Requirements for Airline Pet Carriers

One of the most popular advantages of pygmy pets is the ability to travel with your little bundle of joy almost anywhere you want. Or at least anywhere that is pet-friendly. And when it comes to these flexible travel benefits, probably none are more important than the ability to fly on planes and specifically in the cabin of the plane. But this travel privilege is far from guaranteed, especially if you’re not prepared. These are the requirements for airline pet carriers that you should know about.


Rules pertaining to approved types of carriers for dogs, cats, birds, and ferrets flying in the aircraft cabin or as cargo were formed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and have generally been accepted by most airlines in the world.


Pets flying in the airline cabin

Generally, on flights lasting 6 hours or less, most airlines will allow passengers to travel with a pet in the airline cabin (this rule of thumb is obsolete when traveling to the UK). Policies concerning pet travel differ from airline to airline, but typically most airlines allow 1-2 pets per passenger. The number of pets allowed on each flight can also differ on airlines, so it is recommended that you call the airline you will be traveling on and make sure there is room for your pet onboard before booking your flight. Your pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. The carrier must also have a water proof bottom to make certain that nothing leaks from the carrier.


We recommend going to our airline policy page to review the information regarding pet travel regulations for specific airlines. Additional information concerning pet travel can also be found at the website of the airline you will be traveling on.


Pets flying on an aircraft as cargo

Majority airlines that fly larger aircraft (with the exception of commuter planes) will transport live animals as cargo, and have made a particular set of rules for the way they are handled.


Depending on the temperature of your travel destination, you may or may not be required to have an airline acclimation certificate. An acclimation certificate is a certificate in which a veterinarian certifies that the animal being shipped is able to adapt to temperatures of 45 F and below.


Pets traveling in the cargo compartment of a plane must be transported in a pet cargo crate that has been approved by the International Air Transport Association. Please see the IATA website for the regulations concerning pet travel as cargo

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