Flying with dogs - cats - mice - flying with animals

Flying with animals: dog, cat, …

Martina Roters
20.07.2020
8 minutes

… hare or rabbit. These are the animals that are allowed to travel with Lufthansa. Other airlines only mention dogs and cats, others do not list any animal species, some emphasize that no ferrets or martens are allowed. Flying with animals means a lot of effort, already with the research alone. So WingMag has summarized important information for you.

When flying with animals you should make your plans in good time

Even though we have compiled the most important information here, the following applies: the devil lies in the details, so you should always check directly with the respective airline for the exact regulations on flying with animals. And you should do so very early on.

The best time to do so is as soon as the plan of flying with pets comes up at all: because visits to the vet, getting the necessary documents, purchasing the necessary utensils – all this can take months, depending on the flight destination.

Money is also a factor. Because the price of an animal ticket is not enough. Your pet is not allowed to travel on your lap, let alone on a free seat on the plane, but may need an IATA transport box or at least a compliant pet travel bag (and the time it takes to get used to it).

Unless your pet is an assistance dog, but even then there are some things to consider.

For animal welfare reasons, there are now special regulations for snub-nosed animals (other designations: short-snouted, with flat nose, short-headed, short skull, with brachycephalic syndrome), which are only transported under certain conditions or not at all. Prominent examples are pug dog, boxer, bulldog, Burmese and Persian cats.

Should my dog/cat accompany me when I fly?

In the interest of your animal we will now take a step back. A flight is always a suboptimal compromise: your animal has a lot of stress … Unknown environment, box to box with strange animals, differences in pressure, the noise that is considerable for the sensitive ears and above all the restricted movement over a longer period of time. Especially with dogs, the separation from his favourite person is an additional factor.

According to the animal welfare organisation PETA (German), 5,000 animals die every year on commercial flights: from overheating, hypothermia, lack of oxygen or stress. So one should think about this decision carefully and also consider alternatives: Can I really not give my animal to someone else or have it cared for in my home while I am away? What about a (good) animal pension?

Travel regulations for pets

Once the decision has been made to fly with the animal, you have to familiarize yourself with a myriad of regulations. Especially on the way abroad you have to pay attention to the entry regulations of foreign countries. The veterinarian can advise you on the animal welfare regulations and provide your pet with a pet passport and the necessary vaccinations. You can find out more about the entry requirements if you enter the country by car, train or plane at Pets on Tour (German).

Here is a short video about flying with your dog:

Every airline has its own rules for flying with animals

WingMag has researched the conditions for taking your pet with you for some selected airlines.

British Airways

BA does not transport animals at all and refers to appropriate cargo companies: Pet Air UK (transport from UK) and IAG Cargo (transport to UK).

Exception: assistance dogs

An assistance dog has to:

Air France/KLM

Under certain conditions 3 animals may travel with you. No fighting dogs!

Taking your pet along with you in the cabin

Cost: between EUR 40 and 125 (depending on the route).

Carriage in the cargo hold (never on board aircraft of the type Boeing 787-9 and 787-10)

A form must be filled in, on which the exact requirements for the transport box can also be found.

Costs: between 80 and 200 EUR (depending on the route), for transfers an additional care fee of 150 EUR.

flying with animals - flying with dogs

Condor

1 dog or 1 cat is allowed, but in principle no fighting dogs and no snub-nosed dogs and cats!

No animals may be taken from and to the following destinations: Egypt, Barbados, Dubai, Jamaica, Cape Town, Maldives, Mombasa, Sharjah, Nairobi, Tobago, Las Vegas (May to September), Phoenix.

Taking your pet along with you in the cabin

Cost: Between EUR 60 and EUR 100.

Carriage in the cargo hold

Only for Condor Nonstop connections.

Costs: Between 80 and 260 EUR, depending on the flight route

EasyJet

Animals are not allowed to fly!

Exception: assistance dogs. They are generally allowed, but not for Egypt, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco and Turkey.

However, there is a provision that often causes problems: The organization that trained the dog must be a member of: International Guide Dog Federation or Assistance Dogs International (ADI). For Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the very strict pet passport system there must also be fulfilled.

