Learn about the Best Airline-Approved Kennels for Cargo Travel

Animals traveling in the cargo hold of an aircraft must be provided with additional amenities. If a pet is traveling with you in the cabin, you are wholly responsible for its actions and care. Cargo travel, however, is different—kennels must be sturdy, include food and water dishes, and have a single metal door. They cannot have wheels, top opening doors, or plastic latches. The best kennels for cargo travel are going to make your life and the life of your pet that much easier.  

Before purchasing a crate, we recommend checking out your airline’s cargo kennel requirements. Each airline has separate rules and restrictions relating to pets in cargo, and you want to purchase a kennel to fit these parameters. Once you have your list of necessities, check out our list of airline-approved and IATA-compliant kennels below. We have reviewed some of our favorite airline-approved kennels that are designed to improve your pet’s cargo travel experience.   

 

Petmate Sky Kennel—$58.99 from Amazon 

What We Like: This kennel’s heavy-duty frame is an ideal choice for air travel, and the carrier meets all IATA airline requirements for the cargo hold. With a single metal door made from a single piece of metal, pet escape is impossible—your dog will not be able to pull the door inward to collapse the crate. Our favorite feature of the Petmate Sky Kennel is one that most other containers fail to provide: pre-drilled zip tie holes. When traveling with a pet in cargo, airlines require pet parents to zip tie the kennel doors shut. This crate makes the process a bit easier. Additionally, the crate is made of 25% recycled materials, so you can feel good about this purchase. 

Size: The carrier is available in six sizes. Their measurements, from smallest to largest are (Length x Width x Height): 21”x16”x15”, 28”x20.5”x21.5”, 32”x22.5”x24”, 36”x25”x27”, 40”x27”x30”, and 48”x32”x35”. 

Additional Features: Featuring air holes on all four sides, two attachable food and water dishes, Live Animal stickers, and an extra safe lock, this crate has everything you could possibly need. There is, however, one caveat to purchasing this crate; it comes with plastic nuts and bolts, but you’ll need metal replacements for air travel. This small detail is easily fixed, but you should reserve an extra few dollars in your budget to purchase the required addition.  

 

Aspenport Pet Porter Kennel$48.74 from Amazon 

What We Like: Slightly pricier than the Petmate Sky Kennel, the Aspenport Pet Porter is another fantastic option. It features a single, locking metal door, metal nuts/bolts, and ventilation on all four sides. The plastic shell is durable, and the latch door cannot be pulled inward. This kennel is safe, comfortable, and secure, providing the perfect container for cargo shipments. You will need to supply your own food and water dishes.  

Size: The Aspenport Pet Porter Kennel also comes in several colors and sizes—nine, to be exact. The sizes are determined by weight range—up to 10lbs, up to 15lbs, 15-20lbs, 20-25lbs, 25-30lbs, 30-50lbs, 50-70lbs, 70-90lbs, and 90-125lbs. The range of weight availability makes this a solid choice for larger, heavier animals. You’re sure to find a suitable size for your pet no matter how large he is. 

Additional Features: This kennel features a handle, side latches, metal nuts and bolts, compartment covers, and tie down holes, making it one of the most secure containers available.  

 

Skudo Plastic Pet Carrier—From $25.19 from Amazon 

What We Like: The Skudo Plastic Pet Carrier is one of our favorites; it boasts all necessary features for an airline-approved kennel but offers pet owners a few additional pieces. The container is available in six separate sizes and boasts a traditional handle, built-in hooks for a shoulder strap, easy snap-lock buckles, ventilation on all sides, and a durable plastic shell. You will need to purchase your own metal screws (the crate comes with plastic) and food bowls separately.  

Sizes: The Skudo Pet Carrier is available in six sizes. Their measurements, from smallest to largest, include: 21.5”x14”x8.2”, 23.6”x15.8”x9”, 26.8”x18.8”x11.5”, 31.4”x23.1”x15”, 36.2”x24.9”x16.5”, 36.2”x27.2”x27.2”.  

Additional Features: The carrier offers removable wheels and a pull handle, which is perfect for transporting heavy dogs before the flight. In general, American airports do not allow animals to leave their crates while in the terminal buildings. This can make traveling with large dogs quite a hassle—carrying a 75lb dog in his carrier is not as easy as you might think. The wheels and handle make moving this kennel a breeze, and their ability to be removed makes the container IATA-compliant. 

