Our driving team consists of key personnel from all over the country with a wide variety of backgrounds. Most importantly, all HTT drivers love pets! They will keep you up to date about your pet’s well-being and trip progress through text and picture messages along the way!
As our company grows, we are frequently looking for individuals who have what it takes to join our driving team. Meet some of our driving team here and check out our new cartoon about what it takes to be a driver for Happy Tails Travel!
You have been working with your pet travel consultant for weeks, maybe even months, to make your pet’s travel arrangements, now the big day is here, what next?!
The night before you will have made sure your pet’s airline approved travel crate is ready to go. This includes making sure there is a pad at the bottom of the crate, there is a dish for food, and a frozen bowl of water. You will need your pet’s leash and collar to take the pet to the airport for check in (or give it to our professional transporter). Then the airline agent will tape it to the top of the kennel for easy access. You will also have your pet packet ready to go. This was prepared in advance for you by the team at Happy Tails Travel. Inside you will find crate labeling stickers, a customized crate name tag, your airline authorization form, and you will have included your pet’s rabies and original health certificates which were given to you by your pet’s veterinarian. If you are traveling internationally, you will have additional documents for customs.
Your personal pet consultant will have called you a few days prior to your pet’s flight to go over the documents with you and walk you through the check-in process, so you should be prepared for anything the travel day has in store.
Some people decide to have their cats and dogs brought to the airport by a professional pet transporter, in which case all you need to do is have your pet ready to go in their crate, and the transporter will come to your house, pick up your furry family member and the pet packet and handle the airline check-in for you. Other people opt to do this themselves as it can save money, and you will be well prepared for it should you choose to do so yourself.
Pets must be checked into their flight at least two hours prior to departure for domestic flights and at least four hours prior for international flights. Depending on the airline and the time of departure, you will take your pet to one of two places to check-in for their flight; the airline ticket counter (the same place where you would go to check-in for your own flight) or directly to the appropriate airline’s cargo facility, which will be located near the airport but not in the main passenger terminal. Your pet travel consultant will let you know which location to go to and provide an address for you.
At check-in, you will present your pet and the travel documents to the airline personnel. They will look over the documents and inspect your pets crate before they accept your cat or dog for shipment. Once they have been checked in for their flight, you can leave the airport knowing that your pet is in good hands and the team at Happy Tails Travel is now able to track your pets journey and keep you updated throughout their travel.
After check in, your pet will be taken to a fully secure, live animal waiting facility which is supervised by staff. This area is fully temperature controlled and away from the hustle and bustle of the busy airport, so your pet does not get stressed out. They will stay in their crate during this time, but will be checked on by airline personnel and offered water if needed. When it is time for your pet to board their flight, they will be taken to the aircraft in an air-conditioned or heated pet van. Pets are always the last ones on the plane and the first ones off, to avoid waiting on the tarmac.
Pets traveling without an owner must be transported in the bottom of the aircraft. While many people refer to this area as “cargo”, it is a separate area for live animals that is fully temperature controlled, pressurized, and oxygenated for their comfort.
If your pet has any layovers they will wait in another live animal facility and be transported to and from the aircrafts in an air-conditioned or heated vehicle.
When your pet arrives at their destination, you will either pick them up at baggage claim or the cargo facility; again, your pet travel consultant will have told you exactly where you need to go. All you must do to pick them up is to show your ID and sign for them! Then you and your furry family member can be off to your new home to live happily ever after!
If you have more questions about a day in the life of pet travel, or are interested in arranging your furry family member’s trip, please contact us today!