If you want to take your parrot, canary or cockatoo with you on a trip, then you'll need to do some research into the airlines that allow birds.
Lucky for you, we did all the dirty work.
We know how it is: you're going on a trip and you want to take your pet bird with you.
Many bird owners have likely found themselves asking themselves, “Can you bring birds on a plane?”
The short answer to this is yes!
These pets make great travelers, so you never have to leave your bird behind!
For air travel with your parakeet, your cockatoo, or your African grey, we're got all the info you need, right here.
Keep reading to find out about airlines that allow pet birds so that you and your pet can set out on a new adventure... together!
Aeroméxico does not permit birds to fly in the passenger cabin, but they are allowed to travel in the luggage hold area.
Birds must be placed in durable, plastic containers that are lined with absorbent material. The carrier also must be secured with a padlock in order to be checked, and you can take a maximum of four birds with you.
You cannot provide your pet with food or drink inside the carrier during travel.
The cost to check a bird on an Aeroméxico flight is $45 if you're traveling within Mexico and $200 if you're traveling internationally.
Air Canada is another airline that does not allow birds in the passenger cabin, like they do other pets and emotional support animals, but it does allow them to be checked in the hold.
The airline is devoted to safely transporting live animals, using their division known as AC Animals to communicate their policies to customers. In fact, Air Canada utilizes trained professionals to handle all animals that travel on their planes.
To learn more about the specifics of checking your pet bird on an Air Canada flight, reach out to them at 1-800-387-4865 (within Canada) or write to them at ACAnimals@aircanada.ca.
Small, household birds are allowed to travel in both the passenger cabin or as checked pets on Air India domestic flights.
Birds must be in soft, ventilated bags or carriers that are no larger than 18” length by 18” width by 12” height.
Each passenger can bring two birds with them and the name of the pet must be labeled on the side of the carrier for the flight. You will also need to line the bottom of the carrier with an absorbent mat for the travel.
Traveling with your bird on an Air India flight comes at an added cost, although prices vary depending on the flight.
Pet birds may also travel internationally on Air India flights when the required health and vaccination certificates, entry permits, and other required documents are provided.
Alaska Airlines allows you to travel with your household bird in the passenger cabin. You can even travel with up to two pet carriers in the main cabin, but you must also buy the adjacent seat.
You can also transport your bird in the baggage and cargo compartment.
The cost is $100 each way for pets to travel on Alaska Airlines, whether your bird travels in the cabin or in the baggage compartment.
It’s worth noting that noisy birds will not be permitted in the cabin.
If you have further question, visit the airline’s website or call the airline directly at 1-800-252-7522.
Alitalia is a pet-friendly airline with an inclusive policy that allows you to carry these little air travelers in their guest cabins on both domestic and international flights.
The cost of bringing your bird depends on its breed and weight, so fares vary.
Note that Alitalia does not allow for birds to be imported from Asia, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, Romania, and the Balkan Peninsula in order to prevent the spread of the avian bird flu.
Delta Airlines allows pet birds to fly on their planes, which is great news for bird owners!
Birds are allowed in both the passenger cabin and in Delta’s cargo section. One caveat to this allowance is that this applies to domestic US flights only.
Birds must be at least ten weeks old and have to fit comfortably in a carrier under the seat in front of the traveler. While these carriers can be soft or hard-sided, they must have proper ventilation and must be leak-proof.
The exact size parameters for the carrier depend on the particular flight, so research this when purchasing your airline ticket to ensure that your carrier complies with the size of the aircraft.
The cost to bring a bird on a Delta Airlines flight is $125 each way.
Call Delta at 800-221-1212 to arrange your pet’s travel or if you have any questions, visit Delta’s website to learn more about their airline pet policies.
Frontier Airlines is another airline that allows birds to travel in the passenger cabin on their flights, specifically on domestic US flights. This pet-friendly airline does not allow pets of any kind to be checked.
Additional fees of $75 per flight apply for traveling with your bird on Frontier.
Birds must stay in a travel container to be stowed underneath the seat in front of you for the duration of the flight. This carrier may not exceed 18" length x 14" width x 8" height.
Your bird may travel with you on Hawaiian Airlines in the baggage hold only as they are not permitted to fly in the cabin with passengers.
To do so, household birds must be in a kennel and there can only be two birds per kennel and it must not exceed 70 pounds.
Birds traveling on Hawaiian Airlines must be at least two weeks old.
The airline appreciates notification that you’ll be bringing your pet on board at least 48 hours prior to takeoff, and you can notify them by calling 1-800-367-5320.
Pets cannot be checked on flights to and from New York or Boston, international cities, or to and from Pago Pago.
Additionally, pets are not accepted on Hawaiian Airlines flights during their yearly embargo period, which runs from April 15th to October 15th, to “embargo destinations”. These include San Jose and Sacramento, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Phoenix, and Arizona.
To travel with birds inside the state of Hawaii, it’ll cost you $60 per flight. Flights to and from Hawaii to other North American locations cost $225 per flight.
Iberia Airlines is known to accept pet birds in the passenger cabin as long as they travel in a secure carrier that remains covered. You can also travel with multiple birds at once as long as they fit comfortably in the same carrier on this pet-friendly airline.
The cost of bringing your pet and carrier with you on an Iberia flight within Spain is $45 per flight (excluding the Canary Island). To travel to and from the Canary Islands or elsewhere in Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East, it will cost $60 per flight.
