Air travel with cockatiel
Has anyone traveled/moved their pet bird (cockatiel) to the Virgin Islands? We are moving in August and I want to bring our beloved pet cockatiel with us in cabin on the airplane. I'm having a very hard time finding a hard sided pet carrier that meets the airlines dimensions for under the seat. I really don't want to put him in the cargo hold if we don't have to. Has anyone traveled with their bird or has any advice?
Thanks for your help!
I don't have time to delve into it now but within the last couple of years there was a thread about bringing birds here which ended up containing a very good amount of information. Try the search engine for "parrot transportation" or similar and change the date setting to"all".
As I recall you also have to get a permit from the VI Dept. of Agriculture to bring in exotic birds. best check with them on what docs. you'll need. I don't recall ever seeing a bird in the cabin of a plane....under the seat? Must be a pretty small bird. Do the airlines allow that?
It would certainly be better than sticking it in cargo and being handled by others on the way there and out of cargo. You'll need a health certificate from your veterinarian.
I came down with my parrot a few years ago and yes you do need a permit. I contacted Dr Bradford. She is listed on the Dept of Ag website. She was very helpful, sorry I don't have her number and yes some airlines do allow small birds as carry on. Delta does.
Dr. Bethany Bradford
340-778-0998 ext. 241
340-778-0997 main line for Ag. Dept/STX
Since she is the only vet for the Ag. Dept., she travels to all 3 islands weekly but is based on STX.
Good luck with everything.
I have traveled to St. Croix with two pet parrots, an Amazon and an African Gray. Both were in cabin under seat. You are only allowed one pet per person so my husband had one with him. You will need a health certificate from your vet (pet should be banded or microchipped) and the certificate can not be more than 10 days old the day of your flight. You also need to contact the Virgin Islands Fish and Wildlife Department of Planning and Natural Resources for Exotic Import/Retention Permit. (Phone: 340-775-6762) Once this is done you are free to bring in your pet bird. I used a soft side carrier that I retrofit for a bird, but my birds are larger than yours. There is a good hard side carrier that would be perfect for a cockatiel on Amazon. It is a Petmate 290750 Travler Underseat Carrier. Just add food cup (I attached mine to the side with a screw and wingnut). I also cut a towel to fit as a cover to keep them calm and warm. I put a slit in top for the handle and trimmed it down to size. It can get cold and drafty under a plane seat. We paid $125.00 per bird for their travel. Make sure you reserve his space because they only allow a certain number of underseat pets per flight.
Be prepared to take the bird out of the carrier to run the carrier through the xray machine. I was scared to death of this part because if they get scared or excited they will take flight!! So I took a small towel to cover them and hold them in. You walk through the metal detector with the bird.
They do look at the papers when you are leaving...but did not on arrival at St. Croix. Do you already have a cage for him on island? Planning in advance for pet needs is important in the islands. You never know if you can find proper cages and supplies at the limited pet stores. Happy Travels!!
This is for travel from U. S. to USVI.
Big thank you to everyone for posting! The information is invaluable! This forum is amazing!