Life On The Road Day 19: Flying with our two cats from New York, USA to Europe (Frankfurt, Germany) with Lufthansa
Wow just wow!! Our experience flying with our two cats.. Jonathan and I were both anxious about this long haul flight experience for our little boys.. we’re used to flying a lot but the cats may not be okay but they turned out great and didn’t poop, pee or make noises on the airplane! We did our best to make sure both of our cats will travel with us (beside us) and not in cargo or checked in on the plane.. Jonathan had to put them on a little diet as well so they will not be overweight! HAHA! =)
If you’re planning to fly with your small pets on the plane cabin then there are strict requirements to follow and here’s what we did:
1. We called different airlines about their cabin rules and found that only Lufthansa could do it smoothly for us and we had to make a reservation in advance to make sure two cats will be in the cabin.. only 2 pets are allowed per flight and we have 2 cats so that’s the reason why we have to fly on May 16 as it’s the only available date. Aside from our flight tickets, we only have to pay $115 per cat.
2. From Puerto Rico, we had to make sure their vaccines are updated and re-certified by the Vet and then there’s weird rule to get a Health Certificate of our cats within 10 days before they travel so we had to do it in New York that cost us extra $280 aside from the expenses we did in Puerto Rico.
3. After we got all the Health and Vaccine certificates, Jonathan drove to Albany, New York to go to the APHIS Animals Export office to get our EU Health certificate stamped.. it was quite a drive for him from New Jersey. Yes, the USA government have to give you approval to export the animals.. You could also ship the documents to them but Jonathan wants to make sure we got everything on time.. the fee is $38.
The day before we flew, we stopped feeding the cats and they could only drink water so will not have “poop problem” on the flight (and it worked!!) 🙏🏽
Then we’re ready for the flight! We arrived at the Lufthansa desk at 1pm for our 4pm flight and they asked us to go to the special line to check in.. the lady was so nice and she reviewed all of our cat documents then we paid extra $430 for our extra luggage but she was too nice and let us check in even our handcarry bags for free so we only have the backpack and handbag for the security checkpoint! We chose the last seat on the plane and luckily no one was on the middle seat and so the cats got it! =)
We were also on a special lane at the security and the TSA officers in JFK were very nice with the cats since we have to remove them from the carrier and walk with them thru the xray..then we were also on the priority boarding and settled in on our seat earlier than the others 😂
The cats should be on our feet which is the usual rule but we asked the flight attendant with the Captain’s (pilot) permission and they allowed our boys on the middle seat as long as we cover it with blankets to make sure they’ll not make a mess.. we moved them both in one carrier so Zissou would relax and be happier if he’s with Captain Ahab.
Less than 8 hours later.. we arrived in Germany smoothly! I actually thought the flight would be 11 hours but so confused with the timezone! haha 😂
It’s expensive, quite exhausting and scary process for our boys but all worth it that we’ll have a new life and next adventure in Europe with them. =)
(Sorry it’s a long post, this could be helpful for other pet parents!)