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Private Charter Plane to Hawaii – to Ensure Pets Fly Safely

This was an email that just came in from Amy. She wants to fly her Great Dane dog to Hawaii and isn’t confident about shipping it in a large jet airliner’s cargo compartment (and who is?). She came up with a work-around that involves finding a few other pet owners to share a private charter plane to Hawaii – so the pets can fly in the same passenger cabin. Good idea, right?

If you know someone flying to Hawaii in May or June that has pets and might consider going in on the private plane share – write me here quickly so I can pass it on to Amy.

* * *
Hi Vern,

My name is Amy and I was wondering if you might have any info that could be helpful to me. I actually wrote you last year about moving to Kauai and my husband and I have been working very hard to make that dream a reality. We’ve paid off our debit and built a nice cushion in our savings account. We’re planning on making the move this May or June. Here’s where I could use some help, we have a Great Dane that will be making the move with us (don’t worry, he’s already met all Hawaii quarantine requirements). We hate the thought of shipping him cargo and have been looking into sharing a private charter plane with other people moving to the islands with their pets. We plan on leaving from Southern California – LA or San Diego. Although I thought this would be a long shot I’ve actually found three other people willing to share a plane. My questions for you are, do you know of any other people who may be interested in sharing a charter with us (one or two more people could really help us cut costs) and do you know of any charter companies that are pet friendly? I really appreciate any help you could offer. I also want to thank you for your website. It’s always a place of great information. I’m sure I’ll be emailing you for more info as the moving date gets closer.


P.S. I love your book too.

* * *

Great idea Amy. I’m not sure we’ll be able to find anyone else to go – but worth a try. Do you have any idea of the costs of the flight and how much it would be for someone and their pet to join right now?

I don’t know any private charters flying to Hawaii. However, I know a helicopter pilot living in San Diego that used to live in Hawaii – so he might know how to find other charters. I’ll ask him.

Best of luck to you on your trip. Hope you fill the plane.



About the author: Moving to Hawaii was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. I strongly encourage you to consider it if you’re in the financial position to do so. Living in Hawaii has a fair bit of both positive and negative experiences. Read some of the articles here and try to get a feel for whether you might thrive in the islands. Best of luck and life to you! Aloha!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tammy

    My husband and I are also planning on moving to Hawaii. Our dogs had the blood test done and it was received on 5/30/2014 by Kansas state university. We are planning on selling our home but were also concerned about how to get our pets to Oahu! I know the test is good for 36 months and not less than 120 days, so we still have time. We haven’t put our house on the market yet because we also have the same problem with getting our pets there! We have a Shepard, a Bichon Frise and 2 Maltese.

  • Laura

    People interested in charter share with pets to Hawaii? I’m in Portland and am flexible with dates. Just need to go by November when my dogs rabies paperwork expires.

  • Tanya

    Hi, finally our tests came back for our dogs and we are wanting to fly to Maui from southern California beginning of January 2014. I have received a quote of $40,000 for a 1 way trip out of van Nuys to Maui. Anyone interested in this time period that might want to share the flight please contact me at cheekiest01@yahoo.com. (we will be travelling with 3 small/medium size female dogs)

  • April

    I’ll see what I can find out as well regarding prices. My husband asked me if I know of any cruises that will allow pets on to Hawaii?

  • April

    Does anyone here know of other forums where people are looking to charter a plane to Hawaii? I can seem to find anything? Here’s my email address aprilkandrews@hotmail.com

  • An update on the charter prices. Spoke with one company and they quoted $55,000.00 to $60,000. That would be for a 15 seater aircraft. They said that the pets could be in cages and on the floor and then we could possibly sell all the other seats to other passengers. Would work out to $4000 per person if all seats could be filled. Will keep checking around to see if I can get better prices.

    • April

      Spoke with New Flight Charter and they said it depends on date of travel, pets, and how many passengers and what type of aircraft. He said we are looking anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000.

      I’ve contacted these charters and they either do not fly to Hawaii or do not accept pets:

      Jet Suite, Linear Air

  • Hi

    We are still planning on departing from California for Maui around the beginning of December. April, you need to start the process asap. From once the lab receives your dogs blood samples there is a 120 day waiting period. I spoke with a vet in Maui who will meet us at the airport and I feel a little more confident about how the process works now. Let us stay in touch and perhaps we can work this out. I still have not had any response on charter prices from southern California. Will try again.

  • Hi everyone who responded to my post

    If all goes well with the test results for our dogs, the earliest we would be able to leave for Maui is roughly the end of November or beginning of December. Does anyone have an idea of what a charter might cost out of southern California, San Diego or Los Angeles?

