Pets on a Plane: Tips for Choosing an Airline Approved Pet Carrier

By Maria Rogerson

April 5, 2018Pets

When it comes to travelling on a plane, we’ve all felt that anxiety regardless of whether we have a fear of flying or not. There are simply so many overwhelming factors – from strict airline regulations and long waiting lines, to security controls that can make us dread boarding. And when it comes to flying with a pet, the stress and anxiety can pretty much double.

airline approved pet carrier

Young dog papillon and a plastic carrier

Sure, it would be so nice to have your furry friend sitting in your lap for the duration of the flight. You can cuddle and pet it, which will ease the anxiety for both of you. However, many airlines are completely against having any animal on board, unless properly confined. And it totally makes sense – try explaining to a small and frightened animal that it should sit still in something that’s just not comfortable.

As per airline regulations, all pets travelling on board with their owners must be housed in an airline approved pet carrier. It’s important to purchase a pet carrier well ahead of the day the flight is scheduled so that the animal has enough time to get accustomed to it. You can get yours from a professional animal transport service that offers a comprehensive supply of travel kennels that are airline approved for domestic and international travel.

Of course, there is a wide variety of kennels that are suitable for all types of animals. You just need to make sure that the kennel you choose is suitable for your pet, providing it with the necessary comfort and also keeping it safe and secure. Consider an airline approved pet carrier that will offer enough room for the animal to turn around, stand, sit and lie down. Therefore, it’s essential that you measure your pet correctly before purchasing one.

If the animal is small enough, it can travel with you in the cabin without any problem. However, make sure to call the airline and notify them that you’re boarding with a pet. Some airlines only let a limited number of animals in the cabin, so making an early reservation is important. Ask them about the dimensions under the seat in front of you so you can choose a kennel that will fit in. If your animal is over 30 kg (which is the limit for most airlines), it will need to travel in the cargo hold. In that case, there are no restrictions regarding the size of the kennel.

There are also regulations about adequate ventilation. It’s crucial that your pet gets adequate supply of air, and that’s why all travel kennels need to have ventilation openings or mash walls from at least two sides, small enough to prevent the animal from escaping or hurting itself. Furthermore, the kennel must be lined with a waterproof bottom that will prevent any moisture from leaking through the carrier or pooling inside it. As per airline regulations, it also needs to be tightly shut to prevent the animal from pushing it open.