Japan Airlines (JAL) flying with pets

What is Japan Airlines policy on pet acceptance?

Transporting pets on Japan Airlines flights is allowed in the cargo compartment. The rules for pet acceptance may vary depending on your departure and arrival airport. An exception to this rule is the Certified Service Animals, such as guide dogs, signal dogs, and assistance dogs, which will be accepted to accompany their owners in the passenger cabin.

Which pets are allowed to travel on Japan Airlines flights?

Any cat and dog except French Bulldogs or Bulldogs, as they are especially vulnerable to changes in temperature, humidity, light, pressure, and sound. The pet (dog and/or cat) must be older than 8 weeks in order to travel. In addition to cats and dogs, the following pets are accepted in the cargo compartment: small birds (that eat seeds, fruit and insects), ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, marmots, hamsters, squirrels, and chinchillas.

Is there any documentation required when traveling with a pet?

The rules vary by country and region; prior to travel you must contact the embassy, quarantine office, consulate, etc. of the arriving and departing countries to determine the required documentation. It may include an import/export permit, export quarantine certificate, health certificate, and/or import certificate. The passenger needs to have the complete documentation prior to going to the check-in counter. As these procedures take too much time it is recommended to get to the airport at least two hours prior to the scheduled departure time.

Also, before checking-in, you need to go to JAL’s website, download and fill out a Waiver, which you need to turn in at the check-in counter the day of departure.

Pets in the Cabin

Only Certified Service Animals are permitted to be carried in the passenger cabin (free of charge), in the cases where the owner is also traveling on the same aircraft and is completely dependent on the assistance dog for mobility. Advance notification/reservation is required. It is needed:

  • To present training certification to assure that the dog has received special training.
  • For the dog to remain at the feet of his/her master for the entire flight.
  • For the dog to wear a vest or cape that indicates that it’s an assistance dog.
  • For the passenger to have a muzzle for the dog and use it whenever necessary.
  • To not feed the dog – except water.

Pets in the Hold

All pets, except Certified Service Animals, are to travel in the hold. For international flights, passengers who wish to travel with their pets should contact JAL at the time a flight reservation is booked, as advanced reservations are required. There is a limit of size and number of pet crates per each aircraft type. Due to the limited space of each aircraft, several days may be required to confirm your reservation. At the time of reservation, JAL will ask your crate size, total weight of your pet and crate together, type and age of your pet. Passengers must supply a crate that satisfies the following conditions:

  • It needs to be large enough to allow freedom of movement, stand, lie down, and turn.
  • Needs to be made from a solid material (wood, plastic, metal, etc.), with ample ventilation openings covered by a weld mesh and a leak-proof bottom.
  • They need to be lockable.

When traveling with pets on domestic flights, advance reservation is not necessary and rental pet carriers are available in sizes from S to XL. However, if your pet is very large and you want to rent a pet carrier, L- or XL-sized pet carriers must be booked in advance as their availability may be limited. The weight of your pet must be less than 32 kg; otherwise, your pet must fly as cargo. The weight of both pets and other checked baggage must not exceed 100 kg per person.

In the cases where the passenger’s itinerary includes segments operated by other carriers, it will be their responsibility to confirm arrangements for their pets. Under certain circumstances, Japan Airlines cannot accept the transfer of pets from other airlines. The pet must be checked in with all the documentation, and the passenger must sign any JAL’s forms regarding the carriage of pets. JAL isn’t able to provide your pet with any food or water after check-in (transfer points included), so you should give your pet sufficient food and water prior to check-in. It’s allowed to put a water pod and a food container inside the pet’s crate that won’t leak prior to check-in.


If your pet is an assistance dog, you can carry it with you at no additional cost.

If you’re traveling with pets domestically, you will be charged with 3,000 to 6,000 Yen, depending on your itinerary.

If you are traveling internationally, you must contact JAL and ask for a quotation for the trip of the pet, as it varies according to route, availability, etc. The following pet charges for each pet container will be assessed according to the route:

  • 400 USD/CAD (40,000 yen) – between Japan, Asia, India, Oceania and Hawaii, North/Central/South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa.
  • 250 USD/CAD (25,000 yen) – between Japan and Asia, Guam, Oceania.
  • 50 USD/CAD (5,000 yen) – domestic flights, where international rules and conditions of carriage apply.

JAL Pet Club

When you’re traveling domestically, you may have a membership for the JAL Pet Club (free of charge, although you need to be a member of JAL Mileage Bank, JMB) that will entitle you to earn points each time you fly. You are able to exchange these points for special pet lovers’ prices such as waiving pet travel charges and other JAL original goods.

More information here >>