Excess Baggage: Jet Airways allows you to fly your pet as Excess Baggage if the weight of the pet AND crate is less than 32 kgs. You can walk your dog to the Jet Airways counter inside the airport, and pay a sum of Rs. 5000+taxes (one-way) on the spot. You can pick up your dog at the baggage claim soon after arrival. Make sure you inform the Reservations or Ticketing Office at least one day prior to departure. Heidi, and her crate, weighed 37 kgs, and she did not qualify for this option. Heidi flew as Cargo.
Cargo: Both in Chennai and Mumbai, the cargo area is a few kilometres away from the airport terminal. Please call Jet Airways Cargo at least one day prior to your flight to let them know you are flying with a pet. The cost to fly Heidi in cargo was Rs. 12,700 one way. Cost is dependent on weight of pet or volume of the crate, whichever is higher. Crate requirements and a list of things to carry with you is mentioned here. It is advisable to get to the Cargo hold 3 hours prior to departure.
Pranita’s flight was at 1pm, and she remained with Heidi until 11.30am when she had to go back to the airport terminal to check-in. Her friend remained with Heidi until 12pm, when she was put in her crate and her door was sealed with plastic ties. The crate is taken to the flight in a car (preferable option) or in a trolley. Pranita had her contact information, and a copy of the Fit-to-Fly certificate attached to Heidi’s crate. Once in the flight, Pranita informed the cabin crew and pilot about Heidi traveling in cargo, and reminded them to keep the oxygen supply on throughout the flight.
Heidi had to be picked up from the Cargo area in Chennai, which again, is at a distance from the airport. At the time of booking, Pranita filled in the details of her friend (consignee), who would pick up Heidi at Cargo, while Pranita collected her baggage. The consignee will need to show valid ID proof in order to pick up the pet.
Preparing Heidi for the Trip:
- Visit your vet prior to the journey, and obtain a fit-to-fly certificate. Keep copies of this certificate on the crate, and on you.
- Pranita crate-trained Heidi. Making sure you dog is comfortable in a crate is the most important thing before flying, and crate training should start at least one month prior to the journey. You can contact Pranita at +91 9833684423 for crate-training consultations.
- Heidi had a pet mat/bedsheet in the crate to make it more comfortable.
- Pranita and her friend did not allow Heidi to sleep all day before the flight. Heidi was exercised physically and mentally the entire morning, to ensure that she will be calmer, tired, and less anxious during the 4 hours in the crate.
- Heidi had a light meal around 6-7 hours before the flight, was hydrated, and had peed before entering the crate at 12pm.
Jet Airways Experience: The Jet airways staff was very cooperative throughout the entire process in Mumbai and Chennai. At both airports, Heidi was allowed to be out of the crate throughout the payment and weighing process. However, it was evident that the Chennai staff had much less experience with flying pets than the Mumbai flight. In Mumbai, the staff was very friendly, comfortable with a large dog like Heidi, and interacted with her a lot! While the staff at Chennai were very cooperative, they had additional rules that Pranita had to comply with. They required Pranita to e-mail all of Heidi’s documents one day prior to flight, which was not needed by the Jet staff in Mumbai. The rules can vary by airport, and it is highly recommended that you call at least one day in advance and confirm all the rules.
Overall, the Cargo and the Cabin crew understood Pranita concerns as a pet parent, and worked to keep her comfortable throughout the journey. Heidi did not show any signs of anxiety before or after both flights! Overall, Heidi and Pranita had a great experience flying.
You can contact Pranita at +91 9833684423 to know more about her experience, and to consult on obedience training, crate training and canine behavior issues.