Do you have to pay extra to take your furry family member on a flight? The answer depends on the airline. Most airlines consider pets as baggage, so you may need to pay a fare in order to reserve your pet's place on board. Experts are divided on whether travelers with pets should sedate or reassure their animals before the flight. Consider the pros and cons with an expert who is familiar with you and your pet.
Palo Cvik, CEO of the travel media company SmarterTravel, says that charging a fare is a way of reserving your pet's place on board, since airlines limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin of each flight. In accordance with USDA restrictions, animals must be offered water every 12 hours, so if you're traveling with a registered pet to LAX or DFW, you must book a flight of 12 hours or less. As part of the pre-flight requirements, if you're traveling with a pet, you'll need to visit a vet to have it examined. If you're flying with American Airlines, you can pay your pet's travel fare at the airport or at a travel center with a credit card or paper receipt (if accepted).
You can travel with your pet carrier and 1 personal item, but you will not be allowed to carry a hand suitcase in addition to a pet carrier and a personal item. The information published by Condé Nast Traveler is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting a health professional. Before booking your flight, make sure that you understand all of the airline's policies regarding traveling with pets.