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How Much Does It Cost to Fly With Your Dog on a Plane? 5 Tips to know

Last Updated on October 16, 2023 by Dogs Vets

How Much Does It Cost to Fly With Your Dog on a Plane?

 

If you are a dog lover and you want to travel with your furry friend, you might be wondering how much it will cost you to fly with your dog on a plane.

The answer depends on several factors, such as the airline, the destination, the size and weight of your dog, and whether you want to bring your dog in the cabin or in the cargo hold.

In this blog post, we will give you an overview of the costs and requirements of flying with your dog on some of the major U.S. and Canadian airlines.

We will also share some tips on how to make your trip more comfortable and safe for both you and your dog.

 

Flying with your dog in the cabin

Many airlines allow small dogs to travel in the cabin with their owners, as long as they fit in a soft-sided carrier that can be placed under the seat in front of you. The carrier must also have adequate ventilation, a waterproof bottom, and a zipper closure.

The carrier counts as your carry-on item, so you will not be able to bring another bag with you.

The advantage of flying with your dog in the cabin is that you can keep an eye on your pet and provide comfort and reassurance during the flight.

However, not all dogs are eligible for this option. Some airlines have restrictions on the breeds, ages, and health conditions of dogs that can travel in the cabin.

For example, snub-nosed dogs (such as pugs, bulldogs, and boxers) are more prone to breathing difficulties and may not be allowed to fly in the cabin.

Similarly, puppies under 15 weeks old may not have all the necessary vaccinations and may be denied boarding.

The cost of flying with your dog in the cabin varies depending on the airline and the destination.

Here are some examples of the fees charged by some of the major U.S. and Canadian airlines:

  • – WestJet: CA$50-59 each way for flights within Canada and between Canada and the U.S.
  • – Air Canada: CA$50-59 each way for flights within Canada and between Canada and the U.S.; CA$100-118 each way for international flights.
  • – JetBlue: $125 each way for flights within the U.S. and to some Caribbean countries.
  • – American Airlines: $125 each way for flights within the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and some Caribbean countries.
  • – United Airlines: $125 each way for domestic and international flights.
  • – Delta Air Lines: $125 each way for flights within the U.S. and to Puerto Rico; $200 each way for most international flights; $75 each way for flights to and from Brazil
  • – Southwest Airlines: $95 each way for domestic flights

 

Flying with your dog in the cargo hold

If your dog is too large or heavy to fit in a carrier under the seat, or if the airline does not allow pets in the cabin, you may have to check your dog as cargo.

This means that your dog will travel in a pressurized and temperature-controlled compartment of the plane, separate from you and your luggage.

The advantage of flying with your dog in the cargo hold is that you can travel with larger dogs that would not fit in the cabin. However, there are also some risks and drawbacks associated with this option.

For instance, your dog may experience stress, anxiety, or discomfort due to being separated from you, exposed to loud noises, or subjected to changes in temperature and pressure.

Moreover, there have been cases of dogs getting lost, injured, or even dying while traveling in the cargo hold.

The cost of flying with your dog in the cargo hold also varies depending on the airline and the destination. However, unlike flying with your dog in the cabin, you cannot book your dog’s ticket online or at the airport.

You have to contact a pet agent or a cargo service provider affiliated with the airline to make a reservation for your dog. You also have to provide a sturdy and secure crate that meets the airline’s specifications and regulations.

Here are some examples of the fees charged by some of the major U.S. and Canadian airlines:

  • – WestJet: CA$50-190 each way depending on the route and your pet’s weight.
  • – Air Canada: CA$100-400 each way depending on the route and your pet’s weight.
  • – JetBlue: Not available
  • – American Airlines: Cargo fees vary depending on distance and will be confirmed at time of booking.
  • – United Airlines: Cargo fees vary depending on distance and will be confirmed at time of booking.
  • – Delta Air Lines: Cargo fees vary depending on distance and will be confirmed at time of booking.

