Reviewed August 2023
Are you someone who wishes to travel with your pets, but the thought of rules and restrictions on pet travel stops you? We’ve got you covered. Travelling with pets can be quite a hassle. However, to make this easier for travellers, certain airlines around the world offer pet-friendly policies, making travelling with pets hassle-free and comfortable.
For travellers from the UAE, here are some pet-friendly airlines that allow pet travel, with pet-friendly policies, rules, booking policies, prices, and more.
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Travel with pets for UAE travellers
Travelling with pets can be quite a hassle. However, given below is a list of pet-friendly airlines whose pet travel policies make it easier for travellers from the UAE wishing to travel with their pets to various destinations:
Travellers from UAE ages four months and older wishing to travel with their pets via Emirates airlines are required to fill out a Travelling with pets form at least one week before their scheduled departure to get specific information about transporting their pets.
Please note that if the total dimensions (length + width + height) of the traveller’s pet carrier exceeds 300 cm (118 inches), the pets must be transported as cargo. You can find out Emirates’ SkyCargo policy for pets here.
Rules for travelling with pets
Emirates airlines do not permit animals in the cabin of flights. However, exceptions apply to falcons between Dubai and certain destinations in Pakistan and guide dogs for the visually impaired.
All other animals are required to be transported according to regulations specific to the traveller’s route:
- for all itineraries ending in Dubai, pets must be transported as cargo
- for more information on shipping animals as cargo, please contact or your local cargo agent
- for itineraries that start in Dubai and travel to countries that allow pets to enter as “excess baggage”, that is, not as manifested cargo, falcons, cats, dogs, and pet birds can be transported as checked baggage in the hold as long as the total journey time (including any transit time) is less than 17 hours, and all appropriate conditions are met
Please note that for all routes, the charge for the pets and container will depend on the weight and size of the pet plus cage combined. These charges will apply in all cases, even when no other checked baggage is being carried.
The following are the weight and size restrictions for animals travelling as checked baggage:
- when the animal and cage combined do not exceed 23 kg and 59 inches or 150 cm – USD 500 (AED 1,836)
- when the animal and cage combined weigh between 24 ‑ 32 kg and dimensions between 59 inches or 150 cm and 118 inches or 300 cm – USD 650 (AED 2,387)
- when the animal and cage combined weigh over 32 kg and have dimensions between 59 inches or 150 cm and 118 inches or 300 cm – USD 800 (AED 2,938)
- when the cage dimensions exceed dimensions 118 inches or 300 cm – Cargo
- when travelling into Dubai – Cargo
- if the total journey time exceeds 17 hours – Cargo
- when destined for a country that does not allow live animals as check‑in baggage – Cargo
Please note that there are NO restrictions on the number of pets you can carry on Emirates flights. However, some countries do impose restrictions on the number of pets that can be carried into or out of the country. For instance, the import of animals into India is restricted to two pets per customer. Hence, please make sure to check your destination’s rules before travelling.
Please refer to the Emirates Baggage and lost property page for more information regarding the restrictions on certain itineraries or pet types before your flight.
Travellers wishing to travel with their pets via Etihad Airways are required to submit a booking form along with several official documents at least two weeks in advance.
Before travelling with your pets on Etihad Airways, please make sure you:
- have checked all entry and exit regulations for the countries you are flying to and from
- have all the official documents, vet examinations and treatments for your pet to travel
- have received approval to travel from Etihad Airways
- have submitted a booking form at least seven days in advance
- have asked your vet about any medication your pet may need for the journey
- your pet is familiar with their travel bag or kennel
- have a lead and a suitable harness or collar available
- have dry pet food in a sealed container in your cabin baggage. Wet food may be permitted, subject to local regulations
- have brought all original documents for your pet for verification by an airport vet at your destination
Rules for travelling with pets
Travellers can pay to bring their pets on board Etihad-operated flights to and from Abu Dhabi. For all other destinations, please make sure to consult with the relevant country authorities.
All other pets must be transported as manifested cargo with Etihad Cargo. Some of the rules for travelling with pets are as follows:
- Etihad Cargo is available when you book directly with Etihad and on Etihad-operated flights only (your ticket number starts with 607)
- in Economy, pets must sit in their carrier at all times, either under your seat or on an adjacent seat
- in Business or First, pets must sit in their carrier on an adjacent seat. They will not be permitted under your seat
- carriers must not exceed 40 x 40 x 22cm (length x width x height) to fit under your seat or 50 x 43 x 50cm (length x width x height) if you have purchased an adjacent seat
- additional seats must be purchased in advance
- your cat or dog must be at least 16 weeks old and weigh no more than 8 kg, including their carrier
- you must be at least 18 years old to travel with a pet
- you must not be seated on an Exit Row seat
How to book the travelling with pets feature via Etihad Airways?
