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We are huge fans of flying—you’re soaring through the clouds, on your way to another grand adventure. But there’s one way your trip can be even better: if there’s an adorable animal passenger on the plane! They’re a burst of sunshine and happiness that lighten up even the darkest clouds.

Our team at Bored Panda has collected some of the most wholesome and adorable photos of animal companions that people brought with them on their flights. Scroll down to take a look and don’t forget to upvote the photos of the bestest boys and girls. Warning: your heart might melt from all the good vibes. (PS—tell your pets we said hi!)

The friendly team at the PDSA kindly explained to Bored Panda how owners can prepare their pets for travel by plane because it can be stressful for them and complicated logistically. You'll find the advice that vet nurse Gemma shared with us as you read on. 

Though many of us wish that every flight would be full of adorable animals to keep us company, the reality is that this won’t be the case. There are very strict rules and regulations in place for anyone flying on planes, for the sake of everyone’s safety and comfort. 

That means that if you plan on flying anywhere with your pet, you ought to do some research beforehand about your country and airline’s rules, including fees and size and weight limits. In some cases, you’re allowed to bring your pet onboard the cabin (often, in an approved carrier bag). Elsewhere, your animal companion will have to travel in the cargo hold. Meanwhile, some exceptions might also be made if you have an emotional support animal or a service animal... or if you pay for a pet-friendly charter flight!

#2

The Best Surprise Passenger You Can Have Next To You On A Flight

The Best Surprise Passenger You Can Have Next To You On A Flight

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#3

Today I Had To Travel Alongside These Three Rescue Dogs. Rex, Balam And Orly

Today I Had To Travel Alongside These Three Rescue Dogs. Rex, Balam And Orly

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The PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity, with 49 pet hospitals across the country. The organization provided 2.2 million vet treatments to over 430,000 pets in 2023. PDSA vet nurse Gemma told Bored Panda that out of all the modes of travel, flying is probably the hardest to prepare your pet for.

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“We would only recommend taking your pets on flights if the journey is unavoidable. However, there are things owners can do to hopefully make a pet’s first flight a little easier. We’d recommend, if possible, owners try and make the very first flight a short one. This way you can see how your pet responds to being on a plane. If on a long-haul flight for the first time, there’s no exit, and being stuck on a plane for hours could be a stressful experience for pets," she shared with us.

Your first step should be to talk to your vet and ask them for advice. “This is especially important if you know they [your pet] can be anxious with travel, [so ask] for any recommendations that might help your pet during the journey. You will also need to consider your pet’s specific health needs. There may be some circumstances where your vet will advise against travel for your pet’s wellbeing,” Gemma said.

#4

Hears Someone Opening A Packet Of Crisps In The Seat Behind

Hears Someone Opening A Packet Of Crisps In The Seat Behind

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#5

Whiskey Thanked Our Airline Pilot For Landing Us Home Safely

Whiskey Thanked Our Airline Pilot For Landing Us Home Safely

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#6

Meet Biscotti. This Was His Very First Flight. Best Customer On The Plane, For Sure

Meet Biscotti. This Was His Very First Flight. Best Customer On The Plane, For Sure

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Jay Scales
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They should have flight therapy dogs & cats for those who are nervous.... it would take my mind off things!

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Vet nurse Gemma said, “If you are traveling by plane for a short holiday: if at all possible, we’d always recommend, for your pet’s health and well-being, leaving them at home with a loved one or a professional instead of bringing them with you. Or, choose a holiday destination you can drive to so you can enjoy it together instead!”

She continued: "In circumstances where your pet has to travel with you no matter what, such as you are relocating and the only mode of transport feasible is a plane, you want to make sure you have everything you need for your pet to hand. Avoid feeding your dog for a few hours before travel, as flying on a full stomach could be uncomfortable for them. They can have water up until the flight, and try to make sure they have the opportunity for a toilet break shortly before boarding."

According to the PDSA, if your dog is traveling in the cabin with you, you may want to pack a 'doggy bag' with everything they might need. “This includes an airline-approved pet carrier and bedding, a water bowl, [and a] supply of sealed snacks in case your pet gets hungry, but it’s important to keep in mind [that] what food products you can take will depend on where you are flying from and your destination,” PDSA vet nurse Gemma advised Bored Panda.