 

Marchioro Clipper Ithaka Pet Carrier—$233.12 from Amazon 

What We Like: Though one of the more expensive kennel options, the Marchioro Clipper is one of the most secure containers on the market. It features “side-clackers” and additional pins to keep each part of the crate firmly in its place. The front door boasts a spring-latch, making it both secure and accessible. The carrier meets all International Airline Standards and is IATA -compliant. 

Sizes: This kennel comes in four sizes: 27.75”x19.5”x20.25”, 32.25”x22.25”x23.5”, 36.5”x25.5”x26.75”, and 41.5”x29.25”x31”. 

Additional Features: This kennel stands apart from the rest because of the number of accessories included in the purchase. Each kennel includes attachable wheels for easy transport, a shoulder strap, a water bottle, and a no-spill cup. This eliminates the need to purchase additional materials for pet cargo transit. 

 

Folding Metal Dog Crate—$582.99 from Pet Travel Store 

What We Like: Larger, more rambunctious dogs may need more structure and security than what a regular plastic crate can provide. This Folding Metal Dog Crate is the most secure (and one of the most expensive) available. It is made of high-quality, heavy-duty aluminum and features welded rivet construction, rounded square vents for increased airflow, and a marine grade slam latch.  

In reality, you likely won’t need this level of security to get your pet to a destination. However, you never know how your pet will react to air travel, and planning for the worst-case scenario is never a bad idea. If you have a large, potentially volatile dog in need of transport, this may be your best option.  

Sizes: This kennel is available in four sizes: Medium (24.5”x23”x18.5”), Large (34”x28”x22.5”, Extra Large (40.5”x28”x22.5”), and Giant (27.5”x32.5”x26.5”). 

Additional Features: This kennel features the best security technology available, including welded round cross bars for stability, airline rails, and impact/stacking corners for impact protection. The crate can fold flat for transport, and the package includes a handle for easy carrying.  

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Find Expandable, Collapsible, and Rolling Pet Carriers for Carry-On Travel

Traveling with a carry-on pet can be stressful, but selecting a safe, comfortable, and airline-approved pet carrier goes a long way toward a successful trip. While it’s easy to worry about a pet that’s out of sight in the cargo hold, passengers are responsible for the animal’s actions, behavior, and well-being when traveling in the cabin with a dog or cat.  

It can be difficult to anticipate a pet’s demeanor during a high-stress day of travel, but having a pet carrier that you can trust for carry-on travel is a big help. Expandable/collapsible pet crates are popular for offering the maximum amount of space. Rolling dog carriers are also popular to avoid muscle strains and to give your pet a smooth ride through the airport.  

Before purchasing, be sure to check airline restrictions for pet carriers for carry-on travel. Many flights have maximum weights, dimensions, and—sometimes—specific material. Below, we have reviewed several of our favorite airline-approved cat and dog carriers for any size travel budget.  

 

Petsfit Expandable Airline-Approved Pet Carrier ($35.99 from Amazon) 

What We Like: The Petsfit Expandable carrier is one of the best we’ve seen, especially as a budget-friendly option. Our favorite detail is the carrier’s ability to expand and contract. When unzipped, the carrier lies completely flat and appears to be approximately the size of a laptop case. When set up, the sides zip down to provide extra space and comfort for Fido or Fluffy.  

Sizes: Three sizes are designed to accommodate pets up to 12lbs, 16lbs, and 20lbs, respectively. The small carrier dimensions are 16” x 10” x 9”. The medium dimensions are 18” x 11” x 11”. The larger option is 19” x 12” x 12”.  

Additional Features: All sizes boast a zipper opening for secured entrance, an adjustable shoulder strap for a convenient carry, and durable materials for a long-lasting solution. 

 

Pawdle Expandable and Foldable Pet Carrier ($29.99 from Amazon) 

What We Like: Similar to the Petsfit Expandable carrier, the Pawdle provides a similar feature at a lower price point. This is an excellent alternative for pet parents with larger in-cabin animals, as the dimensions are slightly larger and more accommodating than the Petsfit variation. If you choose this carrier, we recommend taking your dog’s measurements and reviewing your airline’s restrictions. The Pawdle can collapse to fit under the seat in front of you, but the height it more than what most airlines allow. 

Sizes: This carrier is available in only one size. It is suitable for pets up to 12lbs and measures 18.5”x20.5”x11”. When folded flat, the carrier is 18.5”x11”x1.5”.  

