Flying with your pet? Here are the guidelines you should follow

Make sure you check the latest pet travel guidelines of the airline you are taking while you plan a journey. Photo: Shutterstock/Tsuguliev

If a pet person is planning to fly out, the first concern would be whether their dear animals or birds could be carried onboard with them. The good news is that your pets won’t have to be ‘Home Alone’ as they can indeed fly with you but certain mandatory procedures have to be followed. The following are the guidelines for transporting pets on Air India flights. The requirements of other airlines are slightly different and therefore, you should refer to the individual airline's latest policies before deciding to travel with your pets. For example, Emirates brackets pets as check-in baggage and are transported only in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. Here is what you should know:

1) A no objection certificate (NOC) is mandatory to transport pets from and to India. The requisite NOC can be pocketed from the Office of Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (AQCS).
2) The pets could be transported only through the Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai airports. Moreover, the pets could be transported only through the airport from where the AQCS office issued the NOC.

3) It is mandatory to carry a veterinary doctor’s certificate mentioning that the pet has been properly vaccinated and is free from diseases such as rabies, canine distemper and rat fever. Anti-rabies vaccination is a must for dogs and cats that are three months or older. The vaccination should be administered one month before the date of the journey.
4) The cage used to carry pets should be soft and well-ventilated. The kennels for dogs should not exceed 46cmx18cmx46cm.

5) If the pet is below 5kg, it can travel in the cabin and if it weighs between 5kg and 32kg, the pet is considered as checked-in baggage. The pets weighing over 32kg are transported as cargo.
6) Pregnant pets and pets below the age of eight weeks are not allowed to fly.

7) Only two pets are allowed in the cabin at a time and they cannot occupy passenger seats.
8) Dogs that are trained to guide visually challenged passengers and assist travellers with special needs can travel free of charge. All other pets need a ticket to travel according to their age and the weight of the cage.

9) The pets may be put in quarantine in the destination country and requisite documents for that should be kept handy.
10) Keep in mind that the rules regulating the transportation of pets vary from country to country.
11) Though Oman allows the import of pets, they are not allowed onboard long-haul flights via Oman.

12) Pet animals and birds can be transported to most of the Gulf countries from India but feathered friends are not allowed onboard long-haul flights transiting through West Asia.
13) Pet animals and birds cannot be transported to the UK under any circumstances.

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