When traveling with a pet, it’s important to know that since 2020 and the onset of COVID-19, many airlines have made changes to their pet travel policies and regulations. Some airlines have discontinued their pet transport program and no longer accept pets as excess baggage or as manifested cargo. Read here for more information regarding the differences between in-cabin, excess baggage, and manifested cargo pets.
Airline Policies for Pet Travel
In March 2020, all US domestic airlines suspended pet travel for baggage and cargo pets. Only three US domestic airlines have resumed pet travel to date (2023). One of the largest airlines offering the PetSafe program for baggage and cargo pets was United, and they have made the decision to discontinue the PetSafe program. They may still offer travel for in-cabin pets, contact their passenger reservations to inquire.
The airlines that have continued offering pet travel for cargo and baggage pets are American Airlines, Alaskan Air, and Delta. All airlines have restrictions based on temperatures, breed, itinerary, and size of the pet.
American Airlines Pet Travel Policy
American Airlines will allow carry-on pets/pets traveling under the seat in front of the passenger. American Airlines accepts only cats and dogs, and carry-on pets must meet the size requirements. For pets that are too large to meet the in-cabin requirements, they must be booked as excess baggage pets or cargo pets. American Airlines only accept excess baggage pets for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S.
State Department Foreign Services personnel traveling on official orders. For pets traveling as excess baggage, the combined weight of the pet and the crate must not exceed 100 LB. Airbus aircraft cannot accommodate live animals in the baggage/cargo hold. Pets are only accepted when temperatures are 20-85℉ with a vet letter of acclimation. Brachycephalic cats and dogs are not accepted.
Delta Airlines Pet Travel Policy
Delta will allow carry-on pets/pets traveling under the seat in front of the passenger. Pets must meet the size requirements. For pets that are too large to meet the in-cabin requirements, they must be booked as excess baggage pets or cargo pets. Delta Airlines only accept excess baggage pets for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Services personnel traveling on official orders. Pets are only accepted when temperatures are 20-80℉ with a vet letter of acclimation.
Alaskan Air Pet Travel Policy
Alaskan Air will allow carry-on pets/pets traveling under the seat in front of the passenger. Pets must meet the size requirements. For pets traveling as excess baggage, the combined weight of the pet and the crate must not exceed 150 LB. Brachycephalic cats and dogs are not accepted as baggage. Airbus aircraft can not accommodate live animals in the baggage/cargo hold. Alaskan Air accepts cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish.
For pets traveling unaccompanied, please contact us for a quote for manifested cargo booking.
Traveling with a Pet by Ground
What are the options if your pet cannot fly? You can hire a professional ground shipping company. For quality ground pet transport by a professional, this service can be expensive and will depend on the distance and the pet details, shared ride, or private ride. Ground transportation requires hands-on attention and often longer travel times.
Ground Pet Transport
Safety Regulations Safety is the top priority, so we require that our drivers are not on the road for more than 10 hours. For a longer journey of over 10 hours, a hotel stay in a pet-friendly hotel or 2 drivers is required.
US Pet Travel Document Requirements
When traveling with a pet in the US, there are certain documents that are required to ensure the safety and health of your pet, as well as the safety of others.
First and foremost, all pets traveling within the US should have a valid rabies vaccine certificate. This is a requirement in all 50 states, and failure to provide proof of rabies vaccination could result in your pet being denied entry or quarantine upon arrival. It’s important to note that while most states require a rabies vaccine, some may have additional requirements, such as a health certificate or proof of other vaccinations.
In addition to the rabies vaccine certificate, a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel is also required. This document serves as proof that your pet is healthy and able to travel, and it must include information such as your pet’s breed, age, sex, and the microchip number. The health certificate should also indicate that your pet has been examined and found to be free from any contagious diseases or health conditions that could pose a risk to other animals or people.
It’s important to note that these requirements apply not only to air travel but also to ground transportation, such as when you’re moving across the country with your pet. Make sure you have all the necessary documents in order to avoid any complications or delays.
For more information on US pet travel document requirements, visit the USDA APHIS website.
Why Choose Continental Pet Relocation?
At Continental Pet Relocation, we offer comprehensive pet travel services to ensure a safe and stress-free journey for your pet. From ground transportation to air travel, our experienced team is here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us for a quote or to learn more about traveling with a pet. Let us help make your pet’s journey a positive one.