Should I travel with my pet?

As a nation, we're known for our devotion to our pets. We love to pamper them, and do all we can to ensure they're happy and well cared for. So it's hardly surprising that the decision to book a pet onto a flight can be fraught with worry. Many of our clients are concerned that their animals will find the experience unsettling, or even that their treasured pet could become ill during the flight.
 
It's for this reason we're often asked whether it's possible to keep animals in the cabin alongside passengers for the duration of the flight. Tempting as it must seem to have your pet in stroking distance, this is not always a straightforward option. 
 
Many countries (for example the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and many mainland European destinations) have a blanket ban on pets arriving in-cabin, unless they are registered support animals. A number of airlines do allow pets to travel in the cabin en route to other countries, however, there are restrictions on both pet and carrier sizes, weights and dimensions, since the container must fit under the rear of the seat in front of their owner.
 
If it's not possible to travel beside your pet, you might hope to book onto the same flight, with your animal in the cargo hold whilst you sit in the passenger cabin. This is often possible to arrange, but again it's not necessarily the best course of action.
 

Once your pet arrives at a foreign airport after travelling in the hold, it will be transferred to the cargo terminal, which can be quite a distance from the main passenger terminal. By the time you've claimed your baggage, cleared customs and found your way to the cargo terminal, your pet will have been awaiting collection for some time. You'll then have to negotiate your onward journey, at a time when you're probably feeling frazzled from your flight.
 
It's for this reason that it can be more sensible to travel a day or two ahead of your pet. This way, when the flight arrives you can be on the spot, refreshed and ready to whisk your much-loved moggy or doted-upon dog back to its new home. 
 
Happy reunions and safe, hassle-free travel are our speciality. Our experts can advise you on flight options, policies and regulations relevant to every single airline and every country around the world. For more information, don't hesitate to get in touch on 01725 472042 or via our contact form.