First and foremost, it's important to note that there are no airlines that allow ferrets in cabin. This means that your ferrets will be traveling in cargo. Thankfully this isn't as scary as it sounds, as most airlines have a pressurized, temperature controlled compartment separate from luggage. Most will also use an air-conditioned/ heated van for transporting pets to and from the airplanes.
Pet Safe Pet Transport
- allows ferrets to travel in cargo - depends on weight, view rates HERE
- book online or by calling
- check in 2 hours before flight departure
- has mobile tracking to check your pet's flight status
- not sure if they will transfer to other airlines, call to check
- allows ferrets to travel in cargo- $100 one way
- book by calling, just need a flight conformation code
- check in at least 1 hour, but no more than 2 hours before flight departure
- provides notification that your pet has been transferred onto connecting Alaska Air flights. I received notes from the stewardess at each connection
- note that Alaska Airlines does NOT transfer pets to other airlines, if you have a connecting flight with a different airline, you will need to allow time to pick your pet up at baggage, and check in a second time with the second airline
- ferrets not allowed as checked bagged, but can fly through Delta Cargo
- book online, up to 14 days before departure
- GPS on demand to track your pet's flight
- Kennels need to meet USDA and IATA guidelines
- I'd recommend a roomy plastic kennel with ventilation on all sides
The Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel is the one I use
- The crate must be secured with metal bolts (not included). Crates that clip together are not permitted, nor are collapsable/soft-sided or wire crates.
- This Petmate airline kit comes with handy metal bolts, stickers, and food cups to help prepare your kennel for airline travel. Most airlines however, will provide the necessary stickers.
- Kennel doors will need to be secured with zip ties after inspection of the crate. Inspections are done after checking in for your flight.
I recently discovered reusable/unlocking zip ties and highly recommend them!
- Food and water containers must be fixed inside the container. I used a lock on crock for food, and a water bottle (hooked to the outside) with a dish under the spout to catch drips. If your flight is extended, you may need to attach a small bag of extra food to the crate.
- Bedding: unfortunately, hammocks and blankets are not allowed. I use 2 disposable puppy pads, with Carefresh on top.
- Your ferrets will also need a health certificate for travel, dated within 10 days of your flight departure. Make sure you research the requirements of the state you are entering as well, as they may require rabies vaccines for ferrets. Rabies tags can be attached to the outside of the kennel.
- Be sure to check where to pick up your pets at the conclusion of your flight. Some airlines have separate buildings for cargo, located off site from the airport. Others have cargo pickup within the airport. Some airlines may provide a list of pickup sites, but an airline representative should be able to advise you as well.
- Note that not all airline representatives are educated about traveling with ferrets, likely because they are not as common. I will be carrying a copy of IATA regulations with me, with important information highlighted, in the event that a dispute arises.
I personally was told that wire mesh needed to cover the door and "windows" of the crate but per the IATA guidelines: "in the case of domestic ferrets that do not actively nor aggressively gnaw container substrates, a rigid plastic container without interior wire mesh lining may be used"
I was also told that ferrets need to be separated by a partition (this is common for wild animals such as mink, etc) Per IATA: "normally one animal per compartment, unless the animals are used to cohabitation"
- Most importantly, remember that ferrets are not legal in the states of California and Hawaii, and are not permitted in Washington DC or New York city. Ferrets are not allowed to enter these states/cities, even for flight transfers.
If you have any questions regarding flying with your ferrets, please don't hesitate to contact me! I'd be happy to share my personal experience with you!