Cathay Pacific Airways flying with pets

What is Cathay Pacific Airways policy on pet acceptance?

No pet or animal of any description will be allowed in the passenger cabin, except Service Dogs.

Some pets may be accepted for transportation in the aircraft hold. Remember that pets won’t be allowed to ship as checked baggage to some countries or regions like Hong Kong.

Which pets are allowed to travel on Cathay Pacific flights?

Pets such as dogs, cats and birds will be crated and transported in the cargo compartment. Passengers should check with the local government office the travel permits and health certificates and other documentation required.

Snub-nosed, short snout or flat face animals, called brachycephalic, including dogs and cats, are not accepted for carriage as checked baggage, due to increasing concern in the industry that those animals have high potential risk of breathing trouble during air transportation, causing negative health impact to the animals.

Pets as Checked Baggage

Because not all countries accept pets as checked baggage, you must check with your local Reservations Office. Passengers traveling with pets should arrive at the airport and check in 3 hours before departure

On non-stop flights between Hong Kong and New Zealand (operated by Cathay Pacific or Air New Zealand only), except Service Dogs, pets cannot be accepted as checked baggage and must be carried through cargo service.

There is no free baggage allowance for pets. Baggage charges will be applied for all pets on the basis of the total weight of the pet and its container:

  • On flights on which the weight system applies, baggage charges for carriage of an accompanied pet will be calculated per kilogram (2.2 lbs) on a zone basis, just as for standard excess baggage.
  • On flights to/from/via the Americas:
    • Twice the extra baggage fee per piece will be charged if total weight and size of the pet and its container is within 23 kg (50 lbs) and 158 cm (62 in).
    • An additional fee of $150 will be charged for each limit exceeded, up to 32 kg (70 lbs) and 203 cm (80 in).
    • If the total weight and size of the pet and its container exceeds 32 kg (70 lbs) and/or 203 cm (80 in), Cathay Pacific will charge four times the fee per piece.

Assistance Dogs

Cathay Pacific cannot accept Service Animals other than dogs in compliance with regulations issued by the authorities. Assistance Dogs include guide, hearing, service, emotional support, and psychiatric service dogs. Assistance Dogs must be accredited by Assistance Dogs International, Assistance Dogs Europe, or International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF).

AFCD (the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department) has very strict regulations regarding the importation of dogs, including Assistance Dogs, into their territory. Dogs cannot transit through or be brought into Hong Kong unless a Special Permit to do so is obtained in advance from the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Additionally, prior approval from the authorities is also required for in-cabin transport of a Guide Dog.


Cathay Pacific only accepts Service Animals for travel in the aircraft cabin if:

  • They meet the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department definition of Guide Dog.
  • The passenger has a Special Permit for the Importation, Transit or Transhipment of the animal.
  • The passenger has written approval from the authorities for in-cabin transportation of the Guide Dog.
  • All original copies of the documentation required by the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department are presented at check-in and on arrival into Hong Kong.

In-flight Requirements

Big dogs shall be accommodated on the cabin floor at the owner’s feet while smaller dogs may be carried on the owner’s lap. Service Dogs need to be properly harnessed, and the dog’s leash must be secured to the seatbelt at all times during the flight. The care and supervision of the dog is the sole responsibility of its owner. The crew will require that the animal relieves itself in a way that does not create a health or sanitation issue in-flight. Cathay Pacific allows one Service Dog per passenger.

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