Travel by plane with your dog? Tips for your pet to fly safely


Our service of pet transport It allows you to travel on most of our routes with your dog or cat, with you in the cabin or transported in the airplane hold. For that, your pet must have good health, a docile behavior Y at least 8 weeks of life, except for the United States that must be 4 months old.

Each country can set different health and / or documentation restrictions, so we recommend you contact the sanitary Authority or with him consulate of the countries you visit. Check more information in the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

To travel with your pet in Economy cabin You must carry it in a container that must meet the following requirements:

  • Weigh up to 7 kg / 15 lbs between pet and container.
  • Measure 19x36x33 cm if it is rigid or 23x36x33cm if it is soft (height, length and width).
  • No wheels
  • Fit under the front seat. For security, we cannot assign seats in the front row or at the emergency exit.
  • Have a closure that ensures that it does not come out during the flight.
  • Have a door with double safe and metal.
  • Be of resistant material and have a waterproof absorbent base.
  • Have enough space so you can move and turn.
  • Have adequate ventilation.

It is important that you keep in mind that your pet cannot travel sedated.

Tickets purchased before April 1, 2019

* Regional flights: Between South American countries, between South America and the Caribbean (Havana, Punta Cana and Aruba), it includes Auckland - Sydney, Punta Cana - Miami and Madrid - Frankfurt routes.

** Long range flights: between South America and Europe - United States - Oceania - Mexico (Cancun and Mexico City), includes route Lima - Orlando and Guayaquil - Miami.

Keep in mind that the service is not available in our Boeings 767 and 787.

In the event that your pet exceeds the maximum size or weight allowed to travel in the cabin, it may be transported in the aircraft hold in a container that must meet the following requirements:

  • Weigh up to 45 kg, between pet and container or up to 32 kg. if you travel to or from Europe, Oceania, Argentina and Aruba.
  • Have 115 cm. height and 300 cm. linear (width + height + length).
  • No wheels
  • Be of resistant material and have a waterproof absorbent base.
  • Have enough space for your pet to move and turn.
  • Have adequate ventilation.
  • Have a door with double safe and metal.
  • Have a drinking fountain that allows your pet to drink water during the flight without spilling.

For the safety and integrity of your pets, we cannot transport some breeds of brachycephalic dogs and cats in the plane's hold.

It is important that you keep in mind that your pet cannot travel sedated.

This cat named Dog sells you fish in Vietnam

(CNN) - Before traveling by plane meant saying goodbye with pain to our pet, but thanks to the growing number of hotels and airlines that allow pets, more and more people take their friends when they fly.

But cases that have ended in tragedy or confusion when transporting animals have raised questions about the best way to fly with a dog or other pet, and whether animals should even travel by plane.

Some, like the expert César Millán, support traveling everywhere with our dog. But organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States advise caution.

Medical check

Kitty Block, director of the Humane Society of the United States, says that flying with dogs and other pets should always be the last option.

"If you have to fly [...] don't take your animal unless there is obviously no choice," he says. "It's not an ideal situation for an animal, and it can be stressful for him."

If you have no choice, he says, the key is to prepare yourself as well as possible.

In the weeks prior to the flight, the animal needs a veterinary medical check to make sure it is in a position to travel and its vaccines are in effect.

What airline to choose?

As soon as you have decided to fly with your pet, call the airline, advises Block. Not all companies accept animals, and the rules for flying with them vary.

The website has an extensive list of airlines and their pet policies. Among the most pet-friendly is Virgin Atlantic, with its Flying Paws plan that gives pets their own frequent flyer reward scheme.

One thing is for sure: there are no free flights for them. Pets accumulate points called “paw prints” that can be exchanged for gifts such as Burberry, Prada and Gucci pet clothing.

Pet owners should pay attention to the fine print when booking flights for their animals.

Air France, for example, says that some pets are accepted in the cabin and in the hold of the plane. But certain "attack dogs" such as staffordshire terriers or pit bulls, mastiffs and coughs, are not accepted.

Singapore Airlines asks that your pet have a certificate of good health, but does not allow pets to travel in the cabin of the plane.

Most US airlines do allow small pets to travel in the cabin with their owners, provided they communicate at the time of booking. Rates may increase, and some only allow for domestic travel.

"We don't recommend one [airline] over another," says Block. "What we say is that you call before, be the best defender of your animal."

Let's say you found an airline that will transport you and your dog. Then comes the difficult part, the process.

