Pet Air Travel: Can Pets Fly Without Their Owners? | PetRelocation (2024)

Pet Air Travel: Can Pets Fly Without Their Owners? | PetRelocation (1)Arranging Unaccompanied Pet Air Travel

Hi PetRelocation,

Can I ship my pets without actually taking a flight with them?



Hi Elizabeth,

Yes, you can certainly arrange for your pets to travel without accompanying them on the flight. Most of the pet moves we handle involve pets flying without their owners. If you aren't flying with your dogs, you'll need to organize for someone to take them to the departure airport and meet them upon arrival at the destination. This could be a friend, family member, or a hired pet travel agent.

If you're planning your pet move and would like to hire a professional pet ground transporter to assist with airport transportation, consider checking out IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association). Suppose you'd prefer comprehensive assistance with your pet move, including flight and ground transportation arrangements. In that case, you can fill out our online consultation form to learn about our door-to-door services.

Additionally, you must familiarize yourself with the pet import requirements for your destination country. For instance, if you're moving to Taiwan, review Taiwan's pet import requirements to understand what documents you need before shipping your pets. And if you want to read about dogs we have recently helped move to Taiwan, be sure to check out one of our past Pet Moves of the Month.

Thank you for your question, and we wish you the best of luck with your pet move

Pet Travel Question Details:

Name: Elizabeth
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Dogs
Pet Breed: Jack Russell Terriers
From: Los Angeles, CA, US
To: Tainan, Taiwan

Contact PetRelocation to find out more about your safe pet shipping options.




Pet Air Travel: Can Pets Fly Without Their Owners? | PetRelocation (2024)


Pet Air Travel: Can Pets Fly Without Their Owners? | PetRelocation? ›

Hundreds of pets travel alone every day and arrive safely at their destination. Steps to follow: Have your veterinarian prepare the APHIS form 7001 stating that your pet is healthy enough to travel and is free of parasites. You can also get a Airline Veterinary Certificate in our store.

Can pets fly without owners? ›

You may be wondering if pets can fly alone and the answer is: YES! It is not always possible for your pet to fly in-cabin with you or as accompanied baggage on your own flight. In this case, pets typically travel "unaccompanied" as cargo. While this may sound scary, it's not!

What are the rules for flying with pets? ›

While there are no weight or breed limitations for pets, they must travel in either a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier. This carrier must fit under the seat in front of you or you cannot fly with your pet.

What are the rules for flying with a pet carrier? ›

Here are the minimum features that your carrier must have to be airline compliant:
  • Your carrier must have a waterproof bottom.
  • Your carrier must have adequate ventilation.
  • Your pet must be securely fastened in the carrier. ...
  • Your carrier must fit under the seat in front of you.
  • Your pet must fit entirely in the carrier.

How strict are airlines about pet carriers? ›

It must completely fit under the seat in front of you. SWA allows pet carriers that have maximum dimensions of 18.5" (L) x 13.5" (W) x 9.5" (H).

Can you put a pet on a plane alone? ›

Transporting a pet can be a stressful experience, especially if you can't be with your furry friend during the trip. Some airlines allow you to fly your dog alone in the cargo area, so it's a possibility. It's important, however, to remember that for a stressed-out animal, there's no alternative to the human touch.

Can I put my cat on a flight without me? ›

Cats can fly this way either as checked bags on the same aircraft as you, or unaccompanied as shipping cargo. There may be shipping timelines to consider if the cat travels as unaccompanied cargo, so check with your airline for details.

Do airlines ask for a pet health certificate? ›

U.S. Airline Pet Policies

Typically, airlines require pet health certificates that are no older than 10 days, even if the receiving country accepts an older one. Some countries, however, require a health certificate to be even less than 10 days. Check directly with the airline.

What paperwork do I need to bring my dog on a plane? ›

You will need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection to travel and some airlines require an acclimation certificate. Both of these certificates can only be completed and signed by a federally accredited veterinarian.

Does TSA require pet health certificates? ›

Neither a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), also known as a health certificate, nor a rabies vaccination is required to import a cat into California; however, if traveling into California via airplane, please call the airline as they may have additional requirements.

What makes a pet carrier TSA approved? ›

Carrier Requirements

Your pet's carrier must fit under the seat in front of you and must have the following features: a waterproof bottom - be sure and also get some good pet pads. adequate ventilation - at least 2 sides of your carrier should have mesh ventilation.

How much does it cost to fly a dog alone? ›

A dog cannot travel in the cabin alone and must have a human accompanying their journey. Most major airlines, like Delta, United, and American, will charge around $125 per pet each way.

Can you bring a dog on a plane without a carrier? ›

Most airlines allow fully-trained service dogs to ride in the cabin without a carrier. Airlines are no longer required to accommodate emotional support animals (ESAs) and they must travel as pets. Jump down to the airline-by-airline guidelines.

Can I put my pet carrier on my lap during a flight? ›

Dogs must still fly in a carrier and fit under the seat to be stowed for taxi, takeoff, and landing (on Etihad, carriers can take up more space if being used with an additional seat); outside of those flight phases, passengers are generally allowed to put the dog carrier on their lap or in the seat next to them that ...

What size pet carrier will fit under an airline seat? ›

There are no laws dictating the type of carrier to use, but remember that it must be small enough to fit under a standard airplane seat and should generally not exceed 45 linear inches (length + width + height), or roughly 21.5 by 15.5 by 9 inches. Depending on the airline, carrier size limits may be even smaller.

What is the least strict airline for pets? ›

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is the best airline for traveling with a pet. While not the absolute lowest, it had among the lowest fees and the most flexible pet policy in terms of what types of pets you can bring.

How can I fly my dog without a person? ›

Acquire an IATA compliant pet crate large enough for your pet to stand up in and turn around. If possible, purchase the kennel well in advance of the trip to allow your pet a chance to get used to the kennel before the travel date. Information about measuring your pet for a crate.

Can my pet fly for free? ›

Unless you have a fully trained service dog, there isn't any way to fly your dog for free. Also, flying is stressful for dogs, so you might want to consider finding another way to get to your destination, if possible.

How much does it cost to fly your pet with you? ›

Generally, airlines charge a pet fee of $100 to $200 each way, but prices will vary depending on where you're traveling and your airline. Check the airline's pet policy before purchasing a ticket to make sure your pet meets the airline's breed and size requirements.

Do I need papers for my dog to fly? ›

The health certificate must be signed by an accredited veterinarian after examining your pet and determining that it is free of infectious diseases and satisfies all import requirements of the receiving state, territory, or country. International travel often requires USDA endorsem*nt of the certificate.

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