Sunday, August 20, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Pet Travel: Best Pet-Friendly Airlines

If you’ve tried flying with your dog or cat in the last few years, you know that airlines are really cracking down on pet travel restrictions. It can be hard to find an airline that will fly your furry family member without hassle and worry! While flying is never an easy way to travel with pets, it’s sometimes necessary. I had to fly my dog from the Caribbean to Arizona when I moved a few months ago, so I know how it goes! Are you looking to fly your pet? Here are the best pet-friendly airlines.
 

American

We flew American with our dog when we traveled internationally. The staff was kind and courteous and even let us board early because we had a dog. You can check your pet as long as it is under 100 pounds for $200, and dogs under 20 pounds can be in the cabin as a carry-on for $125.

American’s phone customer service representatives are pretty clueless about pet rules, however. I called several times and got conflicting information each time. One rep just read the webpage to me, word for word, and couldn’t tell me anything new. They also have strict regulations on temperature for checked pets. You do need to make a reservation over the phone for your pet and have a health certificate within 30 days.
 
American
Alaska/Horizon Airlines

This airline allows you to check your pets or bring small pet as a carry-on item. Due to cold temperatures, you can’t fly your dog or cat in the checked luggage in the winter if the weather drops to a certain temperature. It costs $100 each way your pet flies. You need a health certificate from your vet within 30 days of flight.
 
Alaska Horizon Airlines
United Airlines

You can bring your pet as a checked pet or in the cabin as a carry-on. Pets can only be in the cabin if they are very small. The cost for binging your pet ranges from $100-$220 each way. You need a health certificate within ten days of flight.
 
United

Delta

While Delta has a decent pet policy, they also only allow 4 dogs per flight, and it is first come, first serve. Make a reservation for your pet beforehand and check in as early as possible. You can fly dogs up to 100 pounds in cargo and pets up to 20 pounds in the cabin. Cargo pets are $200 and cabin pets are $125.
 
Delta

Air France

This airline has a lot of rules about pets who fly, most notably that only very small cats and dogs are allowed in the cabin. They also need a European or French pet passport. They need a microchip, and weather conditions affect if your pet can fly in cargo. However, pets fly free! That will shave a good hundred or two off your airline bill. As far as European airlines go, this is an excellent policy all the way around.
 
Air France

KLM

You’ll be glad to know that KLM puts checked pets into a temperature controlled, oxygenated room. Small dogs can fly as a carry-on in a hard kennel. You need to reserve your pet’s spot at least 48 hours before your flight, and you’ll need whatever certifications and vaccinations are required by your destination. Fees range from $20 to $200.
 
KLM

Air Canada

Dogs are welcome on flights anywhere in North America, provided the weather meets the government’s and airline’s requirements. Don’t count on flying your pet in cargo during the winter, in other words. This airline doesn’t allow very big dogs, with cargo weight capping at 70 pounds. Cabin pets cost $50 and must be under 20 pounds. Cargo pets cost $150 to North American destinations and $270 to international destinations.
 
Air Canada

Japan Air Lines

If an airline as a special Pet Club, you know it’s going to be a good way to fly with your cat or dog! If you’re flying a small pet, you can rent a carrier for your flight. For larger pets in cargo, you have to bring your own. There are certain planes that cannot take cargo pets. Cost is relatively low, at $50 for domestic flights and no more than $175 for international flights.
 
Japan Air Lines
Tips:

Generally, if you have an anxiety or other mental disability that has been diagnosed by a doctor, your service animal of any size can travel with you as long as the pet meets the airline’s vaccination and certification requirements and you have a note from your doctor stating your need for an emotional support animal. Make sure you have a kennel that complies with the airline’s requirements if you are flying your pet in cargo. Many airline-approved kennels will be labeled as such on their tag.
 
Service Dog

Book as far as possible in advance. Many airlines only have so much room for pets, so you’ll need to be sure to put your dog or cat at the top of the list. Call ahead, and arrive early on the day of your flight.

Make sure your pet is comfortable in the carrier or kennel you will be using during your flight. Make kennel time fun, with new toys and treats. Flying is a scary process for pets, and making his or her surroundings are familiar as possible will help with anxiety during the flight.
 
Pet Friendly
If you are flying with pets, it is not going to be a walk in the park. You need to be on top of things, and you have to have all your ducks in a row. However, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience! Plan ahead, and you should be just fine. Be sure to choose a good airline, too! The right airline makes all the difference when it comes to flying with pets.
 

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