#7

His Fourth Time On A Plane, But First Time Next To The Window! I Was Confident Enough To Let Stanley Peep Out

His Fourth Time On A Plane, But First Time Next To The Window! I Was Confident Enough To Let Stanley Peep Out

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"It’s a good idea to line your pet’s carrier with some puppy pads in case your pet does need to ‘go’ during the flight, as many airlines do not permit you to take your pet out from the carrier during the flight. Your dog will also need a lead and collar with a name tag (with your phone number on it). We’d recommend packing some safe chew toys, should your pet like them, rather than plush or squeak toys, as squeaky toys on a flight might not be great for fellow passengers. Just make sure your dog can’t chew any pieces off as they could create a choking hazard."

Gemma urges pet owners to get their dogs used to the airline-approved carriers before the trip to help keep them calm during the actual flight. "You want your pet to feel safe, happy, and comfortable with the carrier, so this may take a bit of time and training. Dogs are likely to find the experience less stressful if they are already crate trained," she said.

"Any kind of first-time travel is bound to be a little nerve-wracking for pets, as they’ve never experienced it before, so keep this in mind and ensure your pet has everything you know they need to keep them as happy as possible. For dogs, a good walk and playtime before a flight is a great idea to burn off any energy. Perhaps also [pack] a puzzle toy or an enrichment game they can easily play with on the flight that doesn’t take up too much space.”

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The PDSA pointed out that your pet might be vocal on the flight or they might want to pace around. "The best thing to do is remain calm with them and try to comfort them how they prefer. Getting frustrated and angry with your pet will confuse them and may make them more upset and unsettled. However, remember, in most cases, your pet will need to remain in their carrier." 

#11

Truly A Beautiful Sequence Of Events

Truly A Beautiful Sequence Of Events

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#12

My Best Friend Has Never Been On A Plane Before. I Thought He’d Be Scared But He Loved It

My Best Friend Has Never Been On A Plane Before. I Thought He’d Be Scared But He Loved It

LittleStJamesBond Report

If you're hypothetically flying with airBaltic, you can have your dog or cat in the passenger cabin or the cargo hold. Meanwhile, other animals would have to be transported in the hold.

First of all, you’ll have to inform the airline that you’re taking your pet with you as you’re booking your tickets. Furthermore, you have to have the proper documentation ready. If you’re traveling within the European Union, ID-marking microchips, pet passports, and anti-rabies vaccinations are mandatory.

Smaller animals flying with airBaltic have to be placed within a bag or container. The pet has to stay within it for the entire duration of the flight.

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What’s more, the container has to be well-ventilated, the animal must be odorless, and any fellow passengers sitting nearby should not object to the pet being onboard. Having your pet in the cabin also means you have to pay an additional fee. Meanwhile, larger pets are placed in animal-friendly containers in the cargo hold.

#13

Couldn’t Ask For A Better Neighbor On My Flight

Couldn’t Ask For A Better Neighbor On My Flight

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#14

On A Flight Last Week, I Was Staring Off Into Space When This Guy Popped His Head Up To Visit His Neighbors

On A Flight Last Week, I Was Staring Off Into Space When This Guy Popped His Head Up To Visit His Neighbors

Cr3amy_G00dness Report

Emotional support animals provide therapeutic benefits to people with mental health or psychiatric disabilities. In the United States, for example, emotional support animals are considered to be a different category from service animals or pets. Technically, emotional support animals can be any domesticated animal, whether that’s a dog, cat, bird, rat, ferret, etc. 

According to Pettable, you should first check with your airline what their animal travel policy is like. It’s better to be diligent now than run into problems later. Send emails. Call the airlines. In short, get some clarity on their rules, as well as their fees.

For instance, some airlines might allow you to travel with your emotional support animal free of charge while others might ask you to pay a one-off fee. Different airlines will also have different rules regarding whether or not your pet can stay with you in the cabin.

#16

Got To Meet The Passenger In Front Of Me On The Plane

Got To Meet The Passenger In Front Of Me On The Plane

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#17

Good Boy’s Toy Doesn’t Fit In The Overhead Compartment

Good Boy’s Toy Doesn’t Fit In The Overhead Compartment

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Pettable notes that many airlines will only accept dogs as emotional support animals. So, if you had any ideas to travel with your emotional support capybara or parrot, you might be out of luck. It’s also vital that you have all of your documentation proving that your travel companion is an emotional support animal. And, naturally, the animal should be well-behaved throughout the entire flight.

#19

I Was Surprised With An Unexpected Guest On My Flight

I Was Surprised With An Unexpected Guest On My Flight

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#20

This Furry Passenger On Our Flight Was Traveling To Meet His New Family

This Furry Passenger On Our Flight Was Traveling To Meet His New Family

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#21

The Plus Side Of Having A Delayed Flight In Reno

The Plus Side Of Having A Delayed Flight In Reno

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The New York Times recently did a digest of the major US airlines’ pet policies. For example, if you’re flying with Southwest Airlines, your dog or cat is allowed to travel in an approved carrier, if they’re placed below your seat. The pet cannot leave the carrier, and it’s considered a carry-on bag. What’s more, a maximum of 6 pets are allowed to be booked per flight.

