Things you need to know:
Airlines require kennels that are not collapsible. A series ATA 500 kennel is approved for flight and readily available at any pet supply house (PetSmart etc.) The kennel must have a water container, one that can be filled from the outside (in case of a delay). Your Kerry should be able to stand and be able to turn around in the kennel.
You will not be able to ship your Kerry if the departure or arrival temperature is above 85 degrees on the tarmac in the summer. In turn, during in the winter you will not be able to ship a Kerry if the temperature goes below 45 degrees. Keep in mind, that in the summer it gets cooler in the evening. A night flight might be viable. Use your computer and monitor the destination city regarding temperature.
You must have proof of current rabies vaccination, and a recent health certificate issued from a veterinarian.
You will be required to attest that your Kerry has been offered food and water within 4 hours of the flight time. (FAA requirement)
The American Veterinary Medical Association indicates that no sedation should be given to an animal for flight.
Aircraft cargo compartments are pressurized and are normally maintained at between 50 and 70 degrees.
Keep in mind the following:
Non-stop Flight means a flight will “not” stop between the initiating terminal and the destination. Direct Flight means any flight between two points with no change in flight numbers, this may include a “stopover” at an intermediate point. Always try to book a non-stop flight.
Make a reservation for your Kerry and verify the airline’s particular requirements for shipping an animal.
I suggest you go to the terminal two hours before the flight time. (You will have to show your documentation and you must complete their forms). They will also have to check the weather at the destination to ensure the temperatures meet the requirements.
Tape a bag (Ziploc) of your Kerry’s favorite kibble to the kennel. (This is in case of a delay and is an FAA requirement). I always included a leash taped to the kennel because ground personnel are very good at looking out after the pets on board their aircraft when there is a delay. I also include a potty pad in the bottom of the kennel (just in case), on top of newspaper. It will absorb any liquids during the trip and keep your Kerry dry.
When you check-in they will weigh your kennel with your Kerry inside to determine the fee to charge for transporting your Kerry to its destination. You will pay at this time. They don’t take advance payments because they do not know what the weight will be.
Once checked-in and you’re in a wait mode (prior to sending him/her down the ramp), go ahead and walk your Kerry around until the last minute to board. I bring ice cubes to put in the water tray just before they put him/her down the ramp. The ice cubes stop the splashing of the water when going down the ramp to the pre-boarding area. It also gives the Kerry something to lick and water when it melts.
Of course this is all new to your Kerry so they will be very alert as to every little sound and movement. However, after being placed in the cargo compartment it is quiet and becomes very boring, so it is time to sleep. Then they wake-up at their new destination!
Some other Info:
You cannot ship a puppy that is less than 8 weeks old.
There are such things as checked pets and cabin pets travel for small dogs. Each airline has their rules for this type of transport. You must check with your airline if you plan on going with a small Kerry.
Hawaii is a rabies free state so any dog arriving there will be quarantined. (120 days)