We love our pets and want to share our experiences with them. You might have a holiday booked and want to bring your parrot with you. Perhaps you are emigrating to a new country, either way you need to know if your parrot can travel with you.
In answer to your question, yes parrots can travel on airplanes without any problems. That being said, you should make sure your parrot is prepared for a flight and his or her cage meets the airline’s requirements. Although most airlines accept parrots and birds, you should check with the airline that you are travelling with.
Keep reading to find out which airlines accept birds and which airlines don’t, plus some extra useful information when travelling with your pet.
How to prepare your parrot for flying
Before you fly with your pet parrot, it is important to ensure that you have checked with the airline that they allow birds to travel and you have actually booked them a ticket. Some parrots are allowed in the cabin and some need to be checked in as baggage.
Secondly, it’s important to make sure your cage is approved by the airline. If your bird is small like a lovebird, the cage will need to be small enough to fit under the seat in front. If you have a large parrot like an african grey, it’s likely that your pet will travel in the baggage or cargo area of the plane. Either way your parrot will be perfectly safe.
Some airlines will make sure your pets are checked on during the flight but most likely your parrot will be unaccompanied in the baggage or cargo hold areas. It is a good idea to add lots of food and water and a perch in your bird’s cage to keep them occupied.
Another thing you could add to your bird’s cage is its name and some care instructions just in case of any delays. It’s really important that you do not sedate your parrot before flying as this could cause your pet to become dehydrated and uncomfortable.
It is recommended that you prepare your bird for a flight up to a week before you both fly. To prepare your bird you should get your bird used to his/ her new travel cage, leave them in there a while and give them some treats as positive reinforcements. It takes a lot of planning beforehand, to get your parrot on a flight, but it is well worth it in the end.
How to care for your parrot after a flight
Much like humans, parrots can feel a little cramped and tired after a flight. It is a good idea to give your parrot some fresh water, food and let them out of their cage to stretch their wings before you head onto the next part of your journey.
Below is a table of all major airlines in the world and whether your parrot can travel!
|Airlines||Can parrots travel?|
|Aer Lingus||Yes. Pets must be booked through a freight forwarder company. The airline does not permit animals in the cabin, they travel in the baggage hold and must be over 10 weeks.|
|Aeroflot Russian Airlines||Yes. Birds can travel with an adult, in a cage that can be kept in the cabin or the baggage hold. Please note only one cage is permitted per person.
Dimensions of the cage: 44х30х26cm
|Air Berlin Group||Yes. Parrots can fly in the cabin or baggage hold.|
|Air China||Yes. Your parrot can travel with you as baggage in the hold. Parrots are not permitted in the cabin unless they are service animals.|
|Alaska Airlines||Yes. Pet birds can travel in the cabin providing that none of the animal’s body parts come out of the cage. Parrots can also travel as baggage as long as they do not require any attention during the flight.|
|Alitalia||Yes. Pet birds can travel in the cabin. Up to 5 birds can travel in one cage as long as they don’t exceed 8kg. Your pets can travel as baggage, but it is best to contact the airline if you have a number of birds.|
|Austrain Airlines Group||Yes. Larger species of parrot can travel in the baggage hold and not in the cabin.|
|British Airways||Yes. One of the most popular pet friendly airways in the UK. Pets are not allowed in the cabin but in the cargo hold. You can get a free quote directly from the BA website.|
|China Airlines||Yes. Parrots can travel in the cargo hold and not in the cabin.|
|Delta Airlines||Yes. Parrots are allowed to travel in the cabin with you. Animals are only allowed to travel within the US.|
|easyjet||No. Your parrot cannot travel with you in the cabin, as checked baggage or as cargo.|
|Emirates Airlines||Yes. Birds can travel as checked excess baggage (under 17 hours) and will be kept in the cabin. Your parrot can also travel as cargo unaccompanied (over 17 hours)
Dimensions of cage: cannot exceed 300cm
|JAL Group (Japan Airlines)||Yes. Pet birds can travel in the cargo section of the plane.|
|JetBlue Airways||No. Parrots are not allowed to travel with JetBlue Airways, only small cats and dogs.|
|Jetstar||No. Jetstar do not accept pets on any of their flights, but you can book with Jetpets instead, who will look after your bird the whole time.|
|Lufthansa||Yes. Parrots can travel in the cargo hold or in the excess baggage area.|
|Malaysia Airlines||Yes. Your parrot can travel in the baggage hold as long as you have all the correct documents for your pet.|
|Qantas||No. Your pet can’t travel with Qantas. You can book through a company like Jetpets who will take care of your parrot.|
|Qatar Airways||Yes. Your parrot can travel with you as checked baggage or excess baggage.|
|Ryanair||No. No live animals are permitted to fly in the cabin or in the hold.|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||Yes. Your parrot can fly in the cabin with you if the animal holder/cage fits the airline’s restrictions. If your bird is too big to fit in under the seat in front of you, your pet can travel in the cargo section of the plane.|
|Singapore Airlines||Yes. Pet birds are permitted to fly as added baggage or cargo for larger animals.|
|Thai Airways International||No. No type of bird is allowed to fly.|
|Thomson Airways||No. No birds are allowed to fly with Thomson. Only cats and dogs.|
|Turkish Airlines (THY)||Yes. Your parrot can travel in the cabin with you as long as they are in a special carrier that fits these dimensions 23 cm (height) x 30 cm (width) x 40 cm (length)|
|United Airlines||Yes. Parrots and other birds can travel in the cabin for an additional $125 however the cage must be small enough to fit under the seat in front, if not your pet will have to go into the baggage hold.|
|Vietnam Airlines||Yes. Your parrot can travel as checked baggage but only on specialist flights. You can get a quote directly from their website.|
|Virgin Blue Airlines||No. Virgin do not accept any types of birds.|
|WestJet||Yes. Parrots can travel as checked baggage but not in the cabin. It is worth checking with the country you are travelling to.|
Parrots and other countries
As parrots are exotic birds, some countries and states have different rules regarding species of parrots. In some countries such as America it is illegal to own certain birds. For example, Quaker Parrots are illegal to breed and keep in Southwestern states.
You will not be allowed to travel and stop in these areas with your Quaker Parrot. If there is a layover in these areas, the airline will look after your pet and return them at the next destination. If you are travelling to the USA & Hawaii, Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia from another country your parrot will have to remain in a quarantine facility for a number of days or weeks.
It varies by country/ state, but you should bear this in mind when booking a flight for your parrot. Although airlines may allow parrots to travel, the country you are travelling to might not. You can find this information out by contacting the airline you are travelling with when booking your parrot’s flight.
In conclusion, it takes a lot of planning and preparation to get your parrot on a plane, but it is so worth it!
It goes without saying that most airlines will allow parrots to travel. Either in the cabin with you, as baggage or in the cargo hold.
Your parrot will be safe throughout the flight and will be taken care of. If you are worried about taking your pet parrot abroad, you should speak to your vet first. They will let you know if your parrot is healthy and can take on a flight!