Additional Features: This carrier expands to increase pet comfort and air circulation, providing extra space for your furry friend to lounge. Each container features a wide, adjustable shoulder strap and a handle for easy carrying.  

 

Pet Peppy Expandable Pet Carrier ($49.94 from Amazon) 

What We Like: At this point, you’ve seen one approach to the expandable pet carrier at two separate price points. The Pet Peppy takes expandability to the extreme, featuring two-sided expansion and an elongated tunnel entrance. Though slightly more expensive, this is an excellent option for anxious pets who need a bit more wiggle room. We also recommend this carrier if you are traveling with two animals in a single container. The best part? This carrier is guaranteed to fit under the cabin seat of Alaska, Delta, Allegiant, Frontier, Hawaiian, jetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Virgin America, and United Airlines.  

Sizes: The Pet Peppy Expandable Carrier comes in just one size. It is built for pets up to 14lbs, and the carrier folds flat to measure 18”x14”x1.6”. The tunnel extends an additional 16” when unfolded, and the expanded sizes provide an additional 1.5-square-feet of space within the carrier.  

Additional Features: This carrier incudes a machine washable mat, pockets for treats and toys, a padded shoulder strap, and a side strap to attach to your rolling suitcase handle. Your purchase also includes a pet bowl and a 1-year warranty. 

 

Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Pet Carrier ($119.95 from Amazon) 

What We Like: If you’re willing to upgrade to a pricier pet carrier, the convenience afforded by easily maneuverable wheels is well worth the cost. We like the idea of animals sitting upright in their carriers to explore the world around them—that’s exactly what they can do while in this carrier. Similar to the Petsfit Expandable carrier, the Snoozer Wheel Around folds down flat for easy storage or transport while not in use. It can be worn as a backpack, rolled around on the ground, lain flat, or stand on its own with the pet inside. As a result, this is one of the most dynamic and adaptable carriers available.  

Sizes: This carrier comes in three sizes: small, for pets up to 7lbs, medium, for pets up to 15lbs, or large, for pets up to 30lbs. The outer dimensions of the carrier are 17.5”x12”x8” for the small, 20”x14”x11” for the medium, and 23”x15.5”x12.25” for the large. Though the dimensions are technically larger than what most airlines allow, the carrier is collapsible, allowing your pet to fit snugly under many airline seats.  

Additional Features: All sizes are equipped with a telescoping handle for easy maneuvering and two side storage pockets for leash, treats, bowls, and food. 

 

Sleepypod Under Seat Dog Carrier ($162.36 from Amazon) 

What We Like: This carrier is, quite literally, the whole package. This container is suited for every type of pet transit—from a carry-on carrier to a car seat to a dog bed. The flexible design can fit up to 17.5lbs of pet, but its sides are compressible enough to fit under different-sized seats on airlines. This is essential for frequent flyers, as purchasing a new carrier to conform with each airline’s requirements is a waste of time and money. This carrier is one you will not want (or need!) to replace, as it is of extremely high quality, sturdy, easy to attach to luggage carriers, and useful in a variety of situations.  

Sizes: The Sleepypod carrier is available in one size, measures 22” x 10.5” x 10.5”, and is suitable for up to 17.5lbs. The container is designed to provide your animal the maximum amount of space without sacrificing sturdiness or style, and the various access points allow you to reach your cat or dog with ease.  

Additional Features: Each carrier comes with a soft, furry insert on the bottom, and the mesh top and sides allow for easy air ventilation.  

 

Sky-Max Modern Collapsible Pet Carrier ($38.39 from Home Depot) 

What We Like: If you’re a pet carrier traditionalist, you’ll love the Sky-Max Modern. Unlike the other carriers on this list, it doesn’t expand or roll. This airline-approved, fully collapsible option focuses on the durability of the material rather than additional frills. The entire carrier is composed of breathable and sub-absorbent mesh, and the outside is made of an ultra-durable ballistic nylon. Perfect for small-to-medium pets, this option is guaranteed to fit under the seat in front of you.  

Sizes: This carrier is available in one size. It measures 16.1”x9.5”x10” and weighs 2.5lbs. When fully collapsed, the carrier is just 3” narrow.  

Additional Features: All carriers come with removable shoulder straps, a built-in leash securer, and a handle bar—perfect for navigating busy and stressful airports.  

