It can be a stressful experience for both animals and their owners (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images)
A flight attendant has taken to social media to urge pet owners to provide vital information before putting their furry friends in the cargo hold in a bid to make them easier to calm
It is estimated that two million domestic animals travel on commercial flights every year, with most secured inside the cargo hold for the duration of the journey.
But knowing how stressful this can be for the animals, a flight attendant has issued a desperate plea to owners who need to travel with their pets this summer.
Taking to Reddit, she said: “If you checked your dog, there’s about a 30 per cent chance it’s terrified before it even gets on the plane. Who knows how scared it gets during the actual flight.
Make sure to provide your pet with food and drink for the journey ( Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
“Bag room agents will usually try to comfort a scared animal, but all we can really do is talk to it.”
And she’s suggested a way to help improve our furry friends’ experience, asking owners to write their pet’s name on the carrier so they can help soothe them.
“It usually helps a lot,” she said.
The flight attendant went on to explain how she has never seen a scared cat who in the bag room, revealing that they don’t care in the slightest.
Offering even more advice, another airline worker said: “I work at an airport and have to check in bulky items and animals.
“My first tip is don’t check them in earlier than you have to, at our airport this is one hour before departure – it varies from airport to airport though.
All airlines must accept all assistance dogs for air travel without charge ( Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
“Second tip is to make sure they are in a big enough box. It might cost you a little bit more but I’m sure the animals appreciate it. There’s also a rule here that says the dog has to be able to at least turn inside the box
“Third and most obvious tip is to put a bottle of water and something to eat into it. I have seen enough people not do that and I just don’t understand that.
“Try to not travel with them unless you have to, you go on vacation for a long time or it’s only a very short flight.
“Ninety per cent of the time after the owner has left and I bring them to the elevator they start going crazy and seem really stressed out.
“I know it all seems kind of obvious but I’ve seen a lot of people not do these things, hope it helps!”
According to American Airlines, passengers can carry-on their pets if they meet the size, age and destination requirements.
A statement reads: “On flights with American you can bring one kennel as your carry-on bag if you pay the carry-on pet fee, and your pet stays in the kennel and under the seat in front of you the entire flight.
“You can travel with your pet carrier and one personal item, but you will not be permitted to bring a carry-on bag in addition to a pet carrier and personal item. Instead, the kennel will replace your carry-on bag.
“If your pet is too large to fly in the cabin, it must travel with American Airlines Cargo.
“Keep in mind, we only accept checked pets for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders, and the pet carrier must meet all kennel guidelines for checked-pets.
“If you don’t meet these requirements, your pet may not travel. Fees and restrictions apply.”
All airlines must accept all assistance dogs for air travel without charge, with the dog usually sitting next to or under the owner’s seat.