Air New Zealand flying with pets

What is Air New Zealand policy on pet acceptance?

Transporting pets on Air New Zealand flights is allowed only as checked baggage and only on domestic flights. Air New Zealand may restrict or limit transporting pets on some aircraft types or for certain destinations.

Which pets are allowed to travel on Air New Zealand flights?

The company allows domestic pets like cats and dogs and small caged birds to travel as checked in baggage on all domestic services. Racing greyhounds transported for profit are excluded. Unaccompanied domestic pets and all other types of animals can be flown as cargo.

Except for certified Service Dogs, pets are not allowed in the passenger cabin on any Air New Zealand flight.

Pets as Checked Baggage

Due to space limitations on some flights (Air New Zealand Link services – flight numbers series 5000 and 8000), no more than one cage per customer will be accepted for travel as checked baggage. So if you have more than one cage, then your pet must travel as cargo and be pre booked.

A maximum of two adult animals of comparable size up to 14 kg each may be shipped in the same container. Animals over 14 kg can travel individually. Animals up to six months old may be shipped in the same pet container up to a maximum quantity of three.


Because carriage of pets is subject to availability of space on the aircraft, you should call the contact centre or inform your booking agent at the time of making your reservation that your pet will be traveling with you. Each animal and cage that are checked in will be counted as a piece of baggage, and any excess charges will be applied as for additional items of baggage. A pet carriage fee in addition to any applicable excess baggage charges will apply, and this will be charged at the airport on the day of the flight:

  • 75 NZD up to 25 kg.
  • 100 NZD 26 kg and over.

This pet carriage fee reflects:

  • The treatment required to ensure pets’ safety in the flight.
  • The space they take up in the hold of the aircraft, that impacts on the airline’s ability to carry other additional baggage or cargo.

Remember that, if the carriage of your pet results in you exceeding your baggage allowance, you can pre-pay for the extra bag, but the pet carriage fee is only payable at the airport.

The pet will be loaded into the aircraft at the earliest possible opportunity, and will be offloaded and carried into the baggage arrival area. This could mean that, on arrival, the pet may arrive in the baggage claim area after other baggage has been delivered. Air New Zealand has robust standards in place around the transportation of animals to ensure the comfort and safety of pets at each stage of their journey.

To ensure the safety of your pet, they need to travel in a suitable container that can be secured appropriately. If the pet is presented at the airport in a container which doesn’t meet the standards, it won’t be accepted for travel. The container must be a suitable size to allow the animal to lie down, sit up, stand up and turn around. The following dimensions (height x width) are the maximum cage sizes for pets to travel as domestic checked baggage:

  • Airbus A320 – 97 x 79 x 131 cm (38 x 31 x 52 in – H x W x L).
  • Bombardier Q300 – 82 x 75 x 120 cm (32 x 30 x 47 in – H x W x L).
  • ATR 72 500 – dimensions to be confirmed by the departure airport.

The container should be constructed out of wood, rigid plastic or a material of comparable strength. Containers constructed out of fiberboard or wire mesh are not suitable for air transportation. The container must leak proof, be clean, well ventilated and have more than one method of securing the door. Air New Zealand staff must use a cable tie as a secondary means of securing a cage.

Service Animals

In the passenger cabin on Air New Zealand domestic and international flights, only certified Service Dogs are permitted when they are accompanying and assisting their handler. There is no charge for this service. A certified Service Dog is a trained dog that has current certification issued by a recognised organisation, proving that the dog currently meets the recognised standard for a Service Dog. For domestic New Zealand flights, the term also includes dogs undergoing recognised service dog training who are accompanied by their handler for the purpose of training on that flight. However, the term does not include emotional support dogs, comfort dogs, therapy dogs and psychiatric service dogs (or dogs of similar description) which are not permitted in the aircraft cabin. As an exception, emotional support / psychiatric service dogs may be permitted to travel in the aircraft cabin to and from the US (but not other routes) where it meets all requirements set out by the US DOT in 14 CFR part 382 117.

Air New Zealand requires a minimum of 48 hours notice prior to your intended flight. You are also required to check in 1 hour prior to the standard check-in time. Subject to availability on the day of travel, Air New Zealand will allocate an extra seat, next to you (to provide additional floor space for your certified service dog when traveling in Economy class). Where this is not possible, you will have the option of having your dog sit within the space in front of your seat or changing travel dates. During flight, your dog must be restrained by its lead and seated on an absorbent mat (which will be provided by Air New Zealand).

Service Dogs may not obstruct any aisle. Due to this requirement, travel in Business Premier on a Boeing B777 aircraft is not possible.

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