Fish are flown in from Thailand all the time but I do not think you would be allowed to have your fish in the cabin with you. He or she would have to ride in the baggage area and have probably a much rougher ride than you would have. Some places overseas would not allow you to take them into the country with you and if you tried would place them in quarantine for up to 6 months or even longer if they did not dispose of them immediately. I do not think I would try it. I shipped some fish supplies to a friend in Wales one time and had to list everything in the box and it could not contain anything liquid or anything that was in the food line or any fish or any medications. It was so strict and confining that it boiled down to a small tank, a few decorations and a couple of nice books and that was all I could depend on making it through.
But as far as them exploding from the pressure I do not think so as the pressure inside the airplane is strictly controlled to make it possible for the crew to be able to work in the areas they need to be in. So I do not think they would explode on you unless they were riding in an unpressurized area of the plane in a container that was pretty flimsy but getting the fish on the plane in the first place would be the issue. It would not be any easy thing to do. Sometimes the fellows that catch fish on vacation and want to ship them home already dead in frozen containers on dry ice have difficulty, live fish are an even more difficult matter unless you have a license.
I heard a while back of a woman that fashioned a coat with special pockets where she put fish bags (she was smuggling illegal fish), she was stopped when an attendant heard "a splashing coming from her jacket" LOL
Now- for the topic in question. I think you would have to investigate the rules and regulations for whatever plane your flying on and whether or not the place you live and/or the place your traveling too would allow it. But honestly, I think that all in all, the entire trip would be very stressful for them, especially the on board pressure changes and the turbulence encountered mid-flight.
Well travel in general is stressful for them. I ordered a fire engine red betta and he arrived white as the driven snow from fright after 2 days in the box in the shipment but after he calmed down he soon got his color back. I felt so sorry for the little fellow and was hesitant to purchase anymore bettas from that vendor due to the packing that this little fellow got. But he came out of it okay and was fine and lived a long life and I saw to it that he had all he could want in his tank and he was one of my nicest and best bettas. He was one of my sweetest tempered and most loving bettas.
I cannot imagine anyone taking the betta through the metal scanner but it is a magnetic device and perhaps they are not capable of handling that type of thing. I do not know but someone was evidently smuggling the fish or it would not have been in that position. Fish that are being brought in the country legally are properly labeled and go through US Customs and would not be processed that way. They would be handled as live animals and treated humanely as would be appropriate.
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