    Hope that we can put something together and that we get a few more people interested.

    Thanks for the response

    • April

      Where you able to find anything out regarding charter prices? My husband and I got lucky and sold our home the first day on the market. Now we are in the process of buying a home in Oahu. I know we will be driving our vehicles to Cali and flying from their to Oahu. I am pretty open to the end of the year if anyone else needs extra people. Question? Everyone tells me to get started on the paperwork now. Does that mean take the papers to the vet, get them to make sure dogs are current on all vaccinations and such? We just didn’t want them to do the blood work yet until we were certain on a home first. We are shooting for the 5 days or less program.

  • April

    Hello everyone! My husband and I are in the process of selling our home in Houston. Once that is taking care of we are hoping to get a group of people who are interested in charter plane to Hawaii. We have 2 shih tzu dogs.

    • Ashley

      Hi April, which island are you looking to move to?

      • April

        I am sorry that I forgot that bit of info. We are moving to Oahu. Is it true that it takes 4 months to get all the paperwork approved? To me the most stressful thing is timing. Selling the home, figuring out when to begin the paperwork for the dogs, getting a group of ppl to charter there. Ughh! I wish Pet Airways would hurry up and fly to Hawaii!!!!

        • Ashley

          We are actually looking to move to Maui. We have already started the process for our dogs and they are approved to go by August, but we are not looking to probably late October. But there is still steps when we do get ready to leave that we will need to do in order for them to get a direct release at the airport. You should start by going to hdoa.hawaii.gov this has all the information and paper work you will need to get your pets approved to go. Once you get their blood samples approved you cannot arrive within 90 days so I would start as soon as possible. Plus their are requirements on their rabies vaccines. Just make sure you read everything carefully, it can be a little overwhelming.

  • Hi, we are planning on moving to Maui later this year, probably around end of November to December some time. We would have 1 person and 3 dogs (small females). Would be interested in hearing from anyone that might be considering a flight charter during that time.
    Thanks Tanya

    • Ashley Crabtree

      Hi Tanya, my husband, 2 dogs (pug & shitzu), are looking to relocate to Maui in the fall also, and finding a safe flight for our pug has been a nightmare so we have been considering chartering a flight too depending on the costs. We we’re actually looking more at late october, but would consider changing that. Would be interested in talking to you more about sharing a flight.

      Thanks, Ashley

  • Amy

    Hi Jennifer. Sorry for the delayed response. It would be great to have another person on the flight. Our timeline for the charter would be around mid June. Here’s the problems I’m facing though. We can only afford a charter if we get an empty leg flight (this is an empty plane that is scheduled to fly to Hawaii to pick up passengers and fly back). All the companies I’ve talked to don’t seem to think it will be hard to find an empty leg but the problem is they don’t usually get scheduled until a week or two before the travel dates. That puts us in a bad situation for getting the dogs over if a flight doesn’t become available as the cargo flights fill up a month or more ahead of time. Unfortunately I dont think a charter will work. What I’ve decided to do is book a flight for my dog to go cargo and then hope a charter becomes available. I can always cancel the cargo flight if needed. I hope this helps. Good luck.

  • Jennifer

    I was wondering if you need anyone else for your charter and what is your current timeline? Since you have to go through HNL, does your charter then take you to Kauai?

  • Amy

    Thanks Vern. I’ll check those sites out.

    • Wanda

      Amy, I see I have my work cut out for me. I’m interested in finding other individuals to share charter costs too. My time frame is behind yours as I am just now starting the dogs medical requirements and paperwork. I know you have put a lot of work in research so any tips you can share would be greatly appreciated.

      • Amy

        Good luck Wanda. We’re just beginning the charter research but I’m sure we’ll be posting things here as we find out more.

  • Ryan

    Amy-Thanks for reaching out to this website. It would be wonderful to get another family or two. There must be others out there like us. Saying a prayer this works out.

  • Amy

    Thanks Vern. I really appreciate you posting this for me. I think social media is the only way this will ever work. I didn’t mention it before but we’ll be leaving from Southern California. It will most likely be a June timeline since some of the other dogs won’t be done with quarantine until then but if we have enough interested parties maybe we could do a May flight and a June flight. No harm in dreaming big. We don’t have a firm price range yet but have been give estimates of everything from $35,000-$60,000. We’re all doing more research now and hope to have a more solid price soon. If we catch a break and find an open leg flight the price will be more like $35k which would be about $7000 each if we have five people sharing. Considering the cost to ship a pet cargo plus our individual ticket costs that price isn’t too bad. Not to mention the peace of mind of having our beloved pets with us on a private jet. I could think of worse things.