Due to current limitations on airline capacity, not only has it become harder to secure air-cargo shipments for relocating employees’ pets, but the already tense situation in the airfreight market has worsened dramatically with air-cargo costs skyrocketing. Many airlines are now operating at nearly 100% capacity, which also means airports are heavily congested and global delays inevitable.
As many pet owners consider their pet true family members, most could not bear the thought of leaving Fido or Fluffy behind due to financial or time constraints.
NEI recommends clients review exception policies for higher pet shipment costs and encourage relocating employees to plan for transporting pets as early as possible to consider all options, such as relocating pets on flights either as checked baggage or carry-on in airline approved kennels.
For example, if a relocating employee is flying within the U.S., a 10-lb. dog may be able to fly as carry-on luggage in an approved airline carrier and under the passenger's seat. However, pet fees and policies vary greatly by airline and all airline restrictions must be followed. Relocating employees are recommended to consult with both an airline’s website and their veterinarian well in advance of any travel.
While there are challenges with flying pets, relocating employees can still move them using alternative modes of transit, including driving the pet to the destination, if feasible – especially if limited airline capacity continues. NEI has often seen intra-U.S. and intra-EMEA relocating employees choose this option when driving for the final move is possible.
It is best for all involved to be prepared with the highly challenging air-freight situation that is expected to continue. NEI will proactively alert and advise clients of changes to this situation and set clear expectations for relocating employees and their families who are moving pets under these conditions.