For most pet owners pets are part of the family and they are truly committed to providing them with excellent life quality. One of the most difficult moments for bot-handlers and animals comes when they have to spend time separately. Since owners are familiar with the anxiety and the depression that a separation may cause to their lovely friend, many of them decide to take their pets. Flying with a pet can be a real challenge and pet owners should carefully review the pet policy of the airline they have chosen. One of the most popular low-cost carriers in the US is Frontier Airlines. If you have decided to travel with this airline and to take your pet, you need to check their pet policy first.
In the first part of the article, we will take a look at the pet policy of the carrier. As service animals are not considered pets, they are not a subject of the general Frontier Airlines pet policy regulations. Service Animals are trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of an individual with different types of disabilities. These tasks should be directly related to the person’s disability.
You need to consider a few things when deciding to fly with your pet:
You will be charged a fee of $99. You can pay it in advance when booking, or when checking-in the pet.
Pet Transportation Container:
You can take a personal item with a size (H-8” x W-14” x L-18”) or a carry-on bag with a size (H-10” x W-16” x L-24”) as well as the pet travel crate. If you decide to take a carry-on bag, you need to keep in mind that an additional fee will be charged.
Frontier Airlines will request from its passengers to bring the paperwork for their pet's health
Food and Water:
The carrier also recommends that you do not give your pet any food or water the first 4 hours after departure.
One of the most important things to remember if choosing this airline is that:
Pets may not be checked as baggage.
After checking carefully the pet policy of the carrier, you also need to take a closer look at the government/local/custom regulations of the country of destination.
You need to know that only the following species are permitted in the cabin:
Domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, or small household birds may be carried on flights within the United States.
The policy states that the presence of the following species is not allowed:
Large birds (e.g. parrots, macaws, cockatoos, birds of prey), rodents (including mice, rats, squirrels), beavers, ferrets, reptiles (including snakes), amphibians, spiders, and insects (and please, no lions, tigers, or bears).
When traveling within the country pet owners can bring their pets in the cabin on all flights of the carrier. On international flights Frontier Airlines allows the presence of pets in the cabins only to/from Mexico/Dominican Republic.
Another rule that pet owners need to consider is that they are allowed to carry only domesticated cats and dogs to or from international destinations.
You are not permitted to sit in the first row or in an exit row when you are accompanied by a pet.
Your pet should stay in a travel crate at all times. If it does not behave properly and disturbs the comfort of other passengers, it is your responsibility to calm him/her down, without taking him/her out.
If you are wondering if it is a good idea to give your pet sedatives in order to ensure a calm flight, the answer is No. Most veterinarians do not recommend sedatives because of their unpredictable effect at higher altitudes.
The carrier does not recommend giving food or water to the pets, as they may feel uncomfortable due to the motion and the stress caused by it.
Unfortunately, oxygen will not be provided to pets in case of an emergency.
You need always to keep in mind that you should supervise the behavior of your pet and guarantee that it is harmless and odorless. It may not require any attention during the flight.
According to the pet policy of Frontier Airlines, a travel cage has to be:
“large enough for the pet to stand, turn around, and lie down in a natural position”.
You need to put the container underneath your seat. With that in mind, you should consider the seats that will be able to accommodate the container.
There are strict requirements in regard to the pet carrier. It should be a maximum: L- 18” x W-14” x H-8”. It is recommended that the pet carrier is with soft sides.
The transport of pets within the US is a subject of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations. Although a health certificate for pets in the cabin is not required by this authority upon arrival, every state where the plane lands have the right to require such a certificate. We would recommend that you contact your veterinarian and check carefully the US Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services.
When you travel internationally you have to provide a health certificate. You need to be familiar with all requirements at the destination airport. For any further assistance in regard to the required vaccines, you can contact the consulate in the particular country.
As there are some details you need to know about the health certificates, we would recommend that you visit the carrier’s page for more information.
In the second part of the article, we will let you know more about the policy of the carrier in regard to Service Animals. As already explained in the beginning service animals are not deemed pets and they are basically granted access rights to all places their handler goes.
We need to make clear that ESA does not fit the definition for a service animal, as they are not trained to perform specific tasks. Many people decide to have an ESA for different reasons, i.e.: because of depression, anxiety, to alleviate their panic in public, etc...The positive impact of ESA on their owner’s life is undisputed. Unfortunately, ESA does not have the same rights as service animals have.
In January 2021 new Frontier Airlines regulations came into effect. The carrier has announced that Emotional Support Animals will no longer be accepted on their flights. The main reason for that change is the new regulations issued by the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
“For all reservations booked on or after January 11, 2021, and for all flights departing on or after February 1, 2021, Frontier will only transport service dogs specifically trained to support a qualified individual with a disability”.
According to the new carrier’s regulations only dogs will be accepted as service animals who are trained to perform a specific task to help a person with a disability. Psychiatric Service Animals are also included.
When traveling with a service dog passengers are required to fill in and submit a DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form. This is related to the animal’s behavior, training, and health. If you made your reservation more than 48 hours prior to departure, you have to submit the completed form within 48 hours prior to travel. If your reservation was made less than 48 hours prior to travel, you need to personally hand the form over to a Customer Service Agent after you arrived at the airport.
A limitation in regard to the maximum number of service animals per person has been enforced by the carrier. A passenger with a disability may travel with up to two service dogs.
As already stated comfort animals will not be qualified as service dogs, as they are not trained to perform specific tasks.
Service Animals In Training will not be accepted by the carrier.
You need to keep in mind that only one animal per person in the cabin will be allowed.
Service Dogs’ owners should always supervise the behavior of their furry partners and ensure that they are kept on a leash or in a harness at the airport or on the plane at all times. The animal must be well-behaved and not threaten the safety or the health of other passengers. Otherwise, the carrier may deny him/her access to the flight.
You must note that you will travel with a trained service animal and submit the completed Service Animal Air Transportation Form within 48 hours prior to travel. You need to have a copy of the form in case that you have been requested to provide such at the airport or onboard. If your animal is unable to fulfill the requirements needed for him/her to be qualified as a service animal, it may be allowed to travel for free, considering the Pet Policy of the carrier.
Both- the handler and the dog, need to pass an airport check, that aims to verify that the individual has a disability and the dog is a trained service dog. A handler may be asked questions in regard to the training and the work that the animal performs.
A service animal can stay on the handler’s lap. However, the owner needs to take into consideration that the animal should not be larger than a child younger than two years. A service dog can also stay on the floor. It is important to mention that the animal should not block the evacuation of the passengers in case of emergency. Moreover, a service dog handler is not allowed to sit in an emergency exit row. Service dogs must not reach the aisle or sit on an empty seat, as well as infringe on the personal space of other passengers and encroach upon another passenger’s seat.
No, a service dog owner will not be required to transport his/her service animal in a pet container. If a handler decides to transport the animal via a pet container, it has to be “properly stowed for taxi, takeoff, and landing underneath the seat in front of the customer”.
As a service dog, the animal will have the right to accompany its handler on domestic flights as well as on international flights. However, dog handlers need to be familiar with and fulfill all service dog regulations of the destination.