23.05.2024

How to transport animals on an airplane: detailed instructions

Important rules and life hacks for those who plan to fly with a pet within the country or abroad.

How to transport animals on a plane: detailed instructions


Pavel Kotosov Founder of the Teddy Food project, where you can order food for an animal from a shelter and watch it online.

Imagine you are going on a trip. Destination and dates are chosen, suitcases are packed. But what about the pet? Should I check it in as luggage with my luggage or take it with me to the cabin? What preparatory procedures will have to be carried out and are any documents required? It all depends on the animal and the country of import.

Who can not be transported by air

Air transportation of fish and marine animals (which need an aquatic environment), rodents, reptiles is prohibited (turtles, lizards, etc.), arthropods (such as spiders), animals and birds taken from the wild (untamed), and pets whose weight, including the carrier, exceeds 50 kg.

Among dogs, breeds related to brachiocephalic are prohibited for transportation (due to the structure of the muzzle, they can suffocate during the flight):

  • bulldog (English, French, American),
  • pug,
  • Pekingese,
  • Shih Tzu,
  • Boxer,
  • Gryphon (Belgian, Brussels),
  • < li>Boston Terrier

  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Japanese Chin
  • it should develop immunity after a rabies vaccination, which is usually done at 12 weeks.

    It is better to check with your airline for a complete list of prohibited animals.

    General rules

    It does not matter if it is a dog, a cat or a bird – the main thing is that the pet fits in the carrier and is with your airline in the list of animals allowed for transportation.

    1. Make comprehensive vaccinations

    At the time of travel planning (it doesn’t matter whether it is within the country or abroad), the animal must have comprehensive vaccinations, deworming and microchipping. In the veterinary clinic, you need to get an international veterinary passport, which will contain marks about these procedures.

    Make sure that the vaccines administered to the pet are approved by the International Canine Federation. And remember: after the rabies vaccination and between the day of departure, 30 days must pass. Therefore, plan your trip in advance.

    2. Find out the airline's rules for transporting animals

    Usually you can take a pet with you into the cabin under the following conditions:

    • the weight of the pet together with the container is no more than 8 kg;
    • < li>the dimensions of a rigid carrier in length, width and height do not exceed 44 × 30 × 26 cm;

    • the size of a soft carrying bag of a closed type in the sum of three dimensions does not exceed 126 cm.

    < p>You will need a blanket or cape made of breathable fabric to cover the carrier: for a pet, the airport and the flight itself will be a lot of stress. You may also need wet wipes, some food and water. If you are transporting a bird, do not forget to cover the carrier so that the animal does not make noise.

    Different airlines have different maximum carrying dimensions, so it is better to check them on the official website or by phone.

    If the dimensions do not fit into this standard, you will have to check in the animal in the luggage compartment. An exception may be a service dog or a guide dog: they can be taken into the salon, but only if they have documents confirming the status (usually the transportation of such animals is free).

    Remember that flying in the luggage compartment is not only stressful for the animal, but also a potential danger: there have been many cases when pets suffocated from lack of oxygen. Therefore, carefully weigh the pros and cons before taking such a step.

    When importing a pet into the United States at the airport, you may be asked to undergo additional checks: for example, asking about the pet’s favorite treat or checking availability water, measure the carrier with a tape measure (if the staff decides that there is too little space, you face a fine), or demand that the pet be released to make sure that you are the owner.

    Also, when entering the United States with a pet, you need to be ready to answer any question from the veterinary passport (and yes, it must be with a photo of the pet and in English).

    Sometimes when you import an animal into other countries, you need additional results blood tests. Therefore, it is very important to study the requirements on the website of the official agency of the country of import.

    3. Buy a ticket

    But before that, call the airline and check if it is possible to transport a pet on the flight you have chosen. If so, buy your own ticket, call the airline again and book a seat in the cabin for your pet (there are usually a limited number of pets on board). The animal will sit at your feet. You can buy a ticket for him already on the spot, at the airport.