Finally, it’s $180 per flight to bring your bird to America or Asia.
Although Japan Airlines does not allow birds to travel in the passenger cabin, but they do allow them to be checked.
On this airline, whether you can check your bird depends on the type of bird. Your bird must eat either seeds, fruits, or insects to be allowed on Japan Airlines.
Since each of their flights can accommodate only a limited number of pet crates in the checked baggage area, you must make a reservation for your bird ahead of time.
Your bird must be in good health in order to fly with the airline and must be in a durable, lockable, well-ventilated crate for travel.
Spirit Airlines allows small household birds to travel in the guest cabin on domestic flights, excluding those traveling to and from the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
This airline considers birds that are farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, birds of prey, or flightless not be household birds, so they are not allowed on their aircraft.
Spirit allows a maximum of six pet carriers to travel in the cabin. Each guest can bring one pet carrier onto the flight with a maximum of two birds in the container.
To let the airline know about your plans to travel with your pet in the cabin, contact the Spirit Airlines Reservation Center at 801-401-2222.
The required documentation differs on Spirit, as they do not require a health certificate for your bird to fly on their flights, nor do they require a rabies vaccination certificate.
There are pet fees associated with bringing your bird on board. It currently costs $110 per flight to travel with your bird, although this price is subject to change.
You can travel with your bird on Turkish Airlines as they allow animals in the cabin. However, it's worth noting that parrots and pigeons cannot be brought in the passenger cabin.
To bring your bird on board, you must confirm your reservation at least six hours prior to takeoff and you must have medical reports and certificates of vaccination for your bird for it to travel with Turkish Airlines.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines
This Russian airline is incredibly inclusive of pets, prompting pet lovers to rejoice! This includes the allowance of birds (as well as other small animals such as guinea pigs, and larger animals like dogs and cats) on flights in the passenger cabin.
Birds must travel in closed, soft carriers that can be placed under the seat in front of you during the flight.
The airline encourages passengers to familiarize themselves with the legal requirements for bringing pets into or taking pets out of the country of origin or destination before traveling.
Pets must be examined by a veterinarian no earlier than five days prior to the trip and passengers must provide the required documentation for pet travel, such as a pet passport that confirms that the bird is healthy and has been vaccinated, and a valid health certificate.
Book your flights for you and your pet with Aeroflot on their website, or call the airline directly.
Another big name airline, United Airlines, allows birds over the age of eight weeks to travel on their planes in the passenger cabins, making it easy to fly with your pet.
It’s important to note that cockatoos are not permitted in United passenger cabins, though.
To fly with United, your pet bird must fit comfortably in a carrier under the seat in front of you where a carry-on bag typically is stowed.
Your bird may travel internationally with you in many cases, but it’s wise to contact the United Customer Contact Center to verify that your bird may travel on your international flight as there some destination restrictions. For instance, birds cannot travel internationally to, from, or through Australia, Hawaii, or Micronesia.
The additional fees for your bird to travel on a United flight is $125 each way and an additional $125 service fee for each stopover that lasts more than four hours within the US or a layover that’s 24 hours or more outside of the US.
What do birds need to fly on a plane?
Now that you have an idea of what airlines you can bring your pet bird on, it’s important to also understand what you need in order for your bird to travel compliantly and comfortably, as this is one of the most frequently asked questions asked by pet owners.
Although you may have gone road tripping with your bird, your pet's needs on a plane will be different.
Here are some must-haves for your bird to achieve frequent flyer status. These make pet parenting and airline travel with your flying friend even easier, so be sure to follow these travel tips!
To travel with your bird, regardless of the airline, you’ll need a carrier to keep your pet safe and comfortable. Find a durable carrier that is well ventilated so that your bird receives enough airflow to stay comfortable for the entire flight.
Although the sizes for pet carriers does vary from airline to airline, the standard accepted size is
18 inches in length by 11 inches wide by 11 inches in height.
You may also want to consider getting a cover for the pet carrier, as some airlines require it and it may help calm your bird during your flight.
Ensure that your selected carrier can be locked so you can keep your bird safe inside.
Always check with the guidelines provided by the specific airline you’re traveling so that you’re sure the carrier you’ve chosen matches their specifications.
Most airlines require that the bottom of a pet carrier be lined with an absorbent mat in order to reduce leaks or spills. It’s best to get one of these that fits the bottom of your bird’s carrier well.
Water and food
Many airlines prohibit the addition of water and food in pet carriers during travel, especially for a pet in cargo. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have these on hand prior to travel and after the plane has landed.
If you plan on feeding your bird bottled water, get them used to the taste of it before to your trip to ensure that they’ll drink it on your journey.
Passport and documentation
Many airlines and destinations require that birds have their own passport and/or documentation in order to travel.
This documentation states that your bird is healthy enough to travel and is up-to-date on its vaccinations. Shortly before your trip, take your bird to the vet to be given a fresh bill of health and to sign off on these important travel documents.
Traveling with pets, specifically your pet bird, doesn’t have to be difficult.
Thanks to the policies of airlines that allow pet birds, your flying friend can accompany you on any adventure.
Allowing your pet bird to fly the friendly skies with you takes your relationship to a whole new level and really includes them on the fun on your journeys.