Behind the Scenes at the Air France-KLM Animal Hotel

KLM Cargo Animal HotelAir France KLM Animal Hotel in Amsterdam

PetRelocation has a few preferred airlines when it comes to planning safe moves for our clients' pets, and one of them is KLM—read on to see why.

Imagine a place at the airport where you could retreat to your private, air-conditioned room, take a nice walk in a grassy park, and grab a bite to eat while you relax and wait for your next flight to take off.  

No more loud terminals, uncomfortable waiting area chairs, or worrying about final boarding calls—you're free to relax while your personal assistant makes sure you make it onto your next flight in time.

At Air France-KLM (AF-KL) Cargo's Animal Hotel, your airport dream is your pet's reality. Pets traveling on KLM Cargo get a chance to relax in comfortable surroundings while being cared for by qualified and specially-trained Animal Attendants.

“All animals can eat, drink, exercise and rest to break up a long journey,” says Robert van Voorthuysen, International Sales Manager for the Variation Live department at AF-KL Cargo. “Dogs and cats deserve the comfort and attention we give to our passengers.”

The KLM Cargo Animal Hotel, sometimes called “a home away from home,” is located at the Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol, and serves as the perfect entry and jumping-off point for shipping pets by air to the Netherlands and other European Union destinations.

Upon arrival at the Amsterdam airport, pets are immediately transferred to the Animal Hotel via climate-controlled, pet friendly vehicles. There, the Animal Attendant staff is able to provide dogs with their unique KLM cargo dog-walking service! 

While enjoying a short break in size-appropriate kennels, pets' crates are cleaned thoroughly before being transferred to their next flight.

The Animal Hotel is definitely a comfortable place to wait for your next flight. “It meets and even exceeds all the high European standards in quality and hygiene,” said van Voorthuysen. “We are proud to mention that the Animal Hotel is qualified according to ISO 9002,” the most prestigious recognition of industrial quality in Europe

In addition to being clean, a veterinarian is on call at all times to assist with pets who might have become ill during transport. The Animal Hotel, which is fully operational twenty four hours a day, also has its own quarantine station.

If you're headed to the Netherlands or beyond, KLM Cargo's Animal Hotel is a great layover option for your pet. 


Ready to start planning your pet's safe move? Contact PetRelocation for help with shipping your dog or cat!


(Photo credit: KLM Blog.)


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Airlines, Airports


Cats, Dogs




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By Natasha on October 31, 2018 at 3:43 am

Hello!I am traveling/connecting through Amsterdam with my cat, Percy. I have a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam. Upon arrival, Percy will be transferred to the KLM Animal Hotel. Since I will be in the airport for 6 hours, is it possible to visit Percy at the animal hotel? Thank you in advance and we are very grateful for KLM's great pet treatment on their flights!Kindest Regards,Natasha Rizvi

By Maegan at PetRelocation on November 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Hi Natasha! While Percy is at the KLM Animal Hotel, you will not be able to visit him. They only allow authorized personnel (airline employees) to enter the KLM pet hotel, for security reasons. He will be in good hands at the Animal Hotel though! Wishing you all a great trip!

By Erin on August 23, 2018 at 9:18 am

I have a house guest who is flying her dog back via Amsterdam. Her dog is a flight risk and very scared. She paid for this hotel service but we are scared that when they open the crate door, she will bolt. Are the animals handled within a secured building? And when it says they play, they aren't off leash, correct? Thank you!

By Christina at PetRelocation on August 23, 2018 at 9:57 am

Hi Erin,

Thanks for contacting us with your pet travel question! Animals transferring on KLM through Amsterdam are handled by trained staff in a controlled environment. They will be walked on leash as well. The best thing your friend can do to help with her anxiety is to acclimate her to her crate so she feels safe inside of it. You can read more about crate acclimation here. Hope this helps!

By Valeria on August 15, 2018 at 9:08 am

Tomorrow im travelling with my pet via amsterdam. Can i visit her while shes at the airport. How can i be sure that they will take her to the right plane? Sorry to ask but im really worried they might lose her.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on August 21, 2018 at 8:49 am

Hi Valeria! If your pet is going through the Animal Hotel in Amsterdam, they will not allow visitors. Only authorized personnel that are trained by the airlines in pet safety can access animals. If there were any issues while transiting, they would reach out to you as you are listed as the contact on her airway bill. Hope that helps - happy travels!

By Blanka on July 16, 2018 at 9:28 am

Hello, my dog is traveling from IAD to Amsterdam and then to Prague. I am already in the Czech Republic. How can I contact the animal hotel in Amsterdam to check on her after she arrives?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on July 16, 2018 at 10:16 am

Hi Blanka! You can contact your local Customer Support office by telephone or email during regular office hours here. Hope this helps!

By Shawn on July 4, 2018 at 3:42 am

Hello,I'm travelling with my Golden Doodle from Bangkok to Canada via Amsterdam with KLM this August. I have booked a flight with KLM and she will travel as checked baggage on the same flights as me. I will have an 18 hour stopover and KLM has confirmed that she will be brought to the pet hotel at Schipol. Do you know whether I need to fulfill any EU import requirements for the transit? Based on other posts, it appears that if both parts of my journey are with KLM and the stopover is less than 24 hours, I will not need to comply with EU import requirements. Is this correct?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on July 16, 2018 at 10:13 am

Hi Shawn! That is correct! If your pet is just transiting on one airway bill, you do not need to meet import requirements of the transit country. Hope this helps!

By Harry Mulcahy on May 13, 2018 at 12:51 pm

I was wondering what the living quarters in the Animal Hotel looked like as My Minature schnauzer is scheduled to fly from Shanghai to Amsterdam and stay the night at the hotel. Thanks, Harry.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on May 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Hi Harry! Thanks for your question. Feel free to check out this video about KLM's Animal Lounge. It's a great pet program. Hope this helps!

By Eva Toth-nagy on May 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Hi,Is it true that KLM don't fly dogs older than 6 months as cargo? This is the information I have been given by 2 pet agents from Europe.Thank you.Eva

By Maegan at PetRelocation on May 11, 2018 at 9:33 am

Hi Eva! As far as we are aware, the only restriction this applies to is snub-nosed breeds. Are your pups bulldogs? If so, they must be under 6 months of age in order to ship them. Check out our KLM Booking Guide here for more info. Hope this helps!

By Tina on April 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Hello, I was supposed to receive puppies in a klm flight that was cancelled. I never got a call from the airline or anything about this, I found out from the broker that was going to pick them up for me. Now they have informed me that they are stranded 4 days in Amsterdam pet hotel . Who is going to pay for this?

By Christina at PetRelocation on April 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Hi Tina,

I'm sorry to hear this! You will need to contact the company or individual who is responsible for getting the puppies to you. Unfortunately, since we have no involvement in this matter we are not able to provide information regarding financial responsibility. This situation also seems potentially suspicious. If you think you may be dealing with a pet scammer, please visit the IPATA website to read about the signs of a scam and how you can report this kind of activity.

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