United Airlines charges $125 each way for traveling with pet dogs or cats. But if you have a service animal, you will not have to pay a fee, just fill out some forms. If you happen to be traveling with two pets, you will have to book two seats. Meanwhile, Delta requires that any dogs or cats that fly be older than 8 weeks old and fit into a soft-sided carrier no bigger than 18 by 11 by 11 inches. You’ll also have to pay $95 for your carry-on companion. 

#22

My Friend's Cat, Charlie, On His First Plane Ride

My Friend's Cat, Charlie, On His First Plane Ride

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#23

I Got To Sit Next To Two Puppies On My Flight Back Home

I Got To Sit Next To Two Puppies On My Flight Back Home

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#24

Had An Excellent Seatmate For My Flight Back Home Today. 10/10. (Taken During Boarding)

Had An Excellent Seatmate For My Flight Back Home Today. 10/10. (Taken During Boarding)

Puppybrother Report

American Airlines charges $150 for cats and dogs in carry-on containers. Meanwhile, Spirit and JetBlue charge $125, Frontier charges $99, and Alaska Airlines charges an extra $100 for your pets. The fee is charged each way. However, if money is no issue for you, you may want to consider private or charter flights.

#25

This Pup Can Make You Forget All About Your Flight Being Delayed

This Pup Can Make You Forget All About Your Flight Being Delayed

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#26

Who Says Dogs Aren’t Happy On Planes?

Who Says Dogs Aren’t Happy On Planes?

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#27

Bumped Into A Cornish Rex Breeder On Our Flight Transporting This Baby To Its New Home. They Let Us Hold Him The Whole Plane Ride And He Fell Asleep On My Husband. My Husband Fell Asleep Too

Bumped Into A Cornish Rex Breeder On Our Flight Transporting This Baby To Its New Home. They Let Us Hold Him The Whole Plane Ride And He Fell Asleep On My Husband. My Husband Fell Asleep Too

lilpowderpuff Report

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Kristal
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awe, how sweet. I didn't know those types of cats could have coats like that

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Though very expensive, chartered flights allow you and your pets far more freedom. For instance, the wittily-named and animal travel-focused BarkAir charges around $6,000 for a dog and its owner to travel between NYC and LA, as well as NYC and London.

On these flights, your pet does not have to be in a carrier and can sit on your lap, seat, or bed.

#29

Sig's First Time On A Plane! He Did It Amazingly

Sig's First Time On A Plane! He Did It Amazingly

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#30

My Wingman. Taken Right Before His First Flight

My Wingman. Taken Right Before His First Flight

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Which of the photos in this list made you smile the most? When was the last time you flew on a plane that had an animal on it? Have you ever flown with your pet, dear Pandas? Did you run into any issues with the airlines? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments. 

When you've enjoyed this list to the fullest, check out Bored Panda's other posts about animals on transportation!

#34

When You Open A Bag Of Chips And The Gentleman In Front Can't Contain Himself

When You Open A Bag Of Chips And The Gentleman In Front Can't Contain Himself

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#37

Puppy Was Sleeping Peacefully The Whole Flight

Puppy Was Sleeping Peacefully The Whole Flight

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#38

Assistance Dog In Training On A Plane. Hope You Enjoy This Picture

Assistance Dog In Training On A Plane. Hope You Enjoy This Picture

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#39

I Spent The Whole 2 Hours Of My Flight Looking At This Feline Flyer

I Spent The Whole 2 Hours Of My Flight Looking At This Feline Flyer

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#40

Someone Lucked Out On This Empty Flight And Has Their Own Seat

Someone Lucked Out On This Empty Flight And Has Their Own Seat

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#42

This Cutie I Met While Loading A Plane

This Cutie I Met While Loading A Plane

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Colt Winkler
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

man i would have a hard time not stealing these guys, good thing I don't load airplanes then

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#44

Took My Cat On A Plane

Took My Cat On A Plane

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seana lammers
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The kitty looks happy to be seeing their entire catdom at long last.

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#45

Safe To Say He Was The Cutest Passenger On The Plane

Safe To Say He Was The Cutest Passenger On The Plane

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#49

This Cutie Was Behind Me On My Last Flight

This Cutie Was Behind Me On My Last Flight

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#50

Doggo Not Thrilled About His First Plane Ride

Doggo Not Thrilled About His First Plane Ride

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Note: this post originally had 60 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.

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