Hitting the road with our pets is a challenge, yet many expats refuse to leave their “other children” behind.
Once you have figured out how to get you, your spouse, and your “regular children” on flights to your new home abroad, there is a whole new issue to be dealt with that has its own set of rules and regulations. That is, of course, the safety of getting your pet to your destination healthy and unharmed.
First, there are laws regarding the transport of pets abroad and they vary from country to country. For the sake of this article, I am going to refer to the laws regarding pet transport from the U.S. to Ecuador.
Rules and requirements
If you are living in the U.S. there is a government website you can contact that will give you all the rules and requirements for transporting your pet abroad. It is fairly easy to walk through but the important thing to remember is that there are time constraints for vet inspections, shots, etc.
As most people moving to Ecuador fly down from the U.S. it will be very important to understand the rules of the airline(s) you are flying with.
You must meet each requirement, whether your pet(s) is flying with you in the cabin or as cargo. There are weight restrictions and rules regarding the type and size of the crate/carrier for your pet.
Also, if you are carrying your pet in the cabin, most flights only allow a limited number of pets on the flight. If possible, a recommendation would be to make a separate reservation for your pet with the airline if that is allowed.
Payment at check-in
You will generally pay the fee for them at the airport at check-in.
It is also better to book your flight(s) straight through rather than changing airlines to avoid being charged the pet fee more than once.
There is one other very important issue to consider. Most airlines have rules regarding allowing pets to fly in cargo during certain times of the year.
If they hold a plane over for take-off on the tarmac at the airport and the weather is boiling or freezing, it may affect the temperature in the plane.
Nothing is more heartbreaking than to see a Facebook post from an expat who has lost a pet due to extreme conditions.
Verify with your airline carrier what their policy is regarding pets in cargo.
Traveling with your “other children?” Let us know what else you need to know.
by: Rachel DeSalvo