Have you fallen in love with a street cat during your vacation in Mexico? Or, perhaps you’re a dog owner needing to relocate but can’t bear to part with Fido?
Regardless of your reason, the need for airline pet travel in Mexico isn’t as uncommon as you might think.
We’ll help you understand how to fly your pet out of Mexico, including the most pet-friendly airlines.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is a guide, and Leaving Pawprints isn’t responsible for changes. It’s your responsibility to double-check requirements with your airline and stay up-to-date on Mexico’s exit policies and your country’s entrance policies. If you travel with your pet out of Mexico, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section, as your recent experience will help others in your “paws.“
Several airlines allow their owners to fly with their pets out of Mexico. Below is a quick summary of airlines that fly pets out of Mexico on international flights. We’ll explore them in more detail next.
|Airline||Animals permitted||Carry-on pet allowed?||Cargo option possible?||Minimum age||Cost|
|Aeromexico||Dogs, cats & cocks||Up to 9 kg||Yes||8 weeks||Starting at $135|
|Volaris||Dogs & cats||Up to 10 kg||Yes||16 weeks||Get direct quote|
|Viva Aerobus||Dogs & cats||Up to 27 pounds||Yes||16 weeks||Starting at $85|
|American Airlines||Dogs & cats||Carrier size varies according to aircraft||Yes||8 weeks||Starting at $125|
|Delta||Dogs, cats & birds||18 x 11 x 11 inch carrier size||Yes||16 weeks||Starting at $200|
If your flight is no more than six hours long, you have a dog or cat that weights up to nine kilograms including their carrier, and they’re over eight weeks old, you’ll likely be able to carry them on an Aeromexico flight. Aeromexico calls this their Pets in the Cabin (PETC) program. They have a limit on the number of carry-on animals that they allow onboard per flight, so we recommend booking as far in advance as possible to secure a spot.
Alternatively, if you’re flying out of Mexico with larger animals or there isn’t availability for PETC on the flight you want to take, you’ll need to go through AeroMexico’s Checked-in Pet (AVIH) program. As with their PETC program, you must fly on the same plane as your pet. According to AeroMexico, “dogs, cats, and cocks” are the only animals permitted through AVIH.
If your pet and its carrier weigh a total of over 45 kilograms, they won’t be able to fly on an AeroMexico commercial flight. However, you can arrange for them to fly on an AeroMexico cargo plane. In fact, if you’re booking a flight to London, AeroMexico requires your pet to fly cargo. Furthermore, special conditions may apply if you want to fly with your pet to Amsterdam or Paris.
Volaris is another Mexican airline that offers pet travel. They run low-cost services to limited international destinations, including the United States and Costa Rica. Provided that your pet and carrier don’t exceed a combined weight of 10 kg, you can carry them on board with you. Pets weighing between 10 – 45 kg will need to be checked.
You’ll need to show Volaris that your pet can move easily within their carrier. Fabric or durable plastic carriers are allowed for dogs; cats are only allowed onboard in durable plastic carriers. The carrier can be no larger than 44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm.
Checked carriers have a little more flexibility with their dimensions, as the total size can’t exceed 157 centimeters. That said, they don’t allow people to check their pets in soft-sided carriers.
Upon your arrival at the airport, Volaris will give you a plastic clamp. You’ll need to keep this clamp on your pet’s carrier for the duration of the flight to prevent them from escaping.
Viva allows owners to fly their dogs and cats to any destination that they serve. For animals traveling in the cabin, the combined weight for the animal and carrier is a generous 27 pounds. Rigid and semi-rigid are the only carrier materials allowed, and your pet must be older than eight weeks.
If you have a dog and carrier weighing a total weight of 27 – 99 pounds, you can book a spot for them in cargo. In this case, the total carrier dimensions must not exceed 126 inches. If you’re taking your pet in a carry-on, the carrier must be no larger than 18 x 14 x 8 inches.
Dogs traveling in cargo must be more than 16 weeks old. Furthermore, only rigid carrier materials are permitted.
