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Travelling with pets

Before you fly

  • Make sure you purchase your tickets for yourself and your pet at the same time, because only a specific number of animals are allowed on board an aircraft depending on its type.
  • If you are planning to travel with a pet it is important to contact the airline(s) you are flying with, because every carrier has its own rules regarding the transportation of animals.
  • Prior to purchasing your tickets, check the entry and exit rules that apply to your pet in your countries of departure, transit and destination. Such information is available from e.g. the embassy of the country in question.

At the airport

  • Animals are only permitted in the aircraft cabin if they are small enough to comfortably fit inside a specialised travel crate.
  • Unless otherwise established by the carrier, the total permitted weight of the animal and cage is 8 kg.
  • The travel crate must be able to be fully closed and the pet must remain throughout the flight in the closed bag or crate, placed under the seat in front of the passenger.
  • Whether the pet has sufficient room in the cage to stand, turn around and lie down without having to assume an unnatural posture will be determined at the check-in desk.
  • Larger dogs (excl. trained service dogs) are transported in the hold.
  • Regardless of where in the aircraft your pet happens to be during a flight, airlines require cages that meet the guidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In general, cages must be durable and properly ventilated, with strong handles and a leak-proof base.

Good to know

Travel documents

Requirements for travelling with pets in the EU:

  • Microchip enabling identification
  • Pet passport
  • Vaccination against rabies

Questions to ask yourself when travelling with pets:

  • Have you paid for your pet to travel and has the airline confirmed this for all flights?
  • Does your pet have a passport?
  • Do your destination country and any transit countries allow pets to be transported on your intended route?
  • Does the cage comply with the airline’s requirements, including in terms of size?
  • How much do your pet and its cage weigh in total?
  • Is your pet able to sit, lie and stand in the cage without its head touching the top of the cage?
  • Is your pet at least eight weeks of age?
  • Are there ventilation openings on all four sides of the cage (covering at least 16% of each side)?
  • Is the cage leak- and escape-proof?
  • Is there a water bowl in the cage if your pet is being transported in the hold?

What to do on the day of travel

On the day you are flying, make sure you get to the airport well ahead of your scheduled departure to avoid the stress of having to hurry. If your pet is being transported in the hold, the majority of airlines will require you to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight. Whenever you travel with a pet you must go to the check-in desk, where your travel documents and the conformity of your pet’s cage to the airline’s requirements will be inspected, making sure that the animal itself also meets all mandatory requirements. You will then be given instructions depending on whether your pet is travelling with you on board or is being transported in the hold.