Flying with a Dog/Cat in Cargo as Checked Baggage

YuMiZu

|

November 20, 2020

|

Share

~ 5 minutes read

This is a follow up from out post about flying in-cabin. If you wish to read more about flying in-cabin, please click here.

For all the pets who do not qualify for flying in-cabin, you will have no choice but to fly your pet as excess baggage in-cargo.

I have flown with pets in-cargo many times and always fly them as excess baggage with Singapore Airlines because it is the cheapest method so far.

Please note that when I am talking about in-cargo, I am specifically referring to your pet travelling on the same flight with you as checked/excess baggage. If your pet was not flying with you, but flying individually as a cargo, you will have to check with the airline/your agent for the exact details.


Flying with Nina and Yuzu

Upon arrival at the airport, you will need to bring the pet to your check-in counter, to handle check-in for your pet. Be sure to arrive in advance to give them ample time to handle everything.

I have flown several times, but only have the video of my travel with Yuzu and Nina. Yuzu flew directly from Shanghai to Singapore; while Nina flew from Chongqing to Singapore, with transit at Guangzhou. Every airport has a slightly different policy when it comes to pet travel, so please check with the airport you are flying out of, on what requirements they have.

Nina flew from Jiangbei Airport in Chonqing and the airport required double nets on the crate for safety.

As Jiangbei is a domestic airport, they only served short flights and does not allow for a water bottle.

Yuzu flew from Pudong Airport in Shanghai and the airport only requires the standard straps on the crate. I wrapped her crate with a layer of cotton blanket since she was flying in the winter, and I was worried it will get too cold.

After handling the check-in, we then handed over the dogs to the ground staff. I went through my standard security checks and boarded the plane.

When flying with Nina, we had a transit flight in Guangzhou, so after arrival in Baiyun Airport, I picked her up along with my luggage before checking in again for my second flight.

Give some food and water to replenish their energy, but be careful not to give too much in case they need to go to the toilet. It’ll make their trip miserable.

Also, if you transit time is longer, or if the next flight will be long, then be sure to let your pet out for a toilet break. But because the transit time and the second flight was short, I did not take her out.

And finally… HOME SWEET HOME!

For more information on the procedure for arrival in Singapore, please click here.

– Continue in page 2 –

Airline Policy

For paperwork with the Airlines, you just need to check with the airline itself on what they require you to submit. I recommend checking with the airline you are flying with, and be sure to check with them in advance to reserve a space for your pet.

For example, here is the paperwork that Singapore Airline needs from you right before departure. You will, however, need to contact them at least two weeks in advance to confirm a place in the cargo for your pet.

  • Export/import/transhipment permits or licenses from your departure/destination/transit country’s relevant authorities
  • Valid health and rabies vaccination certificates
  • Any additional documents that may be required by your departure/destination/transit country’s authorities

Crate Training

I would say that the most important thing to ensure a stress-free flight for your pet will be to crate train them. They will be closed within the crate for many hours, and it will be extremely stressful and scary if they were never introduced to a crate, only to be thrown into one hours before flying for the first time. Travelling is stressful enough as it is, you do not need to make it more difficult for them.

Take time before flying when doing all your preparatory work to train your pet, let them get used to the crate that they are going to travel with. Make sure the crate is big enough (they can stand, turn and lie down comfortably inside the crate), and that they are able to get comfortable inside.

And number one reminder, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put choking hazards inside the crate. This includes toys, pee pads, treats, chews, anything that can possibly be swallowed by your pet. Don’t think that just because they do not rip up the pee pads on normal days, so it s alright. You never know if they may accidentally tear up a pee pad when panicking and accidentally ingesting it, resulting in a fatal accident.

Err on the side of caution and just keep the crate empty. It is better to be safe than sorry. You honestly do not want to spend the next few hours on the flight worrying if your pet is fine.

If you really have to leave anything in the crate, make sure it is strong and big enough to not be swallowed by your pet. Simply put, anything that should not be given without supervision, SHOULD NOT BE IN THE CRATE.

Once again, pee pads can be a fatal hazard if accidentally ingested, so do not take the risk if you can. I much rather my dog pee all over herself than to worry if she had accidentally chewed up the pee pad. She does not chew on pee pads normally, but I never know what she may do when she panics. So, once again, please play safe.


Tips and Tricks

As mentioned earlier, it is important to crate train your pet. This will make sure that your pet has one less source of fear on their flight, and it might even help them to be in somewhere they are comfortable and feel safe with.

Do not put anything that can be a choking hazard in the crate. If your pet needs to have anything inside, make sure that there is absolutely zero chance of it being swallowed whole, or any chance that your pet can rip it up and swallow bits of it.

