Frequently Asked Questions

If you require any more information, or you have any specific questions regarding the service provided by Animal Airlines, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What kind of animals do you export?

Primarily, we are asked to export cats, dogs and birds from the UK, but we’d be more than happy to advise you on any type of animal.

What documentation do I need in order to export my pet?

Regulations vary considerably depending on the country of destination. The UK Government Department For Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is the best source of information on the latest regulatory & veterinary requirements for specific countries. On request, DEFRA will be able to provide you with a full information pack, which will explain the specific regulations and veterinary requirements appropriate to your travel plans Whilst it is important to note that, as a responsible pet owner, you must ensure that you obtain the required veterinary paperwork, as part of our service, we will complete all other paperwork, including airline booking forms and HM Customs & Excise documentation.

Do I need to use a specialist vet to meet DEFRA’s veterinary requirements?

In most cases, your vet will need to be an approved Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI) or Official Veterinarian (OV). Please check details with your local vet. Alternatively, your local DEFRA office will be able to inform you of your nearest LVI / OV vet should you need assistance. Click here to visit the DEFRA website.

Do I need a pet passport?

A pet passport, available from your veterinarian, is required for cats and dogs traveling from the UK to other EU countries. For further information please contact DEFRA or visit the website by clicking here.

In what type of container will my pet travel?

The container your pet travels in must meet International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. Based on the specific measurements of your pet, we will be able to construct an air travel container in accordance with IATA regulations. These containers are designed and constructed so that your pet has sufficient room to travel comfortably. Your pet will be able to lie down comfortably, sit up and turn around within the container.

Can I use my own travel container?

The plastic travel kennels on sale in this country do not always conform to current IATA regulations. They have a tendency to deform and spring open when put under pressure so most airlines do not allow them, particularly with larger animals. If you have your own air travel container, please let us know and we’ll be able to advise whether or not it can be used.

What happens on the day of travel?

We can arrange for your air travel container to be delivered to your home address so that your pet can get used to it before traveling, or we can arrange for the container to be delivered to the cargo centre ready for when you deliver the pet to the airport. You deliver the pet to the airport. Please be aware that all containers are scanned for security purposes prior to pets being placed inside.

What happens when my pet arrives at the country of destination?

When confirming your booking we will provide you with details of the collection point.

Where will my pet be located in the aircraft?

Pets travel in the aircraft’s hold, which is heated, pressurised and dark. These conditions help to keep your pet safe and calm. Most animals will settle down and sleep once the aircraft is airborne.

Can I get access to my pet during the flight?

We’re afraid not. Neither Passengers nor crew are allowed access to the cargo hold during the flight, and you will not have access to your pet at any refueling point.

Should my pet be sedated?

No. For the complete safety of you pet, the airlines will refuse any animal that appears to have been sedated. Aircraft holds are pressurised and this lowers blood pressure. Because sedatives generally work by lowering blood pressure, the combined effect can harm animals.

Should I feed and water my pet before traveling?

For their own comfort, we advise that you only feed your pet lightly the day prior to travel and do not feed at all on the day of the flight. Animals are not fed during the flight, but they do have access to water. The airline will provide water immediately before pets are loaded onto the aircraft. All travel containers are fitted with water containers, which are refilled during transits. International airports are well equipped to handle all types of animals and may transfer them to specialised animal holding units on long stopovers.

Can our pet travel on the same flight as us?

If you provide us with details of your flight, we will be able to advise you whether this is possible. With the welfare of your pet in mind, we arrange the most suitable flights for your pet to minimise stress and discomfort. To avoid you incurring unnecessary costs, it is advisable for us to check availability for pets before you book your own flight if you wish to travel at the same time.

What happens if the flight is delayed?

Don’t worry. If flights are delayed for any reason, there are kennel facilities available at most UK airports where pets can be looked after until departure.

Do I need to insure my pet for the journey?

At their discretion, owners can take out specialised travel-insurance.

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