Air China flying with pets

What is Air China’s policy on pet acceptance?

Air China will accept carriage of small pets (domesticated dogs and cats) exclusively as checked baggage, the only exception to the rule being Service Dogs.

What pets are allowed in the passenger cabin and what as checked baggage?

Service Dogs are the only pets accepted in the passenger cabin, all other animals being transported as checked baggage or cargo.

Air China reserves its right to establish the manner of carriage, as well as the number of animals carried per flight, these variables being subject to constant changes.

Animals that seem wild, dangerous, pregnant, or that have given birth within the last 2 days will most likely not be accepted on board of an Air China flight, so do inform yourself before deciding to travel accompanied by your pet.

What responsibilities do I have?

First of all, you must contact Air China’s offices to inform yourself about the pet carriage availability for the particular flight that you are planning to take. You need to complete a Pet Shipping Reservation Request and submit a pet shipping request at any Air China direct sales office at least 24 hours before scheduled flight departure.

Secondly, after the necessary arrangements have been made, you must provide a suitable cage (appropriate in size and meeting the ongoing standards), as well as a reasonable amount of food and water for your pet to have during the journey.

The pet’s documents are another important aspect to be taken into consideration. Make sure you have your pet’s valid health and vaccination certificates, quarantine certificates, the required entry permits, and other custom documents that may be required by other countries’ policies. If this documentation is not complete and in good order, your animal might be denied entrance into a certain territory.

This is solely the owner’s responsibility, therefore Air China cannot be held responsible if your pet will be rejected at a certain border due to document irregularities. If such a case should occur and Air China suffers any flight delays, additional fines or unexpected costs, the pet’s owner will suffer the consequences, being obliged to financially reimburse the airline.

The passenger travelling with their pet will take full responsibility if the animal causes damages or injuries to other passengers or to the flight crew, as well as if the pet itself gets injured, sick, escapes or dies during an Air China flight under normal transportation conditions.

Should you decide to bring your pet along, do not forget to register it when you book your ticket. Be advised that you must arrive at the airport two hours before the flight take off, in order to have enough time to complete the check-in formalities for your pet.

Checked Pets

Air China accepts for transportation domestic cats and dogs at least eight weeks old.  Aggressive pets and pets vulnerable to injury or respiratory problems are not accepted for transportation.

Transportation of pets is accepted on domestic and international Air China direct flights, as well as connecting flights through Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai with a transit time of more than 2.5 hours. If the transit time is more than 4 hours, the pet must be claimed and re-checked at the transit airport.

Size Restrictions

Only one pet container is allowed on a single flight,  and each container may hold only one pet.

The pet kennels must meet certain standard aspects in order for your pet to be accepted on board in the first place. First of all, the container should be built in such a manner that the animal could not escape, get injured, injure the handling staff, or damage the baggage, cargo or the aircraft itself. Another important aspect is the size of the kennel, which should leave enough space for the animal to stand up, more around and have enough ventilation. Furthermore, the container must have a waterproof bottom made out of solid material, and also sides to contain urine and feces, so the aircraft would not be affected in any way by the carriage of your pet

The total weight of the pet kennel (including the weight of the pet, food, and water) must not exceed 32 kg.


Animal carriage depends on the aircraft type, so the best thing to do is to contact Air China before deciding which flight to book.

Be advised that Air China may change at any time the type of aircraft for a specific flight before its scheduled departure. In such a case, there is a possibility that the newly changed aircraft cannot accommodate your pet, so you must decide whether or not to travel with your pet on another flight, or leave it at home.


Regardless of the type of animal which you bring with yourself on a flight (small, domesticated dogs and cats), your pet, together with its kennel and supplies, shall not be treated as free baggage allowance, so it will be considered special baggage. Therefore, the excess baggage fee must be paid at the check-in counter:

International and Regional Flights – Piece ConceptDomestic Flights – Weight Concept
Weight per ContainerFee per Container
Up to 8 kg3900 RMB600 USD

Regular excess baggage fee

based on the actual weight

8-23 kg5200 RMB800 USD
23-32 kg7800 RMB1200 USD

Service Dogs

A passenger older than 16, suffering from vision, hearing or speech impairment, may be accompanied on board by their Service Dog, to assist him or her through the journey. With Air China’s prior approval, Service Dogs can travel in the passenger cabin free of charge, or they can be transported as checked baggage at the express request of the owner, but they will be carried free of charge together with their container and supplies.

The sales office at the initial departure location must be informed in due time of your intention to travel accompanied by your Service Dog – at least two days before flight take off. Upon arrival at the check-in counter, you must present your dog’s identity document, as well as the quarantine clearance documents, the same documents being needed both when buying the ticket and when boarding the plane.

You should know that the check-in procedures must be commenced at least two hours before departure, and your dog must wear a service vest and be kept on a leash when boarding the plane (for safety reasons).

Take notice that a single Service Dog is allowed per flight.

More information here >>