Flying with animals can be tricky; however, airlines and the federal agencies that govern the airways, have set rules and regulations to help streamline the process. Keeping to the laws, can ensure that pets are safely transported through the air.
- Make advanced arrangements with the airline.
- Food and water administered within four hours of the trip.
- Pet carriers must have “LIVE ANIMAL” written on all sides and top.
- Do not give the animal any sleep aids or tranquilizers.
Each airline may set their rules and regulations within reason. Some airlines have even gone as far as setting up frequent pet flyer programs.
Jetpaws from JetBlue gives frequent flyers, 300 points per trip that never expire. Virgin Atlantic rewards pets by giving frequent flyers, 1,000 points that help build up to free international flights. Although Continental only gives one point per dollar spent on a pet flying in cargo space, they give customers the ability to track their pet in real time.
The best policy when booking a flight is to call the airline. It is inadvisable to go in blindly, because of the fees and certain restrictions each carrier has set. Below are a few examples of how different the charges can be.
AirTran was bought out by Southwest Airlines. However, they still have their rules for flying with pets that differ from Southwest. Animals are not allowed in the cargo area. The carrier for the pet must be able to fit under the seat, and the animal must not be sick. There is a pet and carrier weight restriction of 40 pounds or less and the fee for the animal is $65 for one-way.
- Allegiant: If flying within the mainland of the United States, pets may ride in the cabin with the passenger. Pets are not allowed out of the carrier, and there is a $100 fee for each way.
- American Airlines: Each aircraft has its policy, however if a pet is allowed to ride in the cabin, it must be a small pet. The pet must be at least eight weeks old, be sickness free and in a carrier. A charge of $125 for carry-on pets will apply.
- Delta: Depending upon the location, a pet to carry on, will cost between $75 and $250. Not all countries are permitted to have a pet in the cabin of the flight.
- jetBlue: The pet may ride in the cabin, as long as, the pet carrier and pet does not exceed 20 pounds. There is a $100 one-way fee that is non-refundable.
- Southwest: When traveling within the United States, pets may ride in the cabin, but they must be a small cat or dog. There is a $95 one-way fee for all pets.
Remember, call ahead to make sure pets are allowed, get all of the pertinent details so that planning the family vacation can be done without problems. Do not forget to sign up for frequent flyer miles and use them. Lastly, do not hesitate to ask for special accommodations when it comes to a service animal.