From the Connecticut Humane Society (Newington, Connecticut 06111)
As a pet owner, you want to bring your faithful companion everywhere with you and sometimes that includes traveling. When it comes to air travel it might be safer to leave your pets behind with a responsible pet sitter because air travel can be extremely stressful for some pets and in some cases can be responsible for their death or injury. It is always a good idea to check with your veterinarian first to see if your pet is healthy enough for the journey. Puppies, kittens, elderly animals and pets with compromised health could be at greater risk during air travel. Some people choose to adopt or purchase a pet from out of state which may involve flying. (It is important to note that most reputable breeders and animal shelters WILL NOT ship their pets without meeting the intended family first.) The first question you should always ask when considering air travel with a pet is, “Will my pet be safe?”
If it is absolutely necessary for your pets to travel with you on a plane, you should follow these guidelines recommended by the HSUS in, “Traveling Tips for Pets on Planes, Trains, or Ships” from January 4, 2010.
1. Use direct flights. You will avoid the mistakes that occur during airline transfers and possible delays in getting your pet off the plane.
2. Always travel on the same flight as your pet. Ask the airline if you can watch your pet being loaded and unloaded into the cargo hold.
3. When you board the plane, notify the captain and at least one flight attendant that your pet is traveling in the cargo hold. If the captain knows that pets are on board, he or she may take special precautions.