Many people want to take their pet on an airplane but may not have had any experience of doing it previously. This can be quite daunting as all of the airlines seem to have different procedures and guidelines and in addition, some staff that you ask for help or information know more than others. Let's take a look at a few tips to help you understand what you need to do to prepare.
When you book your ticket you need to tell the airline that you will have a pet on board. They should at this point if you book over the phone tell you what you need to do and any fees involved. If you don't book directly or use the Internet, then you should ring up with your booking reference and make sure that they have it noted down that you will have a pet with you. They need to know in advance as they only have a limited number of pets in the cabin per flight.
Get a Good Airline Pet Carrier
You need to make sure that you get a good quality airline pet carrier. I'll provide a link to the best ones at the end of the article, but them main thing to consider is that it should keep your pet safe, comfortable and secure. It will need to be big enough for your cat or dog to stand up and turn around and some airlines will state this in their conditions. It must also be of an approved size so that it can fit underneath the seat in front of you and be easily carried as hand baggage.
Get there early to give you plenty of time to pay any fees, fill out any forms and get through security without rushing. Remember that you pet will need to be removed from the carrier while it is scanned so make sure you have you hands free for that and a couple of treats available to keep your pet calm. As you will have checked the regulations with the airline in advance you should know everything that goes on, but it is worth having a print out of their regulations from the website along with details of the dimensions of you carrier. This will avoid any awkward times with staff who don't fully understand the procedures for their airline.
During the Flight
You want to get a carrier that makes it easy for your to check on your pet. You can't get the animal out on the plane so it needs to be comfortable in there for the duration of the flight.
As long as you let the airline know about your pet, pay any required fees and get their early you'll be fine. Just make sure that you have a great airline pet carrier.