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




Add a Comment

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 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 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 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.

By Sean on April 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Hi my dog is scheduled to fly KLM from Munich connecting in Amsterdam then on to Edmonton. We had an Annex IV form when leaving Edmonton and have been in Europe for 8 months. I understand the Annex IV expires after 4 months. The requirements for entry to Canada are only a rabies vaccination certificate. I was wondering if I need an EU pet passport if my dog is just in transit through Amsterdam? He has all the vaccinations and health certificates they just aren't in a EU pet passport... Wondering if this is a problem?

By on April 9, 2018 at 8:54 am

Hi Sean!

Thanks for your question! Here are the . Canada Import Requirements

Your vet in Germany must issue a international "fit-to-fly" health certificate within 10 days of travel stating your pup is up-to-date on all vaccinations and healthy to fly. An EU Pet Passport is not required when transiting Amsterdam.

Hope this helps!

By sirena on January 23, 2018 at 6:22 am

Hi, I have a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam on February 26. I am travelling with my small 3 kilo dog (she's considered carry-on). She will not be allowed to leave the airport. Can I book her into the Animal Hotel for a few hours so I can go out into the city? If yes, do I need to contact them in advance and can you share their contact info? Thank you!

By on January 23, 2018 at 10:00 am

Hello Sirena,

Thanks for your question. We book our pet travel through KLM cargo, which provides this service for animals with layovers longer than four hours. However, they are checked in by freight agents, so you will want to contact KLM customer service in Amsterdam Airport Shipol directly to see if this is something you can book yourself for an in-cabin pet. You can find their contact information here. Hope this helps!

By Hosszu Gabor on December 22, 2017 at 1:11 pm

i was flying from Budapest to Gothenburg via Amsterdam. My first flight was delaed and alomost missed the Gothenburg.i get on the plane but my bagage and my Cat was stockt in Amsterdam. they say at the office they will send after me. i arrivi at 11:00pm and a i get my cat at 21:00 i was worry all the time .(oh my god what my cat eat and drink all day) maybe she will die. but when i got her back she was very relax and got a kennel i see the sticker on the box. 'I was in the animal hotel in Amsterdam. i say what?? i didint know that such a place exist

By on December 26, 2017 at 9:27 am

Hello! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

There is a Pet Hotel in Amsterdam that KLM uses for layovers longer than 4 hours to care for pets. Hopefully this blog offered some insight on your cat's care (and reassured you that she was well taken care of).

We're so glad everything worked out well for you both and hope you enjoy your time together in Gothenburg!

By Joelle Sambrook on September 24, 2017 at 5:25 am

Good morning. I will be arriving on a flight from Luanda in heated hold to Schipol and have to transfer them to a KLM cargo flight to Heathrow. Can you please advise me on how best to arrange this. Thank you

By on September 25, 2017 at 10:31 am

Hello Joelle, thanks for reaching out!

We have a great blog covering how to book a pet flight with KLM here. I recommend reaching out directly to the airline for guidance on this process.

Also, since you are switching airlines, keep in mind that you may need to meet the import requirements of both the Netherlands and the UK to make an acceptable transit.

Should you need further help, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here and one of our consultants will be happy to speak with you on your move. Best of luck to you!

By Vijay on June 30, 2017 at 6:40 am

My dog iKoko s traveling on 03 June 17 from Malaysia to SFO. She has transit time of 3 hrs 50 minutes at Amsterdam. Is the time enough to clean the kennel, take her for walk and make her eat some thing? She has a 10 fly from KL to Amsterdam and another 10 hrs to SFO. Poor thing, she should be taken care in travel and transit.

By on June 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

If iKoko is traveling via cargo with KLM, it's standard practice that she'd be given a comfort stop in Amsterdam. As you can see from the blog post above, this airline strives to take good care of pets!

If you have further questions you're welcome to contact them directly. Hope this helps, good luck!


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