Traveling on the Airlines With Your Bird

Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Orlando, FL Travelers: Cat "Ninja" and Galah "Bondi"

Whenever I travel with my bird(s) on the airline where they go as "carry on" with me... I usually will take them in what looks like a gym bag but is actually a pet carrier sold at many petstore chains. I use them for my cat and my bird! Now, these bags aren't exactly meant for very long trips... especially when you're putting a bird in there! Because many of the bags have sides that are completely mesh, the bird could easily spend all day chewing through it. For example! This one you can see has some chewing done to it...

Nothing major, but if you want to keep the same bag for a while you better know how to sew on patches!

This next bag's mesh is a bit more rubbery and I was always too hesitant to put any parrots in it but used to travel with my Toucan in it. She went through MANY of these! Luckily, they zip up on either side so if she ruined the mesh, you could zip up the solid part and she wasn't getting through that. Unfortunately, toucans "jab" so it was toast.

The nice things about these bags are that they look just like gym bags so most people will leave you alone, or better off, not even KNOW you have a bird with you. Traditional pet carriers scream "HEY! LOOK OVER HERE!" and that you have a cute little animal to show off and explain about. I personally am not so social when traveling so I prefer to go under the radar!

The bummer about them is you can't really provide a perch for your bird so it's a little uncomfortable for them but mine never had that big of a problem with them and slept in it fine. I just had to be aware how I was carrying it so I wasn't making my bird slide from end to end! 

The thing you will want to know about traveling with your bird on the plane, is that you will HAVE to take your bird out at security. So I recommend putting a harness on your bird. You can sometimes request a separate room and they will take you in an empty room where your bird can come out, they can leave with the carrier to inspect it and come back and put your bird in. However, I've had them REFUSE to do this so having your bird on a harness is best for that part of the travel.

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.

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