Airline Pet Policy Questions

Airline Pet Policy QuestionsFlying with a pet?   Have questions regarding airline pet policy?

  • Need to know what type of carrier you will need?
  • What does your pet need to fly as cargo?
  • Will the airlines transfer your pet from one plane to another?

Post your questions here and we will respond within 24 hours. You can also find information here: airline pet policies.

99 comments to Airline Pet Policy Questions

  • Paula – KLM and Air France allow pets in the cabin on some routes. (nothing into the UK) The length of the route and the cities involved in the itinerary have a lot to do as to whether they will allow a pet. Know that Air France will make you claim and recheck your pet on layovers so they can collect another pet fee. this can be disasterous for pet travelers depending on the layover country.

  • Paula

    Do KLM and Air France allow comfort animals in cabin? Do they have a weight limit?

  • Chrys – your cats can accompany you, but not all in the cabin. Several will need to travel as accompanied checked baggage in the cargo hold. They will travel on the same flight as you if they are traveling under that class of service.


    I am going to move back to Europe (Switzerland) with my 5 cats. Is there a limit in the number of pets that can be taken per flight ? I guess it is different for each company.
    I would like them to be on the same flight as us. We will be 2 or maybe 3 persons traveling.
    thank you

  • Katie – your cat’s behavior depends on their personality and how they are prepared for travel. Get them in the carrier early and often. carry some small treats as well. Reserve a window seat and bring a jacket so you can put the kitties on your laps.

  • Katie Hose


    I am wanting to travel with my 3 cats by plane in the cabin and just wondered if anyone else here has ever traveled with 3 or more pets?

    By the way there will be 3 of us flying with the cats so technically there is a cat per person.



  • Sabrina – to answer your first question, avoid the UK if possible. Pets must travel in the hold and there are transit permits required. Any layover in the EU (outside of the UK) is fine as long as you are flying in and out of the layover airport on the same airline. You can stay in the terminal and not clear customs and enter the country.

    As for the new regulations, as they read now, in order for the pet’s transport to be non-commercial, you as the owner must travel within 5 days of your pet’s transport. Although meetings are going on regarding the impacts to people wanting to bring their pets to them on later flights, there have been no compromises from DEFRA or the EU Commission. It will be possible to do, but more difficult (and expensive).

  • sabrina

    Hi! I moved to the Netherlands from the States about 4 months ago and have been intending to bring my cats over as soon as I have permanent housing. My question is — if I fly with a layover, with the cats in the cabin, do my cats have to meet the import criteria of the layover country as well as my final destination in NL? Specifically it’s looking like potential layovers in LHR, CPH, or DUB.

    I also have very tight scheduling in 1Q15, which is when I was hoping to transport the cats, so I had friends volunteer to bring them over to me if I can’t get time off work, but I see there’s a regulation change scheduled for 29 Dec that seems to indicate I have to travel with them (or at least within 5 days of them)… does that mean that, if I can’t go, my friends can’t bring my cats to me?

    I miss my kitties :(

  • Charlie – they will weigh them on international flights. Not so much on domestic flights. They are more concerned if they fit in the carrier and be able to stand up and turn around. That said, it does depend on the check-in agent whether rules are enforced.

  • Charlie

    Hi, traveling within contiguous US here. I have a small/medium chihuahua mix that would fit in the carrier size specified for AA, but he is a dense little thing between 18-20 pounds. Given that the carriers are often 2-3 pounds or so, will they really keep me from carrying him on board? Anyone have any experience with a similar size dog on American or know if they usually actually weigh them?

  • Neda – because Egypt is considered to be a high-rabies country by the EU so it will take up to 4 months of preparation to avoid quarantine. You will need to microchip your pets, the vaccinate them for rabies. It must be done in this order, but the same vet visit is fine. You will wait 30 days, not counting the day of your first vet visit, and your vet will do a Blood Titer Test. Your cats can enter the UK 90 days after the date the blood was drawn for the titer test. You will need an Annex II form for the United Kingdom completed within 10 days of travel and a tapeworm test between one and five days of entry. You can find details and instructions and forms required here if you need them:

  • Neda kassas

    Hi, I’m an expat living in Egypt and want to return to the uk with my two dogs, each 10 kilos, terrier types that I got in Egypt.I understand uk no longer requires the six month quarantine if u follow certain rules. What do I need to do to take them? I will probably go British airways…Cairo…London…Manchester …or any direct flight from Cairo to Manchester. Thanks .

