Flying pets unaccompanied can only be done as “manifest cargo” or just cargo. If your pet will fly as cargo, this doesn’t mean that your pet will travel on a special cargo plane, they will actually fly on regular passenger planes.
Sending pets unaccompanied resembles flying pets as excess baggage. This means that the “flight part” is almost identical to the “flight part” of a pet that is traveling with his/her owner, as excess luggage. Therefore, a pet that will fly unaccompanied will (almost) always be placed in the same part of the plane as an accompanied pet.
If that’s so, then what’s the difference? You will find the answer in the article below.
As flying pets unaccompanied can only be done as cargo, it is important to first understand what “cargo” means.
Cargo requires an air waybill (or bill of landing) and it refers to goods, materials, merchandise, and livestock (domesticated animals) that are carried onboard an aircraft, ship, train or truck.
Your next question will most likely be: “what’s an air waybill?”. Well, an air waybill (AWB) is a document that accompanies the goods that are shipped as cargo. This document is issued by the courier to provide details about the shipment. The AWB number allows one to track the shipment.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can explain what it means to fly pets as cargo.
Sending your pets as cargo means that your pets will fly unaccompanied and an air waybill will be issued. The air waybill will be their “flight tickets”.
When an air waybill is issued, customs is involved in the origin and destination. Since customs is involved in both ends, the whole procedure will be different.
For example, exporting a pet as cargo can only be done out of the freight terminal and not from the regular passenger terminal/s. Once the pet lands in his/her destination, the pet will be taken to the cargo facility and will only be released once the procedure is completed.
There are many reasons why pet owners decide to fly their pets unaccompanied. One of the main reasons we repeatedly encounter is when a pet owner must fly before or after flying his/her pet. As stated, if a pet will need to fly unaccompanied, this could only happen if the pet is sent as cargo shipment.
Another reason for flying pets unaccompanied is that certain countries, such as the UK and Australia, will only allow pets to enter as cargo shipments.
There are quite a few countries that require this. The reason for this is that when pets travel as cargo shipments, IATA regulations are better enforced. We can assume that in the future more countries will enforce pets to enter their territories as cargo shipments.
In addition, another reason for sending a pet as cargo is because there are times that cargo is the only possibility, even if the destination country does not enforce it. This usually happens because there aren’t any flights that can take your pets as excess baggage or because this is required by the airline company. And, yes, there are airlines that only fly pets as cargo (Delta, for example).
IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations state that all airline companies are required to treat animals with great care no matter how they fly, as cargo or excess luggage.
Just imagine the required care and investment needed by an airline to fly an unaccompanied pet.
From our experience, airline companies usually take extra and special precautions when pets are travelling alone.
This is probably the most interesting part of the article, but unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer to this question.
The cost of flying pets unaccompanied is based on several factors, such as: the destination and origin countries, the dimensions and volume of your pet’s flight crate and more.
What we can state for sure is that flying a pet as cargo is very expensive, much more expensive then flying a pet with his/her owner.
We recommend you read the article we wrote on “Pet Shipping Costs”.
Pet owners choose our cargo services because we make things simple. As pet shippers, it is our expertise!
Using our services removes the stress off you entirely and guarantees a happy journey for your pets. To us, making sure your pets have a happy and safe trip is what matters most.
Shipping pets as cargo shipments can cost you anything from hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you pay so much money, we think that your pets should get the best treatment possible. With our knowledge and expertise, we will do our best to make sure the journey remains within your budget.
Feel free to contact us for more information!
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