Tips on Private Jet Charter with Pets

Thinking of flying with Fido to the Caribbean?

Felipe Reisch  |  09th February 2017
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Felipe Reisch
Felipe Reisch

Felipe Reisch holds a Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications and Reputation Management from...

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Private Jets and Pets

For decades, animals have been travelling through the skies from one state to another, even from country to country. But what must you plan for when seeking to transport your pet aboard a private charter flight?

Flying your pet is somewhat different; companies such as Monarch Air Group of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, are aware of that and understand just how important your pet can be to you.

The whole experience of flying can be distressing for a pet, especially when travelling without its owner (as would be the case in a scheduled airline flight) where pets fly in the luggage compartment and sometimes injuries can occur (highlighted in a recent Seattle Times article).

Making your pet endure the ground movements at the airport before and after a flight as though it were another piece of baggage might be too much to ask of your furry friend.

On the other hand, the aforementioned is out of the conversation when boarding a private jet. After checking in, you and your pet go straight to the airplane and, more importantly, your dog or cat will be able to travel in a seat beside you, or even alone (with the company of a cabin crew member if you are not able to join them).

Planning to Fly your Pet?

As with human passengers, safety also should come first with travelling animals. For instance, the safest way for a dog to fly is with a body harness, and smaller dogs and cats should ideally be in a carrier that is attached to a seat belt during takeoff and landing.

Furthermore, as recommended by the US Department of Transportation, “Do not give your pet solid food in the six hours prior to the flight, although a moderate amount of water and a walk before and after the flight are advised”.

The US Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture have the following guidelines relating to flying your pet:

  • Dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old;
  • Animals must have been weaned;
  • Proof of a rabies vaccination is required;
  • Each State has a specific Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Finally, for international flights owners must ensure their pet has all documents as required by customs and immigration of each country. As they may be different one from another, mostly they require proof of immunization.

Any Extra Costs/Considerations?

While there are no additional fees for pet friendly aircraft, some exceptions do apply, depending on the type of animal. It’s also important to note that cleaning fees may also apply, and these can add up to several thousands of dollars.

Additionally, by seeking a ‘pet friendly’ aircraft the total pool of available aircraft is reduced, which sometimes could adversely affect the pricing. Having said all that, from experience it can be rare for customers to experience increased pricing due to bringing pets on board.

Pet Friendly = Allergy-Unfriendly?

Looking at the topic from a different angle, does an allergy sufferer need to be concerned about hiring a pet-friendly aircraft, and does the fact that the jet is pet friendly make it any less clean?

The question of allergy applies to all types of allergies, including food, nuts and others, which is a major issue for all operators, and taken very seriously. As aircraft by definition are tightly enclosed spaces, it is critical for all operators to regularly detail the interior.

Thus any reputable operator will ensure a cabin is cleaned regularly and thoroughly. But it’s well worth asking a charter operator about their cleaning procedures if you have concerns or special anti-allergy requirements.

In Conclusion

With a little extra planning, there should be no reason why your pet cannot be transported stress-free, and for relatively little extra cost.

Likewise, if you are an allergy sufferer or have concerns about chartering a ‘pet friendly’ aircraft, a reputable charter operator will be able to allay your fears, demonstrating rigorous cleaning and anti-allergy measures are taken aboard its fleet.

Transportation of pets, when well managed, should not impact the comfort of man or their furry friends.

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