This article is for pet owners looking for an airline approved pet carrier and other information related to a safe and comfortable journey for your pet. You’ll find that we not only cover the types of airline pet carriers suitable for your pet but we also provide tips, advice, and guidelines to make yours and your pet’s journey as stress-free as possible.
Types of Airline Approved Pet Carriers
There are fundamentally two types of airline approved pet carriers the first is called a soft-sided carrier, named because the sides are soft and flexible. The second is type is a hard-sided carrier, which obviously differs by having hard sides. Your soft-sided or hard-sided is determined by where in the plane the case is going. Soft-sided fits under seats, hard-sided is better for luggage areas.
First, we will cover the soft-sided type of pet travel carrier
This type of airline approved pet carrier can be used if your pet is small enough to be classed as cabin luggage, not the best of terms for your beloved friend, I know, but although airlines are very sympathetic toward pets traveling with you they do unfortunately refer to him or her as cabin luggage.
If he or she will fit into a soft-sided pet carrier that will tuck neatly under the seat in front of you then generally your pet can travel with you in the cabin.
There are some other limitations, for example, the flight must not be any longer than six hours and must not be going to the UK. We would suggest checking with the airline company on their precise ruling for pets being allowed to travel with you in the cabin but remember all airlines require that he or she travels in an airline approved pet carrier. If you arrive at check-in and the carrier is not one of the soft-sided airline approved pet carriers you’ll not be allowed to take your pet with you. We will help you to decide what size of pet carrier bag you require covered later.
Let’s now look at the second type of airline approved pet carrier the hard-sided pet travel crates
Pet travel crates is a term we prefer not to use, it sounds too cold but the airlines frequently use it so we thought we should at least introduce the term here.
Like the soft type of pet carrier bag if your pet will fit into a size that will tuck neatly under the seat in front of you then he or she can travel in the cabin with you.
It’s far more common for this type of airline approved pet carrier to be used for larger pets that cannot be carried in the cabin and therefore must be carried in the cargo hold.
It’s fair to say this form of pet travel is likely to be more stressful not only for your pet but for you also. Now while we’re not suggesting the selection of soft sided pet carriers should be taken lightly we do however believe because of the environment within the hold and that you will have no direct contact with your pet during the flight you will want to be totally sure you have selected the best airline approved pet carrier your budget will stand.
One of the most commonly asked questions is “what size of soft-sided airline approved pet carrier or pet cargo carrier will I require”?
The most appropriate answer we can give is to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. However, as guidance the carrier should neither be too big or too small. Too big and your pet could be injured while being jolted around. Too small then it is clearly going to be a very uncomfortable and stressful journey. If the pet travel carrier is not the right size then the airline could refuse to allow your pet to fly.
How to measure your pet correctly for an airline approved pet carrier.
- Distance from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail
- Distance from the ground to the elbow joint
- The width at the widest point of the animal
- Distance from the ground to the tip of the eras, or wherever else is the highest point of the animal.
Hopefully, by now we have provided some of the things you were looking for to allow you to make an informed decision on what type and size of airline approved pet carrier is best suited for your pet. We will now provide some tips and useful information to help you to prepare for the journey.
- Don’t leave it until the day you set off for the airport to introduce your little friend to his or her temporary accommodation known as an airline approved pet carrier. We strongly suggest that as soon as possible you leave the carrier where your little friend will start to get familiar with it.
- Once they are familiar then it’s advisable to get them to enter the pet carrier, maybe even get them to sleep it in it for a while.
- On the day of travel make sure his or her usual blanket and favorite toy are put in the airline approved pet carrier to provide comfort.
- It’s advisable to put some very absorbent material in the base of the airline approved pet carrier as your little friend will not get much of an opportunity to relive themself once you have passed the check-in desk.
- Although going for a long period of time without food is okay make sure they have access to water in the airline approved pet carrier. We hope you are a little wiser and feel more confident with making a selection and have picked up some tips to help make your little friends journey in their new airline approved pet carrier as pleasant as possible.