(239) 344-8959

Get a Quote

How to Juggle Weather Embargoes During Summer Travel with Your Pet

Published on: April 11, 2023  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

man playing ball with dogs at the beach

Stranded by the weather. Who knew that the heat you’ve been craving all winter could throw such a curveball into your summer travel plans? All you wanted was to transport yourself and your four-legged best friend to a sunnier climate for some R&R.

And what happened? Your pet’s travel plan was a last-minute no-go. How could this have happened?

On the day of your eagerly-awaited departure, your airline determined it would be too hot for your pet to make the flight. It’s not that the airline is picking on you. And it’s not only this airline. Every airline that transports animals as cargo has the same rule: if it’s too hot or too cold, pets are grounded. Generally speaking, the cut-off temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The problem is, you cannot always predict when weather embargoes are going into effect. It is sometimes a last-minute decision that airlines make. To further complicate matters, if and how weather restrictions are imposed can vary from one airline to another.

This also affects your pet’s entire itinerary – the original departure location, your destination, and any layovers in between.

Weather embargoes can be supremely frustrating, but they protect your pet

The most pet-friendly airlines do everything they can to keep animals comfortable during air travel. That said, some do not have air-conditioned cargo terminals or vehicles that transport pets to and from the plane. The tarmac gets very hot, which can increase temperatures inside the cargo hold and stress pets waiting to load or be unloaded. 

Snub-nosed dogs and cats are at even greater risk since it’s more difficult for them to breathe even when conditions are ideal. In fact, airlines often reduce the hot weather cut-off to 75o for these pets.

And, though your current concern may be summer travel, you should know that airlines have winter weather embargoes, too, for locations that get extremely cold.

What to do?

Plan ahead. If you’re planning a holiday and wouldn’t dream of leaving your pet behind, pick a time of year (or destination) when the weather isn’t likely to interfere with your plans. There are plenty of great places to vacation with your pet where it is not terribly hot. 

Change your plans. If hot weather is a problem where you live and you have your heart set on summer, consider driving to a departure location where it is cooler. Or, choose an arrival airport where it is cooler. Another option is to choose flights that depart and land at night or during cooler times of the day. Do everything you can to book a non-stop flight.

If you’re moving, your travel date and destination may not be able to be changed. You could very well wind up traveling on a different flight or day than your pet. It’s virtually impossible to accomplish this scenario on your own because you cannot be in two places at once. You’ll have two options:

  • You can stay home until your pet is allowed to fly. Send them on her way, then arrange your own plans to match (assuming you can get on the same flight) or follow as soon as possible. You’ll need someone at the destination to handle customs clearance, collect them from the airport, and arrange boarding (if needed).
  • You can go on ahead as planned, leaving your pet behind in the hands of someone who can care for them until the weather allows them to travel to you. That person will have to get your pet into their travel crate, drive them to the airport, and make sure they're checked in with all of the required documents.

The best way to handle potential weather embargoes is to get professional help. There is more involved than simply being “the person on the other end.” Any time you’re traveling with your pet, unless the trip is short and simple you’re better off teaming up with a pet travel expert like our Starwood team.

We know the rules, the airlines, and how to work around frustrating (and worrisome) details such as weather embargoes. And we have your back - not to mention your pet’s back. That’s a tail-wagging proposition if ever there was one.


New Call-to-action

Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.