 

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Why You Should Know about These Pet-Friendly Airlines

Airports and airplanes are loud, busy spaces. Pets may struggle to adapt to the situation, and this alone can set them on edge. As pet parents, we do our best to protect our fur babies. By learning about pet-friendly airlines, airport pet relief areas, and pet travel supplies, we put real time and effort into helping our little ones. 

Dogs on Planes believes that pet parents deserve to have the easiest possible pet travel experience. Whether that means the airline provides all necessary information in a single, easy-to-read PDF, offers complimentary animal services, or adds some perks to sweeten the pot (did anybody say Frequent Flyer Miles?), some airlines are more pet-friendly than others. 

Our Featured Pet-Friendly Airlines 

  • Virgin Atlantic—Virgin Atlantic is pretty strict with their pet policy. Only service animals are allowed inside the cabin, and there are several breed-specific restrictions for those allowed inside. However, their pet travel website is one of the best we’ve seen. It provides detailed information about which flights and routes allow which forms of pet transit, a detailed list of forms needed depending on your destination country, and in-depth to-do lists for every step of your journey. Additionally, their cargo service is pretty unique. The airline does its best to get your pet on your flight. You will still need to drop off and pick him up at a cargo facility at your departing and arriving airports, but this service allows you and your furry friend to remain on the same schedule.  

 

 

  • jetBlue—jetBlue pulls out all the stops for pet parents. Their JetPaws program provides owners with everything they need for each step of the journey. The program offers pet travel products (including a pre-approved jetBlue carrier), an introduction to Petiquette, and an additional 300 TrueBlue points for each flight. The Petiquette introduction, what really makes the JetPaws program stand out, includes information about travel best practices, expected animal behavior, and how to deal with fussy pets in tough situations. JetPaws also includes helpful checklists, instructions on booking your flight, and a list of what to expect when you arrive at the airport. All of this is available for no additional charge. 

 

 

  • Alaska Airlines—One of the safest and most popular pet-friendly airlines, Alaska Airlines does everything it can to make your experience a little easier—and cheaper. Most pet parents spend a significant amount of money on transporting their animals, but Alaska Airlines helps owners cut costs by providing free pet health examination and discounted health certificate at Banfield Pet Hospitals (located in PetSmart retail stores). Even if you know and love your veterinarian, getting that health examination costs money. Alaska Airlines guarantees a free and fast examination prior to your flight. 

Other Airlines with Pet-Friendly Reputations 

While Virgin Atlantic, jetBlue, and Alaska Airlines are our three favorites, most airlines have an array of pet-friendly features. United Airlines, for example, allows both a pet carrier and a carry-on bag, as well as a pet tracking feature for those traveling in cargo. Delta Airlines permits animals to travel in the cabin and as cargo, meaning they can accommodate most breeds and sizes, while Hawaiian Airlines does what it can do educate passengers about strict, state-specific restrictions. When it comes to pet travel, simple benefits and resources can dramatically change your flight experience.  

If your airline wasn’t included in this list, don’t worry—it may still be pet friendly. When booking a flight, look for two distinguishing factors: transparency and flexibility. These are easily identified via the airline’s website. If you can’t find a lot of information about their pet policy or offerings through a simple web search, the airline is not likely to be pet-friendly. A lack of information may signify inexperience or a lack of resources. To that end, a generous amount of provided information allows pet parents to adequately prepare for the journey. In our experience, airlines which provide ample information have better reputations among pet owners.  

Similarly, you want to look for flexibility in options. If the airline only allows service animals in the cabin, it may not have the capacity to transport your pet. Look for a range of opportunities—in-cabin, checked baggage, and cargo—and review the accompanying restrictions. The more options the better, but remember to do your research. While more choices often point to more experience and flexibility, it can also mean an airline has neglected to adequately test all forms of pet travel. Play it safe and stick with well-known commercial airlines with established pet travel policies.  

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Pet Sedation: What Makes this Travel Practice So Controversial

When traveling, most animals lack the capacity to understand what’s going on. Stress, panic, and general anxiety can occur in even the most tranquil animals when thrust into a scary, unfamiliar situation. As a result, it can be difficult to anticipate your pet’s behavior on flights. You may be tempted to take the “easy way out” by sedating your pet for the duration of the trip. Pet sedation is among the most controversial pet travel topics. Around half of the airline’s we’ve researched explicitly forbid sedation. Others are more lenient.

But, you might be asking yourself, what’s the harm in going to sleep for a few hours? We asked the same question, and here’s what our research revealed.

