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Feb 4, 2020

Snakes on a plane?

Is it true you can take pet reptiles onto Alaska Airline flights?

Lately, we’ve been hearing from folks that when traveling with a reptile (either for a personal move, or buying a new pet from a distant expo and bringing it home) shipping would not be necessary because they could take the animal with them on Alaska Airlines. This was a surprising bit of information and one we determined worthy of more research. 

So is it true that you can carry a pet reptile on Alaska Airlines? 

Technically yes…BUT…

You may NOT take a reptile into the main cabin. 

The only animals allowed in the main cabin, with very specific restrictions, are dogs, cats, rabbits, and some birds. 

No matter how small it is or how neatly it would fit into your carry-on luggage or “personal item”, reptiles are not permitted in the passenger compartment of the plane. 

If you try to take a reptile through security you WILL be stopped and either turned away or have the animal confiscated.

Non-venomous reptiles MAY be booked for travel in the cargo compartment. 

The animal owner must be flying on the same plane. This is not a cargo-shipping service such as Delta Dash. 

Reservations for the animal in the cargo compartment must be made at least 24 hours in advance of the flight, but not more than 35 days in advance 

The fee for flying your animal in the cargo space is $100 with a maximum weight (total of animal and carrier) of 150 pounds. 

A health certificate from a vet is required, dated no more than 10 days prior to the flight. 

Multiple animals may not be allowed in the same container.

If a connecting flight is being made, the airline will NOT transfer the animal to the new plane. The customer must return to baggage, claim the animal, and then check it in on the next flight. 

The airline has very specific requirements listed for kennels used in transport. While these requirements best fit kennels suited for dogs and cats, it’s highly likely they would require the same kennel for reptiles as well. For the safest transport, this would mean packing your animal up in a proper shipping box and then placing that box securely in a dog kennel for airline transport. 

Some travel dates, particularly around the holidays, are restricted for pet travel.

As you can see here, flying with your reptile on Alaska Airlines is possible, but is by no means simple. Doing so will require advanced planning and a complete understanding of the requirements and regulations involved. It’s also expensive. 

The list above is not an exhaustive one; it merely touches on some primary points of interest.  Learn more at the Alaska Airlines website.

If you’re moving and you have a large tortoise to take with you, then this deal with Alaska Airlines may be a very helpful solution. However, for most people needing to transport their exotic, scaly pets, shipping through ShipYourReptiles will be much simpler, safer, and cost effective.