Top 10 Tips on Flying with Pets

Super Smiley, blog dog here. I love to travel with my person! We pets are becoming traveling companions to our people not only on road trips but on cross country flights. Megan flew more than 150,000 miles with Tout Suite The Travel Kitty, and together they learned a lot about flying with pets!

Super Smiley, you are right on target! It’s Megan here now and to illustrate how much flying with our pets has found its way into our culture, Air Hollywood Film Studios has created the Air Hollywood K9 Flight School, the only school in the world where people can bring their pets and actually go through an entire airport and plane ride simulation to learn how to calmly and safely travel with pets. Super Smiley and I know this firsthand because we designed and teach their program! Here are our top 10 basics:

  1. You’ll need to make the reservation for your pet over the phone with a real person.
  2. With a cabin pet (which is a pet traveling in a pet carrier) you can’t sit in the bulkhead, because your pet needs to be stowed below the seat in front of you. But if you are traveling with a larger dog, like an emotional support animal, then you may need to reserve a bulkhead seat so there is room for your dog to sit at your feet. So make sure you tell the reservation agent all of the details about your pet so the correct arrangements are made.
  3. Check all specifics to make sure you and your pet meet all the airline and FAA requirements such as pet species, size, weight, proper documentation, size of the pet carrier, etc.
  4. If you are traveling on a morning flight, most veterinarians recommend you don’t feed your pet breakfast, so his stomach isn’t full when he flies. Do offer her water, but monitor her drinking so she drinks moderately.
  5. For a pet traveling in a travel crate, never leave the leash on him inside the crate, as it can get tangled easily and choke him. For a travel kitty, it’s good to have a harness on her rather than just a collar, as you can get a better grip on a squirming cat in a harness than a cat wearing only a collar when they come out of the bag. That’s coming up!
  6. Get to airport early enough to be properly checked in with an agent. You won’t be able to use curbside check-in.
  7. Bring all required documentation, and even if the reservation agent says you don’t need medical records, bring his vaccination records.
  8. Arrive at the airport early enough to check-in inside the terminal and then go back outside for a bathroom break.
  9. At security, your pet comes out of the bag! So plan ahead! If you have a pet that absolutely can’t come out of her crate, you can ask TSA for a private screening, but this may take significantly more time, and is up to TSA’s discretion as to how it will work. I’ve found it much simpler to make a plan to take your pet out and hold him securely as he’s screened.
  10. When you arrive at your destination, attend to your pet’s needs as soon as you can. Give her an opportunity to relieve herself outside and offer her water. Be sure to remember to keep her paws off the hot pavement, too, if you have to cross a hot parking lot!

If you would like to join us at Air Hollywood K9 Flight School, we would love to see you!

Until Next Time, safe travels and…
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Print
  • email