Bring Your Pet on a Private Jet
November 9, 2020
Planning a trip and want to bring your chocolate Labrador Retriever? You would not be the first Flexjet Owner to add their pet to their itinerary. Not only are they welcome, but they can fly in the cabin with you – not crated and stowed in baggage. We trust that with a little planning, your pets will enjoy being a Flexjet Owner as much as you do!
However, as air travel – private or otherwise – can be a new and perhaps unsettling experience for your pet, there are some considerations to be addressed before travel to ensure their comfort and most of all, safety. Additionally, there are FAA, USDOT, and USDA regulations, and additional considerations for those looking to travel internationally with their pets.
Here are some things to consider before your next flight with your dog, cat, parakeet or iguana:
- We welcome you to travel with whatever pet you wish, however obvious considerations will be required for different types of pets. When scheduling your travel, please reach out to your Owner Experience team and we will be happy to assist you in arranging to the needs of your specific pet aboard your specific aircraft.
- While there is no standard weight limit nor a specific limit on the number of pets you can take on a flight, there are some basic guidelines mandated by the FAA. Pets that weigh over 150 pounds must remain on the floor – clear of the aisle and exits, while pets under 150 pounds may be permitted to occupy a passenger seat. Flexjet’s policy is that smaller pets (similar in size or weight to a child under the age of two) may be carried on your lap during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Check with your Owner Experience team before your travel to see what the restrictions are for your specific aircraft.
- New sounds (some of which you and I cannot hear), new smells (many of which your pets will experience a hundredfold to what we can smell), and the excitement of travel can all work to unsettle your otherwise calm and collected pet. When scheduling a trip, you can request to have toys, treats, or other items onboard your aircraft for your pet to enjoy in flight. Additionally, we recommend packing a few items with familiar scents from home to help keep them at ease – maybe a favorite blanket, throw, or even their favorite bed – something they will identify with, associate with the safety and comfort of home, thus making it easier for them to accept their new surroundings as a positive space.
- It is also a good idea, no matter the length of your trip, to cut back on their food and water intake in the hours preceding the flight, for obvious reasons. This will not only reduce the stress on your pet who may begin looking for “the door” and wondering why they aren’t being let out, but will also greatly reduce the incidence of in-flight accidents. You may also want to make their morning walk or playtime session a bit more rigorous the day of travel, so they will be more rested, and therefore less anxious, when it comes time for them to be restricted to the cabin of the aircraft.
- Pets must be secured by a safety belt or animal carrier during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Pets must also be kept clear of both standard and emergency exits at all times. Pets can be secured via an FAA-approved pet harness (through the seat belt), leash (through the seat belt), or animal carrier that is secured for taxi, takeoff, and landing. If you are planning to travel with your pet, please notify your Owner Experience team to ensure that an FAA-approved pet safety harness will be available for your flight.
- For older pets and pets with health concerns (heart conditions, recent surgeries, etc), it is always a good idea to check with their veterinarian to make sure they are fit for travel. Bring all the medications they may need during your trip, and even the prescriptions, as a backup in case their medications are lost while away from home. Additionally, according to the USDOT, pets traveling within the US must be:
- Fully weaned
- At least 8 weeks old
- Up to date on their rabies vaccination (as well as travel with the accompanying documentation)
- Cleared for travel via a valid certificate of health issued within 30 days of travel by a licensed veterinarian
- Additionally, if you are traveling internationally, you should make sure all of your pet’s papers are in order, their vaccinations are up to date, and that you are in full compliance with the regulations of your destination. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination only to have your companion quarantined because of a lack of paperwork or a missed vaccination.
- Yes, as an extended member of your family, your pet is accounted for in your catering order. When scheduling your trip, you can request to have toys, treats, their preferred food, or other items onboard your aircraft for your pets to enjoy in flight. Your Owner Experience team will be happy to provide whatever will make your flight enjoyable for your pet.
At Flexjet we look forward to making your pet’s travel experience as memorable, relaxing, and comfortable as possible as we do for you.