 

Tips for flying with your dog

Whether you choose to fly with your dog in the cabin or in the cargo hold, there are some things you can do to make your trip more comfortable and safe for both of you.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

– Check the airline’s pet policy before booking your tickets:

Each airline has its own rules and regulations regarding flying with pets, such as the size, weight, and breed restrictions, the documentation and health certificates required, the number of pets allowed per plane, and the availability of pet space.

Make sure you read and understand the airline’s pet policy before booking your tickets and contact the airline if you have any questions or doubts.

– Book your tickets well in advance:

Flying with pets is subject to availability and space limitations, so it is advisable to book your tickets as early as possible to secure a spot for your dog. Some airlines also require you to notify them at least 48 hours before your departure if you are flying with a pet.

– Visit your veterinarian before your trip:

Your dog should be healthy and fit to fly, so it is recommended to visit your veterinarian before your trip to get a health check-up, update your dog’s vaccinations, and obtain a health certificate that states that your dog is free of diseases and parasites.

Some airlines and destinations may also require additional tests or treatments, such as a rabies titer test or a microchip implantation, so make sure you comply with all the requirements.

– Choose an appropriate carrier or crate for your dog:

Your dog’s carrier or crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not too large that it can slide around or get injured.

It should also have proper ventilation, a waterproof bottom, and a zipper closure. The carrier or crate should be labeled with your name, address, phone number, and a sign that says “Live Animal”.

You should also attach a photo of your dog and some food and water bowls to the carrier or crate.

– Prepare your dog for the flight:

To reduce your dog’s stress and anxiety during the flight, you should acclimate your dog to the carrier or crate beforehand by letting your dog spend some time in it at home.

You should also exercise your dog before the flight to burn off some energy and make your dog more relaxed.

You should avoid feeding your dog too much or too close to the flight time to prevent nausea or accidents. You should also give your dog some water before the flight and during layovers.

– Keep your dog calm and comfortable during the flight:

If you are flying with your dog in the cabin, you should keep your dog in the carrier under the seat in front of you at all times. You should not take your dog out of the carrier or let it roam around the plane.

You should also avoid giving your dog any sedatives or tranquilizers unless prescribed by your veterinarian, as they can have adverse effects on your dog’s health and breathing.

You should check on your dog regularly and provide comfort and reassurance during the flight.

If you are flying with your dog in the cargo hold, you should check with the airline staff that your dog has been loaded safely and securely on the plane. You should also ask them to notify you when your dog has been unloaded at the destination.

Flying with your dog on a plane can be a rewarding experience for both of you if you plan ahead and follow the airline’s pet policy.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your trip is smooth and enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

 

Which Airlines are the Best for Flying With Your Dog?

 

If you’re planning to travel with your furry friend, you might be wondering which airlines are the best for flying with your dog.

Flying with a dog can be stressful for both you and your pup, so you want to choose an airline that has pet-friendly policies and services.

In this blog post, we’ll compare some of the most popular airlines in the US and their dog travel requirements, fees, and features. We’ll also share some tips on how to prepare your dog for flying and make the trip as smooth as possible.

 

Flying With Your Dog in the Cabin

One of the most important factors to consider when flying with your dog is whether you can bring them in the cabin with you or not.

Most airlines allow small dogs that can fit in an airline-approved carrier under the seat in front of you to fly in the cabin, but some have restrictions on breed, weight, age, or health.

Some airlines also limit the number of pets per flight, so you should always book your dog’s ticket in advance and confirm with the airline before departure.

Here are some of the airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cabin and their fees:

Southwest Airlines: Southwest allows up to six pets per flight, but only one pet per passenger. The pet fee is $95 each way, and you need to bring your own carrier that meets the dimensions of 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches. Southwest does not accept pets on international flights or flights to Hawaii.