If you are flying from a cold climate, logic will tell you to put on thick clothes on your pet, or to put a super thick blanket inside the crate. Please DO NOT do this. The first time I brought Yuyu back to Singapore, I did not know this, and put her in a thick clothing since we were flying from sub-zero conditions and I was worried that she will get cold. The problem, she was very hot and panting upon arrival in Singapore. Thank god we arrived on a rainy day, so the weather was not too hot. Otherwise she could have potential gone into heatstroke. Rather, put a thin microfibre blanket inside the crate. It is strong and durable, and your pet can snuggle in it if they are cold, but push it away if they get too warm. Plus, I wrapped Yuzu’s crate with a blanket to prevent the wind from getting to her. The climate on the flight is controlled, so you do not have to worry about them freezing on the flight.


Common FAQs

Q: How much is it to fly with Yuzu?
A: For flying with Singapore Airlines as excess baggage, we were charged 60 RMB (12 SGD)/kg. The chargeable weight is the pet and your crate’s total weight. Yuzu was 1.6kg, her crate was 1.4kg, so her total chargeable weight was 3kg, meaning we paid 180 RMB (36 SGD) for her cargo charges on top of my air ticket.

It would have cost $2000+ for her to fly over by herself, but since she flew via excess baggage weight, my air ticket + her cargo costs was only $900. So if you can, definitely pick up your pet instead to cut costs.

In fact, in the very beginning, Yuyu and Yumi were not even charged as excess baggage, but rather as checked baggage, which meant that I did not even have to pay a single cent for them.

However, not every airline has the same rate, so be sure to check with the airline that you are flying with for more information.

Q: Can my dog fly in-cabin? I am worried about cargo.
A: If your pet fulfils the requirements of the airline you are flying with, and they offer in-cabin under their pet policy, of course, go for it! Read more here.

But if your pet is too big, or if the airline does not offer in-cabin, then you have no choice but to fly in-cargo.

* This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pawjourr. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

Author: YuMiZu

Hi, I am Yi Jie, the owner of 3 adorable dogs - Yuyu, Yumi & Yuzu (@yu.mi.zu). Look forward to in-depth analysis of different aspects of pet ownership from us!

More articles from YuMiZu

Flying with a Dog/Cat in Cargo as Checked Baggage

This is a follow up from out post about flying in-cabin. If you wish to read more about flying in-cabin, please click here.

For all the pets who do not qualify for flying in-cabin, you will have no choice but to fly your pet as excess baggage in-cargo.

I have flown with pets in-cargo many times and always fly them as excess baggage with Singapore Airlines because it is the cheapest method so far.

Please note that when I am talking about in-cargo, I am specifically referring to your pet travelling on the same flight with you as checked/excess baggage. If your pet was not flying with you, but flying individually as a cargo, you will have to check with the airline/your agent for the exact details.

Flying with a Dog/Cat in the Cabin

I’m sure that everyone misses travelling this year and just can’t wait to visit other countries again. However safety comes first, and we just gotta put the travel plans aside for now and save up for a trip!

But, this might be the perfect time to start preparing all the necessary documents, health check-ups and planning for the trip if you wish to bring your pet overseas for travelling when borders are open again!

A Mincer that Actually Workers: Taobao Recommendations

Hey Raw Feeders and Home Cooked Food owners, HEADS UP!

In the past 2 years that I’ve used the mincer, I’ve gotten many questions on the mincer I use, so let’s just one shot answer all the questions that you have!

Seriously, it is Alright to Feed Kibbles and Raw Diet Together.

“No! You should never mix kibbles and raw meat together. It will lead to problems because kibbles and raw meat have different digestion speeds and require different pH levels, so you can’t eat them at the same time. You should feed a fully raw diet, none of that kibbles cr@p. That’s like feeding McDonald’s to your pet every day.”

My China Adoption Story: From the Streets to the Sheets

Meet Yumi, the strongest and cutest fatty adopted from China. It was his Gotcha Day recently so I finally got some time to sit down and write his story, about how he overcame all odds and came out a happy little warrior despite all he has faced.

What to Do After Your Pet Arrives in Singapore

Up to the final paperwork, you can find all the information available on the Nparks website, but here are the bits that first-time importers may be unsure about. What happens after my pet arrives in Singapore?

So, I got a pet from overseas, how do I bring it back to Singapore now?

I will be creating a series of posts detailing the breakdown of the process, including the paperwork and the experiences with some tips. I’ve done this paperwork 7 times, so I am pretty familiar with it by now.