AIRBORNE ANIMALS is a full service professional Pet Transportation Service for family pets. We specialize in PET moves to Europe and BIRD shipments internationally.
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5 Questions to Ask
Airborne Animals will arrange transportation of dogs, cats, birds, and other small pets (rabbits,
ferrets, etc.) as well as turtles, tortoises and reptiles. While many pet shippers do not handle
bird transport, it is one of our specialties.
We do not relocate fish. We have also assisted with small farm animals—miniature horses, goats,
and pigs—and even some exotic animals like hyenas, primates and a coatimundi.
Keep in mind that most birds and exotic pets require special permits to move internationally.
Airborne Animals LLC would not be in business if we were afraid to ship pets via commercial
airline cargo services. One of my own dogs was purchased and flown to me!
We utilize the services of commercial airlines who ship lots of pets and know how to do it well.
Many airlines have their own pet care facilities at their respective hubs, which can provide pet
care upon arrival and during layovers. In many aircraft the same air is circulated through the
cabin and then downstairs in the cargo area and back up again. Federal regulations stipulate
the minimum requirements each airline must meet in order to accept pets, including climate
controlled areas for pets. And yes, the entire plane is pressurized – it would implode at
high altitudes if it were not.
Keep in mind the media always focus on the bad things in life. In reality, airline reports show
fewer than 30 animal injuries or deaths in an average year. Compare that to the statistic of over a
million and half pets flying per year; it means only a fraction of one percent ever have a problem. In
reality, most problems are caused by good intentioned pet owners who do not know about shipping
pets. Using an inexpensive crate for example, creates a bigger chance of escape than using a heavier
more expensive model; flimsier plastic kennels are more likely to have doors that pop open.
The majority of pets who become ill or die usually have an underlying health issue that was
either undiagnosed or ignored.
Definitely not! Sedation has been shown to be the number one cause of death or illness in shipped
pets. Tranquilizers slow the respiratory and heart rates. Even the American Veterinary Medical
Association has put out advisories to their membership not to recommend tranquilizers for flying
pets, though occasionally a veterinarian still recommends it to a client. Each pet reacts
individually to a tranquilizer, some may become heavily sedated, some not affected and in rare cases
it may even make a pet more excited. A pet that is wobbly and without the ability to steady itself
may get bounced around more if turbulence is encountered. And finally, many airlines now recognize
the dangers of tranquilization, and will refuse to ship a sedated pet.
No. Crates are sold as part of the move. You may also purchase a crate yourself at a local pet
store. We can make a recommendation on the type to buy. Having a kennel in advance will actually
give you time to acclimate the pet to it. Trying to return a crate to use generally costs more than
the value of the kennel.
Some airlines will not accept pets from the general public and we must use an agent to consign
the pet at the cargo area. We are typically not just making travel arrangements but are providing a
full service pet moving experience. On occasion, an agent may meet you at the airport rather than
pick up the pet in order to reduce costs. Airlines do not care who claims the pet, so pick-up and
delivery on the receiving end is optional. For international moves, we highly suggest using a
professional pet transporter on the receiving end to clear the pet through customs.
The Animal Welfare Act has restrictions on pet travel during extremely cold and hot temperatures.
Some airlines have special pet procedures in place allowing them to work within the guidelines, but
others do not and simply refuse pets when temperatures are less than 45 degrees or over 85 degrees.
Most airlines have even tighter restrictions on snub nose pets.
The Animal Welfare Act dictates that a travel kennel/crate be large enough for a pet to stand up
without hitting its head (including ears), turn around and lie down in a normal position. In
general, there must be 2-3 inches of clearance over top of the head or ears. Snub nose animals
require a crate one size larger than normal. Airline personnel will check to make sure the crate
meets these requirements, and has the right to refuse a pet for shipment if they are not happy with
the kennel. Special pets may require modifications to a standard crate to make it acceptable. For
instance birds must be provided perches. For more details, see how to
measure your pet and
the appropriate shipping kennel or crate.
Some airlines, particularly international carriers, have made the decision to only accept pets
from professionals. This is because individuals frequently present incorrect documents, are missing
documents, or have an inappropriate crate or the wrong size....so carriers like United, Delta, KLM,
British Airways and Lufthansa have decided not to deal directly with the public. Additionally some
countries will require even our domestic airlines to use an agent—into Italy or London for
example. It all depends on the country and the airline.
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