That little dog in the picture is such a little sweetheart. But where were we? Can you take your dog on the plane when you travel? Come to that, can you take your cat? Your parrot? Your emotional support gerbil?
It would be wonderful if there was a simple answer but I’m afraid that there isn’t. Airlines differ a lot. The destination matters too, as does the size of your animal, and even what breed you have.
But to get it out of the way right at the start, you could find it difficult if you are expecting to be able to claim additional benefits for your animal (such as free travel) if you claim that it is an ESA.
There are a few airlines that will still accept ESAs but there is only a handful. At the time of writing, they are China Air, Latam Airlines, Norwegian Air, Singapore Air. Virgin Australia, Volaris, Westjet.
Your emotional support animal certainly can travel with you under the same conditions that the airlines ask for all pets. Note that official service dogs are accepted under the same conditions as always.
So what about the average pet?
- Can you take your dog on the plane with you? If it’s of a certain size and a certain breed, yes on most airlines but not to all destinations
- What about your cat? The same size, breed and destinations rules apply on different airlines
- Some airlines will even accept a mother cat nursing her kittens as long as the kitten fall into a particular age range
- My parrot? On some but not all carriers. Some say ‘small household birds’, so your budgie would be okay on some flights
- Gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs? One or two carriers accept them too
Don’t worry about all this confusion. There’s a link coming up where you can get all the information you need.
Now, pet fees. These vary a lot from airline to airline. Another problem you might find is that many airlines will only accept two, or four, or sometimes more animals on any given flight so it’s first come, first served.
To make sense of the whole malarkey, head straight to the Bring Fido website.
It tells you exactly which airline does what, where and for what fee. There are tips for pet travel, US pet travel regulations and international pet travel too. It’s an excellent site.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.