Air Travel with Your Bird

December 15, 2014 by

Bird CarrierMost of the time when we hear talk of a pet owner traveling on a plane with their pet, people think of dogs or cats. Often, those are the two pets accepted by airlines.

However, there are times bird owners find themselves in situations requiring them to travel with their pet, too, and finding the information you need is a little more difficult than for dogs and cats.

Before the Flight

Before you book your flight, ask the airline whether or not they allow birds to fly in-cabin. While some airlines allow for dogs or cats, not all airlines accept birds. If they do, make an advanced reservation for your bird because many airlines only allow two pets of any kind in the cabin on each flight.

Bird Carrier

Airline-Approved Cage

Just like dogs and cats, bird owners need to purchase an airline-approved cage that will fit under the seat in front of them. This works for conures, finches, cockatiels, love birds, budgies, and other smaller birds, but if the bird is too large to stand upright in a carrier that fits under the seat, the owner will either have to pay for a seat for the caged bird, if it is allowed, or the bird will not be able to fly on the plane.

Airline approved carriers are equipped with a secured latch, and a firmly attached rough-surfaced perch near the front of the cage that helps birds perch securely while on the move. An attached food dish can also be included.

Buy your travel cage as soon as possible and familiarize your bird with its new surroundings. This will help the bird remain calmer when it has to live in the cage for hours in unfamiliar surroundings.

Health Certificate

Bird owners will also need to get a health certificate for their bird within 10 days of departure. This certificate is valid only for 10 days, so if you plan a return trip with your bird and you’ll be away for more than 10 days, you’ll have to get a second health certificate at that end of your trip.

If you plan to travel abroad with your bird, you’ll have to obtain other necessary documents from the USDA and the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Another thing to consider when traveling abroad is that the requirements to return to the U.S. with your bird may be different. Be sure to check ahead to find what is required. Call 301-734-5097 for more information.

If your bird is nervous when away from its routine, be sure to talk to your vet for solutions to help it relax, too.

Photo credits: Amazon, Amazon

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1 comment

  1. Julie C. says:

    I’ve never seen a bird on a flight. This must be pretty rare? There are other pet-sitting options available that flying must be a last choice for these folks.

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