We (two people) live in the US and we have two cockatiels. We will eventually move to a different country (air travel). This question is about how to execute the move in a way that is safe for the birds. There are two main parts, 1. safety/practical 2. legal/customs.
What is the safest way to travel by air with parrots? I am not comfortable letting them travel in the cargo hold. Unlike dogs and cats, parrots can freak out very easily, can start flapping and fatally injure themselves in the cage. They are also more sensitive to quick temperature changes.
Some airlines allow taking small pets in the cabin, with conditions (usually one per person--we're two people--and the pet carrier has to fit under the seat). Which airlines flying from the US allow this, and what are the typical conditions? What can we do to ensure that this option will be available (I assume advance planning and booking will be necessary).
Are there other safe options than trying to take the birds in the cabin (when the destination country allows this)?
What are the requirements to allow exporting cockatiels (not CITES-listed) from the US? What is required for the export and what is recommended to ensure that it will be possible to return or travel to a third country in the future? (Example of what tips I'm looking for: I got the person we acquired the bird from to write a signed letter with details about the bird and the transaction; I wouldn't be able to contact them after leaving the country, so even if this is not strictly required for leaving the US, it may be necessary to have it in the future.)
What are the recommended steps before the move to make everything as smooth as possible (e.g. avoid a quarantine on arrival when possible)?
The birds are of 90 g in weight, which means that microchipping is likely not safe/possible.
I'd be grateful for advice on preparing for this move, especially for advice based on first-hand experience (I've already done a fair bit of online research: some of the info is unreliable/contradictory or implicitly assumes dogs/cat when listing requirements that would be unreasonable for small birds).
Destination country is not clear yet, but my job does not offer much geographical stability, so the move will be necessary. This question focuses on things that do not depend on the destination country. I expect this not to be easy and I need to plan well in advance.
First hand experience moving USA -> Sweden with a parrot. This article discusses the necessary paperwork, but it's for CITES-listed species (most parrots) while cockatiels are not CITES-listed (the paperwork will be different).