Flying with Cat NYC to Ireland.
I have greatly appreciated the advice offered through The Ireland Move Club re moving from US to IE with two house cats.
I would like to return the favor by sharing my recent (Nov 2021) experiences in making arrangements.
My understanding is that it is not allowed to bring a cat on a 12-hour journey across the Atlantic. I thus broke up travel plans, as follows:
Domestic: United Airlines charged $125 pet fee to book flight, nonstop, from SMF>EWR. Motel 6 offers pet-friendly lodging near EWR.
International: Delta booked my cat, in-cabin, and provided dimensions for pet carrier as required for the air CRAFT type. I returned to my reservations and found NOTHING about my cat, etc. When I called Delta, a note had been added to my reservation that NO IN-CABIN travel allowed for my cat. Cancelled entire reservation, with promise to write to CEO if full refund not awarded. Full refund awarded. My daughter suggested trying Air Canada. Now booked EWR>YYZ (Toronto)>DUB, with in-cabin travel for cat stated on reservation. Air Canada was terrific! NB: The service partner for United to Dublin is Aer Lingus. No in-cabin pets, per Aer Lingus website. I also checked KLM. No go.
ADVANCE NOTICE: You will need to fill out a form that includes #cats/dogs/ferrets, arrival date/time, airline information, and submit to the Irish Dept of Agriculture to arrange appointment for Dept of Agriculture officer to check your pet(s) in the baggage area before you leave the airport. The IE Department of Agriculture responded promptly after I submitted my form via email. 50 euro fee payable by credit card.
Travel documents for your pet: I made an appointment with a veterinarian for both domestic and international certifications. I had complete PDF record of immunizations, etc, from my prior vet.
Microchip ID number: To meet EU/ISO standards, the microchip ID number should be 15 digits. I found a typo in my cat's records--only 14 digits--and found the original microchip ID number on adoption papers from Humane Society. Typo Alert: One digit missing; I have printout from adoption papers to indicate 15 digits. You do NOT want to find yourself figuring out a typo discrepancy during this process.
Helpful website: PetTravelStore.com. This is NOT necessarily the least expensive resource, but they have 1) information packets with various forms for many countries, 2) flexible SleepyPod AIR carrier that contracts/expands according to various aircraft size restrictions ($179), 3) comments section with information from other travelers who wanted to bring their pets in-cabin with them.
Emotional Support Animals: My understanding is that ESAs are no longer treated like service animals. Service animals need to have certifications about the type of service training that they have received.
Tips from my daughter, who brought her 16-year-old crabby cat in-cabin SFO>London, 2016. 1) Bring ample supply of piddle pads so that you can change them as needed and avoid showing up with stinky pet at Dept of Agriculture inspection appointment. 2) Bring small jars of beef, turkey, chicken baby food to give your pet during transit and avoid howling, grumpy, crabby, hungry pet. Enough moisture in baby food to keep them hydrated. 3) TSA no-metal harness and woven fabric leash so that your pet won't make a dash for it when removed to allow the carrier to go through security screening. No-metal harness won't trigger alarms when you carry your pet through the screening portal. Available at PetTravelStore.com.
At PetTravel.com, I found articles about:
* Tips for Flying a Pet Internationally
* Pet Animal Inoculation Record
* Non-Commercial Regulations for the Import of Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets to Ireland from the United States
* Pet Travel Blog--Resources for Traveling Pets
** Pet Travel: How to Clear Airport Security with a Pet
** Pet Travel: Keeping your pet calm during airline in-cabin travel
USDA APHIS: Pet travel from the U.S. to Finland, Malta, Ireland, and Northern Ireland www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/eu/ - NB There are other APHIS forms for USDA endorsement and payment of related fees by credit card.
I also found an article, Everything You Need to Fly With a Cat, According to Feline Experts, by Karen Iorio Adelson, 17 Aug 2020. The hyperlink did not print, but you can probably find this with title, author, publication date.
Hope that this helps others trying to fly with cat in-cabin.
Patricia Egan, MBA, MS
@pegan875 Patricia, thank you so much for sharing this information. There is a lot of info on this site on the topic of pet moving, but it is an ever-changing process, so your recent experience is very much appreciated.