Getting puppies and dogs transported to far flung destinations has been particularly challenging since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most airlines have completely halted shipping of pets in cargo. The risk of an animal getting stranded if a flight is cancelled or changed is too great.
However, most airlines do allow pets under a certain size as carry on (for a fee) in the cabin – though many are limiting the number of pets allowed on flights. Always plan ahead; reservations must be made for pets taken as carry on.
Several U.S. airline pet policies can be found by following the links below:
- American Airlines – Because of increased flight changes, American has stopped checking pets until further notice. Pets are allowed in the cabin.
- Delta – Due to changing flight schedules in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Cargo will temporarily embargo all pet shipments effective April 1, 2020, until further notice. Pets are allowed in the cabin.
- Frontier – allows pets in the cabin, but never as cargo
- Jetblue – allows pets in the cabin, but never as cargo
- Southwest – allows pets in the cabin, but never as cargo
- Spirit – allows pets in the cabin, but never as cargo
- United Airlines – As of July 7, 2020, United has suspended all PetSafe and military pet transportation until further notice. Pets are allowed in the cabin.
Other Transportation Options
If you or the puppy buyer cannot fly with a puppy, there are services that will do it for you. Some also offer ground transportation. “Lap nannies,” as they are called, will fly with your puppy to its destination, and care for it during the entire trip.
Do your research before booking a professional nanny to fly with your puppy and check references to ensure you’re trusting your puppy with the best travel caregiver. Membership in the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association is a good sign.
Pet shippers who are members of IPATA must follow ethical guidelines in pet travel and relocating animals worldwide. Their website includes a directory of providers: airlines, pet nannies, and ground transporters who are members.