Flying with pets can be a lot of fun. How has the process changed since the early days when you flew with your furry friends?
Did you know that February 20th is Pet Love Day? If you forgot to celebrate this special day with your furry friend, you can always fly your favorite animal to a pet-friendly holiday spot. , is not as easy as it is today. Is this always popular and easy to do?
pet travel history
In the golden age of commercial air travel, flying with a pet was almost unthinkable for most people. At the time, the cost of an airplane was equivalent to several months’ salary for many who could only dream of air transportation. Until the late 1980s, only the wealthy kept pets, and few luxury hotels did. In most cases, private railway cars or automobiles were used for transportation.
TWA flight attendants changed the status quo in 1989. Gayle Martz was keen to take his Shih Tzu on the trip, but the regulations at the time made it difficult. So she created a bag (called a Sherpa bag) that could carry her pet and fit under the seat on the plane. Gale didn’t stop there, circulating petitions to a number of airlines to change their rules and allow animals to be brought on board. Friends became more common in commercial aviation.
Photo: Bulgaria Airways
Aviation organizations involved
In 2003, a new chapter in air travel was born when the European Union passed new regulations on international travel for pets (and their owners). With the implementation of these new regulations, travelers from countries with low rabies incidence, such as the United States, will be able to enter the European Union without quarantining their pets.
Another significant step came in 2006 when the International Air Transport Association (IATA) began adopting rules to protect animals traveling in aircraft cargo holds. Two years later, the organization implemented stricter policies on how pet crates are designed and manufactured. The IATA action was to prevent desertions and injuries while moving aircraft through this area.
Pets are allowed in the cargo hold, not in the aircraft cabin.Photo: United Airlines
Dos and don’ts when flying with furry friends
We’ve explored how big strides have been made in our efforts to promote safe travel for pets. Nonetheless, owners should continue to take steps to maximize the protection of their furry air mates. Below we discuss some important safety considerations. Pets can board commercial airlines in one of her three ways: carry-on, checked baggage, and manifest cargo.
Airlines generally follow similar policies for dogs and cats that fly on board with their owners. For example, pets must fly with an adult passenger and travel in an airline-compliant carrier stowed under the seat. Cats and dogs are allowed, but other animals may be excluded and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Pets traveling with passengers that are not permitted as carry-on baggage may be transported as checked baggage in the cargo hold. When flying as Checked Baggage, the airline will ensure that the animal is safely stored in an approved transportation device. Many airlines allow service animals on board with passengers with disabilities.
Pets are part of the family, and the idea of leaving them home alone is an idea many die-hard owners would never consider. Fortunately, civil aviation is taking steps to bring man’s best friend to flight level.