If you're planning airline travel with your bird, the first thing you want to do is look at the best airline approved bird carriers.
Traveling with your pet is stressful enough, so the last thing you want is to get to the airport and find out that they are not going to let your feathery friend on the plane with you.
Luckily there are a few fantastic options out there and once you know which airlines are feathery pet friendly and their required specifications you'll be able to choose the perfect traveling carrier for your needs.
It is important to know if it is even ok for you to fly with your bird on the airline you've selected. The following is a list of airlines that allow birds and what you need to know about their specifications before you fly.
Aeromexico does not seem to have any specific size requirements, but they do have a few stipulations. The carrier has to be durable plastic and contain no more than four birds. For other pets, they require that the crate is lined with an absorbent material but it doesn't say that specifically for the bird travel cage.
Air India is pretty liberal when it comes to having a live animalon domestic flights. They require a soft ventilated bag that is not more than 18" x 18" x 12" like a bird carrier backpack. They also require an absorbent material on the floor of the carrier and label with your bird's name on it affixed to the outside of the carrier.
With the exception of flights to Hawaii, it seems as though Alaska Air is pretty liberal with their pet policy. They allow hard pet carries with a dimension of 17" x 11" x 7.5" or soft carriers with a dimension of 17" x 11" x 9.5". They also require absorbent material at the bottom of the carrier and that the travel cagesare in good condition.
The good news is that they seem to allow birds on their flights, the bad news is that it seems a bit complicated. They 'don't offer much information, but they do ask that you call a special hotline for more information.
Delta offers few specifics about its policies. It does say that birds can travel as long as the carrier fits under the seat in front of you but 'doesn't give specific measurements. What they seem to care more about is that there is a fee for one way travel.
Frontier allows birds on domestic flights, but there are a few rules to follow. The carriers must be a maximum of 18" x 14" x 8" with enough room for your bird to move around. They 'don't require a specific material for your carrier but they recommend soft sides.
Hawaiian is a tricky one to navigate because there are so many restrictions to traveling with your pet due to Hawaii's distinction as the only rabies-free state in the union. Because of that fact, animals can travel by plane between the islands and out of Hawaii, but not into the islands.
Carriers must have soft sides and measure no more than 16" x 10" x 9.5" and can't weigh more than 25 pounds with your pet inside.
Iberia Airlines are much like other airlines that allow birds, but they make one distinction. Like other airlines, they allowtravel bird carriersthat are 18" x 14" x 10" and a maximum weight of 17 pounds.
They also specify that bird cagesneed to be strong, which may be a translation for hard. The one distinction that they make with bird cages is that they need to have a cover over the cage at all times.
The Japan Airlines website is incredibly confusing, and 'you're probably best off calling them for exact details. The important thing is that they do accept birds on their flights and they seem to be one of few, if not the only, airline that has a reward program for traveling with your pet.
Spirit is the butt of a lot of jokes, and probably for a good reason, but one thing that is not a joke is that they allow you to travel with birds. The cage can't be any larger than 18" x 14" 9" and must have soft sides. The total weight of the carrier and the pets travelingwith you combined can't exceed 40 pounds.
Turkish Airlines have a lot of information on their site, but they seem to be missing some of the most important stuff. They do have some restrictions on what type of birds are eligible, but even those are more liberal than most airlines.
They don't seem to have any restrictions on the size of the cage or the carrier's material. Weight seems to be of slight concern with different pricing tiers for different weight classes.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines
There is so much information on this page it is nearly impossible to sift through. There doesn't seem to be a size or weight restriction for your pet, but they do require that the carrier has soft sides.
United doesn't have any readily available information on carrier sizes or required materials, but they do say that the carrier needs to fit under the seat in front of you. They also specifically state that cockatoos aren't allowed on their flights.
Though most of these regulations are the same, there are small differences that set each airline pet policyapart from one another. There are a few universal rules when traveling with birds on airlines.
When traveling bird healthis of utomost importance; your pet must have a health certificate and be in good health on the day of the flight. He or she also needs to be well behaved, quiet, odorless, and otherwise not offensive to other passengers.
