Pet Travel: Traveling by Air with Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Rats, Turtles and other Exotic Animals

rabbit travelPets are on the move. More than 2 million pets are transported each year in the United States according to US Department of Transportation. Although the majority of animals that are transported are dogs and cats, exotic animals can be transported as well. It’s important to realize that every airline sets their own regulations on what pets, breeds and types they are willing to transport. Below is a list of airlines you might want to consider next time you travel with an exotic animal.

Continental: Continental is known for their famous “PetSafe” program and sets the industry standard in pet airline travel. Unfortunately they’re not as catering to exotic animals. Continental limits their welcome to only dogs, cats, rabbits and household birds. Guinea pigs, rats and any type of reptiles are not permitted. Continental will transport pets unaccompanied.

Delta: Delta is a very pet-friendly airline with a variety of options for different animals. Delta welcomes passengers to carry dogs, cats, and household birds in cabin permitting their size. Also, between September 16th and May 14th they will transport dogs, cats, household birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and most reptiles, amphibians and fish via cargo. Pets must be in an airline approved crate or carrier. As a bonus Delta will transport two pets of the same type in one kennel as long as they meet the requirements for acceptance. Delta also transports pets unaccompanied.

Frontier: Frontier is known for their laid back regulations and relatively inexpensive transport fees. They allow dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters to travel in cabin (with the appropriate carrier) for $75 one way. They will also transport all these animals’ via cargo for $150 a way. Only dogs and cats will be transported internationally. They are also one of the few airlines left that will transport bulldog breeds.

United: United Air limits in-cabin travel to dogs, cats and household birds however; they will transport these pets and guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits in the cargo compartment. The prices are $125 (in cabin) and $250-$500 (cargo) respectively. United also transports pets unaccompanied.

WestJet: Westjet Airline is one of the most “exotic pet friendly” airlines inside the US. For only $50 (for both in cabin and cargo) they will transport cats, dogs, rabbits, birds (not just household), chinchillas, guinea pigs, and hedgehogs. The only downside to WestJet is their flight selection is somewhat limited especially in the central US.

It’s important to remember that each airline makes its own rules for the import of birds and exotic pets. On top of the airlines, every country (beside the EU) makes their own rules regarding the various types of pets allowed to enter the country. For more information on traveling with your exotic pet, check out pettravel.com

124 comments to Pet Travel: Traveling by Air with Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Rats, Turtles and other Exotic Animals

  • Jean-Claude – Massachusetts regulations for the import of animals do not cover turtles. It does not appear that a painted turtle would be covered under CITIES regulations, so you may want to contact the State Veterinarian and inquire: 617-626-1795. As for the airlines, you can inquire with Delta, United or Air Canada as to whether they would permit it on this route as they do not publish that they accept turtles in the cabin.
    Phil

  • Jean-Claude

    Any updates on transporting a painted turtle from North Dakota to Boston, MA?

  • I think Delta has the best service for pets in your lists, although the price is not included. It will probably cost alot, I do have a Guinea Pig, and sometimes I am bring them to my tour, and it really feels great when they are handling pets carefully.

  • Daniela – not sure where you are located now, but we recommend traveling with a recent health certificate. Your rabbits can fly in the same plane as you as checked baggage in the hold. You need to stay on the same plane for the entire trip because the airlines do not interline pets.
    Jason

  • Daniela

    I have two rabbits a big one and a small one snow and ruby and I want them to travel with me you see I’m 18 and I’m moving out soon in one more year I’m moving to Peoria, IL in Illinois and I want help how who can help me ??

  • May – unless it is an exotic type of guinea pig, you can bring your pets to the US. If you are traveling with them, they will travel as checked baggage in the cargo hold. They should have a health certificate issued shortly prior to travel.
    Susan

  • Natalie – unless it is an exotic type of guinea pig, you can bring your pets to the US. If you are traveling with them, they will travel as checked baggage in the cargo hold. They should have a health certificate issued shortly prior to travel.
    Susan

  • Hi Anthony – because they are entering the UK from a non-EU country, your guinea pigs will be subject to 4 months of quarantine when entering the UK. The number of your pets in the crate will depend on airline policies, but generally, smaller pets are permitted to fly together as long as there is adequate room for them to move around.
    Jason

  • Anthony

    My family is moving to the UK from the US and would like to bring our four Guinea Pigs.
    1. Are Guinea Pigs allowed into the UK?
    2. What are the UK requirements for entry of Guinea Pigs?
    3. May I bring two Guinea Pigs per pet container?
    All advice will help!

  • May Lam

    Any chances that I can take my beloved guinea pig to US?

    1. how long
    2. how much
    3. what’s the procedure?

    Your early reply will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Natalie

    Any chances that I can take my beloved guinea pig to US?

    1. how long
    2. how much
    3. what’s the procedure?

    Your early reply will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Hello – would have to research the restrictions on bringing a hedgehog into Saudi Arabia, but the issue would be returning to the UK as their regulations do not include the import of other animals from high-rabies countries like Saudi Arabia. Rabbits, rodents and other animals can only be imported from other EU and rabies-controlled countries.
    Susan

  • Aljohara

    Hello, I have an unusual one. I’m considering adopting a hedgehog. I’m currently studying in London but I am originally from Saudi. So, I was wondering what the process would be to transport it from the UK to Riyadh. As I will be traveling back and forth during holidays. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Hi Alexis – we do not know of any commercial airline that will permit a pig in the cabin. Your pet can travel with you on the same plane in the cargo hold as checked baggage.
    Susan

  • Can you take a micro pig on the plane ? Will it be permitted on the plane ? If so what are some airline companies that would permit the pig ?

  • Hi Jillian – pet rats entering the UK from non-EU countries are subject to 4 months of quarantine when entering the UK. We cannot quote the cost but you can contact one of the quarantine centers here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/309884/quarantine-premises.pdf. Hope this helps.
    Susan

  • I live in Australia and would like to take my pet rat to live in England , can I take him in the plane cabin with me? Also is there a quarantine period? Cost ?

  • Danica – we don’t have information on bringing guinea pigs into China. You can try emailing the Ministry of Agriculture Tel: (8610)59191428, 59191492. Most all airlines will ship a guinea pig as checked baggage or manifest cargo. BA only offers manifest cargo through an agent. Try some other airlines as well.
    Susan

  • By the way, I’m travelling from Philippines to China. :)

  • Hello Pet Travel. I’m going to China 2 months later and I need to bring with me my 1 year-old guinea pig. Do you know the requirements needed by the P.R.C and which airline can transport my guinea pig? I also checked BAI about shipment permit but it’s all about dogs and cats only. I’d like to know the requirements to get a shipment permit for a guinea pig. Hoping for a response. :)

  • Kirk – Cebu Pacific does not transport live animals of any type. Not sure of your route, but you could inquire to Philippine Airlines if they serve it. They may or may not carry arachnids, but I assure you it will not be in the cabin. You also need to check requirements of your destination country unless you are remaining in the Philippines.
    Susan

  • Kirk Emmanuel Acenas

    I would like to know how to travel my pet tarantula localy by Plane? Preferably cebu pacific? Its my first time to travel my tarantula and I want to know if this is posible. I dont like to ship it since it will take more than a day whereas traveling it by plane will only take it 1-2 hours. What are the requirements needed?

  • Hi Niki – with a health certificate, you should be fine entering any EU country with a rabbit from another EU country unless it is the UK.
    Susan

  • Hi Johanna – the EU regulations for animals other than dogs, cats or ferrets are country specific. I would need to know what country you are traveling to.
    Susan

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>