Jump to the front of the line at immigration & passport control
If you've ever flown into one of the world's busiest airports, you know how miserable the immigration, passport control, and customs process can be entering a foreign country. We've waited hours in line at London's Heathrow. During high tourist season, expect long waits in Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris, Amsterdam and Milan of up to four hours.
Switching airlines at a connecting city can create problems for your baggage
Imagine checking in for your flight, checking your bags, and arriving at your destination only to learn that your baggage is spinning around on a baggage carousel at your connecting airport. Well it happens more often that you might think and it happens when you switch airlines at a connecting city.
We've traveled around the world with our pets. In fact our pets have flown more air miles than many people. But it is important to understand the right way to fly with your pets. Here are some of tips we've learned over time:
Check with your vet
Ask your vet if it OK to fly with your pets. Your pets may have illnesses, conditions, or be of an age which might making flying unsafe. Also certain types of dogs are prone to problems with flying. Check and make sure all of your vaccinations are current - some airlines will required documentation from your vet.
Avoid layovers or connecting flights
Air flights are taxing on pets due to increased stress, changes in pressure, fear of flying, lack of ready access to food & water, or the inability to relieve themselves. Direct flights, especially red-eye flights, help to minimize some of these problems. When we fly overseas, we spend the night in a pet friendly hotel if there is a connecting city to allow the dogs to adjust. If you do this, verify with the airline in advance that you won't be charged an additional pet fee.
Consider getting pet tracking device
When pets are in an unfamiliar place, they are more likely to bolt out of fear. Pet tracking devices can help you find your pets if they wander or take off. If you are checking your pet in the baggage compartment, some trackers can help you locate where you pet is if they are inadvertently missed placed by the airline. You'll find various types of trackers at the Dog Clinic. At a minimum these devices can give YOU a little more piece of mind that your pets are safe.
Check for international pet passport requirements
If you are traveling overseas with your pets, make sure to check for foreign regulations regarding bring pets into that country. Most countries will require that your pet be micro chipped. In addition, you will likely have to get a certificate from your vet. These international health certificates require original ink signatures from the issuing USDA Accredited Veterinarian and the endorsing APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer with the application of the APHIS embossed seal. These documents will be presented as you enter the country.
Get an approved pet carrier.
You'll probably be required by the airline to used an approved pet carrier. Check our the airline requirements below.
Know your airline's pet policies
AeroMexico | Air Canada | Air France | Air New Zealand | Air Tahiti Nui | Alitalia | All Nippon | American | Asiana | Austrian Air | Avianca | British Airways | Brussels | Cathay Pacific | Condor | Copa | Delta | Egyptair | Emirates | El Al | Eva Air | Iberia | Icelandair | Japan Airlines | Jet Airways | KLM Airlines | Lan Chile | Lot Polish | Lufthansa | Norwegian Air | Philippine Airlines | Qantas | Qatar | SAS | South African | Swiss | TAM | Thai Airways | Turkish Airlines | United | Virgin Australia | Virgin Atlantic