Though it seems like common sense to give your pet room to move, the ability for them to sit, stand, and move around in the cage is another universal rule for airlines.
For your pet’s safety there should never be any loose pet products in the carrier including food and water bowls. If it is a longer flight and you are afraid your pet will ge thirsty you can find water bottlesthat attach firmly to the inside of the carrier.
Most of these airlines prohibit larger birds like African Grey Parrots or Scarlet Macaws all together but the few that allow them have separate requirements forbird housing of these larger birds.
Finding the right carrier for birds
Once you know if you can bring your bird on a plane and what the airline’s regulations are you must find a travel carrier for your bird. One of those cardboard carriersfrom the pet store isn’t going to cut it, but with how many travel bird carriersare out there it is hard to know which one to choose.
There are many options out there, but here are a few great options to save you time when searching for a bird carrier.
In-Cabin Airline Bird Carrier
This pet bird carrier is awesome for several reasons, but let’s get to the most important features first. Thismedium size carrier measures 16” x 11.5” x 10” and weighs between 3 and 4 pounds depending on accessories. The outside is a soft material that is compressible if needed to fit under a seat but still leaves room for your bird to move around.
It comes with a few customizable options to keep you and your bird happy. You can choose different colored material and have your pet’s name and information monogrammed on the outside. They also invite you to choose the type and size of the perch in your carrier.
Other notable features include a shoulder strap for easy carrying through the airport and two stainless steel cups for food and water. The bottom of the carrier is hard plastic and removable for easy cleaning of life’s little accidents. Celltei thought of everything and even put two rings inside of the carrier to hold toys for your bird.
Colorday Lightweight Bird Carrier
First of all, this thing looks awesome. They clear wall design is an excellent choice for style, and so you can make sure that your pet is healthy and happy. It measures 16” x 11” x 9” and weighs less than 2 pounds. The material is plastic, but it would be considered a soft-sided container. The zippered design makes assembly and disassembly a breeze which is great for cleaning and storage.
When the big day arrives, you will be happy to find that this carrier has a strap and a handle so you can carry it however you please. It comes with a fixed perch that your bird will love. Unfortunately, this bird travel bagdoesn’t come with a lot of accessories, but that may be for the best when it comes to transporting a pet.
Elequint Backpack Carrier
Full disclosure, this carrier is not meant for birds, but with a few modifications, it works perfectly. It measures 15” x 13” x 10” and weighs less than 3 pounds. It is a soft case with nylon meshfront and sides for easy viewing. The zippered top with a sunshade keeps your pet protected but also allows you to access your pet in a hurry if needed.
You can carry this case like a backpack or simply hold the top like a purse. Since this bag isn't intended for birds, you will have to install a perch if you feel that your bird needs one. There isn’t a ton of room inside, so accessories inside the carrier are not existent, but outside of the carry, there are pockets and even a water bottle holder which cuts down on the number of travel bagsyou need to carry.
Pawdable Foldable Pet Carrier
This is another pet bird carrierthat isn't meant for birds but with a few modifications, works perfectly. The soft-sided, bone shaped, carrier weighs less than 2 pounds and easily folds up when not in use. When you are using it, this carrier measures 17.5” x 11.25” x 9”.
The only thing that isn’t ideal about this carrier is that there are not a lot of windows to check on your flying friend. On the other hand, it is easy to access your bird from multiple points of entry.
This carrier comes with a top handle and shoulder strap to give you comfortable transporting options. What’s especially nice about the shape of this particular carrier is that you can throw a stand-alonebird perch in there and it will fit great with room for your bird to dance around.
The bag doesn’t come with any cage accessories, but there is room on the inside for a few bird toysor bird foodand a small pocket on the outside to carry miscellaneous items.
Once upon a time, you wondered; can I bring a bird on a plane? Now you know that the answer is a definitive "maybe." If you are traveling on any of these airlines that allow birds, you need to double check their website.
Once you’re confident you can travel with your bird, you're ready to buy one of these airline approved bird carriers that will make you and your bird happy.