HOW WLVC CAN HELP:
Whether a pet is flying as a service animal, in-cabin, or in cargo, you will need to present the airline with some form of health certificate or record of good health. Make sure you notify us at least 1 month before your flight—earlier if traveling internationally— to go over what documentation, vaccines, or bloodwork are needed!
There are 3 different types of way to fly with your pet:
- Service Animal (Dogs only)
- In-Cabin (Cats and Dogs only)
While there are some broad rules determined by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), any other regulations depend on the specific airline and your destination, so we recommend that you reference your airline’s “traveling with pets” website page and the USDA Pet Travel website. However, this resource guide is designed to be a good place to start the journey of getting informed before flying with your pet!
Definition: According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) a service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.
- An emotional support animal is no longer considered to be a service animal.
- When dealing with airlines, a psychiatric service animal is considered the same as other service animals.
This definition and conditions are new and go into effect for new reservations in January and February of 2021.
Fees and Required Paperwork: Service animals must be allowed to fly with airlines free of charge. However, there is paperwork required by all airlines:
- U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form must be filled out and be carried on your person.
- If the flight is scheduled to take 8 hours or more, a U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form (Relief Form) is also required.
Any other requirements for flights vary by airline and destination.
Check-in Process: By law, travelers with service animals must be allowed an option to check their pet into the flight online;, they should not be forced to check their service animal physically at the airport.
Definition: Domesticated cats and dogs that are at least 4 months old and small enough to fit in an under-seat travel carrier.
Restrictions: Some airlines restrict which breeds can travel in-cabin. Check with your airline, but these restrictions most often apply to pit bulls and brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and shih tzus.
Bringing a trained pet with you is critical. Inappropriate behavior could get you and your pet kicked off a flight. Inappropriate behavior includes growling, biting, jumping, odor, barking, eating off tray tables, relieving themselves inappropriately, etc.
Fees and Required Paperwork: A service fee does apply, and health certificates are required along with proof of your pet’s last rabies vaccine. You cannot travel within 30 days of your pet’s last rabies vaccine! Please be sure to schedule an appointment with us according to this mandate!
Check-in Process: Pets traveling in-cabin must be added to the trip booking ahead of time and must also check-in at the ticketing desk when arriving at the airport for departure.
There may be additional requirements specific to your destination. Each state and country have different laws, so be sure to do your research!
*Due to COVID Government restrictions, most airlines have suspended this service until further notice.
The cargo category is the broadest and thus critically depend on a specific airline.
- Almost all airlines allow cats and dogs (with breed restrictions) and some even allow rabbits, birds, fish, etc.
- Must fit in a kennel appropriate for its size and should not be panicked by the kennel.
- Eligibility can vary by the plane model, the route, the weather, etc.
Fees and Required Paperwork: A paid booking must be created for the pet. The pet must also be in a relatively healthy condition to fly and requires a health certificate certified by your veterinarian. There may also be additional health requirements depending on the destination.