Air Travel with Pets: Tips for Stress-Free Air Travel - KiiOui Pet Store

Air Travel with Pets: Tips for Stress-Free Air Travel

Tips for Stress-Free Air Travel 

1) Determine if your pet will be traveling in the cargo or cabin.

Generally, if your pet can fit comfortably inside its kennel under the seat, they can fly in the cabin with you as a carry-on. In our experience, Delta and American Airlines are the most flexible and pet-friendly.

If your pet does not meet airline or destination requirements to fly in the cabin, there is an option transport them in cargo. However, this option is a bit more complicated, with several limitations/considerations (i.e., breed, weather) and carries additional safety risks in your absence.

Restrictions differ between airlines, so it is best to consult airline customer service or their website before booking travel to confirm their requirements. 

2) Contact airline customer service to add your pet to your reservation.

Airlines limit the number of total pets per flight, so it is advisable to contact the airline as soon as possible to ensure your pet will be able to travel with you.

Be sure to have your pet weight, age, and kennel dimensions (length, width and height) ready to discuss with the representative when booking.

3) Purchase a pet carrier that meets airline requirements. 

Unless your pet is a trained service animal, it will be necessary for your pet to travel in an airline approved carrier. 

4) Consider obtaining calming aids. 

There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications available that may help reduce your pet's nausea or anxiety or help them to sleep during your trip. Talk to your veterinarian ahead of planned travel to assess your pet’s health and consider a medication trial at home or in the veterinary hospital/clinic. You may also want to consider purchasing alternative calming aids, such as calming collars. 

"The best laid plans...often go awry."

5) If flying internationally, review country guidelines for pet import/export. 

Each country has different animal health requirements that travelers must meet so it’s important to start the process early.

Check the APHIS Pet Travel Website for your destination country’s entry requirements. 

6) Pack a serving of food, water, and treats in your carry-on.

Although it is advised to have your pet abstain from food and water prior to and during your flight, always expect the unexpected! Be prepared with extra food and water in your carry-on in case there are significant delays to your flight.

7) Keep a hard copy of your pet's health documents handy throughout trip.

Document verification occurs mostly before travel, online or at the check-in desk, but airline staff, security, or customs agents may request to view your pet's documents at any point during the trip. We recommend keeping hard copies of your pet's health records and any other supporting documentation (i.e., DOT travel form, service animal letter) in an easy-to-access folder with you at all times.

8) Check out your airport's pet relief areas.

Knowing where your pet can do their business pre- and post-flight may make the difference between a smooth or embarrassingly bumpy/awkward trip.

9)  Use Lyft or Uber's pet-friendly option.

Generally, accepting pets on a regular ride is up to the driver's discretion. However, Uber and Lyft now have pet-friendly options that you can choose to travel with your pet, hassle-free. A small surcharge will be added to the ride's fare, but you will have peace of mind knowing that your cherished chum is welcome. 

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