    4. Get a veterinary certificate form No. 1 five days before the flight

    When the pet is quarantined after vaccinations (after 30 days), contact the state veterinary clinic with it and the veterinary passport no earlier than five days before the trip in order to obtain a veterinary certificate form No. 1. This cannot be done in a regular veterinary clinic: the organization must have license to issue such a certificate.

    The pet will be examined and you will receive a certificate that the animal comes from an area where cases of rabies have not been reported, and that the animal has been vaccinated, microchipped and processed in accordance with international standards. Also, the document must indicate the person with whom the pet is traveling.

    The certificate is valid for five days. Before going to the state veterinary clinic, it is better to call there and ask what tests are needed. Sometimes doctors require to be tested for worms.

    The veterinary passport should also contain a note that the pet is healthy and has the right to move: the necessary vaccinations have been made and quarantine has been maintained.

    5. Notify the airport veterinary service that you are flying with an animal

    It's a safety net and many don't. But just in case, you can call or send a letter there 3-5 days before the flight so that the right employee is present to inspect the pet. Also, 15 days in advance, write a letter (in English) to the veterinary control of the airport of the country of entry. There is no specific template, just indicate the date, flight and that you will arrive with a pet. To find out the correct e-mail address, you can call the country's embassy or see the information on its website.

    6. Arrive at the airport early

    If you are flying abroad, it is better to arrive four hours before departure. If the flight is within the Russian Federation, then 2-3 hours will suffice. You will be asked to remove the pet from the carrier for inspection: you must lead the animal through the metal detector on a leash or carry it in your arms. But if the animal is in a panic and it is not possible to get it out of the carrier, demand alternative methods of examination and control.

    7. After the inspection at the entrance to the airport, visit the veterinary service room

    Specialists will examine the animal, check the certificate and veterinary passport. If you are traveling in the Russian Federation, a stamp is put on the veterinary certificate (valid for five days, after this period you will have to receive a new certificate and go through the procedure again). When flying abroad, the veterinary service will collect the certificate, and in exchange they will issue a certificate of form No. 5a in English, valid for 90 days.

    On European destinations, in addition to the veterinary certificate form No. 5a, you will be issued an EU veterinary certificate (Euro certificate). Certificate No. 5a is not asked abroad, it is only needed to return home. Eurocertificate is required to enter Europe. To speed up the process, you can download, print and fill out the necessary certificates in advance, and only assure at the airport. Just in case, take a few copies with you, including blank ones.

    8. Contact the airline counter and buy a ticket for a pet

    After screening and receiving all the stamps, proceed to the passenger check-in desk. Let us know whether you are taking your pet with you to the cabin or checking it in the luggage compartment: this determines the choice of the counter where you will be directed to pay extra for a place for a pet. After check-in, check in your luggage.

    As we said above, if the carrier does not meet the requirements of the airline, you will not be able to take your pet into the cabin with you. In this case, be sure to warn the captain or stewards that there is an animal on board. They will take the necessary measures, for example, turn on the heating in the luggage compartment.

    9. During the flight and baggage claim, follow the general rules

    In the cabin, the stewards must provide you with an extra strap to attach the carrier to your seat belt. During the flight, you must not let your pet out of the carrier or feed it.

    A service dog or guide dog must be muzzled, collared and on a leash next to you during the flight. It is forbidden to place a pet on the seat or in the area of ​​​​another passenger seat.

    Upon arrival at the destination airport, if the pet was flying in the luggage compartment, look for it on the baggage belt or next to it.

    After picking up the luggage, proceed with the pet to the airport veterinary office.

    How prepare an animal for a flight: tips from a zoopsychologist

    Zoopsychologist Marina Evgenievna maintains a blog on Instagram, where she shares her experience and tips on caring for pets. Before the flight, she recommends:

    1. 10-14 days before the flight, start giving your pet a sedative

    As a rule, sedatives have a cumulative effect, so you should take the course in advance. Carefully read the contraindications, and even better – consult a veterinarian.

    2. Train your pet in advance to carry

    Leave the carrier open where the animal likes to be. You can put a treat or a favorite toy inside – it will be easier for the pet to overcome fear and get used to being inside. In no case do not force it – this approach will only make things worse.

    3. Do not feed your pet less than 4 hours before the flight

    Food can cause nausea.