Just as you must be screened to be admitted to the gate area of the airport, so to must your pet. It is important that you take particular care of your pet during this process, because if your pet gets loose, he or she may become very frightened and bolt away from you. This could mean your pet is running around the airport, hiding, or even worse – leaves the airport building without you.
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The Transportation Safety Administration has the right to ask you to take your pet out of their carrier and place the empty carrier through the belt x-ray screener. They DO NOT have the right to independently handle your pet or to put the pet through the belt x-ray screener. If the a Transportation Safety Officer tries to independently handle your pet in any way you are not comfortable with, ask for a supervisor immediately. If you still are not satisfied with the outcome, contact the TSA main number at 1-866-289-9673.
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If you are asked to remove your pet from the carrier, ask to be placed with your pet in a closed room. THIS IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING WITH A CAT. After making sure the door is securely closed and the officer is insuring that the door will not be opened before you have secured your pet, open the crate door slightly and attach your pet’s collar and leash while keeping him or her in the carrier. After you are SURE your dog or cat is securely leashed, then remove them from the carrier and give the carrier to the Transportation Safety Officer.