To avail of the travel with pets service via Etihad Airways, follow the steps given below:
- submit the booking form at least 7 days before the travelling with your pet
- email all required documents no later than 72 hours before your flight
- in case of flying to Abu Dhabi, apply for a release permit for your pet and complete a UAE Health Certificate
- in case Abu Dhabi is your final destination, the UAE Health Certificate must be signed and stamped by a government-accredited health official in your country of departure within five days before your flight. Please make sure to present this at the airport, or else your pet will not be permitted to fly
Travel with pets price
The price of travelling with pets on Etihad Airways depends on the class you are travelling in:
- the cost for travel with your pets in Economy class is USD 1,500 (AED 5,509) or 215,000 Etihad Guest Miles each way. If you are transiting, the combined price will apply
- in case you prefer to book an adjacent seat travelling in Economy, you will be charged for the cost of an extra seat plus USD 1,500 (AED 5,509) each way
- in case of travelling in Business or First class, as there is no space available under the seat, you must purchase an extra seat for your pet. You will be charged for the cost of an extra seat plus USD 1,500 (AED 5,509) each way
Please contact Etihad Airways to pay using Etihad Guest Miles.
Visit Etihad Airways’ ‘Travelling with pets’ page for more information.
Air Canada allows travellers to bring their pets in the cabin with them, provided the pet is small enough to stand, turn around and lie down in its carrier under the seat in front of them. However, a pet cannot travel with passengers in the cabin in case they:
- are an unaccompanied minor
- are seated in an exit or bulkhead row
- require the use of a medical device that needs to be stowed underneath the seat
- are travelling in the Premium Economy cabin, as the layout of Premium Economy seats does not allow for the safe stowage of a pet carrier
Travellers, however, need to book their own flight and contact Air Canada Reservations to register their pet for travel on the same flight as theirs.
In case your pet has to travel alone, including cats and dogs, you need to avail of the Air Canada Cargo facility. Air Canada Cargo ships a wide variety of pets, including cats and dogs.
Please make sure to contact Air Canada Cargo for complete details on their AC Animals service.
Please visit Air Canada’s Government regulations page for more details regarding country-wise restrictions for animals.
Rules for travelling with pets
- the pet carrier will count as the one standard carry-on item which you are allowed to bring on board.
- your pet must always remain in its closed carrier under the seat in front of you
- your pet’s carrier must be big enough to allow them to stand up, turn around and lie down safely and comfortably, with no part of them extending outside the carrier. Please note that your pet could be refused travel if the carrier is deemed to be too small for them
- the maximum carrier size allowed for hard-sided carriers is 23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm (height x width x length), and for soft-sided carriers is 27 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm (height x width x length)
- only one cat or small dog in the cabin is allowed per passenger
- your pet must be at least 10 weeks old and fully weaned
- you will need to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the recommended check-in time for your flight, as you must see an agent at check-in. Please note that when travelling with a pet, it is not possible to check in online or at an airport self-service kiosk
Please note that pet carriers which exceed the maximum allowable size can be transported in the checked baggage compartment, provided they weigh no more than 45 kg (100 lb) or measure more than 292 cm (115 in) in linear dimensions (length + width + height)
How to book the travelling with pets feature via Air Canada?
Travellers need to book their own flight and contact Air Canada Reservations to register their pet for travel on the same flight as theirs. Moreover, pets that have not been registered in advance will NOT be accepted at the airport.
They will be asked to provide the following details on call:
- the dimensions of the carrier and
- the weight and breed of their pet
Furthermore, travellers are required to register their pets within 24 hours of completing their booking to ensure that in case their pets cannot be accommodated on the flights and dates they selected, their ticket is refunded without charge.
Please note that within 24 hours, any changes to the booking will be subject to applicable change and cancellation fees.
Travel with pets price
The charge for one-way travel with pets in Air Canada is $100 CAD or USD (AED 367).
Please visit the Air Canada ‘Travel with your pets’ page for more information.
United Airlines allows in-cabin travel with pets only for cats and dogs, provided there is space available. Travellers flying internationally will be required to call on 1-800-864-8331 to add a pet to their reservation.
Rules for travelling with pets
- although there are no weight or breed limitations for pets, they must travel in either a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier that fits under the seat in front of passengers
- there can only be one pet per carrier, and they must be able to stand up and turn around while inside
- travellers need both their own and their pet’s confirmation numbers, which can be found in their email addresses or in My Trips. The airlines will also give a special bag tag for the pet’s carrier
- to be eligible for flying on domestic flights, puppies and kittens must be at least 2 months old, and on international flights, they must be at least 4 months old to comply with vaccination requirements
How to book the travelling with pets feature via United Airlines?
To book the travelling with pets feature via United Airlines, you just have to select the “Travel with a pet” option while booking on the United Airlines website. You can also visit My Trips to add a pet to an existing trip.
Please note that you cannot add a pet to your trip on the United application.
Visit United Airlines’ ‘Travel with pets’ page for more information.