The dog must wear a special jacket or harness for identification.

Eurowings

Taking your pet along with you in the cabin

Only short and medium distance:

Maximum dimensions 55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm (animal must be able to stand upright, turn and lie down).

No transport of fighting dogs and no transport to Great Britain and Ireland, special regulations for return journeys from Israel.

Assistance dogs: Your dog travels free of charge, but the “assistance dog place” must not yet be taken. Special regulations for Great Britain must be observed.

Costs: approx. 65 EUR.

No animals may be transported in the cargo hold.

Iberia

Taking your pet along with you in the cabin

Iberia allows flying with animals in the cabin: dogs, cats, fish, turtles and birds (not birds of prey!), but not snub-nosed animals, fighting dogs and also marten-like animals such as ferrets.

Assistance dogs are allowed to fly with us after receiving permission, from and to the USA also therapy dogs.

Costs: between 35 and 150 EUR.

Carriage in the cargo hold

Cost: Between EUR 120 and 300.

Lufthansa (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines)

Up to 2 adult animals: there are special provisions for young animals.

Taking your pet along with you in the cabin

The animals must be placed in a “soft shell pet carrier”; the total weight of the animal including bag must be less than 8 kg and its size must not exceed 55 cm 40 cm x 23 cm (sum of all dimensions: 118 cm).

Snub-nosed animals may only travel in the cabin.

Fighting dogs are not allowed in the cabin, but must be transported in the cargo hold (exception: young dogs under 6 months of age).

There is a special checklist for assistance dogs. This includes, among others, the following items:

Here is a checklist for taking animals along with you in the cabin.

Costs: Between 50 and 110 EUR (depending on the flight route).

Carriage in the cargo hold (as excess baggage)

All animals weighing more than 8 kg (including the transport container) are not allowed in the cabin. No animal transport in the cargo compartment on connecting flights via Munich!

The animals must be of a minimum age. Furthermore, the pet transport containers must have IATA approval and must meet very specific requirements, e.g. the transport box must be secured with screws; plastic locks are not sufficient!

Click here for the checklist for transport as excess baggage in the cargo hold.

Costs: Between 80 and 380 EUR (depending on the size of the box and the flight route).

As already said: We are talking about dogs, cats, rabbits and hares. All other animals must be sent as cargo, i.e. they do not travel with your plane.

Ryanair

Ryanair does not transport animals.

Exception: assistance dogs (not to be confused with therapy dogs), but only within the EU and EEA, but not to/from Morocco and Israel. The dog must be a member of: the International Guide Dog Federation, Assistance Dogs UK or Assistance Dogs International (ADI).

An EU Pet Passport and a health certificate are required. The dog must wear a special jacket or leash for identification. There are only 4 places for assistance dogs per flight.

When flying with animals it is very important to choose the right transport box

Choosing the right transport box is not as easy as you might think. It doesn’t just have to display an IATA seal. It must also be the right size: When the dog is in a standing position, its ears should not touch the ceiling of the box. It should be able to turn around and lie down comfortably. But too big is not good either, because that only causes unnecessary expense, and your animal will not feel comfortable in an overly large box.

The water and food bowl must be permanently installed inside the box, and must fillable from outside the box. For practical purposes, the box should be on wheels, but the wheels must be retractable or removable. The purchase is not cheap, but you can also use the box as a quiet place for your dog to retreat at home. If possible, you should not use it for journeys to the vet, so that the dog does not get negative premonitions when he sits alone in the cargo hold and misses his favourite person.

Special tip: This is how you successfully get your dog used to the pet transport box

Getting used to it takes time, time, and more time again! Schedule three rounds:

Round 1 – Without any coaxing or stroking, feed the dog the first time in the lower half of the transport box, but then send it away again! This makes the place especially interesting for him.

Round 2 – The same, but with the upper shell attached – but still without the door. Don’t help him!

Round 3 – When the dog is sufficiently accustomed so that it goes all the way into the box, close the door for a moment, feed through the door and let it out again immediately.

When he feels so comfortable that he goes into the box and sleeps, then you can take off together.

WingMag wishes you a good trip!

by Martina Roters

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