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Pet Travel Essentials - Traveling with Pets - Pet Airline Travel

Air Travel with Pets - Pets Traveling as Baggage on Airlines

While we do not recommend that you take your animal on a plane (except as pet carry-on baggage), we know that sometimes you may not have a choice.

The pet's size and weight determine the associated costs and area in which they will be placed: pets under 10 pounds can travel in the cabin (the carrier must fit under the seat), while larger pets travel in the cargo hold.

If your dog is not a minature breed or your cat is a Maine Coon cat or a supersized indoor cat, you will not be able to bring it into the airline passenger cabin in a carry-on luggage size bag. This means your pet will have to travel as checked baggage or cargo. Animals checked in as baggage will travel in a pressurized and temperature-controlled cargo hold beneath the passenger compartment.

If you are flying on the same flight and to the same destination as your pet, most airlines can accommodate them in the cabin or as excess baggage in the cargo hold. Expect to pay $50-100 extra each way.

Check in at least one hour, but no more than two hours before departure. Your animal will be available for pick-up in the baggage claim area approximately 30 minutes after the flight arrives.

If your trip includes a transfer to another airline, you must allow time to pick up your animal in the baggage claim area and re-check it with the connecting airline.

Airlines will accept most small domesticated pets. Other pets may be accepted with approval. Animals that may travel as baggage or cargo include: cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish. Dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and must have been fully weaned for at least five days prior to travel.

Pets must remain in their kennel for the duration of the flight; they must also remain in their kennel while in the boarding area, and during boarding or deplaning.

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