight and date, and call the airline to do this. Many carriers have restrictions on the number of spots available for pets. If you receive a positive response, purchase your ticket and call the airline again to coordinate the details. Or book your flight with WowFare and our travel agents will take care of proper air tickets for you and your furry friend.
Transporting pets in the aircraft cabin as carry-on luggage
Pets are usually allowed in the aircraft cabin if, together with their carrier, they weigh up to 8 kg. Occasionally, this weight limit can be up to 10 kg, for example, with Alitalia.
The maximum weight and carrier requirements are on the airline’s website. Among the general rules, the carrier’s size should be 105-135 cm in total of its three dimensions, it should be well-ventilated and securely closed, with a non-leaking bottom (you can line it with a disposable baby blanket), and your pet must be able to stand inside it and not bump its head on the lid.
Airlines usually allow soft and hard carriers for dogs and cats in the cabin. These carriers are placed under the seat in front. According to the rules, the pet must remain in its carrier throughout the flight. Sometimes, two small animals are allowed in one container. Some airlines do not permit pets in the cabin if you are flying business class; for example, Finnair explains this by the lack of space for carriers under the seats.
Service and guide dogs will also fly in the cabin – even if they are large breeds such as German Shepherds. These animals require documentation of their “profession” (in addition to all other necessary documents) and must wear a collar and a muzzle. The owner may need a disability certificate.
Depending on the airline’s policy, emotional support dogs may fly in the cabin or cargo hold. Typically, pets in the cabin are allowed in addition to the standard carry-on allowance, not instead of it. You can always rely on WowFare’s travel agents. They know their job and will provide you with the best flight options according to your preferences.
On some routes, the transportation of pets in the cabin is prohibited – for example, to the United Kingdom, where animals are sent only as cargo. Similar rules apply to certain airlines; on Emirates flights, all animals are sent to the cargo hold.
Transporting Pets in the Cargo Hold
Animals weighing more than 8 kg together with their carrier must be checked in as cargo. Similarly, an aggressive breed dog may be sent to the cargo hold, even if its weight would have allowed it in the cabin.
The maximum weight limit depends on the airline: for Lufthansa, it’s 50 kg; for American Airlines, it’s 75 kg, which may vary depending on the destination. You can send it as cargo if your beloved pet exceeds the allowable weight.
Cost of Pet Transportation on the Plane
No airline transports pets for free. The cost may be determined by the weight (including the container) or a fixed fee, depending on the rules of each specific airline. Service dogs and guide dogs can be on board without any additional charge.
Cost of Transporting Dogs and Cats on Different Airlines
On flights within Turkey: In the cabin – 80 Turkish lira; in the cargo hold, pets weighing 9–15 kg – 120 Turkish lira, 16–22 kg – 180 Turkish lira, 23–28 kg – 220 Turkish lira, over 28 kg – 260 Turkish lira. On direct international flights: The price is calculated based on the weight according to excess baggage rates, but at least $70 in the cabin and $140 in the cargo hold.
On flights within Europe: In the cabin – 60 euros; in the cargo hold, a container with dimensions of 60×45×40 cm – 100 euros, with sizes up to 105×75×79 cm – 200 euros. On flights outside Europe: In the cabin – 70–110 euros, in the cargo hold, a container with dimensions of 60×45×40 cm – 130–190 euros, with dimensions of 105×75×79 cm – 260–380 euros.
The price depends on the season: from November 1 to December 31 and from January 1 to June 15, the low tariff applies, while from June 16 to October 31, the high tariff applies. On flights within Greece: In the cabin – 20 / 30 euros; in the cargo hold, pets weighing up to 25 kg – 40–50 euros, over 25 kg – 80–90 euros. On international flights: In the cabin – 50–60 euros; in the cargo hold, pets weighing up to 25 kg – 95–105 euros, over 25 kg – 160–170 euros.
American Airlines and United Airlines
Cost for main cabin pet transportation – $125. The number of pets allowed per passenger -2. Types of animals permitted in the main cabin – cat or dog.
Delta Air Lines
Cost for main cabin pet transportation – $95. The number of pets allowed per passenger -1 (Two if between the age of 10 weeks and 6 months and they can fit in a single carrier). Types of animals permitted in the main cabin – Dogs, cats, and household birds.
600-800 dollars, only in the cargo hold (exception – for guide dogs, they fly in the cabin for free)
Step-by-Step Guide: Where to Go at the Airport with Your Pet
Arrive at the airport 3-4 hours before your departure to have enough time to deal with all formalities. The pet carrier will be scanned at the airport entrance, while the owner and the pet will go through the security gate. It must be on a leash to prevent a frightened animal from escaping.
Start by going through veterinary control. There are often queues, and the visit usually takes 30-40 minutes or longer. If you are flying abroad, you can speed up the process by filling out the necessary forms in advance and getting them endorsed on-site. Note that veterinary control may not operate 24/7, so check beforehand.
Next, proceed to check in for your flight. Your pet’s documents will be checked, and they will be weighed together with the carrier. You will be directed to the payment counter to pay for the pet’s transportation (unless it is prepaid according to the airline’s rules). Afterward, return to the check-in counter to receive your boarding pass.
We recommend attaching a tag to the carrier with your contact details, flight destination, date, and the pet’s name if you check it in as cargo. Also, remember the pet’s identification tag – ensure it is always on your furry friend.
If your pet is flying in the cargo hold, you will likely need to take it to the oversized baggage drop-off counter. On international flights, go through customs control and declare your pet before boarding. Upon arrival, collect your pet at the oversized baggage pickup or near the regular baggage carousel. If you arrive from another country, go through both veterinary and customs control.
Preparing Your Pet for the Flight
Make sure to have an adequate drinking water supply – dehydration occurs faster on the plane than on the ground.
Feed your pet a light meal two hours before departure.
Don’t forget to take your pet for a walk before leaving.
Ensure that your beloved companion has sufficient airflow in their carrier or crate to avoid discomfort during the journey.
A professional writer and adventurer with a vast portfolio, she has a passion for exploring new cultures and destinations. With a keen eye for detail, a talent for capturing the essence of each travel aspect, and vast knowledge in the industry, Zoey’s writing is both engaging and informative. View the author’s profile
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