It’s no secret that pets are part of the family, and we’d take them anywhere in the world if we could. If you’re planning a flight for a vacation, it can be heartbreaking to leave your pup behind.
Even leaving your pup in a doggy daycare or a pet sitter may feel off to some people. There are no guarantees that other people can take care of it the way we want, and it may even get stressed because you’ll be away for a long time. Plus, who wouldn’t want to take their dog somewhere new and exciting? Because of these, many of us wonder if we could bring them on a plane.
Despite our dogs being part of the family, however, bringing them to our flights can be more complicated than bringing other people along. There are numerous rules we have to follow and many factors we have to consider. It’ll require a lot of research and preparation before you can travel with Fido by plane.
Still, it’s possible to bring your pet to your flight. In this article, we will explore all the things you need to know about taking your dog on a plane in the Philippines.
Flying with Fido: Can You Take Your Dog on a Plane?
In many cases, you can take your dog on a flight. However, this does not mean you can just book an extra ticket so that your pup can sit beside you.
Dogs can either fly within the cabin (with you) or the cargo (with the luggage). The rules may vary depending on the airline, but many of them generally only permit the latter. However, some airlines allow service dogs in select cases.
It’s also best to note that many airlines don’t transport certain breeds of dogs, particularly brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs, so it’s crucial to check the policies carefully.
With this, let’s discuss the policies of some mainline airlines in the Philippines.
Philippine Airlines (PAL)
According to Philippine Airlines’ policies, pets aren’t allowed in cabins and can only fly as cargo, with the exception of trained service dogs on US flights. A passenger with a disability can take two service dogs on US flights and only one on domestic and other international flights.
Accepted dogs in the cargo should also:
- Be inside a secure, leak-proof crate with a hard case
- Have valid vaccination records and permits from the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry
- Be on a flight with passengers at least 12 years old
PAL also states that you must contact them at least 48 hours before your flight to ensure that you and your dog can stay in a plane that can carry animals safely and comfortably.
Because PAL deems brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs “susceptible to increased risk of heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to stress or heat,” the airline doesn’t allow transport of several breeds, such as Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus—including mixed-breed individuals. However, this restriction does not apply to service dogs that will travel within the cabin.
Those traveling with their dogs in the cargo will have to pay fees that vary depending on the destination country and the weight of their pup—this can range from 1,000 PHP to over 20,000 PHP. The airline deems pets as “excess baggage” regardless of whether the passenger has any other luggage or not.
Cebu Pacific Airlines
Like PAL, Cebu Pacific also only allows service or emotional support dogs in the cabins. Here are a few reminders you must remember when traveling with your service dog:
- Only one service dog will be allowed per passenger.
- You must bring your dog’s complete vaccination records and permits from the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry.
- Your dog can’t occupy a seat in the cabin.
- You must bring plastic-backed absorbent pads for when your pup needs to relieve itself.
- You’ll be fully responsible for its care, cleanup, and necessary government clearances.
Cebu Pacific also allows dogs, cats, and turtles to board the plane as air cargo for domestic flights within the Philippines. However, you’ll have to call the airline in advance to let them know you’re traveling with a pet. You must also:
- Have your pet’s full vaccination records
- Secure a quarantine permit from a Quarantine Officer within the airport’s pre-departure area (NAIA Terminal 3) or the Old Domestic Terminal (NAIA Terminal 4)
- Bring your pet in a crate that follows IATA guidelines
- Attach all necessary documents securely to the crate
Cebu Pac also asks those planning to travel with brachycephalic dogs to exercise caution—they advise pet parents to get crates that are double the minimum allowed dimensions for the dog’s body size.
AirAsia generally doesn’t allow the transport of animals on board. The only exceptions are AirAsia India (i5 flights) and AirAsia Japan (DJ flights), which allows service animals to travel with passengers.
Sunlight Air allows pets to travel on board as long as they fit either of the two categories:
- The cargo meets all the IATA Live Animals Regulations, regulations on the area of origin, transit, and destination, and the animal is properly contained
- The animal is a service animal that accompanies a passenger with a disability
Other Things to Note When Traveling with Your Dog
It’s crucial to call your preferred airline when you book your trip and at least two days before your scheduled flight. When you do so, you can inquire about the necessary documents and requirements, the airline’s specific policies, and the fees you must pay.
You must also remember that some airlines may refuse pets on flights if the weather conditions are deemed too dangerous for the animals.
Final Question: Does Doggy Really Need to Go?
While the prospect of traveling with your dog can be exciting, it entails a lot of effort and money. Also, flight can be a highly stressful experience for animals. Your dog will spend a lot of time alone in a scary, unfamiliar place, and you can’t guarantee its safety unless you have the option to take it with you in the cabin. \
With this in mind, consider if you really need to take your pet with you on your flight. Many vets and pet parents recommend only taking your dog with you when it’s absolutely necessary.
If your mind is set on taking your pup with you, keep this guide in mind! Sign up with PetPal if you also want to learn more about the latest pet-related news and guides while connecting with other pet lovers!