Choosing your destination and route
When planning a trip with a pet, you need to consider several factors for a carefree trip. First, investigate whether traveling with a pet is possible to your destination country, and the current entry regulations. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, have extremely strict entry conditions or restrict entry from certain countries altogether. It is best to consult the consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country.
Prepare all necessary documentation
Just as people need a travel document to travel, so must your pet have valid documentation. This means not only a travel document but also a confirmation that your pet is healthy. Be sure to check the health of your pet with your vet and provide all the necessary certificates (chip, vaccines, tests) to make your trip as carefree as possible.
Travel with you in the cabin or not?
Whether your pet will be able to travel with you in the cabin or must be placed in the baggage hold, depends on the type of animal, breed, size (weight) and the regulations of the airline you plan to travel with. On Air Serbia flights, the only pets accepted in the cabin are dogs and cats weighing up to 8 kg that can be comfortably placed in a cage or carrier measuring 40 (length) x 30 (width) x 24 (height) cm. Keep in mind that conditions vary from company to company, which is especially important if your trip involves a transfer before your final destination. You can find all information about traveling with a pet in the cabin on Air Serbia flights here.
Declare your pet
Your pet will not have an airline ticket like you, but the airline must be informed that you are planning to bring your pet. First, book a ticket for yourself in good time. Apart from having time to complete other formalities, buying tickets in advance will make it more likely that your pet will be accepted on the flight, but it can also provide additional savings in ticket prices. If you buy a ticket online, you can declare your pet and submit a request by calling the Contact Centre or visiting the nearest Air Serbia counter. If you buy a ticket through the Contact Centre or at the Air Serbia counter, you can submit a pet request when buying your ticket.
The request to transport a pet must be approved by the company. One reason for refusal may be that the number of pets on a given flight is filled (the number of pets accepted on the flight is limited) or information about the pet is missing - type, breed, weight or dimensions of the cage or carrier. Carrying a pet in the cabin is subject to a fixed fee that depends on your destination.
Prepare your pet for the trip
To make the trip as pleasant as possible for your pet and less stressful for both of you, we advise you to start preparing your pet for the trip as soon as possible. If your pet is not used to traveling or being carried in a cage, bag or carrier, take enough time to get it used to the new environment and develop a positive attitude towards the cage, bag or carrier. Make sure that the cage, bag or carrier is a suitable size and shape, so your pet can be comfortable. Permitted dimensions may vary from company to company, so we advise you to check in good time.
Besides the comfort a pet needs, do not forget that hygiene is also extremely important. Before the trip, make sure that your pet is healthy and clean, because in case of unpleasant odours, an airline may refuse to accept the pet in the cabin.
Plan your arrival at the airport carefully
You are probably at least a little excited about the impending trip, especially if you like to travel like we do. Your excitement, and maybe even stress, will be felt by your pet. In order for you to travel as relaxed as possible, we advise you to plan enough time for the journey to the airport. Passengers traveling with pets cannot check in for the flight online, only at the airport. Always have all the necessary documents for your pet, and of course yours too. Once you have completed all the necessary formalities, we hope you have enough time to relax before the flight. If you are traveling from Belgrade, we warmly recommend the Air Serbia Premium Lounge where you and your pet are always welcome.
Depending on the airport, security control may be before or after passport control. Like you, your pet will go through passport formalities, but also security control, so always have your documents prepared with confirmation that the pet fee has been paid. Security control also involves going through the scanner, and you may be asked to take your pet out of the cage or carrier and pass it through the scanner, either carrying the pet in your arms or on a leash. When boarding a flight, your pet must be placed under the seat in front of you and during the flight it must not be outside the cage or carrier. You may find there is another pet on the same flight, perhaps of a different kind, so we will do our best to accommodate you so that there is enough distance between your and other pets on the flight, to make the trip agreeable for everyone.
Author: Ancillary Services team, Air Serbia