Flying to Spain with small dog

Hi- I'm applying for a master's program abroad and would like to know all the info on travel beforehand. I would be taking my dog. I have all the info on what I need for the vet and paperwork, but I'm more concerned with connecting flights and airlines. I would be going to valencia and if I take American or another plane that I can carry my pup in cabin, would the connecting airline be operated by the same company? I' d hate to be refused. thanks

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10861 posts

That is very precise information that no one here would know for sure. Check with the airlines as to the specific policies. Connecting flights are often NOT operated by the same company but partner companies that may not have the same policies.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2826 posts

Ditto Frank. Check and re-check until you are SURE you know everything. I don't have dogs, but my sister does, and I've helped her book flights with them. I have lots of stories, but here's just one: she got her dogs microchipped, but it turned out that the US and Europe use different kinds of microchips, so they had to be "chipped" again. Yes, who operates a particular flight segment, and their rules for carrying pets, is something only you can find out, by checking with the airline. Remember that the same flight can have multiple numbers (called a code share). So, Iberia flight 6252 and American flight 5680 are the same flight from New York to Madrid; this flight is "Iberia metal," meaning that it's actually operated by Iberia. There are limits to the number of pets carried per flight, so get your reservations in early. And the fees for carrying pets keep going up. Good luck, and happy travels!

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

You could take the AVE train from Madrid to Valencia. It is almost as fast as flying, and they allow pets. A pet ticket is 18 euros for that rain. You can get a promo fare of 38 euros.

Posted by Liz
Malaga, Malaga, Spain
410 posts

I live in Spain and regularly fly in and out. I cannot answer your specific questions but there are almost always people with small dogs in carriers on the plane. Larger ones need to go in the hold. But it is something you would need to sort out ahead of time.

Posted by Alex
Longmont, CO, USA
342 posts

Like the others have said, check with both airlines that you have flights with and make sure they know you will have a dog in cabin as there as limits as to how many they will allow per flight. There could also be varying fees. We took our Jack Russell to Zurich last August, flying United to Newark and then on Lufthansa to Zurich. Both had different fees for our dog. Your easiest bet is as one of the posters said above...get a direct flight from the States to Spain and take a train to your final destination. We have gone over many times with our Jack and he has been well received everywhere we went in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. Make sure your dog is well used to the carrier before you fly, that is if you have not already done so. We took our Jack everywhere in the carrier (I got a backpack model that works fine) before we left on his first trip so he was well used to being in it on the airplane.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

One other point about code shares: You may pay one airline (and assume their rules apply), remember that if the flight is operated by a partner, the partner's rules will apply. I got caught on this (re baggage, not a pet) because I booked with Delta and paid Delta for a flight with a Delta flight number, but it actually was operated by Alitalia, so the Alitalia rules applied.

Posted by alayna
NYC
47 posts

After looking into it, it looks like continental may be a good match (they also accept a broken down bicycle free) I beria also accepts dogs. I could always fly to madrid and take a train to valencia to save some trouble...?She has flown with me before (one time we were stuck on the tarmac) She behaves but when on the sleepy pills tried to chew at the bag. No one had ever known it was her in the bag. The regulations for shots etc. seem easy enough for EU. Thanks all!

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

alayna, Did you mean United rather than Continental? Continental doesn't exist anymore. They merged with United.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7188 posts

Make sure you check carefully about bringing a dog into Spain as well. Generally it involves much more than just getting them in the cabin with you. There are special rules for bringing in animals that might include additional shots before and/or quarantine when you arrive.

Posted by Alex
Longmont, CO, USA
342 posts

Spain is part of the EU so as long as you have your paperwork in order, which as you have stated you are aware of already, there is NO quarantine. Only UK has a quarantine for dogs so no worries on that at all. Just make sure as one poster has stated that you get the 15 digit ISO type that is required in Europe. Many vets say they do chipping but you need to be specific about that 15 digit ISO requirement. I had to call a few before finding one that had it. Keep that USDA paperwork the vet gives you for when you return to the US as they are usually the only ones who will look at it.

Posted by DH
San Antonio, TX, USA
67 posts

My cousin and her Spanish husband just moved to the US after living Granada for 3 years. They carried their cat on the plane (in a kitty carry on). No troubles. I was surprised.