We feel the need to explain this a bit better because some people assume it’s like mail, USPS, UPS, etc which arrives directly at their door. But in actuality, the breeder/owner takes the gliders in a special travel carrier/container to the airport on the selected date, drop them off there, they get on the flight soon after and fly to the nearest airport to you(that accepts live animals) and you pick them up a matter of hours after they left the breeders/owners care, generally. Due to the fact that it’s an airline flight and same day shipping the costs are usually between $170 – $300. (Last we heard from Continental the cost after taxes from ORD to TPA, for example, was $186. That is JUST that flight, not factoring in any costs for the carrier, the gas to and from the airport, etc.)
Many breeders or owners will ship via Continental as it is the most common and cheapest to use. Delta also offers flights for live animals but they’re a bit more costly. Not all airlines do offer this service so it’s best to call and make sure before making any plans. Also, it’s best to call ahead before you travel, too, as most airlines won’t allow gliders in the cabins at ALL! (And sneaking them on is a BAD idea! The scanners they use now can see their little skeletons so you WILL be found out, fined and there are chances that the animal will be confiscated and put down. It isn’t something you want to risk.
The flight alone is often between $170 and $300 depending on the airline, locations and dates. On top of that you need to plan to possibly pay for the carrier, the cost of gas to/from the airport for the shipper, a possible health certificate(often $40-60) and more. It’s best to talk to the seller or breeder long before planning to purchase a glider to make sure you can afford to ship them. Keep in mind, you may need to drive a couple hours to the airport to pick them up, too. That takes both time and money.
Most airlines will list carrier restrictions on their website. Size requirements, materials, etc. Typically they say they need to have water/food dish, this does not apply to gliders. You may need to explain a little about the nature of gliders but more and more people are shipping so they are typically used to them. You will need a good deal of fleece on the bottom as an ‘absorbant material’ for the animal to ‘potty’ on, essentially. Along with that it’s nice to give them some fleece pouches to sleep in and some apple slices for snacking and hydration during the flight.
Continental’s Shipping Info – This was all I could find for now. Continental recently merged with another airline and their website is a bit of a mess right now.
Examples of Shipping Carriers
You may want to check out this page for more information; Shipping Sugar Gliders.