Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier, has allowed passengers to carry their pet cats and dogs in the cabin for a certain fee.
The pets (cat or dog) must be at least 16-week old and weigh no more than 8kg, including the carrier weight. While the passenger must be at least 18 years old to travel with a pet.
In Economy, it costs $150 per flight to travel with the cat or dog for flights of six hours or less, and $250 for flights over six hours long. If the passenger is transiting, then the combined cost will apply. Passengers travelling in Business or First Class must purchase an extra seat in advance for their pet.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline allowed trained service animals – pet cats and dogs – on board its flight since September 30, 2021.
It said the animals must behave properly in public, and will not be accepted in the cabin if they display any form of disruptive behaviour such as growling, biting, jumping or causing damage to the cabin.
However, emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals and service animals in training aren’t considered service animals.
Passengers are advised to inform the airline at least 48 hours before their flight if they are travelling with a trained service animal and must submit a booking form at least 72 hours before the flight.
According to the information posted on Etihad’s website, the dog must sit within the passenger’s seat space and be harnessed, leashed or tethered at all times during the flight.
Travellers also have the option to purchase an adjacent seat for their pets to sit in their carrier.
“To avoid any delays at the airport, please make sure you have all the correct permits and documentation for your trained service animal,” it said in a statement on its website.
Meanwhile, Emirates airline states on its website that pets must be transported as cargo. According to budget carrier flydubai, pets will travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft irrespective of the fact whether they are accompanied or unaccompanied by owners.
Falcons on board
Etihad allows falcons on board all of its flights. Passengers can travel with a falcon for free as part of the cabin baggage allowance, or as checked baggage for $500 (Dh1,835) per cage. In Economy class, travellers are permitted to carry one falcon per person or two falcons per additional seat. In First or Business Class, travellers are permitted to carry two falcons per person or three falcons per additional seat.
Pets will not be accepted on flights operated by Etihad’s partner airlines.
Checklist for travelling with animals in cabin
> You have checked all entry and exit regulations for the countries you are flying to and from
> All applicable veterinary examinations or treatments have been completed
> You have asked your vet about any medication that may need to be administered to your pet during the journey
> Have all the official documents required for your pet to travel
> You have registered your pet for carriage in the cabin no later than 72 hours before your flight and have received confirmation of pet acceptance
> Your pet is familiar with the travel bag or kennel
> You have a lead and a suitable harness or collar available
> You have dry pet food in a sealed container in your cabin baggage
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