Shipping your pet with Pet Safe — United Airlines

We recently moved from Washington State back to Texas. It was a tough decision, moving from breathtaking views that can match those in Ireland. But alas, my 3 adult sons still live in Texas, and I couldn’t take a moment more of being away from them. I mean… all 3 in the same State, that’s lucky for a mom who has military kids!

Our car and our things had been loaded onto a trailer and all that was left was a couple of suitcases to pack and tickets to book.

I had assumed that our little dog would easily be able to travel with us. I was so wrong. When I read the fine print that a pet has to be able to fit under the seat in front of you (Unless a support dog), my heart sank. I knew he would have to go under the plane with the suitcases, but no matter what airline I tried to book with, they no longer flew dogs as cargo in the summer, apparently, there were several instances of animals dying on the tarmac while awaiting transfers. 

You see… This guy… We love him a lot. He’s part of our family.

He has been with us since he was a puppy, we love him dearly. How were we going to get him back to Texas with us?

I chose to blog about this because it was so confusing and so stressful when I found out that our pet couldn’t fly with us. I know that many pet owners feel the same way and your pet means a lot to you. Rest assured though, you can fly your pet safely.

I began to do a lot of research and I found one airline that would fly our Rocco to Texas. United Airlines. Not only would they fly him, but they would also make sure he was in a climate-controlled building while he was awaiting his first flight, his transfer flight or after his final flight. He would never be left out on the tarmac in the sun that often reaches over 100 degrees here in Texas. The problem was, we didn’t have time to get Rocco “ready” for our journey. So Rocco stayed with my brother, who later put him on his flight for us.

It’s quite an ordeal, shipping your pet and getting them on a plane using Pet Safe with United Airlines, but it’s all for the welfare of your pet.

The first thing you’re going to have to do is “request” a flight for your animal. You don’t book a plane ticket. You can request that your pet be on the same flight as you, but you have to make the request through Pet Safe with United Airlines and you MUST give the airline at least 5 days notice. You do that at The United Airlines Website.

United Airlines will email you with the dates that your pet will be flying. The price of your pet to fly will depend on its weight and the shipping container. You must use an approved pet travel container. Rocco weighs roughly 18 pounds and he cost $300 to fly. Unlike regular plane tickets, you won’t pay for your pet’s reservation until the day he/she flies.

Rocco is a Miniature Schnauzer, however, there are many breeds of pets that aren’t actually allowed to fly on United Airlines flights. Any breed of dog that is brachycephalic (short or snub-nosed) or considered having a strong jaw is unable to fly. There are also a few breeds of cats that are excluded, this list is due to health concerns and the full list of excluded pets is on the United Airlines website.

After you have your flight reservation.

Make sure you have the correct travel crate. Your pet will have to be able to stand completely up and turn around and lie back down and you must have an airline-approved crate. When I purchased our crate, it was through Amazon and it specifically stated it was airline approved.

You will also need to get a Health Certificate from your veterinarian stating that your pet is healthy and able to fly. This certificate can’t be any older than 10 days.
 You will also need to print and sign a copy of this form from the United Airlines site
7 days before you fly, you will need to scan and email these two forms as well as a photo of your pet and a photo of the crate you will be using, to the Pet Safe office.
PetSafe/United Airlines will email you back and let you know if they accept your information. Once you’re approved for shipping your pet all you have to do is show up at the airport with your pet’s health certificate, the release form, a photo of your pet and the money to ship your pet.
My brother’s information was also provided, as he was the one that took Rocco to the Seattle Airport.
Your pet’s photo will be put on the side of the crate. 
You won’t be dropping your pet off where you check-in for a flight, you will have to take your pet to the United Airlines cargo part of the airport. If you’re unaware of where that is, you can call the airline and they will let you know. 
(Stock photo found with Google Search)
Rocco flew from Seattle, with a layover in Houston and we finally picked him up in Dallas
When we picked Rocco up in Dallas, he was standing in his crate and looked a bit confused. But when he heard our voices, when we opened his kennel (Which they zip tie closed) he was so excited. He wanted a drink and a wee… but overall, he was happy, he was healthy and he made it safely from one end of the United States to the other!
All in all, it was a good experience. Every time I called concerned to United Airlines, and every dealing I had with them, was professional and they put my mind to rest about the safety of our dog. I would recommend United Airlines for shipping your pet. Our experience was a pleasant one!
 Contact the PetSafe Desk at 1-800-575-3335 or 1-832-235-1541