"Envision a world where pets fly as family members." Having trouble seeing such a place? Animal Airways and their Terminal 4 Pets is trying to change that negative stigma. Together, the companies' version of the flying-with-animals-experience includes services like veteran pet travel agents, professional couriers and escorts and, now, veterinarians in 10 languages on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Although definitely a niche, almost luxury, market, last year over 4 million animals traveled via airplanes. These pets - and llamas, alligators, giraffes, etc. - belonged to more than 10 million passengers. Combined, the transportation of animals is quite a sizable industry.
For the complete story on the world's first global veterinary flight service offered from Animal Airways and Terminal 4 pets, check out: "Traveling with your pet? Leave it to the Israelis" by Benjamin Joffe-Walt for The Media Line or PRNewswire's "Animal Airways Establishes First Flight Veterinarian Division."
Services through Animal Airways begin at around $300. If this price is a bit outside the 2010 budget, there are some other resources available to make traveling with pets a little easier.
First, find out exactly what needs to be done according to the carrier. Petflight.com has a great compilation of regulations organized by airline. Click on each name to learn fees, requirements and restrictions. For example, Delta will only accept service dogs on flights to the United Kingdom.
Next, review some general travel tips from those who have gone before. Dogchannel.com's "Tips for Your Dog's Safety and Comfort" is a good reference that lists common knowledge, like relieve and exercise dogs before flights, alongside creative insight such as freeze water dishes to hydrate pets without the possibility of spills.
Finally, buy any necessary supplies well ahead of time. PetSmart (4200 Derry St.) stocks most essentials, like travel kits and carriers. Acting early will leave plenty of time to schedule vet visits and acquaint pets with airline-approved crates.