Traveling With Pets Made Easy With Pet Friendly Airports
Choupette Lagerfeld was Chanel’s royal pet; with two caretakers and frequent trips on private jets, Choupette had it quite easy at the airports.
Sadly, not many of our furry friends can prance around the world in private airplanes, no matter how much we wish. Here’s a guide to pet-friendly travel and some airports making the journey for you and your pet as close to comfortable.
With no one to take care of your pet back home, here are some services to look up before choosing an airport to travel with.
Pet Relief Stations
Look for animal relief areas where you can take your pet for their toilet walks. Whether you’re in transit or waiting to board your plane, your furry friend has needs. Make sure the airport you choose to travel with has stations for you to take your pet.
Some pet relief stations also offer waste bags in case you forgot to pack your own!
If you live solo and have to travel for urgent matters, choose an airport that offers pet boarding services. Make sure to check if proper nutrition, veterinarian care and a comfortable environment are provided to your furry friend to reduce that separation and new environment anxiety.
Some boarding services also offer webcam services so you can keep an eye on your pet from miles away! For cat parents this is an absolute relief.
For those one-day meetings in another city or a small emergency, check out airports which offer daycare facilities for pets. You could sign your pet up for a “pawdicure” and other grooming services. Some airports also include small swimming pools for certain pets to enjoy, and also offer pick and drop services in their package.
Your pet gets a day of fun while you get your work done!
Animals need their daily walks to keep their bodies and bowels healthy. Whether you’re early for your flight, waiting to catch the next one, or simply dropping your pet off for a day or checking him/her into a pet hotel for a few days, make sure the airport offers parks.
If you’re a dog parent, you’ll know how important this is!
What to Expect When Travelling with a Pet
Pets and service animals have controlled security measures they have to go through. With means to account for their health, disease status, ownership and purpose of travel, here’s what to expect at the airport when you’re trying to get your pet a boarding pass.
Before it all begins, make sure your pet has been microchipped and has a valid pet passport verified by a licensed vet.
Before booking your flight and your pet’s, make sure a licensed vet has verified the protocols of air travel for your pet. Meaning, your pet has been vetted for health status, diseases, and is not a vessel of harmful illness. Your vet will also follow the vaccination protocols of the country you are travelling to and will give you a certified clean bill of health if all is good to go!
Be aware of your airline’s guidelines for animal transport. Not only will you be informing your airline about your companion and purchasing the ticket, but you will also have to follow their guidelines about travel cages and compartments.
Cabin Transport: This allows your pet to be transported in the hand luggage quota and being placed in a soft box overhead.
Cargo transport: Animals that are larger than certain guidelines will be transported via cargo. Make sure your animal is health to sustain the arduous journey. Airlines also impress upon flight carriers to be fitted with water bowls and a means for nutrition.
This may induce a little anxiety. Your pet will walk through a body scanner to be vetted for harmful/illegal products which means they will have to be removed from their carrier. If your pet is excitable or panics when there’s a crowd, this process could take some time.
Since you’ll have your hands full with your pet, pack light and have minimal things on you to ensure smooth and quick security screening for your pet.
Airline Service Policies
Inform your airline no later than 48 hours about your companion.
Some airlines will also require you to sedate your animal before the flight to reduce any physical or emotional stress for the animal. Plan ahead for this and show up early to help process your pet for a boarding pass.
Be prepared for the storm of travelers who are allergic to animal fur. For this you have to flexible with changing your seat and showing up early to find a good seat and overhead compartment for you and your friend.
And not to mention the grumpy looks you’ll be getting from such people!
Whether its scheduled or simply a stress response, be sure to know where the closest pet relief areas are so you can rush your pet in a bathroom emergency.
Also, carry some clean up equipment for unplanned accidents during security checks.
Getting your pet through the airport parking and into the terminal is a very stressful task. Your pet will be either excited or scared by the crowd. The procedure he/she will be subject to, is a little taxing, so be mentally prepared to deal with any pet tantrums.
It’s best to show up early to handle this process as smoothly as possible.
Airports and Their Services
With tons of airports to choose from, here are some of the very best to book yours and your pet’s flights from!
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston)
This airport has outdone themselves with pet services. With four designated areas for pet parents to choose from, they also offer onsite kennel services for those looking to board their pets for a short while.