Pet immigration laws are country-specific, but one way to reduce some of those headaches is to create a pet passport, which is "a collection of all the necessary documents to enter a given country," Pettravel suggests. .com.

The pet passport is an essential part of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) program, a system that allows animals to travel to the United Kingdom without undergoing quarantine if all rules are followed.

It was originally introduced in 2001 for animals that enter or return to the United Kingdom from other European Union countries, but since then it has spread to other countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. has a complete list of immigration regulations for country-specific pets, with the option to purchase the necessary forms online.

Prepare your pet

The next step is urine control.

Although it is probably a little easier than flying with children, taking a long trip with your dog is not as simple as putting it in an animal cabin and taking off, warns César Millán.

You must prepare it for the long trip and let it get used to its box or carrier.

“Do not put them in a box the day before. It must be a transition, ”he told CNN. “You have to teach your dog to hold the bladder, it's almost like training for a marathon. Perform the process before flying. For example, flying from Los Angeles to Spain takes 14 hours. ”

Before buying a carrier, check the list of requirements to transport pets of the International Air Transport Association, which most airlines adhere to.

What to do on board

When it is time to fly, your pet must register as a cargo or be stored in a carrier under the seat in front of you, depending on its size.

Going in the warehouse has risks, says Block. Possible risks include poor ventilation and extreme temperatures.

"You just have to make sure to keep in mind that if you travel in the summer months it will be very hot, avoid the stops so that your dog is not in cargo holds and has multiple transfers," advises Block.

If you take it in the cabin, keep in mind the size restrictions for the animals. Some airlines also have limits for the number of animals allowed per cabin.

Each airline has its own regulations and procedures, and Block suggests getting acquainted with them before the flight.

Be communicative

The Humane Society advises that you should talk about your animal and its needs, whether traveling with you in the cabin or in the cellar.

“It never hurts that people know [that your animal is on board],” says Block. "There can always be a communication failure."

The rules for emotional assistance and support animals (which recently appeared in the headlines when a woman tried to carry an "emotional support peacock" on board a flight) are slightly different.

"Because these animals are emotional support, they stay with the passenger," says Block. However, she emphasizes that there are no universal rules, and passengers should still check with the airline before traveling.

Change the rules

Block and his team at Humane Society are currently advocating that no animals be placed in the upper luggage rack, which caused the recent death of a dog on a United Airlines flight.

In an ideal world, there will be commercial flights specifically for animals, designed for their needs.

"The statistics of how many pets die each year are not good, and that shouldn't happen," he says. "There will always be accidents, but this amount suggests that there is a problem, so we are studying it, it is time to solve it."

Ultimately, Block says you should be very careful with the animals that travel. “They are not cargo, they are not suitcases, they are living beings and they are members of our family. So we really have to make sure they are safe and secure. ”

If you have to leave your dog on the ground, do not worry about separation anxiety. Millán says that with proper training, your pet can handle the separation time, even better than you.

But it is also a problem that must be solved if you travel with your pet, since there will be times when you should leave it in the hotel room without having to worry about barking and scratching the door or chewing things when you are not.

“Separation anxiety is created by humans because they feel closer to the dog the more they live with it. That is not realistic for the dog, who does not understand, ”he says.

“I help people and show them how we create that anxiety about separation. In Mexico, a dog is not allowed in the intimate space. Many houses have no room. The dog lives outside. But in the United States, a dog lives on top of the human. The human goes to work, the dog does not know how to separate from him. It is easy to rehabilitate them, but you have to understand the concept of proximity to train them for the moment when the owner goes to work ”.

“It's not good to let your dog follow you everywhere. Tell them when they can be close to you, and then tell them to leave, ”Millán suggests as a method to decrease your dog's attachment to you.

1. What you should know before traveling by plane with your dog

  1. Required Documentation
    Generally, the documents that are required are, the passport in order, the current health card where vaccination and deworming treatments appear, a certificate of good health that is not more than 10 days old> Every airline has its own regulations
    Every airline is a world. There are airlines that allow traveling with dogs in the cabin (usually refer to small breed dogs of maximum 8 kg or guide dogs) others only in the hold or billed, and others that do not allow them directly (such as Ryanair or EasyJet). There are even some that allow only certain races.
    It should be mentioned that guide dogs are always allowed.
    Within the airlines that allow pets there are also particular> Each country can dictate different rules
    We recommend you check the specific requirements for each place you travel (consult, for example, the consulate of the country of destination) as it may vary depending on the country or according to a national or international flight.
    In intercontinental flights, for example, there are usually more restrictions in order to avoid the spread of diseases. To travel with your dog to the US, the rabies vaccine is crucial.
    To travel with a pet to the United Kingdom> Make sure your dog is in good health
    Check that you comply with all vaccines, (especially rabies) that is dewormed, clean and free of fleas, and that if you are female, you are not pregnant.

