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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

It’s no secret that flying is way faster than driving. But if you want to travel with your pet, does that mean you’re doomed to keep your feet–or tires–on the ground forever? Definitely not. Flying with pets is very, very possible. The real question is: do we recommend it? Yes and no. No matter what, traveling with animals can be tricky. Airports can definitely be tougher for pets than cars because there’s so much extra stimulus and unfamiliarity.

That being said, for all of you who have your eyes to the skies, we’ve got everything you need to know to help make pet travel as painless as possible with our brand new traveling tips series! But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the most important part of airport traveling:

Following TSA & Airline Guidelines

The number one rule of traveling with your pets is to never assume you know everything. For those of you who have traveled before, you know that airports are constantly changing procedures and rules. Yes, the changes might be small (seriously, do you want us to put our backpacks in bins or not???) but that small change can be the difference between whether or not you’ll get on your flight. That’s why you should always check to make sure you’re up to date on all rules and regulations. We’ll provide links to the official TSA sites, but here’s the gist (as of 3/22/2019):

Getting Screened

  • Smaller pets must be in hand held carriers at all times except for the x-ray tunnel where you must remove your pet from the carrier and carry them through the human checkpoint.
    • TIP: Have a leash ready to put on your pet as soon as they are out of the carrier–yes, even for cats. Even though you’ll be carrying your pet, it’s a good safety measure in case they get spooked. TSA officials will not make you remove anything that helps control/identify an animal.
  • Larger dogs may walk with you, as long as they are on a leash at all times.
  • You may be subject to extra screening such as a hand swab to make sure there is no residue of explosive devices.
  • Return your pets to their carriers at the re-composure areas away from the screening point.
    • TIP: If you are ever unsure of anything then ask for help! TSA officials will be more than happy to assist however you need.
  • TSA regulations for service dogs and animals.
  • TSA screening process for animals.

Airline Guidelines

Hooray! You got your pets through the scary metal detectors! The next step is getting them on the plane. Remember that all airlines have different rules, so it’s crucial to do your research. You can’t just show up at the gate with a pet and expect to be let on board. When you initially buy your ticket, you’ll have to make sure you book a spot for your pet, too. If you are at all unsure of whether or not you’ve done this right, it’s always a good idea to call the airline’s helpline.  Every airline is different in terms of in-flight rules and regulations, so we strongly encourage you to do as much research as possible beforehand. Here are links to the regulations for the four major domestic airlines:

TIP: ALWAYS go to the airline’s official website to learn about what is and isn’t allowed on their planes. And when in doubt? Print it out! If anyone questions you, have copies of any receipts or pages from their direct website stating that you’re complying with all the rules.

We cannot stress this enough: follow all the rules! They really will make the difference between stress and success.

To learn about finding the right leashes, harnesses, and carriers, check out out Part II here (x)!

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[…] If you read our last blog, you’ll already know the basics about what to expect when you’re trying to get your pets through TSA security and on the plane. If you missed it, you can check it out here (x). […]

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[…] better prepared. If you’re just joining us, or missed an installment, be sure to check out Part I and Part II for helpful tips, tricks, and […]

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