Kelly E. Carter, president of thejetsetpets.com and AOL’s resident pet travel expert, and Sheron Long, frequent international traveler and author of “Dog Trots Globe — To Paris and Provence,” share their tips:
— Research before you go and make reservations early. Airlines offer a limited number of cabin spots for pets, and they are first-come, first-served.
— Search for pet-friendly hotels. Some have pet friendly packages like the Puppy Love package at Hampton Inn & Suites in Vacaville, CA.
— Know the weight, age and kennel size and closure restrictions for the airline you’re flying.
— Fees vary for pets, so have your checkbook or credit card ready at the airport.
— Know how much room you will have under the seat for your pet and your legs. Seatguru.com lists the dimensions on any seat on any aircraft.
— Ask for a window seat to avoid your pet getting kicked if fellow passengers want to leave their seats.
— Find out about frequent flier miles, since those policies differ with each airline.
— To prevent accidents, don’t give your pet food or water on the flight. Ask for ice cubes and let the animal lick them as she needs them.
— Carry a portfolio that includes your pet’s proof of rabies, vaccination records, a photo, your vet’s name and number, a list of medicines and references from managers of hotels where you have stayed.
— Try to fly nonstop.
— For international travelers, every country has its own regulations, paperwork and quarantine periods. Be prepared and patient.
— Don’t give your pet a sedative, since most airlines won’t take a sedated animal.
— Food is not allowed in pet carriers but tape it to the outside in case the flight is delayed or if it lasts longer than 12 hours.
— If your pet is flying in cargo, ask how it will be transported from the terminal to the plane. Some airlines have air-conditioned or heated vans.
— Pack your pet with a toy or a piece of your clothing to reassure your pet while you are separated.
— Check Petflight.com for individual airline safety rules involving pets.
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