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Myths and Facts Surrounding Pet Travel

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ALI14There is a tremendous amount of questionable information on the web regarding moving your pet. This is compounded by the fact people often turn to the airlines for advice. The problem is the passenger information representatives are not trained on pet travel requirements so they often give wrong or inconsistent information. We thought we would go over some common misconceptions.

Myth – There are Pet Only airlines. Fact – All pets fly on commercial flights.

At the current time there are no pet only airlines. All pets fly on commercial passenger and cargo airlines.

Myth – My pet can fly in the cabin with me. Fact – Most pets fly in the cargo area of the airplane.

The vast majority of pets fly in the cargo compartment of the plane. If the pet is small enough to fit under the seat (about 15 pounds or less) AND the airline you choose allows, he may be able to fly in cabin. It is wise to double check this with the specific airline as information is often inconsistent.

Myth – My pet will freeze/suffocate to death in the cargo hold. Fact – The holds where pets fly are pressurized and temperature controlled.

The cargo holds where pets fly are the same temperature and pressure as the cabin as it is the same air circulated throughout the entire aircraft. On some larger planes there are indeed cargo compartments which are not temperature controlled, however pets are not loaded in these areas.

Myth – I’ll just book my pet as excess baggage. Fact – It is not always that easy.

Many airlines do not allow pets at all. Others restrict the time of year they can travel as excess baggage as well as the number of pets which can travel on a certain flight. Also, the size of the pet is a big factor as larger dogs can only fit on a few types of aircraft. Pet owners should call the cargo department of the airline they would like to use (not the main number for passenger reservations) and make sure the flight they would like is available for pets.

Myth – So I have to use a Pet Moving Company? Fact – No, you can do it yourself.

For most domestic moves, a careful pet owner can arrange for relocation on their own. However, there are many pitfalls and advanced planning and follow up are crucial. A Pet Moving service is certainly recommended for the majority of international relocations as one missed detail can mean months of quarantine or refusal of entry.

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