Category Archives: Traveling by plane

Taking off

What happens before to take off? I was really anxious about all the steps to follow once arrived at Fiumicino airport…

At the Alitalia desk

they check the pet passport only.

Please be aware that once you have passed the security check, you won’t be able to let your dog left off. It’s important to schedule a timeline so that it can have a “toilet stop” before the flight, at the very last moment before passing the security check.

Airport security

I have been asked to get Argo out of its kennel. We have passed through the metal detector together, and the kennel has been scanned.

At the gate

While I was waiting for my flight, Argo was outside the kennel. I understand all restrictions for pets inside public places, but it seems that everyone understood my special situation, and no one complaint. On the contrary, many people came to ask me which requirements have to be filled in order to travel with a pet.

Taking place

On board, I discovered that my place was not the dedicated one for passengers with pet. Hence, the space below my seat was far too small for Argo’s kennel. I have kindly asked to the steward and he simply replaced me to a place where I had 2 seats for me: Argo, at my feet, occupying the place in front of the seat at my side, me having a lot of extra space.





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Pet in cabin, first steps

Every airline has its own regulations for pets depending on weight and size. If you wish to take your pet along with you on board, the first step is to see which restrictions apply.

In order to travel to Rio de Janeiro, I have checked AirFrance, Lufthansa and Alitalia. Pets weighing less than 6 kg are allowed to flight with AirFrance (container included). Lufthansa has a 8 kg weight limited. Alitalia allows pets weighing less than 10 kg.

My Argo is only 5.5 kg but, at the time of the flight, he was not an adult yet. I didn’t really wanted to have a bad surprise few days before flying or force him on diet.
So I decided Alitalia from Rome to Rio de Janeiro.

To take a pets along with you on an Alitalia flight, you should provide a passport issued by a vet, certifying the list of vaccinations and the state of health of the animal and a clearly legible tattoo or an electronic identification system (transponder) (from Alitalia website).

Second crucial step is to observe import and export by-laws of the respective countries. Hence, I have called Brazilian Consulate in Milan. In order to travel to Brazil with a pet, these documents are mandatory:

  • Original International Health Certificate issued by the Official Veterinarian Service in the country of origin. The Health certificate must mention that the animal has been examined within 10 days before travelling to Brazil and did not show signs of clinical disease. The International Health Certificate must have been issued no longer than 10 days before arrival to Brazil. If the Health Certificate does not present the Portuguese version, an official translation may be ordered. Animals arriving at Brazil without the Health Certificate or with an inaccurate or incomplete International Health Certificate will be sent back to the country of origin, at the expense of the importer.
  • Certificate for Rabies vaccination: For animals older than three months, rabies vaccination is mandatory.
  • In case of first immunization against rabies, the owner of the animal must wait at least 30 days before travelling to Brazil.
  • Information mandatory in the Certificate for Rabies vaccination: owner identification and address; animal identification: breed, sex, date of birth, coating color and size.

If all mentioned requirements are accordingly filled. there is no mandatory quarantine period.

A special attention must be paid to the International Health Certificate. In Italy it will be issued by Servizi Veterinari. I found a vet pretty uncomfortable with it stating that it was not needed as Argo had a Pet Passport. I insisted and finally he signed this:


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