 

Animal Breeds as a Health Risk Factor for Air Travel

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), sedating cats or dogs during air travel may increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems. Per their website:

 

It is recommended that you DO NOT give tranquilizers to your pet when traveling by air because it can increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems. Short-nosed dogs and cats sometimes have even more difficult with travel. Airlines may require a signed statement that your pet has not been tranquilized prior to flying.

 

The aforementioned short-nosed animals, also known as snub-nosed or brachycephalic animals, beg for a little more information. These animals are often excluded from any type of air travel. Most airlines prohibit snub-nosed breeds, such as boxers, Persian cats, and bulldogs, because these animals may have pre-existing respiratory issues which can be exacerbated in transit. Sedation may work to amplify the effect of a smaller, tighter respiratory tract, causing asphyxiation. Many of the pet death stories you’ve heard about over the years involve either snub-nosed animals and/or heavily sedated pets.

 

Other Risk Factors Associated with Pet Sedation

Though cargo holds and cabins are pressurized and climate control, there is no guarantee that an animal will react to altitude and engine noise. Moreover, these climate control systems may not be operational when the cargo is first loaded on the plane. You may have noticed, too, how the cabin can be unusually warm when you first board the plane. Stress, heat, and sedation are a bad combination. That said, little research exists that actually documents the effect moderate sedation has on animals traveling in planes.

Bottom line, animals respond differently to sedatives and tranquilizers under normal circumstances, and air travel creates another layer of uncertainty and health risk. If you’re worried about how your animal might react to air travel, you can take certain precautions to lower his stress levels. Pre-conditioning your pet to travel in his carrier is an excellent way to create a comfortable environment. Additionally, rewarding your animal with treats throughout the journey can create a positive experience and association with travel. If, however, you believe your pet may react poorly to air travel without sedatives, we recommend you explore other travel options, or leaving the pet at home.

 

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Pet Documentation and Travel Rules for Destinations Around the World

If you’ve flown with an animal, you understand that finding an airline-approved carrier and navigating the airport is only half the battle. Researching and securing the required documentation for your destination takes time and patience. Government websites are notoriously confusing, and finding the necessary information can take hours. We know. We’ve done the research for five of the most popular flight destinations around the world.

We hope to add to this list and update any information that changes. For now, here is the basic pet documentation and travel rules for the continental United States, Hawaii, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong.

 

Flights into the Continental U.S. and Alaska

To enter the United States, the Center for Disease Control requires you to obtain an Export Health Certificate from your vet. This must be completed within ten days of your departure. Essentially, this document serves as a “fit to fly” letter—a professional recommendation that the animal will not be a liability for the airline. This document must be provided on a veterinarian’s letterhead.

Additional restrictions and rules apply to individual states. Information regarding the animal’s rabies inoculation is the most popular and widely spread necessary addition. When traveling to the United States, we recommend having this information on-hand regardless; upon vaccination, you will automatically receive a rabies certificate. If your dog is imported from a rabies-free country, such as Fiji, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Finland, the CDC will not require a rabies vaccination.

 

Flights into Hawaii

Hawaii is the major exception to the United States’ relatively lax pet import regulations. Animals arriving in the state of Hawaii—as well as the territory of Guam—are subject to quarantine requirements. These islands do not have any documented rabies cases, and they take this history very seriously. If you take the proper precautions, your animal may qualify for direct release. However, unless you are moving to the State of Hawaii (or taking a very, very long vacation), we do not recommend bringing your pet. If the dog even appears to be sick at the port of entry, he can be quarantined for up to 120 days—at your expense, nonetheless.

 

Flights into the U.K.

If you are bringing an animal into the United Kingdom, your pet must pass the U.K. Pet Travel Scheme. If you are traveling to the UK from an EU member or other designated country, you will need to obtain a pet passport for your dog, cat, or ferret. Additionally, if you are shipping your animal to the U.K., the pet must arrive no more than five days before or after you. Otherwise, you will need to follow a separate set of rules.

To pass this scheme, your animal must have a microchip implant and a certified rabies vaccination—pretty standard as far as pet travel goes. However, you should also treat your animal for ticks, fleas, and tapeworms anywhere between 24 and 48 hours before your flight. This time limit is strictly enforced. You should also collect a veterinarian’s letter or certificate to confirm the animal’s fitness to travel. Failure to conform to these regulations may result in up to four months of quarantine.

