Have you ever sat next to a dog on a plane? How would you feel if you did? Whilst Australian airline rules specify that pets must travel in the cargo hold, this is not the case in Europe, North America and some Asian countries.
I wasn’t aware of this and had the surreal experience of watching a lady put her dog inside a bag through the X-ray machine on a recent trip in America. I whispered to the staunch security man ‘She’s hiding a dog in that bag’ to which he replied, ‘Dogs are allowed on board’. Well I never! I’m not sure whether putting the poor pooch through the X-ray machine was very good for it but I’m all for pets on planes. I’m sure they make less noise than little children.
Back home, a friend of mine who travels a lot with his terrier told me that it’s only an extra $70 or so to stick Oscar in the cargo hold for a Sydney to Perth flight. Not bad. And if he was to travel with Virgin Australia, Oscar would actually earn frequent flyer points. Brilliant! The only downside of taking pets is the inconvenience of the drop off 2 hours prior at the cargo terminal.
I wonder if the pets mind flying? I was waiting on the tarmac once and all we could hear was thump thump thump. Over the loud speaker the pilot apologised for the delay – it was an unhappy Cheetah who was being transported between zoos.
Anyone who has travelled through Asia for any distance by public transport would also know of the joys of travelling with animals – it’s almost the norm. But finding yourself seated next to them on a flight may not be everybody’s idea of fun. Here is a list of airlines that do allow pets, so if you do find yourself sitting next to a cute little pooch don’t be surprised.
- Air Canada
- Air France
- American Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin America
Flying with your pet
If you’re wanting to take your own furry child flying with you around Europe or America, here are some general guidelines for cabin travel.
- Pet must be in a suitable kennel or pet travel bag. Your pet must be able to stand up and lay down comfortably.
- Total weight of pet + travel bag or kennel may be max. 8 kg
- Your pet must be stowed under the seat in front of you during take off and landing
- Don’t take your pet out during the flight!
At TTFN Travel we can help you organise to get your pet abroad or around Australia hassle free so call us on +61 (08) 6382 5000
Happy furry travels!
Article by Nicola Billens
Nicola Billens is an experienced traveller, having visited all the continents (except Antarctica) over the last 20 years. She’s lived in France, England, Austria and New Zealand and spent many years and many dollars experiencing what this wonderful world has to offer.