Airlines That Will Let You Fly With Your Rat
Have you ever wanted to be able to take your rat on a plane with you? Well, there are
some airlines which allow your pet to travel with you in an underseat carrier, and others which
allow you to ship your rat as cargo. Their rules and prices vary, but here are some which
have flown rats, or have said they would allow rats on board if their conditions are met.
- Alaska Air is a companion
company to Horizon Air. Rats may be accepted as baggage or cargo, but not as carry-on
baggage. A health certificate issued within 30 days is required if crossing state lines.
- Ansett in Austrailia will fly rats. I'm not
sure if they allow them as carry-on baggage, though. I didn't see any information regarding
pets on their web site.
- Aloha Air lets you take rats as carry-on baggage when flying between the islands of Hawaii.
Check to see if they require a certificate of health.
- American Airline will let rats on as carry-on baggage. They charge $50 and require a certificate of health
signed by a veterinarian.
- America West will
accept a maximum of three animals per flight. Your rat must also have a certificate of
health signed by a veterinarian. This information came from someone who took rats as
carry-on baggage. To fly two rats from California to Colorado in 1997 cost US$50.
- Delta Airlines will allow 2 rats in one carrier per
person as carry-on baggage. They also ship rats as cargo. In 1996 it cost US$50 per carrier to
transport animals from California to Massachusetts. A health certificate for the animals is also
required. I haven't located any information about pets on their web site yet.
- Delta Dash is Delta Airlines' Air Cargo service, and has been used to ship rats.
- Finnair has been used to ship rats.
- Finnaviation has been used to ship rats.
- Horizon Air is
a companion company to Alaska Air. Rats may be accepted as baggage, cargo, or as
carry-on baggage. A health certificate issued within 30 days is required if crossing state
lines. Horizon Air operates in the north western area of the United States.
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will transport rats
internationally. In 1997, to send a rat from South Africa to Minnesota with a one-night
stopover at a pet hotel in Amsterdam cost R1200, or US$240. The rat arrived in
Minnesota in fine condition with no signs of stress. There is information on shipping pets
on their web site, but the nature of their frames wouldn't let me link directly to it.
- Lufthansa Cargo will carry pets. I
have not heard from anyone who has shipped rats with them, but was contacted directly by
them. To find information on shipping pets with them, go to their site and follow these links:
Services -> Cargo Services -> Cargo Specials -> Live Animals They fly animals both as
cargo or carry-on. One carrier is allowed per flight.
- Qantas in Austrailia
will fly rats. I'm not sure if they allow them as carry-on baggage, though. I didn't see any
information regarding pets on their web site.
- United Airlines will allow you to travel
with rats. Search for "pets" on their site to find details about taking pets. Check directly with
the airline to find out if rats are allowed as carry-on baggage or if they must be shipped as
cargo/baggage. They require a health certificate.
Always carefully check that the care that will be given to your pet is satisfactory to you
before entrusting it to anyone else's care. If you send your pet as baggage or cargo,
remember that the carrier will be outside on the runway when being loaded and unloaded.
The weather conditions at both ends of the flight can greatly affect your pets' well being.
NOTE - I was contacted by someone who works for a company which buys
rats that are shipped to them using an airline. Allegedly, on three separate occasions in a two
month period 70% of the rats did not survive. I have not attempted to verify this allegation,
and mention it only as a caution to anyone considering shipping live animals
by any means. If these alleged incidents occured during the summer
months it is quite possible that it was simply too hot to ship an animal safely.
If you know of other airlines, anywhere in the world, which will fly rats, please let me
know. The more information on their conditions that you can provide the better, but just
the name of the airline would be a big help too. Contact me at
Last updated May 11, 1999
©Virginia Simpson, 1999
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