When you fly with your dog for the first time, many questions arise : won’t it be too much stressed? How to book your ticket? What to do before boarding? Where will it be placed in the hold? To answer all these questions, we interviewed Meriem Touisi, veterinarian at Air France.
What you must remember.
The role of Dr. Touisi is to ensure that animals travel in the best conditions and their transport is well secured. To achieve it, procedures have been setted up. They are specific to each company and make possible to define the maximum weight allowed in cabin, control points of the transport cage, etc…
How is booking a ticket for a dog?
2:46 When you buy your ticket, you just need to report the presence of your dog on the flight and so reserve his own at the same time. If he’s less than eight kilos (cage included), he can stay in cabin with you. Up this weight, you have to choose if he’ll travel in the hold or by freight – as long as it does not exceed 75 kilos. In this case, he will have to leave by freight. If you opt for this second option, you will have to call the reservation center to buy his ticket separately.
Which formalities have to be completed before boarding?
5:19 First of all, contact authorities of the country in which you are going to get every informations about the rules of admission in the territory. Then, you’ll should have his vaccination record, with the vaccines up to date, a certificate of good health delivered by a veterinarian, and also the proof of its identification. Find here all informations about formalities to complete to travel with a dog.
How is he put in the hold?
6:39 Just like when you drop a luggage off, you just need to be at the airport two or three hours before departure to drop your dog off. On the other hand, if he travels by freight, you’ll have to come a little earlier – four hours before take off – to leave him and then go to the terminal to complete the various formalities.
Where are dogs once in the hold?
7:25 When an animal is planned on a flight, the captain is informed and a space is dedicated to him. He won’t be put in the same place as luggages, but in a ventilated, airy and heated compartment. Moreover, temperature is checked before departure.
Which precautions should we take before take our four paws buddy?
8:20 Dr. Touisi recommends giving him a drink, a meal and a long walk before leaving, so that your dog feels well and more relaxed. Leave him a bowl of water, even empty in his cage and why not a bag of kibble hooked, so that the staff of the airport can give him to drink and eat in case of delay or during stopovers. Also put a duvet and a blanket in his cage, so that he’ll b more confortable. Contrary to what some vets recommend, for Meriem Touisi, it is better not to sedate your dog before departure, even if he is stressed. She explains that if he is in full possession of his means, he will be better able to manage his own stress, in case of turbulence or temperature changes in the cargo hold.
What is Air France’s responsibility when a dog is sick or dies in flight?
10:44 According to Dr. Touisi, this is extremely rare. When this happens, an autopsy is performed on the animal to find out who is responsible. In order to avoid this kind of situation, checks are made on all dogs that board. If the personnel in charge is in doubt, he calls on Meriem Touisi. During stops, checks are made again and if the animal is prostrate in his cage and looks unhealthy, its transport can simply be refused, as a precaution.