Pets may travel a number of ways – sometimes with the owner and often without.
Pet transportation specialists like Airborne Animals LLC make arrangements for pets to travel as manifest cargo – on their own “ticket” so to speak, and the owner may or may not be one the plane.
Here’s the lingo to know:
In Cabin or Cabin Baggage – this means the owner will be carrying the pet on board with them as a ticketed passenger. The pet owner must arrange this when the ticket is purchased. Most airlines have a limit on size and number of pets allowed in cabin, and charge a smaller fee for this service as compared to shipping as manifest cargo.
Checked baggage – the pet will still check in with the owner, but will travel underneath in the cargo area, rather than in the cabin. Usually used for larger pets or multiple pets, the pet owner will again be making the arrangements when the ticket is purchased from the airline. The cost is usually more than the in cabin fee, but less than a cargo rate.
Manifest cargo – this kind of booking is made through the airlines cargo office and is not associated with any passenger aboard the flight. The owner may travel on the same flight, but the pet is booked separately. This is how professional pet shippers arrange pet travel. Additionally, some countries will require pets travel as manifest cargo (for instance, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Great Britain, or Australia). This is the most expensive cost associated with airline pet travel, often more than a passenger ticket.
Another key word:
Embargo – meaning there is a limitation or non-acceptance of pets. It may be due to temperature or breed restrictions, or even because of a heavily booked flight with limited space in the baggage area of the plane. Some embargoes may even prohibit shipment of certain species to a specific area or country ( banned canine breeds in some countries, or birds). Pet shippers must abide by the same regulations as pet owners and we cannot get around these embargoes either.