1. Book your flight in advance
Since airlines limit the number of pets on a flight, it’s important to make your flight reservation as far in advance as possible. Doing so will ensure that your pet will have a spot on the plane, and you will be able to pick a flight that works best for your schedule. It also gives you enough time to meet any requirements for your pet to fly.
2. Get your pet familiar to the carrier
If your pet is not used to being in a carrier, get them acclimated before the flight. Flying can be stressful for pets, so having them become familiar with the carrier takes away some of the stress. Place a comfortable blanket or pillow in the carrier that you intend to use during the flight. A good way for your pet to have a positive association with the carrier is using it as their bed. Reward them each morning with a treat or praising them.
3. Take your pet to the veterinarian before flying
Make an appointment with a federally accredited veterinarian a month before your flight. Have them do a standard check-up to ensure that your pet is healthy. Your pet may need to have certain vaccinations updated for them to fly. Schedule a follow-up appointment a week or two before your departure. You will need to get a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) to travel. Some airlines require the certificate and acclimation certificate for your pet to be on the plane.
4. Pack all your pet’s necessities
Pets are just like humans when it comes to traveling, and they need to have certain needs met. Pack your carry-on with a toy, a portable water bowl, treats, and something to chew. Rawhide for dogs and toys for cats will come in handy to chew on because they help release the pressure in their ears.
5. Arriving at the airport with your pet
When you arrive at the airport, you can stop at the pet relief area for your pet to do their business before entering the terminal. Most airports have relief areas set-up. Before you arrive at the airport, research and locate the relief area closest to your terminal.
6. Going through airport security with your pet
When you arrive at the airport security checkpoint, keep your pet in the carrier. Remove them right before your screening starts and place the empty carrier on the x-ray machine. Carry your pet through the screening or keep them on a leash. Once you are on the other side of the checkpoint, place your pet back into the carrier.
7. Boarding the plane with your pet
When you arrive at your gate, ask the airline attendant if you can board the plane early. Having a few extra minutes can make a difference. Your pet will not be as stressed when they arrive at your seat, and it will give you time to settle in before the other passengers arrive at their seats.
Flying with pets can have challenges, but taking these actions can make you and furry friend feel at ease. Let us help you take some of the stress out of flying by parking at PreFlight. We offer free shuttle service to and from the airport 24 hours a day and open-air or covered parking. Select your parking garage and start your reservation now.