Chapman Freeborn blog

How your Very Important Pets can travel in the US

One month in California’s Napa Valley – check.

Pet friendly accommodations with Wi-Fi – check.

There is one last thing to arrange – how to get Fluffy there too.

If Fluffy (not his real name), is over 15 pounds or more than a foot tall, he may have to travel in a kennel crate in the cargo hold of a commercial jet, it is temperature controlled and pressurized but still, a hard decision. Good news, you do have options.

Recently, three major commercial airlines, Delta, American and United (plus a host of others) have all announced they will no longer carry a variety of emotional support animals in the cabin. This follows a new rule from the government that allows airlines to deny free boarding for these support animals. Only those service dogs that are specially trained to help people with disabilities will be allowed to board.

However, chartering a private jet offers several advantages to pet lovers. Chapman Freeborn has access to many different kinds of aircraft that allow your furry family members to snuggle in or roam freely in the cabin.  Helen Hollis, Vice President, Passenger Charters – Americas, explained, “Each flight is unique, and pricing is based on various elements – destination, duration of the flight, number of passengers and the size and number of pets. If it is a family vacation, they might want special in-flight entertainment, specific meals or ground transportation. We can do it all.”

Some commercial airlines do not accept specific breeds because of their physical breathing structure. Persian cats, Pugs, Shih-Tzu and Bulldogs are on the ‘no’ list, because they might develop problems breathing at high altitudes. Most US-based airlines limit one domestic pet per passenger and depending on the airline there are summer/winter embargoes, making the cargo hold the least attractive option.

Private jet charter makes sense for busy pet owners. They will avoid the long check-in and security lines, crowded terminals and aircraft cabins.  By using private terminals at smaller airports, owners and their jet-set pets will just walk out onto the tarmac and board the aircraft. The destination might be in Napa Valley today but the Maldives in the Spring. It’s best to check each country’s rules and regulations when it comes to traveling pets. Chapman Freeborn works closely with various agencies to ensure that the process is as simple and transparent as possible in each location.

Having your pet right alongside you in the cabin during the flight may help ease any stress for both of you, plus, every pet appreciates a cuddle. Your pet’s carrier may have a familiar blanket or detachable bed that will help them feel more comfortable. It is important that your pet has everything they need before boarding the aircraft. Plan to bring their favorite food, toy, etc.  If you would like to travel with your pet, please be sure to visit your vet to confirm that they are fit to travel and provide any needed vaccinations and required documentation.