Which Airlines Have
Find out which airlines offer a pet cargo service so you can travel with your furry companion without having to leave them at home.
Travelling with Pets
Whether you're relocating with your pet, or fancy a vacation with your furry companion and can't take your pet into the cabin with you, there's a broad range of airlines worldwide that provide a pet cargo service. There are a few factors to consider when flying with your pet in the cargo. You'll want to make sure your pet is allowed to be transported via cargo (based on breed and vaccinations), is as comfortable as possible in their pet carrier and is cared for by the airline you're flying with. Keep reading to find out which airlines allow pets in the cargo and our tips and tricks to follow to ensure your pet has the best journey in the air possible.
Airlines with Pet Cargo
American Airlines is one of the most pet-friendly airlines globally and is a popular option for those wishing to travel with their pets, both in the cabin or in the cargo. American Airlines has developed its own service specifically made for transporting pets in the cargo - it's called American PetEmbark. This service consists of your pet being safely stowed away in the temperature-controlled, pressurised and oxygenated cargo compartment.
Depending on the size of your pet and your flight destinations, the cost usually varies between $125-200 USD.
Your pet needs to be at least 8 weeks old and not be on American's restricted breeds list. Outside temperatures on the day of departure need to be forecasted at 85°F/29°C or under. Your pet carrier will need to have enough room for your pet to lay down, stand and turn around comfortably and naturally - pet carriers/kennels vary in sizes from Small (53 x 41 x 38 inches / 21 x 16 x 15 cm) to Giant (48 x 32 x 35 inches / 122 x 81 x 89 cm) with a maximum weight of 23kg/51lbs.
All American Airlines flights to the United States, Honolulu, Puerto Rico, Canada and international locations where the flight duration is less than 12 hours.
Air Canada is one of the most popular options for pet travellers, whether you're taking your pet into the cabin with you or transporting your pet in the cargo compartment. Pet cargo is available on many Air Canada and Air Canada Express flights, as well as flights operated by Air Canada Rouge and Jazz. Air Canada is so accommodating when it comes to transporting animals as not only are cats and dogs allowed to travel - fish and insects are allowed to travel too!
Fees range from $120-320 USD depending on the flight route and the size of your pet.
Your pet will need to be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned. Temperatures outside must be lower than 85°F/29°C. The pet carrier must be hard-sided, well-ventilated and leak-proof - it also needs to have enough room for your pet to be able to lie down, stand up and turn around naturally. The maximum allowable weight of the carrier and your pet combined is 45kg/100lbs and the carrier cannot exceed 292cm/115inches in linear dimensions.
All Air Canada and Air Canada Express flights
Delta Air Lines
Flying to over 60 destinations worldwide, Delta lets you travel long distances with your pet through Delta Cargo. With Delta, you can fly with your cat, dog or bird to the United States, South America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Canada, Australia, Asia and Africa.
Prices start at $75 USD and upwards
Your cat, dog or bird will need to be at least 10 weeks old and weaned for domestic travel, but if you're flying internationally your pet will need to be at least 15-16 weeks old. The pet carrier cannot exceed a height of 61cm/24in. With Delta, you can transport up to 2 dogs or cats in the same carrier. Each pet must weigh no more than 9kg/20lbs. As always, your pet(s) must be able to stand up and lay down comfortably in their crate.
All Delta flights to the United States, South America, Latin America, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Australia, Asia and Africa.
As well as cats and dogs, you can also bring your pet rabbit on holiday with you when flying with Lufthansa. You won't be able to bring your rabbit into the cabin but transporting them via cargo is available where they'll be safe and sound (you can even transport a hare in the cargo with Lufthansa!). What's more is Lufthansa has its own lounge for pets so if you're on a long-distance flight and stopping over in Frankfurt, your pet will have access to the Animal Lounge where they can eat, drink and exercise.
Depending on where your pet will be travelling and the type of pet you have, prices for pet cargo range from €70-400 EUR.
The minimum age of your pet must be 12 weeks, or 15 weeks to/from/via Germany. Each passenger is permitted to transport 2 animals in the cargo hold. Your pet carrier will need to be compliant with current IATA regulations - Lufthansa recommends purchasing a pet carrier that is suitable for your pet with plenty of time before the departure date so your pet can get used to the carrier.
Your pet won't be able to travel as pet cargo to locations that require entering as manifest cargo such as the United Kingdom or Hong Kong. Lufthansa also won't transport pets from Kuwait and cannot transit pets through Munich.
As one of the most accommodating airlines when it comes to travelling with pets, KLM wants to ensure your pet has the best experience possible. If you can't take your pet into the cabin with you, KLM's pet cargo service can help. Dogs and cats are permitted in the hold for both domestic and international routes.
Fees range from $75-400 USD one way - although this is a large price range, it really depends on where your pet is being transported to and the size of your pet.
To be able to transport your pet via cargo with KLM, your pet will need to be at least 10 weeks old and fully weaned. Each passenger is allowed to bring up to 3 pets into the hold and they can also share the same pet carrier if they weigh no more than 14kg/30lbs each. The carrier itself cannot exceed dimensions of 122 x 81 x 89 cm (48 x 31 x 35 inches) and most importantly, your pet needs to be able to stand, sit, lay down and turn around comfortably inside the carrier.
When flying with KLM, you can transport your pet in the cargo to the following destinations: Europe, Indonesia, the Caribbean, North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Japan and the Middle East. KLM works together with Air France to provide a pet cargo service.
With British Airways, flying with your pet in the cabin isn't possible however pet cargo services are available letting you transport your pet in the hold. A broad range of animals can be transported in the hold including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, monkeys, ferrets, snakes and tropical fish. British Airways is partnered with PetAir UK - a service that is run and owned by fully-qualified veterinary surgeons who ensure your pets have a safe, comfortable trip when flying out of the UK. For pets coming into the UK, British Airways' sister company, IAG Cargo, can provide pet cargo services.
Prices for transporting pets in the cargo with British Airways are more expensive than other airlines, ranging from £800-3500 GBP - this all depends on the size of your pet and the location your pet is being shipped to.
Arrangements need to be made with IAG Cargo or PetAir UK prior to booking. Pets being transported in the hold with British Airways must fit comfortably inside a carrier with maximum dimensions of 53 x 40 x 38 cm (21 x 16 x 15 inches). The carrier must be solid, watertight and well-ventilated in all four corners. Temperatures outside must be higher than 7°C/45°F and lower than 30°C/85°F.
Available on the majority of British Airways flights. British Airways won't transport live animals from Kuwait. During summer, pets won't be accepted on flights out of Dallas/Forth Worth. Due to high temperatures, pets won't be allowed on flights in/out of Beijing or Shanghai.
To find out more about which airlines provide pet cargo, or if you'd like to fly with your pet in the cabin, read our blog on the Best Airlines for Pets.
Airlines With Pet Cargo
Are service animals allowed on the flight?
Most airlines allow service animals to fly in the cabin free of charge with their owners, as long as the service animal has had behavioural training, is wearing an identifying jacket/harness and remains under the owner's control at all times.
Is it safe to fly pets in the cargo?
Of course! All airlines that allow pets in the hold have strict requirements that need to be met to ensure your pet flies safely and comfortably. Outside temperatures need to be higher than 7°C/45°F and lower than 30°C/85°F. Your pet carrier needs to be IATA approved, so that your pet can stand, sit and turn around naturally in a suitably sized container.