Is my pet allowed to fly with me?

Your question of the month in April (2015)
Debbie, 8 years old

One is full of pleasant anticipation when the long-desired holiday is about to be booked. However, many people don’t like spending the nicest time of the year without their pet. So, are pets allowed on board of a plane?

The regulations on carrying animals differ from airline to airline.

Lufthansa, for example, offers various options so your dog or cat can join you on holiday. However, depending on the animal and its size, varying regulations and prices apply and you should inform yourself about them in advance.

Before you book a flight with your parents, it is important to look into the import and export regulations for animals and the animal protection regulations in the country of your holiday destination. In some countries, strict laws on quarantine apply, for example. Quarantine is the term for the specific period of time, in which an animal is subject to strict controls by vets. This is to ensure that no diseases are brought into the country. Furthermore, in some countries, entry bans apply for certain breeds of dogs, for example.

If no special regulations apply for your desired holiday destination, you can book your flight immediately. Small dogs and cats are allowed to fly in the passenger cabin in a transport carrier. Larger animals are transported in what is called the cargo hold. The cargo hold is the place were the luggage and baggage of the passengers is stored as well.

But you needn't worry, the animal wil be comfortable there. The part of the cargo hold, in which the animal is located, is heated and has a sufficient supply of fresh air. Water and food bowls in the transport carrier supply your precious pet with food and water.

To ensure that the flight is as relaxed and stress-free as possible for everyone, you have to register your pet again by phone, 24 hours prior to your departure. In addition it is important to arrive at the airport on time. If your pet is not used to a transport carrier yet, it is best to start the training at home early enough. Then nothing stands in the way of a relaxed holiday with your dog or cat.