Packing gear for a flight

As most human travellers’ would know packing for a trip can be pretty overwhelming especially if you’re flying and airline restrictions, bag sizes,  weight limits and storage  space all need to be considered. Imagine trying to pack for your horse to go on a flight? ALL airlines have weight restrictions, so when moving your horse overseas there are limits and procedures in place for packing and weight, just like with human travellers.

Generally, a small amount of gear can be shipped in the air stall with your horse, e.g a bag or two of horse equipment or riding gear or maybe a saddle and helmet. Keep in mind though air stalls are designed for 3 horses so any available ‘packing space’ needs to be shared with 3 horses. Also consider the gear stored in the air stall with the horses is taking up space that is needed for flying grooms to move freely within the front of the stall during the flight when they check, feed and provide drinking water for your horse.

As owners usually want the most space possible given to their horse and we all want the horses to travel comfortably, it is highly recommended that any  excess luggage, tack bags, grooming kits, suitcases get ‘checked in’ as actual cargo on a separate airweigh bill which then gets stored in the belly of the plane.

There are additional charges for each airwiegh bill and it is based on size and weight of the cargo (bags/gear). If you plan on sending a large amount of ‘gear’ you should advise your EIAF flight co-ordinator ASAP with expected size, weight, dimensions etc so they can advise the airline. Providing the cargo plane has space available, your gear will be allocated space on the flight.  It should be noted that sending ‘extra gear’ via an airweigh bill on the same flight as your horse is still cheaper then sending it on a commercial flight or via post / courier system.

An airweigh bill is simply a tracking record of what is / has been loaded on the plane and if for some reason your items go missing the airweigh bill would be used to find your goods and or make a claim – just like a your baggage receipts when humans check in for a flight at the airport.

So basically the luggage restrictions are the same for horses as they are for humans – 1 small (restricted size) ‘carry on’ is allowed in the actual cabin with you, while your suitcases / luggage needs to be checked in and goes underneath / in the belly of the plane.

EIAF flight co-ordinators are well versed on the requirements and restrictions of gear that can travel with your horse and excess luggage that needs to be recorded on an airweigh bill. Our staff can assist with advice on packing for an air stall to travel with your horse and packing gear as ‘checked’ luggage on a separate airweigh bill. We’ll make sure everything arrives safely and comfortably, especially your horse!

Your Horse is our PRIORITY!

When packing horse gear for a flight, this type of reuseable plastic bag is perfect (see picture above). Usually available from hardware stores.