Traveling with pets

One of the things we get asked most regularly at PrivateFly is about whether pets can travel on private jets.

The answer is a resounding “yes!”

A flight can be a traumatic experience for a pet and (unlike on a commercial flight) this trauma can be lessened on a private jet charter by the calming presence of their owner as they travel with them in the aircraft cabin.

Provided all the pet documentation is correct and up-to-date, we are able to make all the arrangements for clients who wish to travel with their domestic pets, ensuring the animal’s welfare and comfort at all times.

Each country has varying rules and regulations as to the importation of pets.

PrivateFly works closely with various agencies to ensure that the process is as simple and transparent as possible in each location.

Recent pet travel regulation changes have made it even easier to fly with your pets on private jet charters in the UK and Europe as follows:

Flying with Pets in Europe and the UK

Many airports and private jet operators now have approval to handle private charter flights with pets onboard and the UK government has a scheme called PETS (Pet Travel Scheme) which allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the country without quarantine as long as they meet the rules.

UK residents can take their pets to other European Union (EU) countries, and selected non-EU countries and return with them to the UK, without the need for quarantine.

Dedicated UK Pet Airports

  • Blackpool
  • Cambridge *NEW*
  • Doncaster
  • Leeds Bradford International
  • London Biggin Hill
  • London Oxford
  • London Stansted *NEW*
  • London Heathrow
  • Manchester

See what happens when you and your dog arrive at a private jet terminal

Flying with Pets in the USA

The US Department of Transportation and their Department of Agriculture have the following guidelines for flying with pets within the USA:

  • Dogs and cats must be 8 weeks old
  • Animals must have been weaned
  • Require proof of rabies vaccination
  • Each State has specific Centres for Disease Control (CDC)

With pet owners a growing audience for private aviation, many private jet airports are now broadening their facilities, to cater for passengers flying with animals.

Each country has its own regulations but in the UK, domestic pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) can travel with their owners in the cabin of a private jet, providing certain conditions are met. Find out more about flying with pets.

Last week we took PrivateFly’s newest team member, Tex, to test out Execujet’s new FBO facilities at Cambridge airport.

Execujet have recently taken over the running of the VIP terminal at Cambridge. As part of ExecutJet’s UK expansion plans, many more of their staff will be soon coming across from their Zurich office.

Cambridge Airport is now a hub of excellence, where best practice can be seen in action. Courtesy of London Executive Aviation (LEA), we tried out the end-to-end experience of private jet travel from Cambridge with a pet.

First impressions

On arrival at Cambridge, Tex was met by the FBO staff, who made him feel very welcome.

As for human passengers, first impressions count and making your pet feel comfortable on arrival is all part of the service – whether he or she is a seasoned traveller or flying for the first time, like Tex.

Overall the atmosphere was very calm and Tex was happy and content.

Practicalities and facilities

The Execujet FBO lounge at Cambridge is very smart, roomy and open, perfect for pets to stretch their paws.

There are also a number of grassy areas, suitable for dog-walking, within 2 minutes of the terminal building.

Tex also got a sniff at the facilities for human passengers. He was particularly impressed by the smart boardroom, and floor-to-ceiling views of the apron.

Identity and security checks

Just as with human passengers, it’s important that the necessary checks at a private jet airport are done seamlessly and quickly.

The staff at Cambridge were well-trained, checking Tex’s pet passport and scanning his microchip, without causing any fuss or over-excitement – the last thing you want just before boarding an aircraft.

Un-paw-seen eventualities

If your pet needs to be seen by a vet or there are other additional checks required, Execujet have a comfortable holding area for animals to be kept in.

Most pets won’t need to visit this part of the FBO, but Tex checked it out just in case.

All the staff are well-trained to manage animals and to make them (and their owners) feel calm and comfortable, even if complications occur.

Boarding the aircraft

All passenger checks can be completed in as little as 15 minutes after arrival (longer in our case – to allow frequent photo opportunities) and the Embraer Legacy aircraft was waiting for us just outside the terminal building.

The crew made Tex feel very welcome and helped him to navigate the aircraft steps.

Aircraft operators will make sure you have everything you need for your pet onboard during the flight, including their favourite food and snacks; a specific type of bed; or a litter tray if required.

The Fur-dict?

Overall Tex gave Execujet Cambridge a resounding bark of approval. He is looking forward to trying out other pet-friendly FBOs and airports soon. Others in the UK with dedicated pet facilities include London Oxford; London Biggin Hill; London Stansted (Inflight); and Manchester.

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