Booking Your Own Pet Travel: the Airline Guide

Doing it on your own?

There are several options for booking domestic and international pet travel. The best airline option will depend on your pet’s breed, your destination, and routing options, among other factors.

Some pet owners find it makes more sense for them to arrange a move on their own, so we’ve created several resources to help make the process as simple as possible!


Booking Pet Travel on Lufthansa

If you plan to travel with your pets, Lufthansa Airlines allows pets either in the cabin or in the cargo hold of its passenger aircraft, depending on the pet's weight and size, and provides an exceptional comfort stop experience for all layovers connecting in Frankfurt (for pets traveling via Lufthansa Cargo). Here's how to book a pet flight on Lufthansa.



Booking Pet Travel on KLM

If you're currently considering all of your options, take a look at this step-by-step guide to booking a flight on KLM Airlines for your pet. With the comfortable KLM Cargo Animal Hotel in its Amsterdam hub (for pets traveling as manifest cargo), this airline may be the perfect option for your pet’s international flight and layover.



Booking Pet Travel on British Airways

Moving a pet to the UK or somewhere in Europe? British Airways may be a great option for you to consider and is often a top airline choice for PetRelocation. Read the full booking guide here.



Booking Pet Travel on Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is another safe air travel option for pets. Unlike many other airlines, they do not allow pets to travel in-cabin. While this may seem scary to most pet owners, we have booked many pets as cargo with this airline and know it is a safe option. Read here to learn more about booking pet travel on Air New Zealand.


Booking Pet Travel on Delta

Traveling domestically within the United States? Delta may be a good option for your trip! Learn more about this airline’s booking process and requirements in our Guide to Booking Delta Airlines Pet Travel.



Booking Pet Travel on Qantas

Moving a pet to Australia or within Australia will most likely lead you to Qantas as a recommended air travel option. Qantas offers a high level of care to traveling pets with their dedicated staff and facilities, which is why it isn’t surprising that it often appears as a safe option for unsure owners. You can begin planning your pet’s trip by reading our Qantas booking guide!


Booking Pet Travel on Emirates

There are some unique rules for booking pet travel with Emirates Airlines. For example, while regular domesticated cats and dogs aren’t permitted in the cabin, falcons are allowed to travel in-cabin between specific locations. To help you navigate through these unique rules and booking processes, we created a simplified guide for booking your falcon (or other pet) with Emirates Airlines.


Booking Pet Travel on United

With over 130,000 pets moved in 2017, United Airlines operates the biggest domestic pet cargo program in the United States. Whether you're moving coast-to-coast or across the pond, we’ve put together this simple guide to booking pet travel on United Airlines to explain the steps for making a reservation. Note: Although United is not currently accepting bookings for cargo, you can still make reservations for in-cabin pets.


Think you'd rather hire a professional for your pet's move? Our experts offer complimentary consultations


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Airlines, Airports


Cats, Dogs, Rabbits, Snub-Nosed Breeds, Hamsters


United States, UK, Australia, EU, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand


Add a Comment

By Meghan on October 17, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Hello, my husband and I are in the VERY early stages of looking to move back to New Zealand from the US. We do have a dog and couldn't imagine leaving her. Are there any airlines that do not put dogs in cargo for that 14+ hour flight?While I know everyone says that it's safe, we had a really bad experience flying my then 7-year-old Australian Cattle Dog from Texas to DC (She is actually the reason we are delaying the move hahaha. We love her too much and know she would be too old to make the trip). When we picked her up in DC she behaved like she had been beaten, her crate was covered in feces (literally top to bottom), she had no water or food and was a wreck for well over a week.So the thought of putting our younger pup through 14+ hours in cargo causes a lot of anxiety for us. Are there any better options? Since we are 2-3 years away from making the move we don't mind saving up if there is a better and more expensive option.Thanks for any help and advice.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on October 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Hi Meghan! The government in New Zealand requires all pets to arrive as "manifest cargo" in the cargo hold of a commercial airline. We find that when taken the right percautions, pets can safely travel as cargo. Check out some of our best tips here! Also, we move pets to New Zealand every day so feel free to read thru our client testimonials, as most are nervous about this process!

We do have a team dedicated to pet relocations to New Zealand so when you're ready to speak with someone, please fill out our Arrange a Move form and a consultant will reach out to you about your options.

By Sea on July 27, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Nice Blog !

By Karen Fay on May 1, 2018 at 7:24 am

I have a 40 lb bulldog. Are there any airlines that fly in the US that will transport her? Could she fly with me on an airplane. Could she accompany me if she is my service dog?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on May 1, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Hi Karen! Are you flying your bulldog domestically within the US? If so, unfortunately, there are only ground transportation options at this time, as there are no pet safe airlines that transport bulldogs domestically in the cargo hold. If you have specific questions about traveling with a service dog, you will need to reach out directly to the airline as they manage in-cabin travel policies. If would like a quote for ground transportation services, please fill out our Arrange A Move for here. We look forward to hearing from you!

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