Flying with your furry friend: Private jets for dogs.


Jun 20, 2024

15 min read

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    If you’ve ever flown with your pet, you’ll know how stressful the commercial airline system is for you and your four-legged family members. That’s why dog owners are increasingly turning to private jets to travel with their fur babies. Private pet flights are inherently safer, more comfortable, and far more relaxed for everyone.

    But what are the policies around a private flight with your dog? Below is a complete breakdown of what you need to know to fly private with your dog, including how to book, pre-trip considerations, and the onboard experience.

    Do private jets allow dogs?

    The very good news is that, yes, under most circumstances, private jet operators not only allow dogs to fly but also allow them to join their owners in the cabin during the flight.

    This in-cabin pet policy is one reason private pet flights have rapidly taken off in recent years. Flying with your dog on a private jet as opposed to a commercial airline ensures your furball gets more space, personalized care, and all the pats and pets they might need during the flight.

    In most cases, you’ll be able to make arrangements for a private flight with your dog without any of the usual restrictions on size, breed, or schedule you’ll find through a commercial booking. Safer, more comfortable, and much more convenient, private pet flights ensure everyone enjoys the trip.

    All the benefits of flying with pets on private jets.

    Lower stress.

    The number-one reason to fly private with your dog is to reduce stress — your pet’s and your own. With your dog beside you at every step of the journey, you won’t worry whether their crate has cracked open in the terminal, if enough fresh water is available, or if the cargo temperature is too extreme. With your fur baby in the cabin instead of in the hold, you’ll know everyone is safe for the duration of the flight.

    In-cabin comforts.

    Inside the cabin, your dog will be comfortable in a temperature-controlled environment. Contrast that with the cargo hold, where most large breeds end up on commercial flights. There, they can experience extreme temperatures, especially in winter or mid-summer. With your dog in the cabin with you, not only will they get more space to move around, but they’ll also be guaranteed a climate-controlled setting.

    Freedom and flexibility.

    Unequivocally, flying privately offers more flexibility than commercial airlines. This schedule freedom holds when flying with your dog. If you have arranged the pet flight in advance, you can book a pet-friendly private flight almost anywhere. Not to mention, you won’t face any restrictions on weight or breed, and you can fly with more than one pet at a time.


    The news reports make it clear that sending your dog off alone through the airport for loading into the hold can be dangerous, only to spend the flight as a piece of cargo. Flying with your dog in the cabin is an inherently safer option simply because they’re not exposed to an unregulated cargo hold nor confined to a claustrophobic kennel for the duration of the flight.

    In-flight catering.

    Just as you can request catering and refreshments for all the humans on your private flight, you can also request the same services for your four-legged companion. Whether you’re looking for just a few treats to tide them over or an all-out gourmet doggy dinner, connect with Volato’s concierge team to add this to your next flight.

    Pet-friendly features of private jets.

    When you arrive at the terminal before your next pet flight, what can you expect? From spacious designated pet areas to fresh food and water, your dog will receive all the special attention they deserve.

    dog inside private jet

    Comfortable pet areas.

    When you step into the Fixed Based Operator (FBO) space for check-in, it’s not uncommon to find comfortable designated pet areas to relax before takeoff. Once on board, you can arrange a pet-friendly zone with your dog’s favorite toys, a familiar blanket, and a plush bed.

    Special in-flight support.

    Your dog is very likely a beloved member of your family. They should get just as much in-flight support as their human. With your pup cozily lounging in the cabin next to you, why not spoil them with all the treats, toys, and amenities they need to make the trip enjoyable?

    Fresh food and water.

    On a pet-friendly private flight, your dog will get as much fresh food and water as their heart desires. Don’t be surprised if your pup gets a treat or two (if allowed) from the ground and flight crew throughout the journey.

    Clean and safe environment.

    Our crew thoroughly sanitizes the cabin between all missions to ensure the next trip is clean and safe for everyone on board. Even if the last passenger was especially furry, the next flight is refreshed, from nose to tail, in preparation for the passengers to board.

