TSA Issues New Alert For Those Traveling With Pets Through Security
The agency is reminding pet owners about what they need to do at the airport.
One of the most stressful parts of traveling by air is making it through airport security. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a never-ending list of things you're not allowed to bring through, and on top of that, you need to remember what you have to remove from your bag before it goes through the X-ray, even if it is allowed. But if you think that's stressful, imagine doing it all with a pet. In fact, TSA just issued a new alert for those traveling with pets through security to remind them of all the things they need to remember. Read on to discover what you should know if you're taking your furry friend along.
Certain pets can fly with their owners on most major airlines.
Whether you're a new pet parent or you've had your furry friend for years, you might one day need to ask yourself: Can they fly with me? The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) "allows each airline to decide if they will allow you to travel with your pet in the passenger cabin," and most major U.S. airlines do permit this under very specific guidelines.
For example, Delta Air Lines lets small dogs, cats, and household birds travel in the cabin for a one-way fee. "They must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you," according to the carrier's website. American Airlines and United Airlines both limit carry-on pets to cats and dogs.
It is best to check your specific airline's guidelines before booking a flight. But once you ensure your pet can fly with you per airline rules, you also need to consider what you should know about taking them through airport security.
TSA issued a new alert for those traveling with pets through security.
Before you make it onto the plane with your pet, you have to make it through security first. With this in mind, TSA has issued a new alert for these travelers. In a Sept. 27 press release, the agency confirmed that small pets can only travel in the cabin of an aircraft with their owners after TSA officers screen pets at the security checkpoint.
"Traveling through an airport security checkpoint with a pet can be easy when travelers know what to expect," TSA stated in their release. "Pets often travel with their humans and are thought of like family members, which is why it's important that if a passenger is traveling with their pet to become familiar with the security procedures for pets and how to go through the checkpoint security screening process together quickly and easily."
You need to remove your pet from their carrier before it goes through the X-ray.
One of the "key" points travelers need to remember when going through airport security is that their pets "should never be screened through a checkpoint X-ray unit," TSA warned in their new release. Instead, you should bring your pet to the security checkpoint in a hand-held travel carrier and then remove them from the carrier just before the beginning of the screening process, according to the agency.
"Place the empty travel carrier on the checkpoint conveyor belt so it can be X-rayed," TSA stated. "Never place a pet in the X-ray tunnel. The X-ray at the security checkpoint is used to screen passengers' personal property and carry-on luggage only."'
You can either carry your pet through the walk-through metal detector with you or walk them through on a leash, the agency added. "After the screening process is complete, owners should return their pet to the travel carrier at the re-composure area away from the security checkpoint. This location helps ensure the safety of the pet as well as other passengers," TSA explained in its release.
The agency provided other tips for traveling with pets.
Traveling through TSA with a pet can be stressful, so the agency advises travelers to start preparing them ahead of time. "Acclimate the pet to the process of traveling by familiarizing it with the travel carrier in the days leading up to the trip. This familiarization will help ensure the pet is more relaxed as it travels through the security process and the airport," the agency explained.
You should also "know the temperament of your pet and ensure that you can maintain control of it in a busy and potentially crowded airport." If you are concerned that your animal may attempt to struggle or jump away when removed from their pet carrier, you can request that a TSA officer screen the pet in a private screening room, according to the agency. "The traveler will be escorted to the room with the pet still in its carrier," they explained.
Lastly, TSA reminds pet owners to be on the lookout for "working" canines and handlers at the airport. "Areas where it is common to see a working dog at airports may include a security checkpoint or in the terminal concourse," the agency stated in its release. "If you encounter a working canine, please consider shifting to an alternate checkpoint so that there is no interference with a government working dog's tasks."