Are you going on a trip and planning to take your pet? Some policies recently changed in flying with your furry friend, but it’s nothing that being prepared can’t fix! Planning ahead and checking with your airline for any restrictions can make the process easier for you and your pet. Schedule your complimentary consultation call with us to get personalized expert support when planning your travel.
Service Animal Or Emotional Support Animal?
A service animal is a dog that is highly trained to provide a service to its owner, such as pulling a wheelchair, retrieving items, or signaling others to a medical emergency. Service animals are allowed to fly with their owners, provided that they remain leashed at all times and can fit by the passenger’s feet.
Passengers who are flying with their service animals are limited to two per passenger and must submit a form that provides proof of the animal’s health and behavior.
A doctor can prescribe emotional support animals to improve the quality of life for those who need it. However, these animals are not covered under Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means that airlines are not required to allow them on the plane with their owners and can request that they fly cargo. There are also additional fees in traveling with an emotional service animal.
Another group of service animals is psychiatric service animals. They are trained to alert others if their owner is having a psychiatric episode and help lessen their effects. These animals are treated the same as service animals and are typically allowed on flights with their owners.
Can I Bring My Small Pet On Board?
Some airlines such as Delta and United Airlines will allow your small pet on board with you, provided that you pay an additional fee and your pet can fit in a small ventilated carrier. There are restrictions for sizes and breeds on many airlines, and they may charge additional fees for layovers.
Flying Your Pet in Cargo
Pets that do not meet guidelines as service animals and are not allowed to stay on board with you will have to be checked in as cargo. Flying your pet cargo may come with an additional fee, and they typically have to be checked in a few hours before boarding. Different airlines also have different requirements for the containment of these pets, such as airline-approved kennels and carriers.
Be sure to talk with your airline as some have suspended this service during COVID-19.
If you are flying internationally, you will have to do your research! Many countries have their own guidelines for pets that are traveling into the country. Some countries require a physical exam from a veterinarian as well as proof of recent vaccinations, particularly rabies. Some rabies-free countries such as Japan require waiting periods before your pet can travel into the country.
You may also be required to submit import paperwork for your pet before arriving there. If you’re planning on traveling to a different country with your pet, be sure to check individual requirements to ensure that your furry friend will be allowed with you!
Flying With Your Furry Friend
If you’re trying to take your pet on a plane with you, be sure to reach out to the airline you’re flying on to check exactly how your pet can fly. Ensure that you also have all the appropriate paperwork required by that airline to take your pet on the plane. Some airlines require proof of vaccinations before allowing your pet on the plane.
If you plan to fly with your pet on board with you, be sure to talk with your airline about requirements and additional fees well in advance of your flight!
Flying with your pets doesn’t have to be difficult, be sure to check with your airline for all the information you'll need to make the best decision for you and your furry friend!
If you want to make it even easier, we invite you to contact us today so we can help you plan your getaway with expert guidance on what to expect when flying with pets.
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