Pet Travel Question: “Will My Dog Fly Safely?”
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Spitz Pomeranian
Hello, I'm traveling with my dog from New Delhi, India to New York, he will go as checked baggage in the Lufthansa flight that I will take. From India there's a stopover in Germany for three hours, and then we continue to New York. In total the travel is 20 hours on the plane plus the three hour stopover.
I chose Lufthansa because of its good reputation taking care of animals, but this is the first time I'm taking a pet with me and it worries me that he goes as checked baggage. Is it completely safe? is it really completely controlled in terms of the temperature and pressure? I would appreciate some insight on how this works. I have tried looking for pictures and for a proper description of the place where they put the pets in the plane, but I don't find much.
Two days after arriving in New York, I'm taking an American Airlines flight to Cancun, Mexico, which is the final destination. American Airlines has a temperature policy -- if the temperature exceeds a limit they will not take my pet that day, does that mean that the baggage area is not completely controlled in the temperature? Don't they have AC down there?
I would really appreciate your insight into this area of the planes. Thank you very much!
Your questions are completely understandable -- pet travel can definitely seem less than transparent at times. We often hear concerns about flights and safety, and our best advice is to choose a pet-friendly airline with established pet policies (we often go with United, KLM and Lufthansa).
We have discussed Lufthansa on our blog in the past: here's an interview with a Lufthansa expert as well as look at a few important things to know about them.
During the summer many airlines employ embargoes in order to minimize the time that pets are exposed to hot weather, particularly on the tarmac as they're taken on and off the plane. Airlines like United actually transport the pets in air-conditioned vehicles to and from the plane and make sure they're never left to sit in extreme temperatures -- a primary reason why we choose such airlines to begin with (here's a video that sheds light on the process).
If an airline has a temperature policy it means they might not have temperature-controlled vehicles that transport the pets, so you will probably want to double check with them to find out exactly how they do things.
If you have any questions about any of this, please contact us. We'd be happy to help you arrange your move or simply offer more advice. Good luck with everything, Patricia!