As you guys know, we are from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, and every winter we travel with the dogs back home. Yes! we would fly all nine dogs and, although it is expensive, we wouldn't have it any other way.
So, we thought we put together a short list to help anyone that's planning to travel with their pet. It took us a while to get the hang of it. Let's face it, traveling with one dog is not the same as traveling with nine. But in no time we became pros. It may look and sound very overwhelming and complicated, but it's not as bad as it sounds, we promise!
Choosing an airline is probably the hardest part. The main ones are Delta, Jet Blue, United and American Airlines. Prices vary according to airline and the weight of the pet plus the kennel. So make sure to have all that information in hand when you call to make the reservation, along with the breed, age of your pet(s) and size of kennel (example: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 series).
Out of all these airlines, Jet Blue is the only one that does not fly animals cargo. Unless your pet will fit in a small carrier bag (weight limit of both bag and pet cannot exceed 20 pounds), you can cross out Jet Blue from your list.
The other airline that stands out, but for a completely different reason, is American Airlines. This is the ONLY airline that will allow you to check your pets with your luggage when you go check in to your flight (the pet will travel in the same plane as you). WIN! You can do it this way (which is cheaper if you have a big pet) or go with American Airlines Cargo.
Here's what you need to know if you choose to fly with American. You are only allowed 2 pets per person at $200 each, in a kennel no bigger than a Series 500 (XL). We suggest you call before hand to let them know, but it's first come first serve. So make sure to get there early!
Ok. Here's where it gets complicated, so stay with us. When you book your flight you have to make sure that the plane will allow checked pets. Checked pets cannot travel on A321, A321S, A321H, A320, A319 aircraft and all flights operated by Air Wisconsin, it can only be a BOEING. This is very very important! Boeings are the only planes large enough to fit checked kennels. If your plane is not a Boeing, your pet will not be able to fly on the same plane as you and it will have to fly through AA Cargo.
How can you get this information? Make your reservation calling the airline directly or you can check the flights through Google Flights.
This is important, since it's the one you can't control or predict.
Every single airline has heat and cold restrictions when it comes to flying pets cargo. You cannot travel with a pet if the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees C) or if the ground temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.