AMC sends pet shipping reminders

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Karen Petitt
  • Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
It is the middle of the moving season, and it is important that people follow a few simple guidelines to have their cat or dog travel smoothly with them. Air Mobility Command has arranged a very liberal pet policy with the air carriers that fly the Patriot Express missions, said Master Sgt. Nikki Williams, superintendent of passenger service for AMC. These missions transport military people and their families to and from overseas locations.

"Typically, a far greater number of pets are allowed on an AMC charter than on a regular commercial flight. But, the number is limited, so it behooves people to make their reservations early," she said.

Because of limited pet space, a 20-day travel window is recommended, and requests for pet reservations will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Additionally, the cost, while not insignificant, is cheap compared with shipping your beloved pet commercially," said Williams.

She explained that military families who are moving to a new duty location are eligible to bring a maximum of two pets per family on most Patriot Express missions. Flights entering or transiting Great Britain or Korea cannot accommodate pets because of customs restrictions. Only cats and dogs are eligible to fly, and they must be transported in a hard-shell container. Soft-shell or collapsible containers will not be permitted.

Smaller pets can travel in the cabin. The hard-shell container approved by the International Air Transportation Association can be no larger than 20 inches long by 16 inches wide by 8 inches high, and the pet must be able to stand up straight, turn around and lie down. Only one pet per container is allowed in the cabin. Most flights allow a total of three pets in the cabin, but for allergy considerations, they will be spread out and separated into zones -- one in front, one in the middle, and one in the rear of the cabin. A family member must accompany each pet, so if a family has two in-cabin pets, they will not be able to sit together.

Larger pets must travel in the cargo compartment in an approved hard-shell container. Maximum allowable weight of pet and container is 150 pounds, and that limit cannot be waived.

Two small pets of the same species and similar size may share a container, as long as the total weight is less than 70 pounds.

Charge for shipping pets is not reimbursable. Pets are charged as excess baggage according to weight as follows: 1 to 70 pounds (one piece) $90; 71 to 140 pounds (two pieces) $180; and 141 to 150 pounds (three pieces) $270.

Finally, passengers are responsible for all pet shipment requirements, such as documentation, immunization, country pet entry requirements, quarantines and all costs associated with the shipment of their pet. "Please see your veterinarian for advice on preparing your pet for shipment, especially for pets that may have breathing problems such as the pug nose breed," Williams said. "If AMC cannot accommodate the pet, the passenger bears all responsibility and cost for arranging movement of the pet." (Courtesy of AMC News Service)