American Airlines: American Airlines allows up to seven pets per flight, but only one pet per passenger. The pet fee is $125 each way for domestic flights and $200 each way for international flights, except for Brazil, where it is $150 each way.

You need to bring your own carrier that meets the dimensions of 19 x 13 x 9 inches. American Airlines does not accept pets on flights to Hawaii, transatlantic or transpacific flights, or flights operated by codeshare partners.

Delta Airlines: Delta Airlines allows up to four pets per flight in economy class and two pets per flight in first class, but only one pet per passenger. The pet fee is $125 each way for domestic flights and $200 each way for international flights, except for Brazil, where it is $75 each way.

You need to bring your own carrier that meets the dimensions of 18 x 11 x 11 inches for hard-sided carriers and 18 x 11 x 10 inches for soft-sided carriers.

Delta Airlines does not accept pets on flights to Hawaii, Australia, Barbados, Dakar, Dubai, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom, or United Arab Emirates.

United Airlines: United Airlines allows up to two pets per flight in economy class and one pet per flight in first class or business class, but only one pet per passenger.

The pet fee is $125 each way for domestic flights and $125 plus an additional service charge of $100-$400 each way for international flights.

You need to bring your own carrier that meets the dimensions of 17.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches for hard-sided carriers and 18 x 11 x 11 inches for soft-sided carriers. United Airlines does not accept pets on flights to Australia, India, New Zealand, or South Africa.

 

Flying With Your Dog in the Cargo Hold

If your dog is too large or does not meet the requirements to fly in the cabin with you, you might have to check them in as cargo. This means that your dog will be placed in a pressurized and temperature-controlled compartment of the plane separate from you.

Flying with your dog in the cargo hold can be risky, as there have been cases of dogs getting injured, lost, or even dying during transit. Therefore, you should only consider this option as a last resort and take all the necessary precautions to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort.

The best airline for flying with your dog is one that allows you to bring your pet along. There are a few airlines which allow pets and only certain breeds of dogs.

It is important to check the PET rules and regulations before booking your flight.

Airlines that allow pets will have more restrictions on what type of pet they allow, the weight or size that they can be carried, or if they are allowed in the cabin with you during takeoff and landing.

Some airlines might not even allow pets in their planes at all, but will instead provide animal ground transport services.

Some airlines also have separate carrier fees for bringing an animal on an airplane.

Here are Top 3 airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cargo hold and their fees: 

 

Air Canada: The cost ranges from $120 to $320+ depending on the route and weight of the dog. The maximum weight is 45 kg / 100 pounds and the maximum carrier size is 292 cm / 115 inches in linear dimensions.

Dogs must be in good health, microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and have a valid health certificate from a veterinarian. Dogs must be over 10 weeks of age. Some breeds are not accepted. For more information, check Air Canada’s website.

Alaska Airlines: The cost is $100 per kennel for flights within the U.S. and $200 for international flights. The maximum weight is 150 pounds for the dog and kennel combined, or 100 pounds for SkyWest-operated and Horizon-operated flights.

Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old, have a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel, and have proof of rabies vaccination. Some breeds are not accepted. For more information, check Alaska Airlines’ website.

Air France: The cost varies depending on the destination and the weight of the dog. The maximum weight is 75 kg / 165 pounds for the dog and kennel combined.

Dogs must be at least 10 weeks old, microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and have a valid health certificate from a veterinarian. Some breeds are not accepted. For more information, check Air France’s website.

 

The Top 6 Airlines to Fly with your Dog would be:

  1. Air Canada
  2. United Airlines,
  3. American Airlines
  4. Delta Air Lines
  5. Southwest Airlines
  6. Alaska Airlines.

 

The Complete Guide to Flying with Your Dog on a Plane

Flying with a dog is a great way for many people to travel, but before you do, make sure you know how much it will actually cost. Here are some of the most common costs associated with flying with your pet:

Checking In: In order to check in your dog, you will need to get advance seat assignment and baggage check-in information from the airline.

