What are the requirements regarding pets and traveling with pets on KLM flights?
Pets travel safely and securely with KLM in the passenger cabin, as checked baggage, or via cargo. Be sure to follow instructions carefully in any case. A reservation is required and must be made by telephone or online (through My Trip). KLM accepts only a limited number of kennels in the cabin or as checked baggage. You should make the reservation for your pet at least 48 hours before your flight’s departure time. Because the check-in process for pets may take some time, KLM recommends arriving at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled departure time. Also, you should bring a filled-out form when transporting your pet as checked baggage.
What health certificates do I need to travel with my pet?
Every country has different requirements as to what is needed to transport a pet. You should ask your own country’s animal health and welfare department and the animal health authorities of the country you will be traveling to. You can check the information posted at their embassy and consulate websites. If you require further information or have any more doubts there are several websites you can visit when you prepare to travel with your pet:
- To/from/within the European Union: European Commission.
- To the United Kingdom: UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
- Between the rest of the countries: International Air Transport Association.
Pets in the Cabin
Small dogs and cats are allowed to travel in the cabin on all European KLM flights, in both Economy and Business class. On intercontinental flights, pets are no longer accepted in World Business Class, but only in Economy Class. Just a limited number of kennels is allowed per flight, so be sure to check with the reservation department or office if there is enough room on your flight to bring your pet on board.
For transporting your pet, you can use a pet travel bag with maximum dimensions of 46 x 28 x 24 cm (L x W x H). Inside, your cat or dog must be comfortable sitting down, standing up, or lying down. The total weight allowed for both pet and transportation kennel should not exceed 8 kg (18 lbs), and it needs to be placed under the seat of the passenger sitting in front of you.
For cats and dogs transported in the cabin, fees are established by route:
- European flight – 55 EUR.
- Intercontinental flight – 125 EUR / USD / CAD.
Pets in the Baggage Compartment
Cats and dogs can also travel in the baggage compartment. It’s not possible to bring your pet in the hold if you have a transfer time of more than 3 hours. Places designated for pets are well ventilated and secure. Kennel specifications are as follows:
- It has to be a hard-cased kennel, not made of wood and in accordance with the IATA regulations. Kennels made by either the SKY brand or the VARI brand are good examples. Always make sure your pet fits comfortably on the kennel before purchasing one.
- The total amount of weight allowed, combining your pet and the kennel you are using to transport it should not exceed 75 kg (165 lbs). Two compatible adult animals, of comparable size, and up to 14 kg (30 lbs) each or three animals from the same litter up to six months old and 14 kg (30 lbs) each may be transported in one kennel.
Kennels are for sale at specialty shops or you can order yours online. Be careful to double-check sizes and measurements to accommodate your pet before doing so. Visit IATA org for more information.
Find out what airplane you are going to be flying on. It’s not possible to bring your pet in the hold if your flight is operated with a Boeing B787-9 or B787-10 aircraft. On Embraer aircraft (flights operated by KLM Cityhopper), pets are not accepted during winter on flights lasting more than 2 hours (due to the fact that the baggage compartment cannot be heated).
There is a limit of 3 pets per passenger per flight, but these spaces are subject to baggage compartment availability, so make sure to call and make the reservations well in advance of your trip to ensure your pet will have a secured spot on the flight.
Cats and dogs with short noses (snub-nosed) experience breathing difficulties while in flight because of the temperatures in the plane and stress. Some of the breeds that experience these difficulties are:
- Cats: Persian, Burmese, Himalayan, and Exotic Shorthair.
- Dogs: All Mastiff breeds, all Boxer breeds, all Bulldog breeds, all Pug breeds, Affenpinscher, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Pitbull, Brussels Griffon, Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Pug, Dogue de Bordeaux, Shih Tzu, English Toy Spaniel, Shar Pei, Japanese Chin, and Tibetan Spaniel.
These breeds need to be transported in the cabin or via cargo. The following breeds are not allowed either in the baggage compartment or as cargo: Boston Terrier, Pug, English Bulldog, and French Bulldog.
For cats and dogs transported as checked baggage, fees are established by route:
- European flight – 200 EUR.
- Intercontinental flight – 400 EUR / USD / CAD.
Pets as Freight
You should transport your pet as cargo via Air France-KLM Cargo in the following circumstances:
- If your pet’s weight plus the transportation kennel exceeds a total of 75 kg (165 lbs).
- If the kennel measures more than 292 cm (115 in) when adding length plus width plus height. Some aircraft won’t allow kennels exceeding 247 cm (97 in). If you require further assistance or if you need more information, you should contact KLM or your travel agent.
- If you and your pet are traveling on different flights.
- If you and your pet are traveling to a country that does not allow entry of pets transported in the baggage compartment, and only allows them as cargo.
When using cargo to transport your pet, you need to get in touch with a cargo company or agent. For further information visit the AIR FRANCE-KLM Cargo website.
Special pets deserve special regulations. Special transportation rules apply for all Service Animals. You can learn about these rules and regulations by contacting the KLM Cares program. Service Animals may accompany a passenger with reduced mobility in the passenger cabin and will be carried free of charge. Once you and your pet arrive at the airport, the staff will present you with a checklist to ensure that all documents and other requirements are met and in order.