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Traveler's Pet Corner

Dealing with airlines

Airlines have specific procedures in place for the acceptance, handling and delivery of your
animal. The environmental needs of the animals are duly considered during loading, off-loading or at a transit stop.

Animal shipper

You can either find an animal shipper who can make all the necessary reservations and take full charge from collecting your pet, boarding it if need be, taking it to the airport and have it met at the other end and delivered to destination.

In some countries, this may be the easiest and surest method and some airlines will not accept animals handled by anyone other than a shipper. The airlines can usually give you a list of shippers with whom they work.

But it is possible that you can do all this yourself. Check with the airline for any special requirements for shipping your pet.

Health certificate

Most airlines require a health certificate for any animal they are transporting, whether in the cabin or as an unaccompanied shipment. Health certificate is delivered by your veterinarian and stipulates that the animal is healthy and fit to fly.

Flight confirmation

Contact the airline you have selected to confirm that they accept your pet on the day and flight that you prefer. Some airlines restrict the number of animals on a flight so the more advance notice you give them the better it is.

Reconfirm at least 48 hours before departure.


Find out how soon before the flight you have to check in. Pets become stressed with all the bustle at an airport, so keep it to a minimum.

  • If your pet is allowed in the cabin, check in as late as possible.
  • If it is going in the hold, check in early so that it can go to the baggage area and be put somewhere quiet and dimly lit in order to relax.

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