You have a small dog that weighs less than eight kilograms and you've heard you could take him on the plane with you?
You would like to finally start to travel with him around the world but you don't know where to start?
Read all the tips and tricks from a highly experienced dog traveler, Gucci. And from his owner, she also knows a few things.
I always buy my airline tickets online, because it is usually much cheaper than buying it directly from the company.
However, it is NOT possible to buy an airline ticket for your pet online. You will have to call the company to make sure you are allowed to take your dog on that particular flight, if they do, then you will make the reservation on your and your dog's name but till the day of the flight, till you come to the airport, you will not be able to actually pay for the dog.
Once you find (online) the flight that suits you, you will have to call the company, tell them exactly the date, the hour and the number of the flight you are interested in and ask for permission to have a pet with you.
In less then 48 hours they will check if any more pets are travelling inside of the cabin.
It changes from one company to another, sometimes there can only be two pets per flight, sometimes three. In the next hours, they will call you and tell you if your pet is welcomed on that particular flight or not.
In case they give you the green light, while still having the company lady on the phone, you proceed to buy the ticket.
You will not get the same price as you saw online! The airplane company doesn’t have anything to do with that web's promotion.
You can still go back online and buy the cheaper ticket and then call the company again to tell them you’re bringing your pet, but there's always a possibility that exactly in those 24 hours a new cabin pet appears and you lose your ticket.
The reason is there is usually no money-back guarantee for the flights bought online. I tried it twice and never god 1 euro back so I don't even bother anymore to take the risk because of some small price difference. I do bother when there's a big money difference, I must admit, but I still prefer to buy the ticket over the phone, directly from the company, at the moment they confirm my pet can fly on that flight.
When they confirm you're dog may come to that particular flight, you can relax, your puppy is going to fly with you.
Remember, the ticket for your dog is now reserved, not bought! You will have to buy it on the day of the flight so don't forget to come to the airport a little bit earlier, especially if you travel alone: just your dog and you. If alone, you will not be able to wait in two lines at the same time, like A. and I do, now that we travel together.
Read here to learn how to do it, step by step.
Learn how I lost my money and a flight
In 10 years of flying on a weekly bases, to me it only happened once that I had to find another flight because the one I called for, already had two pets in the cabin.
The reason for that was that after many years of flying, I become bold and I started to buy promoted tickets online and to call the companies after that, to ask them for permission to have Gucci on board.
It was fine until one day they told me my cat couldn't fly because they already had two dogs in the cabin.
I lost the ticket money that I paid online already and had to make them search for another flight, which I bought again, directly from them this time.
On board rules
- The pet owners can never be seated on the emergency exits, the nice ones, with more space for your legs (you're not allowed to have anything under your seat or between your legs or even on your knees if you're sitting on the emergency exit seats).
- The other rule says that two pet owners can't be seated next to each other during the flight. It's a rule they like to skip once you're on board, which I think is a win-win situation. Other passengers don't have to be sitting next to me, with my legs wide open around Gucci’s bag and A. and I can sit together with Gucci and Whisky looking at each other through the bag's nets.
- The bag with your pet has to be closed during the trip but no one will complain if you open the zipper just enough to put your hand inside and cuddle your baby.