Travelling by plane with your dog is possible if you find the right airline. Marie Elsa tested Air Transat twice with Owain, her corgi. He made two round trips in the hold and everything went well, the employees were lovely with him! Marie Elsa said she would trust Air Transat and its staff again without hesitation on her next trips. Here’s a translated version of her French review of this dog-friendly airline. Important: Owain is not an assistance dog. They have different rules for service animals.
Getting Your Dog Ready to Fly Aboard Air Transat
Buy your dog’s plane ticket on Air Transat
Once you have purchased your own ticket, take your dog’s ticket, whether he is travelling in the hold or in the cabin. Technically, you can book a place for your pet up to three days before departure, but space for pets in the hold is limited. If you are sure to bring your dog with you, book his place as soon as possible to avoid unpleasant surprises such as “the hold is full, we no longer take reservations!”
To buy your dog’s flight ticket, it is done by phone or email. Personally, I proceeded by telephone, Air Transat employees have always been very helpful and friendly to me. It’s very quick: the person checks your flight ticket, asks you for information such as the dog’s weight, age, breed, and then you make a payment by phone.
You will then receive an email within 5 days of the call to confirm the reservation. Keep this email, you will need it on the day of boarding. You cancel the reservation and get your money back up to 30 days before the date of the flight. A reservation can be modified up to 3 days before the flight, after that, you do not get a refund.
Air Transat Dog Ticket Prices
- To and from Europe: $90 CAD (60€) per trip, per animal
- To and from the South and the United States: $50 CAD (33€) per trip, per animal
- Flights within Canada: $50 CAD (33€) per trip, per animal
- Upon arrival in Canada: A fee of $30 CAD (€20) (plus taxes, per animal) will be charged for inspection by Agriculture Canada. Animals arriving from the United States are exempt.
Cargo Hold Prices
- To and from Europe: 275$ CAD (180€) per trip, per animal
- To and from the South and the United States: 150$ CAD (100€) per trip, per animal
- Flights within Canada: $75 CAD (€50) per trip, per animal
- Upon arrival in Canada: A fee of $30 CAD (€30) (plus taxes, per animal) will be charged for inspection by Agriculture Canada. Animals arriving from the United States are exempt.
Buy a bag or cage adapted to transport my dog by plane with Air Transat
To travel in the cabin with Air Transat, your dog must be placed in a cage that you must place under the seat in front of you. Here are the characteristics of the cabin cages required by Air Transat:
- Maximum weight 10kg, including dog
- with flexible walls (rigid cages not accepted in the cabin!)
- maximum dimensions: 21.5 cm 40 cm x 45 cm (8.5 x 16 x 17.5 inches)
- large enough to allow your dog to stand on his legs, turn on himself and lie down in comfort and safety.
No part of the dog should protrude from the cage. Transport may be refused if these conditions are not met… and the ticket price will not be refunded. To travel in the hold with Air Transat, your dog must be placed in a cage that you will entrust to the baggage services when you check in. Be careful, no animal under 12 weeks old can travel alone!
Here are the characteristics of the hold cages required by Air Transat:
- Weigh to the heaviest 45kg (99lb), dog included
- Be IATA certified
- Be identified with your name
- Be made of rigid plastic (no lattice cage, but lattice door accepted)
- The cage door must be able to lock
- Maximum dimensions :
- Southern destinations, the United States and all domestic flights from Canada: 81.3 x 122 x 84cm / 32 x 48 x 33 inches ( W x L x H)
- Europe and the U.K.: 22cm x 81.3cm x 89cm (48’’ x 32’’ x 35’’)
- be large enough for the animal to stand, turn around and lie down.
For the comfort and safety of the animal, cages that do not meet the above requirements could result in the animal being refused transport. Larger or heavier cages must be shipped via Air Transat’s cargo service. You will then have to make special arrangements that Air Transat employees will advise you by telephone.
Air Transat had an additional strap installed free of charge on Owain’s cage during the flights. This is an additional protection so that the door does not open. When you arrive, you will need a sharp instrument to cut the cage belt after passing through the customs area.
What You Need to Fly With Your Dog
If you wish to be able to check in without any problem with Air Transat, you must meet two criteria:
- Be over 16 years of age
- Have the dog’s health record or passport indicating his breed, proof of vaccination against rabies and any other documents required by the country of destination.
Depending on your destination, check the legislation regarding your dog’s breed. Some countries strictly forbid some dog breeds from entering the country.
Day of Your Dog’s Flight
Drop off your dog at the baggage check-in counter
You can enter the airport with your dog on a leash but you will need to bring him back into his cage when you check in. The staff will ask you for the dog’s flight ticket and vaccination certificate. He will affix an identification sticker to your dog’s crate and give you a certificate of care.
For dogs travelling in the cabin, Air Transat personnel reserve the right to refuse boarding to an overly aggressive or agitated animal. If a person with a dog allergy is near you on the plane, you will have to agree to be relocated elsewhere on the plane. For dogs travelling in the hold, you will then drop your dog’s crate at the bulky luggage counter, or another employee will put a plastic strap around the crate. It’s time to wish your little darling a safe flight!
Careful: no water or food should be in the cage during the flight. A flight attendant will provide you with a document certifying that the dog is in the cargo hold.
Getting your dog back after the Air Transat flight
You can pick up your dog in the bulky luggage section. In my experience, dogs always arrive a little after suitcases, so be patient! The employees carry the cage and put it on the ground, the dog does not arrive on a treadmill. You can then go through customs to declare your dog and pay the $30 CAD fee, then exit in the exit hall, where you can release your dog! You can find all this information directly on Air Transat’s website.