Pricing for Pets on Commercial Airlines & Private Planes
Moving with your pets can be hard, and the majority of pet travel experts recommend that you avoid flying with them if possible. In most cases, traveling by car is the most cost-effective & pet-friendly option. However, there are many situations where flying becomes unavoidable due to distance, your pet’s health, having to cross oceans, and other factors.
In this case, you’re left with two options: transporting your animal via commercial airlines, or chartering a private plane. The two types of services offer pricing points and flights experiences that lie on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Commercial travel with always be less expensive, but there are inherit risks involved with flying your dog via commercial airline that many pet owners prefer not to take.
How much does it cost to fly a dog with an airline? What are the different airline policies for pets? How much more expensive is it to charter a pet friendly private jet? Does my dog need a passport? Read on for the answers to all of these and more.
Flying with a Dog | Preparations to Make Before You Book
As shown in an article released by Consumer Reports, the cost to bring your cat, dog, or other pets aboard your flight can add up quickly. Outside of purchasing your tickets and paying pet travel service fees, there are a handful of things that are recommended you do before your flight, including:
Before your flight, it’s a good idea to visit your veterinarian to give your cat or dog a clean bill of health. Depending on where you’re flying and which airline you fly with, a health certificate may be required to ensure your pet’s pre-flight fitness. This can cost hundreds of dollars for a vet visit, plus any treatment or medicine needed to make sure they’re ready for the trip.
Your dog will be presented with several distractions and diversions between the crowded airports and an array of new smells emitting from both people and food courts. If one isn’t implanted already, having a microchip installed will make it much easier to track down your pets should your dog or cat escape while in an unfamiliar place. The cost for microchip implants go for around $45, according to Petfinder.
If you’re planning on staying at a hotel and/or renting a car, it’s a good precautionary step to give your a dog flea treatment, which typically runs around $10 to $20 at your local vet. Since your dog/cat will be exposed to all sorts of new areas, it can help avoid any additional cleaning fees in case any fleas or other critters hop aboard and get left behind.
If you’re planning on bring your dog in the cabin with you, you’ll need an airline-compliant pet carrier, which can cost between $30 to $250 and up. Pet travel experts recommend flexible, airline-compliant pet carriers with waterproof bottoms, adequate ventilation, and zippers to secure your pet. Your pets must also show they’re able to stand up and turn around inside of the carrier. And, the carrier must fit under your seat. Remember: measure twice, purchase once.
Once you’re clear for take-off, it’s time to think about which services works best for you and your pets.
Traveling with Pets via Commercial Airlines
The cost to fly your dog or cat on a commercial airline can range from a $100 to $125 one-way fee to fly with your dog inside the cabin, to upwards of $1,000 for larger pets required to fly in the aircraft cargo area.
Some commercial airlines allow you to travel with your pet in the cabin, however, this is limited to smaller animals that can fit under the same airline seats your knees are banging into. When traveling with your dog on a commercial flight, passengers are typically charged between a $100 to $150 fee (one-way) to bring your dog in the cabin.
You may be required to crate your pet (and even sedate it) for the duration of the flight. This is not only unsettling for many pet owners, but potentially harmful and unsafe for your pet’s health as well. Depending on your pets size, it may also be restricted to flying in the cargo compartment with the rest of your luggage where temperatures and conditions may be unsuitable and dangerous.
Although the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 requires temperatures to be at safe levels, they can fluctuate. And, if you’ve flown commercial before, you know that the air can be turned off while waiting at the gate before your flight if your flight is delayed.
For these reasons, the Humane Society strongly recommends against transporting your pet by air unless absolutely necessary, saying “Animals flown in the cargo area of airplanes are killed, injured, or lost on commercial flights each year. Excessively hot or cold temperatures, poor ventilation, and rough handling conditions are often to blame.”
Airline Travel with Smaller Pets
If your pet is small enough to fit in a carrier, which goes beneath the seat in front of you, this method of travel by air is far and away your best bet for a safe, worry-free trip (the price for an airline-compliant pet carrier runs between $30 up to $250).
If your pet won’t fit underneath your seat, then they will have to be transported inside the cargo hold of the aircraft, something pet owners may want to think twice about doing before risking their pet’s health and safety.
Airline Travel with Larger Pets
Depending on whether they’re traveling alone, larger pets are considered to be checked luggage (accompanied) or as air cargo (larger pets or unaccompanied). Pets weighing up to approximately 75 pounds can travel as checked baggage when accompanied by a passenger.
Upon arrival at the airport, you’re required to pay for an additional fee to allow your pet to travel in the airliner’s cargo compartment (similar to a bag). They will need to be crated and left at the bag drop area with the bag handling crew.
They will be transported in a baggage cart from the terminal and placed inside the cargo compartment where they will wait until the flight is completed, and the same process when you land. This means your pet will be inside their crate for hours, and you’re exposing them to risks such as delays, and hoping handlers don’t mistreat your pet.
On airlines that offer this service, this section of the cargo hold is fully pressurized and heated. The cost to fly a dog in the cargo hold ranges between $50 to $500. Added together with an approved crate, this can reach up to $1,000. Make sure you check with your airline’s reservation or cargo department.
Pet Friendly Jet Charters | Fur-st Class Travel for Pets
Pet friendly jet charters with your furry, four-legged friends are a great idea for vacations, allowing you and your pets to explore new areas together while enjoying the same comfortable travel experience. They’re also ideal for moving & re-locations, taking far less time than cross-country road-trips.
Your pets will get to pass through private terminals at your nearest airport, avoiding the long lines for security and baggage screenings at major commercial airports; many commercial airports also offer private terminals for charter passengers.
Once you’re on board, you can either leave your pet in their carrier, or let them explore the cabin and relax. The only additional fees incurred with using charter planes to travel with pets is cleaning fees in the events one of them makes a mess.
What’s the cost to bring a dog on a private plane?
There is no additional charge to bring your pets on a private flight with you. However, hourly rates on pet friendly charter planes start around $1,500 for piston and turboprop aircraft; can reach up to $5,000 an hour for light and midsize jets; and climb upwards of $10,000 for wide cabin, long range jets capable of flying you and your pets overseas.
Chartering a private plane can be the ideal solution if you’re planning on relocating internationally with multiple dogs and other pets, especially if we can locate an empty leg private jet that matches the routing of your flight.
Private jet travelers can expect to pay anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000 to charter an entire aircraft for cross country flights. If you want to bring Fido on a short hop from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the price can range between $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the aircraft used.
Policies for pet travel on charter planes are set by the operators and owners of the aircraft, and each owner can specify what type of pets and how many (if any) they will allow on their plane. Air Charter Advisors specialize in private jets for pets, with access to pet friendly charter planes located near you. Although the quotes for these flights are all-inclusive, should your dog scratch up the interior of the plane or make a mess mid-flight, additional cleaning fees are billed separately.
Have questions about the cost to fly private with your pets? Give us a call at +1 (888) 987-5387 for more information and receive instant pricing on pet friendly jets for your upcoming flight.