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Pet Airline Guidelines | PetsWeekly

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Traveling isn't always easy, and when you add pets to the mix of things to plan, pack, and prepare for — well, knowing what you need to do beforehand will help keep your holiday travel as stress-free as possible.

Below you'll find general guidelines and information that carry across all of the major airlines, as well as links to a series of brief articles on airline-specific guidelines we've posted here on PetsWeekly. We hope they make your life a little easier!

General Airline Travel Guidelines and Information

- Make reservations for your pet by calling the airline — most do not accept reservations for pets online.

- Every airline has a limit to the amount of pets that can travel on their flights, and airlines generally make no guarantee that your pet will be available to board the plane with you. Have a back up plan available, such as someone waiting at the airport to take your animal if needed, in case there is no room for your pet on board.

- Reservation fees for pets are generally non-refundable. Be sure you want to take Fido or Fluffy with you, because it's likely you won't get your money back if you change your mind.

- Most of the guidelines you'll be reading for each airline refer to flight in the continental US (except Hawaii). If you're traveling outside of the continental US, please check with the specific airline on what is allowed and what is not.

- Each pet carrier counts as one carry-on, so consider that when packing your own belongings for your trip.

- Sedation is not recommended for your pets before flight due to an increased risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Consult with your vet before flying. Also be aware that some airlines require you to show them documentation on what tranquilizers your pet has been given.

- Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds shouldn't travel as carry-on or as checked baggage during certain weather conditions such as high heat and humidity. Again, consult with your vet before flying. Due to concern for the safety of their passengers' animals, many airlines ban these breeds from travel during certain times of the year.

Specific Airline Guidelines

Air Canada

Alaska Airlines

American Airlines

Delta Airways

Jet Blue Air Ways

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

US Airways

You may also enjoy these related articles from PetsWeekly:

Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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