Viva understands that travel is a stressful time for your pet. Therefore, when you arrive at the airport, you’re welcome to use the Viva Express line to make check-in faster.
American Airlines is often a great fit for people looking to fly their pet out of Mexico since they fly to so many destinations.
American Airlines Cargo is a good option for larger dogs. In this case, your dog may end up flying in a separate plane from you. American takes precautions with temperature regulation, ensuring that your pet has a comfortable environment during their flight and in the holding areas.
As for checked animals, American has a two pet per flight policy. Therefore, it’s crucial to book a spot for your pet as early as possible since they operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Carry-on animals have maximum carrier dimensions according to the plane; American Eagle flights have significantly smaller dimensions (16 x 12 x 8 inches) than American Airlines flights (19 x 13 x 9 inches).
Delta allows pet owners to travel with cats, birds, and small dogs in the cabin. Your pet must be over 16 weeks old to fly out of Mexico. If you’re flying with multiple animals, they must be in separate carriers. The exception to this is if you have a female dog or cat that’s still nursing her litter (up to six months old).
There are several areas of the plane where Delta doesn’t allow carry-on pets and their owners sit. These include the emergency exit row and “no stowage” seats, among certain other rows according to the aircraft. A Delta representative will ensure you secure a pet-approved seat at the time of your booking.
Delta doesn’t offer a traditional check-through option for larger dogs. Therefore, if you’re traveling with a big dog, they’ll need to travel via Delta Cargo. In this case, your pet may or may not be on the same flight with you out of Mexico.
Meeting Mexico’s exit requirements for flying your dog or cat out of the country is only half the battle. You also need to ensure that you comply with your arrival country’s pet immigration rules.
We’re not sure whether this will sound comforting, but if you don’t have all your literal or figurative ducks in a row before leaving Mexico, you can pretty much guarantee that your airline will deny boarding for your pet.
So, where do you find pet immigration requirements for your destination country? Contacting your country’s consulate is an excellent start. Below are some resources that can also help you out if you’re flying to one of the following countries.
United States: Centers for Disease Control and Protection
Canada: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
United Kingdom: Great Britain Pet Requirements
European Union: Your Europe
Booking a flight to take your dog or cat out of Mexico isn’t as easy as securing a seat for yourself. Unlike humans, Mexico requires a series of medical documents for your pet to fly.
More likely than not, your arrival country will require them too.
To fly your dog or cat out of Mexico, your pet will need the following:
The first three items on this list encompass a formal vaccination certificate that your veterinarian can prepare for you. Similarly, your veterinarian can prepare the animal health certificate. Just make sure it’s an original copy on letterhead paper and includes your veterinarian’s license number.
Should you be flying with your pet from Mexico to a Central American country, you’ll need to obtain an International Animal Health Export Certificate. The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development (SAGARPA), as well as the National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Quality (SENASICA), are in charge of issuing these export certificates.
If you’re traveling to the United States, you must get a microchip for your dog if Mexico is listed on the U.S.’s high-risk country for rabies at the time of your travels. You also must show either the full vaccination certificate or a Dog Import Permit. Not all ports of entry in the U.S. accept dogs from Mexico. Your airline will ensure you fly through a dog-approved port.
If there aren’t any direct flights out of Mexico from where you’re based, you’ll need to drive or fly your pet to an international airport.
Domestic airlines in Mexico that allow pets include:
You’ll need to show your airline proof of your pet’s health certificate dated within five days of the departure time. We recommend bringing the original and a copy. You’ll also need to ensure that your dog or cat received their rabies vaccine a minimum of 30 days before they fly.
Phew, what a process! We hope this information helps make it easier to fly out of Mexico with your furry loved one.
We won’t get redundant on you here, as the “Rules for Bringing Pets on a Flight Out of Mexico” section covers the essentials. However, here are a few other items to consider to help you prepare.
Leaving Pawprints connects travelers with animal shelters across the globe for free. We lay the foundation by communicating with the shelters to find out what support they need. If you want to volunteer abroad with animals in Mexico, check out the animal shelters we’ve partnered with to find out how you can help.
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