How to prepare for a trip when I want to fly with my pet?

  • You should start the preparations by checking what animal can be transported with a given airline. Most carriers allow a passenger to take a very limited number of species (mostly dogs and cats), and other animals can only be checked in as cargo. Information about the species can be found on the carrier's website, at its box office and at the call center.
  • After determining whether the animal can travel with us, check whether it meets the size and weight requirements: depending on these criteria, it will be possible to take the animal to the passenger cabin (PETC service - Pet in Cabin) or check it in the hold (AVIH service) - Animal in Hold). We will also obtain information on this subject from the carrier. Usually, the weight limit for the passenger compartment coincides with that for hand luggage, and the dimensional limit for the space under the airplane seat. However, the restrictions for the luggage compartment depend entirely on the type of aircraft. Hence, it is best to contact the call center of the carrier, whose employees will be able to check exactly what plane the trip will take place and what size restrictions are there.
  • Most air carriers require prior notification, usually at least several days, in order to take your pet on board the plane. However, do not hesitate to make a phone call to the call center on this matter, as the number of animals that can travel in the passenger cabin and in the luggage hold is limited on each flight.
    - the next step is to make sure that the animal meets the entry conditions to the country to which the cruise will be held. Most countries require at least a valid rabies vaccination and proof of the animal's age, some additionally require the animal to have a chip, and for example, it will not be possible to take the animal with you to Great Britain. These requirements can be found on the websites of state authorities related to foreign matters, transport or veterinary matters. The list of requirements also has a carrier operating to a given country, so it is worth adding a question about entry requirements to the list of matters to be discussed with a call center employee.
  • Further to the topic of the guide dog: only passengers with known visual and hearing disabilities are permitted to take them on board. In order to take SVAN with him, a passenger must first receive from the carrier the status-service appropriate to his ailment: BLND - blind or visually impaired passenger, DEAF - deaf or deaf passenger.
  • In the case of an animal that is emotional support, the passenger is required to provide the carrier with a certificate from a psychiatrist in the form of a MEDIF (Medical Information) form. This is a form available on the airline's website, please print it out and take it to the appropriate doctor in a reasonable amount of time before departure.
  • PETC and AVIH are usually paid services, SVAN and ESAN are usually free services. There is no guarantee that any particular carrier will provide any or any of these services.
  • The next step in preparing your pet for transport is adapting it to the travel conditions. Flight by plane is similar to traveling by car, so it is worth observing the animal's behavior in this environment. If the animal does not tolerate such a trip, you can consider administering sedatives, but only under the supervision of a veterinarian!
  • Before going to the airport, you can consider taking your pet's favorite toy to make the trip pleasant, and if the animal will travel on a long-haul flight, you should provide the hand luggage (PETC) or the cage (AVIH) with the right amount of water and food. However, it should be taken into account that it will not be possible to take your pet "for a walk" during the cruise.
  • On the day of the flight, it is worth showing up at the check-in desk earlier than in the case of traveling without a pet. This is due to the fact that ground handling personnel are required to check that all carrier requirements for transporting the animal in the passenger cabin or in the luggage hold have been met.