How Much Does it Cost to Ship an Animal by Air?
Purchasing an animal online or going on vacation with a pet may require air transportation. Thankfully, most major airlines will allow customers to ship their animals throughout the United States and even overseas. The cost to ship a pet through the air is going to depend on the airline, the type of animal being shipped, the size of the animal and the final destination.
How much is it?
- On average, an animal’s airfare is going to range anywhere from $85 to $330 per animal, one way. Just like an airline ticket that a person would purchase, the destination plays a rather large role in the overall pricing.
- For example, the popular PetAirways specializes with an airline that only ships pets across the United States. Their advertisements state that a flight from New York City to Washington D.C. can cost as little as $99, while a trip from New York to Chicago can start at $199 each way.
What are the extra costs?
- A health certificate is required before an animal can be boarded onto a plane. The airline will want to make sure that the dog or cat is up to date on its shots. A health certificate can cost anywhere from $30 to $60.
- An airline approved travel crate is required in order for an airline to accept the animal on board. Depending on the size of the animal, an airline approved carrier can start at $20 and rise from there. Some airlines may include the shipping crate with their overall quote, but this isn’t always the case.
- While optional, pet owners may want to consider a pet insurance policy just in case the animal picks up a disease or tragedy occurs. See: “How much does pet insurance cost?“
What is going to be included?
- Major airline carriers such as Continental, Delta and Jet Blue all strive to ensure that the animal is in good hands. These airlines will have a 24 hour help desk, a tracker that can track the animal’s progress, personal handling of the animals, and a climate controlled cabin to ensure that the animal is comfortable throughout the flight.
- If the animal is small enough and the owner is flying with the pet, the airline may allow the animal in the cabin.
Tips to know:
- Be sure to label your animal with a badge and name tag with all of your contact information on it just in case of an emergency.
- Always make sure that you don’t travel with a muzzle or choke collar. This can cause more harm than good down the road.
- Before a flight, always try your best to calm down the animal. If you don’t think your animal will stay calm, meet with a vet ahead of time to get the proper medication.
How can I save money?
- If purchasing from a breeder online, check to see if the transportation fees are already included. Higher end breeds may already come equipped with an approved kennel and airline ticket.
- If you have frequent flyer miles on a particular airline, you may be able to use them on your animal.
- Be sure to know if your animal is fit to fly. Many airlines won’t allow animals to fly if they have any type of illness or aggressive behavior. American Airlines has a checklist online that shows you exactly what they are looking for when boarding an animal for a flight.