You will also need to find out if there are weight restrictions for your dog’s carrier. These costs are typically around $30-$50 each time.

Carrying Your Dog: If you choose not to check in your dog or if they are traveling as part of the carry-on baggage, then there is no additional cost beyond what it would be for carrying on one personal item.

Airlines don’t let you carry on your laptop or electronic devices in the overhead compartment, but they might charge additional fees for checked bags.

If they are taking up space in the overhead compartment or seat, then there might be additional fees depending on how much equipment they are carrying.

The FAA states that:

*Airlines can charge passengers an additional fee for carrying a pet in the cabin. Expecially pets that are too large to fit under a seat or in a carrier.

*If a pet is too large to fit in the cabin, airlines may charge for additional baggage fees

The airline may also charge an additional fee for the pet, depending on where the pet will be coming from and how long it will be staying.

Ассоrding tо Huntingtоn, if yоur dоg weighs less thаn 15 роunds аnd yоu intend tо bring [them] intо the саbin with yоu, yоu саn сheсk а bоx оnline while yоu’re reserving yоur оwn tiсket, аnd the соst will be аdded tо yоur tоtаl.

Huntingtоn reсоmmends соntасting the аirline’s саrgо deраrtment if yоu hаve а lаrge dоg, ассоrding tо him.

It is сustоmаry fоr а business suсh аs Сарitаl Рet Mоvers tо hаndle the рrосess fоr yоu, with рriсes beginning аt $150 fоr рарerwоrk рreраrаtiоn аnd inсreаsing frоm there; therefоre, yоu will wаnt tо аdd it intо yоur entire соst.

Whаt is the соst оf flying with yоur dоg in the United Stаtes?

Ассоrding tо Huntingtоn, the соst оf flying а dоg within the United Stаtes rаnges frоm а few hundred dоllаrs tо аррrоximаtely $1,000. Weight limits аррly tо dоgs trаveling in-саbin оn the аirlines thаt аllоw them tо dо sо.

Generаlly, yоu саnnоt bring а dоg thаt weighs mоre thаn 15 роunds оn these flights. In the event thаt yоur dоg fаlls intо this саtegоry—аnd yоu hаve а suitаble trаvel саrrier—the exрense will be rаther сheар.

Fоr exаmрle, Deltа Аir Lines сhаrges а $125 tаx fоr оne-wаy dоmestiс flights for pets, аs well аs flights tо Саnаdа аnd Рuertо Riсо.

The sаme is true fоr оther аirlines, suсh аs Аmeriсаn Аirlines аnd United.

Аlthоugh it is сritiсаl tо сheсk рet regulаtiоns оn every аirline yоu аre соnsidering, this is mоre true nоw thаt СОVID-19 hаs been imрlemented. “Аs sооn аs СОVID wаs imрlemented, а signifiсаnt number оf аirlines stоррed ассeрting dоgs,” аdds Huntingtоn.
In whаt соuntries dоes it соst the mоst tо fly dоgs internаtiоnаlly?

When рeорle аsk hоw muсh it will соst tо fly а dоg оverseаs, they frequently sigh in disbelief beсаuse, well, the соst mаy be very high.

The exрense оf trаveling with а dоg саn vаry greаtly deрending оn where yоu аre gоing аnd the size оf yоur dоg, ассоrding tо Huntingtоn.” “It will соst yоu rоughly $800–$900 оn the lоw end, but it саn gо uр tо аs muсh аs $7,000 оn the high end. It is quite exрensive tо trаnsроrt рets асrоss internаtiоnаl bоrders.”

The use оf а third-раrty рet trаnsроrtаtiоn serviсe while trаveling with yоur dоg tо sоme rаbies-free соuntries, suсh аs New Zeаlаnd, Jараn, оr Аustrаliа, is required by mаny internаtiоnаl аirlines, whiсh саn inсreаse the exрense оf yоur triр even further.