    3 Tips for ensuring a smooth pet travel experience.

    1. Familiarize your pet with the crate and harness.

    Although your dog can spend time outside the crate or off-leash on a private jet, it’s always a good idea to familiarize your pet with these items before the trip. During takeoff, landing, and when the seatbelt sign comes on, pets must be safely restrained (just like their humans).

    2. Pack a few comforting items.

    Everyone appreciates having a few comforts of home, including our four-legged family members. When you fly with Volato, you’re welcome to bring any dog beds, blankets, and toys to help your fur baby feel at home.

    3. Speak with your veterinarian before takeoff.

    It may be unnecessary for frequent flyers, but for dogs who’ve never flown, you should check with your vet for flight advice. Your vet can advise on any special considerations to ensure your pup is as comfortable and safe as possible during the flight, especially for older dogs or those with health concerns.

    Considerations for flying with dogs.

    There is a definite delineation between what you’ll need to consider when flying on a commercial airline, like Delta or American, versus when flying privately. The following is for general information purposes only. There are differences in pet policies between airlines and between private operators.

    Pet Restrictions.

    With commercial airlines.

    All commercial airlines have pet restrictions. Depending on their size, pets are either relegated to carry-on kennels under seats or sent to the hold. There are also restrictions on specific breeds, the number of pets allowed on each flight, and seasonal schedules.

    With Volato.

    The best part about traveling with Volato and your four-legged friend is that there are no specific restrictions on dog breed, size, or number. Everyone is welcome on board, whether it’s your friendly old golden retriever or your pug princess.

    private jet for pet

    Seasonal restrictions.

    With commercial airlines.

    If you’ve ever tried to book a traditional flight for your large-breed dog during the coldest parts of winter or the hottest parts of summer, you’ve likely faced challenges. Many airlines have seasonal restrictions for live cargo, including pets.

    With Volato

    Pets are never considered cargo. They fly with you in the cabin and enjoy the same climate controls that you do. Even if you fly in the depths of winter or the scorching heat of summer, the cabin maintains a perfectly comfortable and customizable climate, keeping everyone on board happy, safe, and comfortable.

    Safety and comfort measures.

    With commercial airlines.

    If your pet is stored in the cargo hold, it clearly cannot leave its crate at any point during your flight. If your pet is tucked under the seat in front of you, airlines ask that it remains in its crate for the duration of the flight, plus there are strict regulations covering what size and type of crate is allowed.

    With Volato.

    Just like the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) mandates that all passengers must be in their seats with seat belts on for takeoff and landing, the same goes for any dogs on board. We ask that your fur baby is safely secured in their kennel (in the cabin) or securely harnessed until the flight has reached cruising altitude.

    Once the seat belt sign turns off, you’re free to move around, and so, too, is your pup. You can use whatever crate, kennel, and/or harness you prefer.

    Additional costs.

    With commercial airlines.

    All airlines charge passengers for traveling with their furry family members. Charges apply whether the pet is in the hold or the cabin and vary significantly from one company to another. Typical costs range between $100 to over $300 per flight.

    With Volato.

    Whether you’re a fractional owner, a Volato Insider member, or flying charter, when you fly with Volato, you can choose who travels with you — at no additional cost. Flying private is to charter the entire aircraft, so you are not charged on a per-passenger (or per-dog) basis. The only extra cost you’ll need to consider is whether your dog wants any special doggy-catering services during their flight.

    Regulatory Requirements and Documentation.*

    With commercial airlines.

    Certain airlines, including American Airlines, require a veterinarian-issued health certificate before departure for domestic flights. This paperwork requires breed, weight, and the statement, “Your pet was examined by a veterinarian stating that your pet was found to be free of infectious or contagious diseases that might put your pet, other animals, or public health at risk. This should also confirm that your pet appears to be healthy enough for travel.” Typically, this documentation must be issued within 10 days of travel.

    With Volato.

    For domestic Volato flights, you will not need to make time in your schedule for a preflight appointment to get a veterinarian-issued health certificate. In the rare case of specific destination requirements, when you book your pet-friendly trip with a Volato customer service team member, they will advise you of any paperwork required long before takeoff.

