Continental has a 24-hour Live Animal Desk (1-800-575-3335). Their PetSafe program tracks pets in cargo from origin to destination and offers miles to pet travelers. The cargo area is climate controlled, allows for bigger carriers and has its own designated cargo staff. Continental allows dogs, cats, pet rabbits and birds to be carried inside the cabin on most domestic flights. Only four pets per flight are allowed in the economy cabin.
IN CABIN TRAVEL: FLY WITH A SMALL DOG OR CAT
If your pet meets the requirements listed in Continental Airlines pet policy to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved airline pet carrier. You must notify Continental Airlines that you are traveling with a pet. Reservations cannot be made online.
CARGO TRAVEL: FLY WITH A LARGER DOG OR CAT OR OTHER ANIMAL
If your pet is too large to fit under the seat, it is an animal other than a dog or cat, or if it is a very long flight, Continental Airlines may transport your pet in the cargo section of the aircraft according to its regulations. This section of the cargo department has the same temperature and pressure as the passenger cabin. TIP: Be sure to tell the Captain of the aircraft that your pet is flying in the cargo hold so that they can be sure to keep the temperature at the proper level. Find more tips on airline pet travel in cargo.
If your pet is traveling in the cargo section, whether through the cargo department or as checked baggage, it must be in a pet crate that is IATA compliant. Learn more about IATA compliant pet crates. We also suggest that you consider crate hardware for your pet's crate as more airlines are requiring it.
Many airlines require a health certificate indicating that the pet is healthy enough for travel, is free of diseases communicable to humans and has been properly vaccinated, especially when traveling in the cargo section of the aircraft.
HOT AND COLD WEATHER RESTRICTIONS
When runway temperatures are above 84F (29C) degrees at the departure airport, Continental Airlines may refuse to board your pet as cargo or checked baggage. When the weather is very cold with a runway temperature below 45F (7C) degrees at the time of departure, Continental Airlines may require what is called an Acclimation Certificate. Learn more about the pet travel airline temperature restrictions.
If you are traveling to another country, Continental Airlines will want to see that you have the proper documents to enter that country with your pet. Most countries have their own version of a Veterinary Certificate. In addition, some countries require an Import Permit. Find pet passport forms and instructions in the Pet Travel Store.
MORE TIPS FOR FLYING WITH A DOG OR CAT
It is a good idea to take your pet for a health checkup prior to flying. You will want your veterinarian to make sure that your pet is in top condition and all vaccinations are up to date. It is mandatory to see your vet if you are flying internationally.
Never give your pet a medical (prescription) sedative. If you want your pet to be more relaxed, then give it a natural pet calmer. Many airlines will refuse to ship a pet that has been sedated.
If your pet tends toward motion sickness, limit food intake until you have reached your destination. Be sure that your pet gets some hydration prior to travel. It is best to accomplish this at home if possible.
Always purchase your pet carrier or pet crate well in advance of your trip so that the pet can get used to it. Measure your pet from tip of nose to base of tail and from top of head to floor in order to select the proper size carrier. The airlines will require that your pet be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier.
Be sure to tell the airline you will be flying with a pet when you make your reservation as they impose restrictions on the number of pets on a specific flight. You must make your reservations on the telephone. You cannot make reservations for your pet online.
Even though air travel can be stressful for your pet, both planning and preparation will make things easier for you both. More information on airline travel tips can be found in our articles on pet travel.