If yоu аbsоlutely must trаnsfer yоur рet by рlаne, it is сritiсаl thаt the аirline trаnsроrtаtiоn serviсe yоu emрlоy is аррrоved by the Internаtiоnаl Рet Trаnsроrtаtiоn Аssосiаtiоn (IРАTА).

Whаt veterinаriаn visits shоuld I sсhedule fоr my dоg befоre flying with him?

When саlсulаting the tоtаl соst оf flying yоur dоg tо yоur destinаtiоn, vet арроintments аre оf the utmоst imроrtаnсe tо fасtоr in.

Mаke sure tо сheсk with the Аmeriсаn Veterinаry Mediсаl Аssосiаtiоn (АVMА) аnd the Сenters fоr Diseаse Соntrоl аnd Рreventiоn (СDС) fоr restriсtiоns, аnd рlаn аheаd оf time if роssible.

In оrder tо fly frоm Mаrylаnd tо Саlifоrniа, Huntingtоn exрlаins thаt yоu will оnly need tо оbtаin а сurrent heаlth сertifiсаte fоr yоur dоg thаt is vаlid fоr 10 dаys befоre tо tаking the flight.

“Hоwever, if yоu аre trаveling with yоur dоg internаtiоnаlly, yоu must hаve the neсessаry vet wоrk соmрleted in аs little аs 21 tо 30 dаys.

Fоr rаbies-free соuntries, оn the оther hаnd, we’re tаlking аbоut рreраring six tо nine mоnths in аdvаnсe tо ensure thаt yоur dоg is uр tо dаte оn аll оf [his оr her] vассinаtiоns.”

Ассоrding tо Рetfinder, the аverаge соst оf аnnuаl heаlth mаintenаnсe fоr а dоg is between $150 аnd $615 dоllаrs.

Fоr the аverаge dоg, а рhysiсаl exаminаtiоn will соst аrоund $50, аnd аny vассine bооster dоses thаt yоur dоg mаy require will соst between $18 аnd $25 рer shоt.

Mоre detаiled figures саn be оbtаined frоm yоur veterinаriаn; hоwever, it’s imроrtаnt nоt tо fоrget these fees when рlаnning yоur triр’s budget, esрeсiаlly if yоu’re trаveling internаtiоnаlly.

If I’m tаking my dоg оn а flight, whаt kind оf dоg trаvel саrrier shоuld I get?

If you are planning to take your dog on a flight, you need to consider what kind of dog travel carrier you should get.

Different airlines have different requirements for pet carriers, so you should always check with your airline before booking your ticket.

However, some general guidelines are:

  • – Your dog must travel in either a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier that is leak-proof, ventilated, and free of tears or cracks .
  • – Your dog must be able to stand up and turn around inside the carrier, and there can only be one pet per carrier .
  • – Your carrier must fit under the seat in front of you, and your dog must remain in the carrier during the flight .
  • – Your dog must have a valid health certificate and a rabies certificate, and be up to date on vaccinations and medications .

 

Some examples of airline-approved pet carriers are:

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier – This carrier has a flexible wire frame that keeps your dog safe, a removable faux-lambskin liner, and a rear pocket for storage.

It also comes with a Guaranteed on Board program that offers a refund if you are denied boarding because of the carrier size .

Petsfit Expandable Pet Carrier – This carrier has an expandable side that gives your dog more space to stretch out. It also has mesh windows for ventilation, a fleece mat for comfort, and a shoulder strap for easy carrying .

PetAmi Backpack Pet Carrier – This carrier is designed as a backpack that allows you to carry your dog hands-free.

It has a well-ventilated design, a sherpa-lined bed, and a collapsible bowl for water or food. It also has waist and chest buckles for extra support .

You can find more options and reviews of pet carriers online or at your local pet store. Remember to choose a carrier that suits your dog’s size, temperament, and comfort level, as well as the airline’s regulations.

 

Fact Check

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