Making a passenger booking is relatively easy and can be organised in a matter of minutes, but booking flights for pets is much more complicated and there are a lot of things to take into consideration – PBS Pet Travel are aware of the complexities involved and can help you navigate the varying airline rules and regulations for pet flights. Please read further for some important points to think about when booking a flight for your pet.
Not every airline will allow pets on board their flights and for the airlines that do carry pets, they still might not accept pets on every single flight they operate. So this is something to consider if you are looking to travel on the same flight as your pet. All pet flights will be passenger flights too, meaning it is possible for both you and your pet to travel together on the same plane, however you will not have access to your pet once your pet has checked in with the airline. PBS Pet Travel will be able to advise you on which airlines accept pets, as well as the specific pet flights that are available. We can even check with the airline to see if they have space for your pet, before you make a booking with us. But please bear in mind, that your pet flight booking is only confirmed once the airline has sent us the official confirmation – it is not possible to ‘hold’ pet flights. Some of the major airlines who carry pets are British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, American Airlines, TUI, Air Canada, Air Transat, Etihad, Eva Air, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, KLM – to name a few. Read more.
Once you have found an airline that will accept your pet for travel, another important fact to remember is that not all destinations may be possible for pet flights. Each airline will have their own ‘cargo’ facilities at the arrival destination – this will be the area that your pet would be delivered to, once your pet’s flight has landed. So this means that at each destination the airlines fly pets to, there must be arrival facilities that can look after your pet – this would include having trained staff to take the pets from the aircraft and a suitable, temperature controlled area where your pet can wait to be cleared through customs. Not all airline destinations will have these facilities, so even though they may have flights operating, this is not a guarantee that your pet can travel on the flights, too. PBS Pet Travel will be able to advise you on which airlines can and cannot accept pet bookings to specific destinations. If the flight of your choice is not available, we can advise you on alternative pet flight options – for example, we may know of a different airline who can carry pets and has the required facilities at the arrival destination.
In the same way that each country will have their own entry requirements for pets, each airline will have its own rules and regulations and these can vary widely from airline to airline. For example, some airlines will only allow cats and dogs to fly, whereas others will accept more exotic breeds, too. Some airlines will only allow pets to fly on certain days of the week, whereas other airlines allow pets to travel every day. Some airlines will require passengers to be on board the same flight as their pet, whereas other airlines are happy for pets to fly unaccompanied. Some airlines will allow you to clear your pets through customs when your pet’s flight lands, whereas some will require a customs clearing agent at destination to handle your pet’s customs clearance for you. These are just a few examples of the variations in airline regulations for pet travel and for general members of the public, these requirements are not always made clear and available. PBS Pet Travel are aware of the numerous pet travel regulations specific to each airline and will be able to advise you accordingly, ensuring that you and your pet are properly prepared for your pet’s flight.
Each airline will have its own rules for pet flights regarding specific breeds that are accepted for travel. Sadly, a common rule is that snub-nosed breeds such as bulldogs and pugs, are not accepted for travel. This means that for snub-nosed breeds, the pet flight options can be very limited. PBS Pet Travel are aware of every airline’s regulations for breed acceptance and can advise you accordingly and look for alternative pet flight options where required. If you do have a snub-nosed breed, we recommend you fill in our online quotation enquiry form and we can get back to you with the most suitable airline and route for your pet’s relocation.
Not all aircrafts operating will be suitable for pets to fly on. The aircraft must have a special area within its hold that is temperature controlled and pressurised – ensuring the safety and comfort of your pet for the duration of its flight. As well as having a suitable area within the cargo-hold, the aircraft must be able to accommodate your pet’s airline approved travel crate. Aircraft cargo doors will vary in size depending on the type of aircraft, this means that not all doors can accept all pet travel crates. For example for smaller, domestic flights, it may not be possible to fit a labrador-sized travel crate through the hold door. PBS Pet Travel are aware of the different types of aircraft operating for pet flights and will be able to advise you on which aircraft will be suitable for your pet.