You want to fly with your pampered pooch, your faithful companion or even a loved feline. You don’t really want them to leave your side. Is that possible or do you have to be put them in the cargo hold? What can you expect? What can your animal expect? What type of animals are permitted?
It can be a dog’s life for pets, most are put in the hold of an aircraft and it can be a frightening experience. The cargo holds are temperature and pressure controlled so that won’t be a problem, nevertheless there will be lots of unusual noises and smells as they are lifted to and thro. Although most pets get over this relatively quickly.
There is also the prospect of them being left on the runways for quite a few minutes while luggage is loaded on and off the aeroplane. This may be OK in northern European countries but the airstrip on Mallorca can reach up to 40C plus on some summer days.
On the other hand lucky pets fly in the cabin. Although in a soft carry cage they have the comfort and smell of a familiar friend sat under them or next to them.
The easiest part of flying with a pet is when the flight is over. Simply walk off the aeroplane with your pet in hand carriage or collect your pet from the baggage reclaim area.
You will want to go to the ‘Animal Claim’ desk to pick up your pet if you are flying with a pet or any other type of flight accepted animal which was check in. This area is inside the ‘Baggage Reclaim’ zone. The location of the ‘Animal Claim’ is nearby carousels 10 & 11.
Getting everything prepared and in place for your flight with your furry friend is a little more tricky but must be taken.
A lot of airlines let you add a pet when booking online. In most cases you will not be able to check in online and will have to go to your check-in desk at Palma airport. You will have to have a seat allocated as you won’t be allowed to choose this. You will receive instructions about flying with your pet and get your boarding pass.
Flights to the UK and Ireland generally only allow pets in the hold of the aircraft as with checked in luggage. For the UK, assistance/Guide dogs are allowed in the cabin but this must be registered in advance.
Also UK regulations mean that pets can fly out of any airport but can return only to specific airports in the UK. Check with your selected airline before booking your route.
Most airlines will not permit certain pets in the cabin such as; fish, snakes, turtles, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, weasels, ferrets, pine martens, rabbits or chickens. These animals would need to be in the cargo hold and in secure containers.
A non-rigid pet-carrier should be used for your pet in the cabin of the aircraft and a rigid crate pet for the hold of the aircraft.
Before attempting to fly with a pet, first check your dog or cat have the met the following basic requirements and you have the relative documents.
If travelling within Europe an EU Pet Passport is required. Some airlines ask for a recent health certificate from a licensed veterinarian. When flying to the UK animals must be older than three months, vaccinated against rabies, have an ID microchip or tattoo.
If travelling outside of Europe you may need to get in touch with the Embassy of the destination country.
Certain dog breeds are required to be muzzled by some airlines when handling them. Theses would be dogs that are considered fighting dog such as, Rottweilers, Brazilian Mastiffs, Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Tosas, Akitas or Argentine Dogos.
Yes, with many airlines this is possible, but with some your pet must travel in the hold of the aircraft. Many carriers have a one pet per person rule in the cabin and some only have a two pet maximum permitted in the cabin.
If there is enough room in the same pet carrier, then some airlines permit two pets of the same species to travel as long as the combined weights is under 20lbs/9kg.
If your pet isn’t small and is too large to fit under the seat in his soft carrier, your pet must be transported in the cargo hold due to passenger aviation regulations.
This can have injurious effects to the animal’s health due to adverse reactions and therefore isn’t a practice of most airlines.
No. It’s preferred that pets fly with empty stomachs for obvious reasons and a five hour restriction of food previous to take off is requested.
Water containers which should be fitted to the travel containers will be refilled on departure.
Assistance/guide dogs on international routes are allowed on most airlines. You can travel domestically with your assistance/guide dog on these routes.
If you wish to travel on an international flight with a recognized assistance/guide dog please contact the Customer Call Centre of your airline.
Perhaps not considered as an option but with a group of friends or family this could be the most comfortable way to fly into Palma airport with your pet.
If you take advantage of an empty leg flight to Palma airport, chartering can be from as little as £1,500/€2100 which when shared isn’t so steep and may be the same as a budget airline fare when pet transit costs are considered.
The advantage for the pet is they can sit on their owner’s knee rather than be in a cage in the hold. Also quite a variety of pets are welcome even monkeys.