This April Finn went overseas for the very first time. I got a lot of DM’s on Instagram with questions about how I flew with Finn and what the process was like, so I figured why not put it all here for everyone to read?! So here it goes!
I lived in Paris for a year, but this was before Finn came into my life. It was such a joy to have Finn in France, so if you are thinking about bringing your dog to France I highly encourage you to do so. Stay tuned for my Paris Guide for Girls and their Dogs, which will be coming soon. We had so much fun!
We flew from New York City to Paris and France is fairly easy to enter as long as you have followed all of the appropriate steps in preparation of travel.
Step 1: Book your Flight and Call the Airline
I usually fly Air France when I go to Paris, so that is who we booked our flight with. As soon as I finished booking the flight I called Air France to inform them I would be flying with Finn who is an ESA (Emotional Support Animal). Please note the different between an ESA and a Service Dog; an ESA provides comfort to their owner when they feel emotionally distressed or anxious, while a Trained Service Animals receives training to assist those who have physical disabilities such as being blind or deaf. Air France included Finn in my reservation and sent me a couple of documents that had to be filled out and uploaded into my Flyer Profile prior to travel.
Step 2: Make an Appointment at your Veterinarian
You must have your dog examined at least 10 days prior to travel. Upon completion of the exam our Veterinarian gave us some papers that had to be stamped by the USDA. We overnighted the papers to Albany, NY where they were stamped and their office then overnighted them back to us.
Step 3: Check-In
While we were checking in to have our Boarding Passes printed, we also gave the airline the papers from our Veterinarian. The airline double checked all of the information and we were good to go towards security.
*This is a good place to note to make sure you allow your dog to use the bathroom one last time. While many airports in the United States have pet relief areas Finn will not use them (I think he is confused because he knows he's inside). To that point he was totally fine holding it until we got to France.
Step 4: Boarding the Plane
You just board the plane as normal! I put a blanket on the floor so Finn was a bit more comfortable. He didn't mind laying under the seat at all!
Step 5: Arrival in France
Arrival was fairly easy as well. We walked through immigration as always and my passport was stamped. They looked over the paper’s from the Veterinarian and welcomed us to France!
Please note that all airlines may have different guidelines and I am just sharing our experience with Air France. I have tried to explain in much detail as possible, but feel free to send me a message through our contact page and I will get back to you as soon as I can. We hope you and your pup have a safe and fun trip… wherever you may be going!
xo, becky + finn