How Much Does It Cost To Fly A Dog

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Oct 10, 2020 images

How Much Does It Cost To Fly A Dog

  • Dogs
  • Mattan Gal

Are you moving abroad? Returning to Israel? Do you want to buy or adopt a dog and bring it with you to another country? If so, the first question that probably comes to mind is: “How much does it cost to fly a dog?”

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single and unequivocal answer, so a clear price tag can’t be found.

However, it is still possible to explain to you the different methods for flying dogs and along with that, you’ll understand the nature of the costs for flying your dog.

How Do Dogs Fly?

Boy and dog flying in a cardboard plane

There is something we should discuss before diving into how much does it costs to fly a dog.

There are multiple ways to fly a dog:

  • in-cabin
  • as excess luggage
  • as manifest cargo
  • as a therapy dog

Flying a dog in-cabin isn’t an option for all dogs. It’s only possible when the dog and the flight carrier weigh less than 8 kg.

Besides the total weight, it’s equally important to pay attention to the overall size of the flight carrier. Your dog’s flight carrier needs to fit properly under the seat in front of you.

It is important to note that each airline has different maximum dimensions they adhere to.

Another method of flying a dog is as excess luggage.

Flying dogs as excess luggage is how most dogs end up flying nowadays.

In order for a dog to fly as excess luggage, the owner is required to be on the same flight/s as their pet.

However, not all airlines and countries allow dogs to fly as excess luggage. Before making arrangements for flying your dog this way, you should make sure that the airline of your choice, country of origin, transit, and destination, all allow dogs to be carried as excess luggage.

If neither of the above options work for you, you can fly your dog as manifest cargo.

Isn’t excess luggage and manifest cargo the same thing? No! There are plenty of differences between manifest cargo and excess luggage.

For example, dogs that fly as manifest cargo will need to fly with an airway bill and therefore, will have a customs procedure to go through.

The procedure for sending pets as cargo will look different depending on both the country you start your flight in and the country in which you end it.

An important factor to keep in mind is that a dog who flies as manifest cargo doesn’t have to fly on the same plane/s as its owner. In fact, the airline typically doesn’t even link the owner’s ticket to the dog’s airway bill.

In other words, a dog who flies as cargo is flying totally unaccompanied, even if the owner is on the same flight/s.

Last but not least, there is always the option of flying your dog as a therapy dog.

Therapy dogs are dogs who provide physical and/or emotional support to their owners. These pet owners are unable to fly without them.

With all the necessary permits, an owner should be able to fly their dog with them in-cabin.

How Much Does It Cost To Fly A Dog In-Cabin?

Small dog in a flight carrier for in-cabin pets

Flying a dog in-cabin can cost you anywhere from $50 to $150. The variance in price depends on the destination and airline.

For example, El Al charges $100 for flying a dog in-cabin.

On the other hand, if you choose to fly with United Airlines, the price goes up to $125. United Airlines also charge an additional $125 if you make a stop of more than 4 hours inside the US or over 24 hours outside the US.

How Much Does It Cost To Fly A Dog As Excess Luggage?

Cute small dog inside his owner's luggage

If you are allowed to fly your dog as excess luggage, the cost ranges from $100 to $450. As stated above, the price varies depending on the destination and airline.

For example, El Al charges $200 for a dog (and crate) that weigh less than 50 kg and $400 for any dog (and crate) over 50 kg.

Unlike El Al, Lufthansa changes according to the size of the flight crate and by distance. Flying with Lufthansa with a pet in a small crate will cost you about $150 to $200. However, if you bring a larger crate, you should expect to pay about $300 to $450.

There are also airlines that charge higher fees, such as charging 20 euros for every kilogram. When using such airlines with a big dog, you should prepare to spend about 1,000 Euros to fly your dog!

Flying A Dog As Cargo Is Very Expensive!

Flight crates on a cart at the airport on their way to the hold of the plane

Flying a dog as manifest cargo might seem odd. You’re probably wondering why and when something like this would ever be required.

Well, a dog owner will require to fly their pet as manifest cargo in a few different situations, such as:

  • The origin or destination requires pets to be brought in or taken out as manifest cargo.
  • The airline chosen only allows pets to fly as manifest cargo.
  • If the dog is being flown without an escort (unaccompanied).

The question of how much does it cost to fly a dog as cargo is very hard to answer. If you’re interested in a short answer, we can surely say that it won’t be cheap!

In order to calculate the costs, pet owners will need to provide the airlines or pet relocation companies many details, such as:

  • The dog’s breed and weight
  • The exact measurements of the crate (in order to calculate the crate’s volume)
  • The origin and destination

Example: flying a dog in a PetMate Giant flight crate from Israel to England (the UK only allows animals to fly in as cargo) will cost over $1,500!

Flying A Service/Emotional Support Dog Is Mostly Free

Therapy dog with his kid owner and trainer

Whenever a therapy dog is needed for travel, the owner can save quite a bit of money.

Not only will you not have to purchase a flight crate for your dog, but you’ll most likely won’t have to pay for your dog’s flight ticket either! Yes, most airlines don’t charge a fee for flying a service and/or an emotional support dog.

An important note to remember is that if your dog is considered a therapy dog, you still have to have all the necessary import and export documents.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

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