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Traveling with your pets 2007


From the New York Times Q&A
Home From France, With Seven Pets in Tow

Published: March 4, 2007
My wife and I are planning to return to the United States after several years in France. What concerns us most about the move is the safety and well-being of our pets. We have three dogs, about 33 pounds each, and four cats, and plan to fly from Paris to Atlanta on Air France. However, we wonder whether chartering a corporate jet would be possible, and not prohibitively expensive.

— Bruce Bogin, Noailhac, France

A private jet might be a great idea within Europe or within the United States, where you might charter a light jet, like a Learjet 45, for about $12,000 an hour. But a trip across the Atlantic would require a larger jet, like a Gulfstream V, and paying for the return leg. David Savile, chief executive of Air Partner (, reckons $160,00 for a round-trip rental from France to your home in Tennessee. Alas, that’s probably “prohibitively expensive.”

Airlines have different rules about transporting pets. Air France allows cats and dogs under nine pounds, including the carrier, to travel in the cabin. (Its code-share partner, Delta, does not have a weight limit but the carrier must fit under your seat.)

Larger animals are confined to a heated and air-conditioned section of the hold. They are looked after, but you may find the logistics of traveling with several pets a hassle. And pets are not included in your free baggage allowance. (For more details on transporting pets on Delta and its international partners, call 800-241-4141.)

When traveling with pets, you need to buy approved travel carriers, available from most pet shops; book the flight, reserving space for the pets; obtain “fitness to fly” certificates from a veterinarian at least 10 days ahead; and check in the pets two to four hours before the flight. Pets must have a current rabies vaccination and United States Customs clearance. (Unlike many countries, the United States does not require a quarantine of incoming pets, as long as they appear healthy. If there is a question about the pet’s health, an examination by a licensed veterinarian, at the owner’s expense, might be required at entry, according to the Centers for Disease Control.)

Your best bet, especially for several animals, is to hire a specialized pet transport company. One is WorldCare Pet Transport (, which offers door-to-door service anywhere, provides U.S.D.A.-approved flight carriers, health certificates and customs clearance, and can coordinate quarantine arrangements. Ross Gays, European director for WorldCare Pet, quoted me $5,295 for collecting, transporting and delivering three dogs and four cats to your new home.


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