If your dog travels as hand luggage

  • Although it is a short domestic flight, it is always advisable to take it a few days before to the veterinarian to verify that you are in good health.
  • When traveling in the cabin, you will be required to take it in a carrier. If your dog is not used to traveling on it, we recommend you buy it a few days before and show it to him to be familiar.
    It is also a good idea to put newspaper paper or a soft cushion in the background to make you feel more comfortable during the flight.
    Always check that the carrier is suitable for traveling by plane, that it is of sufficient size so that the dog can turn inside, that it ventilates, that it has a waterproof bottom and that it is safe enough so that it does not open during the flight .

If your dog travels as checked baggage in the hold

  • It is advisable to administer some mild sedative, as this experience to which they are not accustomed can lead to a stressful situation. If it is possible that this sedative is natural much better.
  • It is recommended to avoid times of extreme heat or cold.
  • Try as far as possible, that your flight be direct, without stops.
  • Just as we advise you to identify the suitcases that you invoice, we also advise you to identify your pet with a badge on the collar indicating your name, phone number and perhaps the destination you are flying to.
  • Remember that they cannot carry the strap inside and make sure that you can carry it as a hand gear. Ideally, carry it in your checked bag.

Since your dog travels in the cabin and in the cellar, it is advisable not to give him food in the hours before the flight to avoid getting dizzy, but to give him water whenever possible.

Some airports have an area for dogs (Pet relief zone), although probably, they will not allow you to let it out of the carrier until you pass all customs.

The last tip we give you is to book your airline tickets in advance, since there is usually a small quota of pet compartments in the airplanes and if you leave it last minute there is no space left.

3. Conditions to travel by plane with your dog according to the airline

Two of the best known low cost airlines, EasyJet and Ryanair, do not allow traveling with animals. Within the airlines that do allow you to fly with a pet, here are the conditions of some of the most important:

Vueling is one of the low-cost airlines that accepts dogs as luggage in the cabin, but not in the hold.

Taking into account the little space between the car seats, the obligatory tramway in which they must travel cannot exceed the med> 45 cm long, 39 cm wide and 21 cm high, and weighing no more than 8 kg including animal and carrier.

The prices of the pet plane ticket in Vueling are € 25 per way on domestic flights and € 40 per way on international flights and the Canary Islands.

Iberia allows dogs to be carried as hand luggage and also as checked (in the hold).

The med> 45 cm long, 35 cm wide and 25 cm high and a maximum weight of 8kg, including dog and carrier. The price per trip on domestic flights in Spain is € 25.

To transport dogs as checked luggage in Iberia, the price per trip is € 120 for domestic flights, to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and € 300 for flights to America.

Air Europe

This company agrees to transport dogs both in the cabin and in the cellar, provided they travel in a carrier of no more than 5 5 long x 35 cm wide x 25 cm high and a maximum of 8 kg including dog and carrier.

The price per trip of traveling with a dog in Air Europa and transporting it in the cabin is € 25 for domestic flights, € 50 for medium-distance flights (Europe, the Canary Islands and Africa) and € 100 for long-distance flights.

The price per way of traveling with a but in Air Europa and transporting it in the hold is € 40 for domestic flights, € 80 for medium-distance flights and € 160 for long-distance flights.

Air Berlin

Air Berlin admits to transporting dogs in a cabin of less than 8 kg, including carrier and animal, and without exceeding the med> 55 cm long, 40 cm wide and 23 cm high.

The price ranges from € 35 to € 70, depending on the destination you travel to. Keep in mind that this company does not allow traveling with animals to the United Kingdom.

Dogs over 8 kg must travel in the hold of the plane.

In this company dogs can also be transported in the cabin and in the hold.

So that dogs can travel in Lufthansa in the cabin, they cannot exceed 8kg in weight nor the med> 55 cm long x 40 cm wide x 23 cm high, always including animals and transporters.

This is all the information you need to know about how to travel with your dog by plane both in the cabin and in the cellar and according to the company with which you travel.

Finally, if at your destination you are going to stay in a hotel, remember to inform yourself if they allow pets (pet friendly), to avoid more than a dislike.