For all pet lovers, the idea of travelling with your furry friends is both nerve-racking and exciting. Holidays are a great chance for the whole family to get together. Why should the four-legged members be left out? But flying with animals can be complicated, stressful and expensive.
Of course, you’ve got your pet’s best interests at heart so will only be travelling with animals who are ready to do so. But to make sure both theirs and your journey is straightforward and hassle-free, we’ve highlighted some things you ought to know about flying with pets. Check them out:
1. The time of your flight matters
The comfort of your pets should a be top priority, but they’ll be more sensitive to changes than you might expect. For example, temperatures can quickly affect how well a pet travels. If you’re travelling in the summer, Compare Travel Insurance recommend avoiding flights during the middle of the day, as it’s the hottest time. Likewise, in the winter, avoid the times when it’s colder – early morning or late at night.
2. You’ll make it worse if you over-fuss them
Flights often require you to be separated from your pet, as most airlines require them to go in the hold rather than the cabin. Naturally, you’ll want to give them a big fuss before you have to separate. But animals – especially dogs – will pick up on your anxiety and take it on board before you leave. It will only make the journey more stressful for both of you, so it’s best to try and act naturally – as if this trip was the same as any other
3. It’s best to get them used to a crate from a young age
If you’ve got a young pet, and haven’t already considered it, you should start crate training. Get them familiar with going in and out of the crate, as well as comfortable spending some time inside whilst it’s still and moving. Make it a pleasant experience for them by putting some toys and treats inside – that way, they’ll associate the crate with nice things, rather than stress. To get you started with your dog, follow this helpful guide.
Image source: Flickr
4. Every airline has a different policy
Adding to the complication of travelling with pets is the fact that every airline treats them differently. Some airlines forbid all pets, with the exceptions of guide dogs or assistance dogs (EasyJet), others use third-party companies to organise the handling of pets which must go in the hold as cargo (British Airways), and some make decisions based on the weight of the pet (Air France).
There are also some unusual rules such as Emirates not permitting animals in the cabins, only making exceptions for falcons between Dubai and certain destinations in Pakistan. To find out more details, view Skyscanner’s breakdown of key airlines and their rules for flying with animals.
Have you flown with your pets before? Share your experiences and advice with us.