Copa Airlines flying with pets

What is Copa Airlines policy on pet acceptance?

Transporting pets on Copa Airlines flights is allowed only in the passenger cabin. The rules for pet acceptance may vary depending on itinerary, country of departure and destination, and on which day of the week is scheduled the flight. On international flights only from Monday through Friday, Copa Airlines transports pets in the passenger cabin, to prevent travel during the weekend, a time when most of the airport’s Divisions of Quarantine are closed.

Pets are not allowed in Business Class, and a maximum of 3 pets per flight is permitted inside the Main Cabin.

Which pets are allowed to travel on Copa Airlines flights?

Only dogs and cats are accepted as hand baggage. Copa Airlines ceased to allow the transportation of birds and will not accept them as carry-on baggage on international flights.

Pets up to 8 weeks old will not be accepted for transport traveling alone in a cage. All pets that do not fulfill these parameters will not be accepted as hand baggage, and their transportation must be arranged through Copa Mascotas.

Pets in the Cabin

Passenger should contact the airline at least 48 hours before the flight’s departure to ensure space for the pet. Only one pet per passenger is allowed. Owners must travel on the same flight as their pet with an appropriate cage for its transport. Traveling with pets is not permitted on connection flights between Copa Airline and another airline.

The owners are responsible for all documentation required to ensure the exit and entry of the pet, both to cities of departure, transit and destination of the trip. On international flights, the passenger must provide a health certificate for their pet, as well as all necessary documents for entry at their destination. For flights within Colombia, a current vaccination certificate is only needed. Pets flying to the United States from Colombia must have a health certificate that indicates that they are free of screwworms.

Only one pet is permitted in each cage. Together with its container, the pet must not weigh more than 20 lbs. The pet cage must fit easily under the seat in front of the passenger. For this reason, hard-sided and soft-sided pet containers, both accepted, must not exceed the following dimensions:

Type of kennelWidthLengthHeight
Hard-sided kennel13 inches17 inches7.5 inches
Soft-sided kennel11 inches18 inches11 inches

Pets must not smell or be offensive. The passenger may feed the pet, but only if it does not require removing the pet from its container. Seats in an emergency exit row or the first row, those facing a bulkhead cannot be assigned to passengers traveling with pets.

Passengers who travel with pets to Panama must notify the arrival of the pet 3 days in advance by filling out the form Request for Home Quarantine and present to the doctor of veterinary medicine at the Department of Zoonosis Control in the Tocumen International Airport the following documentation: small species export certificate or license issued by the health department of the country of origin, certificate of anti-rabies vaccination, and certificate of good health authenticated by the Panama Consulate in the country of origin. The cost of the quarantine process is 146 USD per pet, in cash.


For transportation in the passenger cabin on international flights, all pets will be charged a fee of 125 USD per cage or container.

For the transportation of pets on domestic flights, all pets will be charged a fee of 25 USD per cage or container. In the case of connecting flights that include international and domestic flights, the international flights’ conditions and surcharges will apply.

Passengers in transit through Panama who travel with pets and want to leave the airport must leave the pet in quarantine with a charge of 9.50 USD per pet.

Service Animals

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals accompanying disabled persons are permitted in the passenger cabin free of charge. Copa Airlines considers only dogs as Service Animals.

All Service Animals must have country entry permits and vaccination certificates. On international flights, the passenger must provide health certificates for the animal, as well as other documents for entry into the destination country.

To comply with security regulations, the Service Animal must be able to sit at the passenger’s feet and not take up room in the aisle. Passengers traveling with Service Animals cannot be seated close to the emergency exit. Copa Airlines recommends that Service Animals travel with muzzles. As a safety measure, pets measuring more than 35 cm from the floor to their back must wear a muzzle during the entire trip.

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