How To Travel Safely With A Bird

Pet Travel Center

Want to travel with your pet bird? Birds aren’t the classic travel partners; when we think of travel with a pet, we envision a dog hanging out of a car window. But you can take your bird on a road trip, and some airlines will let you bring your bird on their planes, even in the cabin. With some preparation, you can safely transport your avian companion and have it be a pleasant experience for everyone involved. 

How To Travel With Your Bird On An Airplane

Airline rules for cats and dogs can vary slightly by airline, but for other types of animals, the rules are all over the place. Some airlines are happy with pet birds traveling in the cabin, as long as they are kept in an appropriate carrier — this means it should be small enough to fit underneath the seat in front of you. Therefore, larger birds may only travel in the cargo hold. Again other airlines do not allow birds in the cabin at all and require all birds in the cargo hold.

If you plan to have your bird in the cabin with you, the airline will require your bird’s carrier fits under the seat in front of you.

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Based on the most current information available, the following airlines let your birds travel in the cabin with you:

  • Frontier
  • Spirit
  • Alaska
  • Delta
  • United

The following airlines do not permit birds on their flights:

  • American
  • Southwest
  • Jet Blue

But as airlines can change their rules and regulations at any time, it’s best to inquire about their policies on bird passengers before you book your ticket.

How To Prepare for a Flight With Your Bird

Before you board your flight, make sure you have taken the following steps so your bird can have an enjoyable flight:

  1. Get a travel cage for your bird. Their usual cage is likely to be too bulky. If you plan to have your bird in the cabin with you, the airline will require your bird’s carrier fits under the seat in front of you.
  2. If your bird has to fly in the cargo area, label their carrier in case you get separated. You want the airline to know how to contact you and tell you where your bird is.
  3. It will be difficult to get your bird water to drink, so make sure they have foods in their carrier that will keep them well hydrated, like types of fruits. Spritz those with water if needed to provide more hydration.
  4. Have your bird practice spending time in their carrier before your flight, so they are more comfortable.
  5. Underst and you will not be able to take your bird out of their carrier for the duration of their flight. 
It's not always easy to find pet sitters we can trust. Luckily, with a little preparation, there are ways you can take your feathered friend on vacation with you! - PetTravelCenter
It’s not always easy to find pet sitters we can trust. Luckily, with a little preparation, there are ways you can take your feathered friend on vacation with you!

How To Travel With A Bird By Car

Another way to take your bird with you on vacation is to travel by car. If you have space in your vehicle, you may be able to keep your bird in a larger cage than when traveling by air. Giving them more space to move around during your travels can make them much happier.

Tip: During travels, cover the cage so your bird can feel at ease.

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Make sure the carrier or cage is secured in your car. You don’t want the cage sliding around. That movement could distract the driver, would most certainly upset your bird, and could even injure them if the cage falls over. 

Ensure that your bird has food and water to snack on. Attach a water bottle to their cage instead of a water bowl. Also, bring appropriate supplies to clean up any accidents your bird may have. You want to be prepared for any situation

Are Vaccinations Needed Before Travel With Your Bird?

Some vaccines are available to birds. However, most owners opt not to vaccinate their avian pets. Check with your airline or hotel what requirements they have. If you are crossing international borders, birds are treated quite differently from other pets. You may need permits from their wildlife services. As soon as you plan to bring your bird into another country, get to know the requirements. You may need specific documents from your vet to attest to your bird’s health or even get your pet vaccinated. 

Summary

Traveling with a bird is strikingly different from traveling with most other types of pets. Options for air travel are limited, and health certification paperwork could be involved. But if you research your trip and are prepared, you can have an excellent vacation with your bird as your companion. 

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