Note: Always check with the airlines directly to find out what their most current pet flight policies are.
This question comes into us from Margarita, who left a note on our Facebook page asking for help with the in cabin pet travel crate requirements for her pet. She's flying from the US to Germany with her mini-Dachshund and would like to take him in cabin, but isn't sure what size travel crate he needs if she's flying Delta to Paris and then connecting with Air France on to Germany.
If you're planning pet travel on two different airlines, you'll need to fulfill the requirements for both airlines. So let's take a look at the pet travel rules for each.
- Delta allows pets in the cabin and defines "pets" to include dogs, cats, and household birds.
- The Delta website states the following about pet travel crates for in cabin travel:
Your pet must be small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel under the seat directly in front of you. Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight. You must contact Delta Reservations to determine the appropriate kennel size.
In Margarita's case, I called the reservations line (800-221-1212) and the person I spoke with said the maximum crate sizes were as follows:
Hard-shelled in-cabin crate: 17" L x 12" W x 8" H
Soft-shelled in-cabin crate: 18" L x 12" W x 12" H
Maximum weight of the pet with the kennel is 20 lbs.
The agent I spoke with on the phone said these kennel sizes and weight restrictions apply to in cabin pet travel on most of Delta's major jets.
- Fees: $200 USD/CAD/EUR one-way for international in cabin travel (currency is based on your departure location)
Air France Pet Travel Policy
- Air France's website states that only cats and dogs are accepted in the cabin.
- The container is considered as cabin baggage. For pets in the cabin, the allowable weight is 6KG maximum for the combined weight of the pet and the container.
- The pet must be kept in a kennel with air vents at the owner's feet throughout the flight. The kennel can be made of hard plastic, metal or wicker, but not cardboard. The sum of its three dimensions must not exceed 115 cm, or 45 inches.
Since Air France's requirements ask for a smaller crate than the largest maximum size allowed by Delta, in Margarita's case she would need to go with a smaller crate that would be allowed on both Delta and Air France. One option for her is a soft-sided pet travel carrier called the Sleepypod Air. The Sleepypod Air meets the size requirements for Delta and Air France, as it can be compressed to a size of 16" L x 10" W x 8" T. Once on the flight, the ends of the carrier can be expanded to a length of 22" to give pets a little extra leg room while still being small enough to fit underneath the seat in front of you. This could be a great option for Margarita's mini-Dachshund, since those types of dogs tend to be a little longer.
Whatever type of carrier your purchase, it's important to make sure that if you are going to purchase a carrier for in cabin travel, it will still need to be large enough for your pet to fit comfortably inside. If the airline feels that your pet is not in an adequately-sized travel carrier, then they typically will refuse it for shipment.