Planning a move is always stressful for the entire family, more so for the young ones. However, the one group of people for whom the move is inexplicably difficult is our pets. For their world just became topsy-turvy – with unknown men coming in and packing up their dog house/litter along with their toys and treats.
With airlines in India having different rules, it is better to plan their move along with yours, so that there are no unpleasant surprises. There are only two major airlines Air India and Jet Airways which allow you to bring your pet along. While SpiceJet and Vistara also do allow pets their routes are currently limited.
If you have decided to transport your pet via airways, please read the following carefully to avoid last minute hassles.
Requirement for carriage of pets:
Please ensure that you have the following documents for transporting your pet, be it a dog, cat, bird or rabbit as checked–in baggage or cargo.
• A fitness certificate from a vet.
• Vaccination records.
• For transporting birds and rabbits, a letter from the State Forest or Wildlife department is required that the species of bird or rabbit is not endangered.
• The crate for your pet should be an IATA-approved cage. This ensures that it has enough space to lie down, stand and turn around.
Protip: You may like to purchase the crate in advance so that it gives a chance for your pet to become accustomed to, ensuring a more comfortable journey.
Besides meeting the above requirements, different airlines have different regulations – so it is best to iron these out so that the D-day goes without hang-ups.
• Pet animals can be carried as an accompanied baggage or shipped as Cargo – for both however, the pet in transported in the cargo hold only. For both booking has to be made separately atleast 72 hours in advance.
• Booking travel for an “unaccompanied” pet is only done through the airlines cargo office. Also such travel is possible only on direct flights and not connecting flights.
• If you are bringing your pet along, only Air India allows pets in the cabin only if the combined weight of the pet and the carrier are less than 5 kilos. If your pet is above 5 kg, it needs to be checked in.
• Pregnant pets, unweaned litters and pets below the age of 8 weeks are not accepted for travel.
• Call in to make the reservation for your pet because it cannot be done on the phone. There is a limit to how many pets the airline can take on each flight, so find out in advance if there is space for your pet.
All said and done air travel is an expensive way to move your pet. You may also like to consider train travel, which we will cover in our next post Moving your pet by Indian Railways.