  • Kim – if the airline you have chosen accepts ESAs, then your pet should be able to fly in the cabin and sit at your feet. You should confirm with your airline.

  • kim

    I have a shiba mix dog that is my service dog. She is used as my esa. She cannot fit under the seat, would she be able to sit in the seat next to me? Knowing she is under the plane, makes my anxiety worse.

  • Erin – there should be no problem with transporting your dog to the Netherlands, picking him up and taking him to Germany by ground. The requirements for both countries are the same (unless your dog is a breed that is banned in Germany). You will need to have your dog microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies (in that order) at least 21 days prior to entering the country. If your dog is currently microchipped with a 15 digit ISO compliant chip, then it must have been vaccinated after the chip was implanted and the vaccination must be current. You will need an Annex II form for the Netherlands completed by an accredited USDA vet (or a military vet) within 10 days of entry to the Netherlands. That form is good for 4 months of travel within the EU, so it will get you into Germany without problems. You can find details on bringing a pet to the Netherlands here:

  • Erin

    My husband and I are moving from the US to Germany on military orders and the military does not have any space available for our dog before my husband’s report date so we have to ship our dog separately. It seems that our best option is shipping him to Amsterdam and picking him up from there. Are requirements different between the Netherlands and Germany? Will we run into any issues if we pick him up in the Netherlands but his final destination is Germany?


  • Jason – as long as your dog is traveling in an airline compliant carrier and can fit in the seat in front of you, you should be fine. Spirit does not offer cargo services for animals.

  • Jason

    I’d like to bring my dog on-board with spirit airlines on a domestic flight in the US. Are any documents required to travel with my dog?

  • Hi Sanni – first of all, you are good to enter the US with your cat. Although rabies vaccination is not required to enter the country, it is required under most state ordinances.

    As for your carrier, the airlines publish measurements so that people cannot bring unreasonably large carriers on the airplane. Your best bet is to get a soft-sided carrier like one of these: They are all airline compliant and the SturdiBag was originally made to transport cats. You would need the large size in this carrier. The important thing that the airlines look for is that your kitty has room to stand up and turn around in the carrier. Additionally, all of these carriers (except the pet carrier with wheels) will squish down to fit under the seat in front of you. Would be happy to answer any additional questions.

  • Sanni

    I’m planning to bring my cat from Canada to Florida for a several months long stay. He has already had a rabies shot in June. What else do I need to consider?

    Also, I am very nervous about finding the right pet carrier. There doesn’t seem to be a single pet carrier that would fit the requirements of any two airlines and I can’t buy a new carrier each time I go on a different plane. Do you have a recommendation for this conundrum? Maybe even a product recommendation … ? He’s a regular-sized cat, maybe a little slimmer and longer than average 10.5 lbs at his last weigh in. Stands 11″ tall (shoulder) … not sure about length (He doesn’t enjoy me measuring him :) ).

    Thanks so much

  • betsy

    Okay, I will call and check. Thanks again for you help!

  • Betsy – if your puppy is not vaccinated, you will need to request home quarantine when entering the US. That should not be a problem. It is the length of the layover in Guangzhou that is concerning if your dog is traveling as checked baggage. If this is the case, confirm with the airline that you will not have to claim and re-check your pet.

  • betsy

    Okay, thanks Susan. I will have to ask and see, but I don’t think they have vaccinated her and now I only have 10 days till I travel back. Thanks for all your help though!

  • Betsy – it means that she needed a vaccination for rabies no sooner than 30 days prior to entry and not more than one year prior to entry. If her vaccination is current and was administered more than 30 days before entering the country, she will be fine. Hope that is clearer.

  • betsy

    Thanks Susan. I will have one layover, same airline in Guangzhou, with a layover time of 3 hr and 20 min.