    *All international flights, commercial or private, require additional paperwork for pets. Requirements vary by destination.

    dog enjoying luxury private jet travel

    Cost of flying on a private jet with dogs.

    How much does it cost to charter a private plane for dogs? At Volato, there is no cost difference between flying with or without your dog. As an owner or a charter client, every flight is priced based on the use of the entire aircraft, not on a per-passenger (or per-dog) basis.

    This means that whether you are flying with a single furry ball or the entire pack, the hourly costs will remain the same.

    Planning an upcoming pet-friendly mission?

    Safety measures for flying with pets on a private jet.

    Volato’s number one priority for all its passengers, four-legged or otherwise, is safety. That’s why we’ve achieved ARGUS Platinum and IS-BAO Stage 3 safety ratings and give our pilots above-industry-standard rest periods.

    But we do ask that our furry friends follow the same takeoff and landing rules as our human passengers. This means being safely secured when the seatbelt sign is on. We ask that your dog stay safely tucked inside its kennel or otherwise restrained in a harness when we take off and land. The same goes for any mid-flight pockets of turbulence.

    Private pet flights. More enjoyable for everyone.

    We live in a world where our dogs are family. We take them everywhere with us as our trusted furry companions. From extravagant dog beds to gourmet organic dog biscuits, we often treat them better than we treat ourselves. So, why would we compromise on how we treat them during travel?

    Dog in airport for Private pet flights

    Pet flights with Volato ensure all passengers get the personalized attention they deserve, whether they have two legs or four. When you fly with your dog, we ensure everyone arrives at the final destination fully relaxed, refreshed, and, most importantly, safe.

    Book a private jet for your dog. Fly Volato.

    Private jet for dogs FAQs.

    Can I bring a dog on a private jet?

    The short answer is yes! You can absolutely arrange private pet flights for dogs. The longer answer is that you’ll want to notify the private jet operator during the booking process, as certain operators may not support pet flights or only do so on specific jets.

    But we are completely pet-friendly! If you’re curious about bringing your dog on a Volato flight, get in touch with the Volato team.

    Can large dogs fly private?

    Yes, even large dogs can fly private. Notably, they won’t be restricted to the aircraft hold. On a private jet, pets are allowed in the cabin with you: safe, sound, and comfortable for the duration of the flight.

    Is flying a dog in cargo safe?

    Part of the reason flying private with dogs has taken off in recent years is the many harrowing experiences pet owners have gone through with commercial airlines.

    For all but the smallest creatures, most pets have to spend the flight in the cargo hold on commercial flights. But the hold is neither climate-controlled nor quiet. It can be a particularly stressful experience for pets without their owner in sight.

    More disturbing, there have been pet injuries, lost animals, and even pet deaths. According to the Department of Transportation’s numbers from 2022, there were nine incidents involving animals on planes in the US. This included seven deaths, one injury, and one lost animal, a decrease from 19 incidents in 2019.

    What is the rule for dogs on airplanes?

    If you are flying commercial, there are strict regulations for traveling with pets. Delta, for example, only allows small dogs to fly in the cabin and are subject to specific conditions such as age, kennel size, and health requirements. Pets are not allowed out of their kennel at any point during the flight. Many airlines also place restrictions on dog breeds.

    But if you fly privately with dogs on a Volato jet, you’ll find the rules much more pet-friendly.
    First, there are no restrictions on dog size, weight, or breed. All pets, big and small, fly in the cabin with you.

    Then, beyond takeoff and landing, where all passengers (dogs included) need to be secured with a harness, your dog gets to be where they’re most comfortable. Whether it feels safer in its kennel or on your lap, when you’ve hit altitude, your dog gets a bit more space to stretch out than on a traditional flight.

    If you have questions about taking your pup on a mission with Volato, get in touch with our customer service team. We’d love to help.

    Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. Volato is not responsible for omissions or inaccuracies in such information, or for data that is no longer accurate due to delay, change in law, rules, or regulations.