Pet shipping safety?

Question:

I am moving my pet by air, and my biggest concern is his safety. How do I keep him safe throughout his journey?

Answer:

Many of the fears surrounding pet transportation stem from owners putting pets on planes without knowing the correct ways to prepare their animals, or the correct aircraft to use for their precious cargo. And while airlines do their best to prevent these mishaps, for the most part, air carriers are still set up primarily to ship just luggage. A professional pet relocation company can help you navigate the safest way to transport your pet, however here are the general things to keep an eye out for.

Airline Safety

The key to safe travel for pets is booking with airlines that have developed cargo programs to make them more “pet-friendly.”

Pet-Friendly Airlines include:

Continental Airlines
KLM Royal-Dutch Airlines

Northwest Airlines

Lufthansa Airlines

These “pet-friendly” airlines ensure the following:

BEFORE: Climate-controlled waiting area where pets are kept after they are checked in for their flights.

DURING: Climate-controlled & pressurized cargo hold inside the plane.

AFTER: Shuttle service to take pets to/from the plane when it’s time for them to load/unload – rather than being exposed to extreme temperatures while waiting on the tarmac to be loaded.

LAYOVERS: Climate-controlled waiting area where pets are kept after they are checked in for their flights and a dedicated staff to check on the health of pet at every port along the way.

Crate Safety
Pre-conditioning pets to their crates is the most important thing a pet owner can do prior to their move. When a pet is crate-trained and comfortable in their crate, it becomes their safe and secure traveling room. They are happy to be in this protected, familiar environment–no matter where they are in the world.

If you think about it from the pet’s perspective, they are in their secure traveling crate and they do not know they are flying in a plane. To them, they are being placed into a special area that may shake a bit on take off and landing – but other than that, the pets are simply waiting for that individual who put them there, to come and open that door so they can enjoy their new location.

Experience

If you do decide to hire a pet relocation company to assist you, it’s important to remember that the most reputable pet relocation companies are members of a group called the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). The association regulates and monitors the pet transportation industry by setting ethics standards and overseeing the performance of their members. As part of their membership, companies are given access to a network of pet transportation professionals worldwide who have guaranteed reputations for the services they provide. It is also beneficial to work with pet relocation companies who have pre-screened all of their drivers and agents to comply with the latest TSA-security measures.