    When the policy says “proof of rabies vaccination at least 30 days prior to entry”, does that mean that she needed the vaccination 30 days ago, or can she still have it now that its 10 days till travel?

  • Betsy – need additional information to answer your question. Are you transiting through China? What city? How long is your layover?

    As your dog will be traveling as checked baggage or manifest cargo in the hold, then the layover time will matter. You will need to confirm with the airlines that they will transfer your dog from plane to plane. You need to stay on the same airline in and out of the layover city.

    In order to enter the US, you will need proof of rabies vaccination at least 30 days prior to entry and a health certificate issued within 10 days of entry (for the airlines and to meet state requirements.) You can find details on entering the US here:

  • betsy

    I forgot to add that I will be traveling with China Southern from Nepal to China to LAX.

  • betsy

    Hello, I am currently volunteering in Nepal and am living with a family that has a small dog. They keep asking if I will take her with me and now that I only have 13 days left in Nepal, I am wondering if it is even possible. Is it too late to get everything needed for travel? Thanks for any help.

  • Dii – in many EU countries, fish are not subject to regulations and can enter the country from another EU or rabies controlled country without issues. We would suggest that you contact the PVD in Latvia to confirm. We are sorry not to be of more assistance.

    As for the airline, your beta will need to fly as accompanied checked baggage or cargo. We recommend that you contact the airlines because they do not publish that they transport fish on their aircraft.

  • Dii

    Please, help me. I’m travelling from USA to Europe (Latvia) and I want to take my betta fish with me! I can’t find any information about if it’s possible and what I have to do to make it possible?
    The other question is, what is the best way to transport betta in a plane?
    I have a non-stop flight from New York (JFK) to Riga (RIX) with Uzbekistan airways.
    Thank you!

  • Jose – to answer your first question, as long as you are remaining on KLM in and out of Amsterdam, if your cats are traveling in the cargo hold, they will be transferred from plane to plane. If they are traveling with you in the cabin, then, as long as you do not leave the terminal and clear customs, you will not need to conform to Netherlands regulations. (which entails at least one current rabies vaccination after the implantation of a microchip and a current EU pet passport).

    As far as regulations for pets to enter the US, the Center for Disease Control governs those requirements and rabies vaccinations are not requirements of that organization. However, this regulation is left to the states. In California, it is the California Department of Health. Regarding cats, they state: “All domestic cats must be healthy. Neither a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), also known as a health certificate, nor a rabies vaccination is required to import a cat into California; however, if traveling into California via airplane, please call the airline as they may have additional requirements.” We should mention that the airlines will most likely require a health certificate and, aside from that, it is a good idea to travel with one. Also know that other states in the US may have rabies requirements should you decide to travel in the US.
    Let me know if I have not addressed your concerns.

  • Jose

    Hi there,

    I’m flying (with KLM) with 2 (common european) cats from Spain to CA, USA, connecting at Amsterdam (less than two hours) and I’ve some questions:
    – Do the Dutch requirements to my cats apply due to the connection?
    – If so, what are those?
    – I see that the requirements for entering cats in the States are basically having a healthy cat (with certificate). No rabies or other vaccinations are required. The same for California. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance,

  • Hi Anne – the UAE requires all pets to enter as manifest cargo. It is not an airline policy; it is a government policy. You can find the requirements for importing live animals to Dubai here: Your pet will need a microchip, import permit, and endorsed proof of rabies vaccination and health certificate.

  • Anne

    Hi there,
    I have a quick question – I want to take my 4 month old puppy to Dubai from Toronto, I have looked at several airlines and wanted to know if you know what the country restrictions are for Lufthansa? as KLM does not allow pets in the cabin on the flight to Dubai.

  • Shirley

    We are moving from PA to CO, and need to transport our guinea pig. Has anyone used United’s PetSafe service? Most of the airlines will not allow him in-cabin, and was wondering if anyone has any experience with the Petsafe program. Thanks.

  • Gabrielle Adams

    Awesome thank you. I did think that was a weird requirement if I would not be leaving the airport in Russia.

