American Airlines changes health certificate policy

Be aware that if you plan to transport your pet in American Airlines’ cargo hold, your little friend now requires a health certificate from a veterinarian. The policy change, which makes perfect sense, became effective this month. We love when airlines are pet-friendly but what we love even more are airlines that think pet safety first.

The carrier’s new rules state that valid health certificates must be issued by a veterinarian within 10 days of originating travel, and within 60 days of return travel on the same ticket. Return travel on a separate ticket will be subject to the 10 day restriction in order to ensure the health and safety of the animal.

As you may recall, seven dogs that were checked as baggage tragically died on an American Airlines flight from Tulsa, Okla., to Chicago in August 2010.

Checked pets do not require a reservation on American; however, participants of dog shows should be aware that capacity is sometimes reached and checked pets are accepted on a first come basis.

Keep in mind that American does not accept pets in the cargo for flights over 12 hours or on flights traveling to the United Kingdom. American Eagle does not accept pets as checked baggage for Priority Parcel Service between San Juan, (SJU) and St. Kitts (SKB) and between San Juan, (SJU) and Nevis (NEV).

With the temperature rising, also be aware that many airlines do not accept pets as checked baggage during the summer. Therefore, check each carrier’s website for the latest information. And for a greater peace of mind, check out  Pet Airways, the only pet-only airlines that allows our furry friends fly in the main cabin.

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