Going Through Airport Security With Your Pet – What Can You Expect?
Supposing you and your pet are flying together, and your pet is going to be traveling in the main cabin with you (as some airlines allow this).
Let’s say you’ve got yourself an airline approved pet carrier, your pet is nice and relaxed and you’ve got all your bags packed.
You get to the security checkpoint at the airport, pet in hand, and as you’re waiting in line you being to wonder how the security officials will deal with your pet and what you should expect.
This is a common question that almost everyone who travel with a pet will wonder at some point or another. It’s handy to know what to expect when passing through security with your pet so that you can get through as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
Going Through Security
So what can you expect?
According to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) “You will need to present the animal to the Security Officers at the checkpoint. You may walk your animal through the metal detector with you. If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection by our Security Officers. Your animal will NEVER be placed through an X-ray machine. However, you may be asked to remove your animal from its carrier so that the carrier can be placed on the X-Ray machine.”
That all seems pretty straightforward. It should also be noted that there’s a strong chance you’ll be asked to remove your pet from their cage and asked to walk through the upright metal detector with them (so that the cage can be put through the X-ray machine).
This can be an overwhelming, stressful and scary experience for a pet (especially there is lots of people around), so if you feel your pet may struggle with this (or try to run away), don’t hesitate in asking if you can go to a private room where your pet can be removed from their carrier safely and without fear of them running away.
In general, if you do have to remove your pet from their carrier, it’s best to do so once you’ve already removed your belt/shoes/keys from your pocket and placed them on the security conveyer belt. You don’t want to be having to do these things with your pet under your arm.
Also, it’s a good idea to carry some kind of lease inside the carrier that you can put on them (and then wrap around your wrist) when you take them out so that they can’t run away.
In short, the key to traveling with your pet is to be prepared and to give yourself plenty of time to get through the airport. Before approaching the security checkpoint, try to limit the amount of things you need to carry (such as your jacket, handbag, laptop bag) so that you have your hands free to handle your pet.
Had you had any experiences taking your pet through airport security? Do you have any additional tips to share? Leave a comment in the box below!
- A Guide to Buying Airline Approved Pet Carriers
- Pet Friendly Hotel Chains
- One-Stop Pet Travel Site Launched
- Traveling With Pets: How to
- Airport Rules for Carry-on Bags
Share this Article!