The kennel is 1100 square feet of pet bliss – with play pens, opportunities for daycare, overnight stay and grooming packages, the airport promises great customer (and pet) services.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport (Atlanta)
Proudly housing a 1000 square foot, fully fenced dog park, the ATL has designed it to make it a multipurpose facility for dogs and their owners. With plenty of greenery like grass, flowers and rocks, and benches to rest your weary selves on, the park is big enough for dogs to play, relieve themselves and rest.
And it’s a sight for sore eyes for weary pet parents who are trying to handle the grind of travelling!
Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix)
With three designated areas for pets namely the Pet Patch, the Paw Pad and the Bone Yard, the airport provides a place for recreation and nature calls for furry travelers. Clean-up equipment is provided to pet parents to clean up after their animal.
Philadelphia International Airport (Philadelphia)
The airport has seven designated areas for pets, so no matter which terminal you’re walking through, there’s always a place for your pet. Up to 600 square feet large, the pet areas accommodate mulch surfaces, benches for rest, and ample of space for relieving services.
The fully fenced areas also offer pet waste equipment and trash cans for those busy travelers who forgot to pack dispenser bags with them!
Los Angeles International Airport (Los Angeles)
Though pets must be on a leash, the large designated areas for furry travelers come equipped with dog houses, trash and disposal facilities. The other pet area is for pet rest, so your tired animal can take a nap before a long day of travel.
Ample of opportunity of rest and recreation, pet-style!
Reno-Tahoe International Airport (Reno)
The Bark Park at the airport offers comfort services for weary travelers and agitated pets. With a canopied roof, ample of fresh water, restrooms and a lot of space for pets to play, relieve and nap, the park also offers Mutt Mitts for clean up! It is a great place to relax if you’re early for your flight and a cool area for your pet to spend some time on hot summer days.
Denver International Airport (Denver)
Pet parents don’t have to worry about their furry friends missing their exercises. The DIA has a sizable area constructed just for pets, where owners can bring them in for exercising and relieving before and after long flights.
And as a plus, it’s enclosed and is also accessible for disable passengers who are travelling with their service animals!
Honolulu International Airport (Honolulu)
With palm trees, soft grass and tons of fresh air, the fenced facility for pets is perfect for one last bout in nature before they get on a plane.
You pet gets fresh water, great air, and tons of space to relieve themselves! Pet owners are also offered clean up equipment in case they forgot to pack some of their own!
John F. Kennedy Airport (New York)
The Big Apple doesn’t offer anything less than luxury. The JFK airport houses a luxury dog resort for animals in transit or travel. With pet restrooms constructed right next to “human” restrooms, the airport is a little more than pet-friendly.
They’re also in talks of constructing a terminal exclusively for pets, catering to large ones like horses and small ones like the little house cat.
Miami International Airport (Miami)
The beach isn’t just for you. With MIA hosting furry travelers in tons of pet relief areas and two dog parks, your pet doesn’t have to stay home!
The areas are furnished with concrete and grass and are fenced in for security. Weary travelers can relax while their furry friend runs around and relaxes before or after a long flight!
Mineta San Jose International Airport (San Jose)
This airport has some great services for pets. With Terminal A housing a designated relief space in the outdoors, and terminal B having a fenced area with faux fire hydrants, you don’t have to worry about your pet’s bathroom business anywhere.
With grass and artificial turf, Terminal B is a favorite amongst the energetic pets!
Before You Get on the Airplane
Travelling with pets requires careful planning and lots of budgeting for time.
This means researching your destination for pet-friendly services, doctors, and tallying your animal’s health insurance with services there.
Carry a First Aid Kid
Carry some basic medication for your pet to make their air travel comfortable and to avoid any emergencies that may arise during air travel or during your trip.
Check the airline carrier guidelines as per the legal regulation, the flight regulations and per your animal’s comfort.
Also make sure to not leave anything potentially harmful in your pet’s carrier or crate!
Last Minute Activities
Before you and your friend get on the plane, make sure your pet has had plenty of exercise and enough hydration for the trip.
If your airline requires sedation, make sure to check with your vet which medication is compatible with your animal’s physiology.
Ask Questions and Know Your Rights
Traveling with pets can be tricky because of different airline guidelines. Before you book from a certain airport or airline, be sure to know what services the airport offers for your pet, what in-flight and check-in protocols your airline recommends, and also know your pet’s legal rights for comfortable and safe travel.
Last, But Not the Least
Pamper your pet with tons of love before you guys make that trip. An alien environment and separation anxiety can a toll on your furry friend!
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