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Avian Flight - On A Plane

You decided to move clear across the country, your job has changed venues, you have a chance to take the month long vacation you have always dreamed about… these are just a few of the reasons you may need to take your parrot for a ride in the "bigger bird" in the sky. Where do you start? How do you make sure he doesn't get too stressed? How do you make sure you don't get too stressed? Here are a few ideas that will help make your trip a good and safe one for both of you.

The first thing you need to do is call all the airlines you can or consult with a travel agent. Each airline has their own set of rules concerning pets in the cabin of the plane. You need to know what size carrier you need to buy, if you need to buy an extra ticket, if the airline needs a veterinarian health certificate and what diseases the bird will need to be checked for. Another question to ask is if your parrot starts talking or carrying on, will they make you put him in the baggage compartment if another passenger complains? Once you have chosen the airline that best suits your needs, make reservations far enough in advance to assure you will have a seat on the plane that will allow you to best care for your parrot.

Find out what the airline’s regulation carrier size is and purchase one that falls within their requirements. You do not want to be turned away at the gate because of an inappropriate carrier. Also pack a bag with all your bird’s food, water and other needs for the flight; pack extras of everything in case of a delay or layover.

If possible, you should start preparing your bird for the trip a month in advance. Get him used to the travel carrier by putting him in it, along with his favorite toys and treats, each day. As he becomes more comfortable with it, close the door and extend how long he is in there each time. You can even take him for a short car ride once he is more comfortable with the carrier. You should also get him acquainted with the travel cage (if it is different from what he currently lives in) he will be living in once you arrive at your destination.

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for no more than 10 days prior to your departure. Double check with the airline, but usually a health certificate is invalid if it is older than that. Also check to see if he needs to be officially cleared of any particular illnesses or diseases.

The day of the flight, allow for plenty of time to get to the airport, through baggage, and to deal with any personnel who may not know that a parrot can indeed fly on a plane. You will need to have that health certificate handy so you can produce it at a moment’s notice, and they might ask you to take your parrot out of the carrier so they can check it for explosives.

Once you’re in the plane, try to keep your parrot as comfortable as possible, to reduce the chances that he will start screeching. A dark blanket or towel over his carrier may help him stay quiet. Most importantly, keep calm, your bird can sense when you’re upset, which will only make him more uneasy.

Preparation is the key to a flight with your parrot. How much you practice with him may make the difference between a pleasant journey and a nightmare. With these tips you should be able to enjoy your vacation or relocation with the enjoyable companionship of your bird.

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