  • It depends on whether you are changing planes or airlines. If you are just changing airplanes and staying onthe same airline, then you should not have to go through customs in Russia. The layover should be no more than 2 hours or you will need to contact Aeroflot and ask them to hold your pet in a secure area.

  • Gabrielle Adams

    Hi again. It says on their website
    rule number three for required documentation. I will be having a lay over in Moscow so I am not sure if that means they will go through customs there. Or will I only have to go through customs at the destination?

  • Hi Cabrielle – this requirement sounds like the one to enter Russia, not the Czech Republic. Where are you reading this policy?

  • Gabrielle Adams

    Hi I am looking to bring my cat on an Aeroflot flight to the Czech Republic. The policy states I need a “certificate from SKOR or RKF (Russian Breeding Clubs) that your pet has no breeding value.” But I can find no information on how to get this certificate. My cat is spayed so she can’t breed anyway. Is the vet certificate enough?

  • Hi Sheri – there are airlines that will require you arrange your pet’s transport out of the UK with an agent (British Airways is one of them) but it is not necessary with all airlines. Yes, your pet can travel as checked baggage if your airline will permit it. You should call the airline directly to discuss requirements. It is a concern that you are flying into PHX (DIA? did you mean Dallas?) in July. The term of the heat embargo is mid May through mid September, but the real issue is the temperature. When it exceeds 85 degrees, the airlines will not transport your pet in cargo. You can see if there are flights that arrive late at night or early in the morning when temperatures are not so extreme. Your options into Dallas are far greater than Phoenix. You may want to contact United, KLM or Air France to see if they have late night arrivals. Hope this helps.

  • Sheri

    Hi, we are relocating from London (Heathrow) to the US (either DIA or PHX). We need to transport our Golden Retriever. Can she be transported as excess baggage or can she only go cargo? If so, do you know if I have to use a transport company here in the UK or do I just call the airlines direct? Also I was worried about the heat embargo. We are due to move in July… Do you know the latest date that she could be shipped? Thanks so much for your help… we shipped her to the UK three years ago but this way around is proving to be more difficult.

  • Your question is best addressed to the airline itself. They control the type of aircraft that they use on their routes. Tell them where you are going and ask them if their aircraft can accommodate a series 700 crate. Our guess is yes, but we do not have control of the type of aircraft that will fly this route.

  • Brooke Koenig

    I will be traveling with SAS Airlines for a work related stay in the country of Denmark from April to December 2014, with a non-stop flight from Chicago to Copenhagen. I am looking into the requirements to travel with my dog, a neutered standard poodle, and by measurements he will need the giant IATA Compliant crate.

    On the ordering page for the crate, it states “Not all airlines will accept the giant crate for cargo or as checked baggage. Make sure to check with your airline before your flight.”

    I am writing to inquire if SAS Airlines allows the giant crates for the cargo hold where large pets would be transported.

    Thank you so much.

  • Hi Lynn – there are plenty of airlines that fly from LHR to IAD (Dulles) for example. All of these airlines have direct flights: British Airways, United, Lufthansa, Finnair, Delta, Virgin Atlantic and American. If your dog needs to be in cargo, it is likely that Delta may serve this route with a 767 which will not permit pets in the hold, but it will be fine with all the other airlines. If you want your pet to travel in the cabin, then it is the policy of the airline when flying out of London. Hope this helps.

  • lynn

    forgot to mention I would be flying with a dog…Oops!

  • lynn

    I need to fly from an East Coast City (Washington, Philadelphia, Raleigh Durham, Charlotte) to Amsterdam or Paris and back through London. Which airlines will let us fly out of London airports?
    Thanks, Lynn

  • Hello Teegan – unfortunately, Australia does not permit the import of chinchillas, fish, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, lizards, mice, snakes, spiders and turtles, so it is highly unlikely that any airlines will transport your pet on that route. Sorry…

  • teegan

    I am looking at china eastern airlines, a flight from vancouver to sydney australia with a transit in shanghai with my beautiful 1yr hamster. I have had no luck in finding any info about if i can take her on 5he flight with me.

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