 

Flights into the UAE

If you are flying to the United Arab Emirates with a pet, you will need to obtain an Import Permit from the Ministry of Environment and Water (in Dubai). To receive this permit, you will need a vaccination card or certificate for each dog or cat you plan to bring. You must also supply a copy of your passport and the animal’s microchip number, which should be clearly marked on the vaccine book or microchip certificate.

You should obtain a veterinary health certificate from your home country and all rabies inoculation certificates (or a pet passport containing rabies inoculation details). The animal should be microchipped, and the rabies vaccination must be administered between one year and thirty days prior to the inbound flight. UAE authorities will not issue import papers more than one month prior to your arrival—it is necessary to plan ahead, get your documents in order, and apply for a permit as soon as you are within one month of your flight.

 

Flights into Hong Kong

To enter Hong Kong with an animal, you will need an Import Permit from the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department. Distribution of this Import Permit will depend, in part, on your home country. When entering Hong Kong, you will need to look up which “Group” your country is in. These groups determine necessary documentation and likelihood of quarantine. If you are traveling from a Group I country, such as Australia, there is almost no likelihood of the animal going into quarantine. If you travel from a Group III country, such as Malaysia, your animal is subject to a minimum of four months in quarantine. To look up your country’s group, see the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department’s website.

These groups will also determine the documentary necessary to secure a permit. Group I and Group II countries have the fewest required documents—a passport and veterinary health certificate. Animals from Group III countries have additional requirements, which can be found at the following link. The permit fee is HK$432—around US$55 at the time of publication. The permit will be delivered by mail to the address indicated on the application form.

 

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The Best Airlines to Ship Pets in Cargo Transportation

Shipping a pet in cargo can be a heart-wrenching experience. Dropping a furry friend off at a cargo facility several hours before a flight can feel like abandonment—especially if you don’t plan to meet him on the other side. However, thousands of pet owners and shelters safely ship their animals every month, and airlines that offer pet cargo transportation have found ways to increase animal safety and comfort during the entire travel process. To help pet owners understand what’s available, we’ve picked three of the best airlines to ship pets in cargo. Here is what sets them and their pet cargo service apart from the rest of the airline industry.

 

Best Airlines for Shipping Pets in Cargo

 

Delta AirlinesDelta Cargo provides services for both pets and their owners. The airline has specially-trained ground handlers to offer pets personalized care during every leg of their journey. This includes the implementation of temperature-controlled vans and holding areas, as well as kenneling services to guarantee animals are exercised and well-fed in the event of an overnight stay. What we really like about Delta Cargo, however, is their GPS On-Demand tracking program. The program allows pet parents to monitor their animals throughout the journey in real-time. The extra layer of reliability provides peace of mind for pet owners worldwide. It is available for an additional $25 and can be applied to shipments originating in select cities (ATL, CVG, DTW, LAX, LGA, MCI, MEM, MSP, SEA, SFO, SLC, STL, and TPA).

 

Virgin AtlanticVirgin Atlantic approaches pet cargo travel differently from their competitors. Per the airline’s pet policy, only service animals can fly within the cabin. All other pets must travel in the cargo hold. However, this is the only airline we’ve found to prioritize same-flight cargo shipments. This means that passengers can be on the same flight as their pets in cargo. Nevertheless, as with all cargo and checked baggage options, space is limited. The airline recommends contacting the Virgin Cargo department prior to booking your own ticket. However, this is a safe and easy way to bring a pet along while traveling. Of course, pets can be shipped individually and will receive the best care the airline can provide. As an added bonus, pet parents will also earn additional miles when they fly with their animals.

 

 

Alaska Airlines—Alaska Airlines is one of the most celebrated airlines in the pet parent community. Passengers can get a free pet health examination and discounted health certificate at Banfield Pet Hospitals (located in PetSmart retail stores), thus eliminating the additional costs required to ship an animal. The real reason Alaska Air is on our list of best airlines to ship pets is because of their Fur-st Class program. This program educates each member of their team in the basics of animal care—whether your animal is flying in the cabin or in cargo. Shipping a pet with Alaska Airlines guarantees some of the best in-flight care available. To that point, reporting from Quartz identifies Alaska Airlines as the safest option for pet travel. In 2016, they transported the most pets of any airline: 112,281. Of those hundreds of thousands, only two suffered fatalities. This means an average of 0.27 incidents per 10,000 animals—an impressive number when compared to Hawaiian Airlines’ 3.99 incidents per 10,000 pets.

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