When should I start planning my pet's transportation?
For the planning and organization of your pet transport you should plan 1 - 3 months depending on the destination country in any case.
For flights to Australia and New Zealand, we recommend a preparation time of 9 - 12 months due to the extensive entry regulations there.
Why can't I book my pet directly with the airline as "freight (cargo)"?
Cargo shipments are accepted by airlines only from approved carriers, such as PetAir.
Also, transporting the animal as "excess baggage" is not always possible in most cases due to various factors (size of the animal, regulations of the destination country, airline regulations, etc.).
How far in advance can PetAir book the flight for my pet?
There are different advance booking deadlines depending on the airline. With some airlines the pet can be booked up to 3 months before departure, with others it is a maximum of 10 days.
In any case, the flight should be booked through PetAir at least 3 days before the desired flight date.
Should I book my own flight ticket before or after booking the ticket for my pet?
This must be decided on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us about it!
My pet has to fly tomorrow - is that possible?
Unfortunately no. Coordinating the booking with all regulations in mind does not allow for this. We usually need at least 3 days to book your pet.
I have a very large animal. Can PetAir still transport it?
This is possible on all long haul flights. On shorter routes, where smaller aircraft are used, transporting large animals is sometimes not possible
How can I commission PetAir with the transport of my pet?
Get in touch with us: By phone, by e-mail or by using our online form. After clarification of all questions we will send you our booking form, which you please fill in and send back to us.
How many hours before departure do I have to "check-in" my pet at PetAir?
As a rule, you should check in your pet at least 4 hours, for some airlines 5-6 hours, before departure. You will receive the exact time from us together with the flight details.
When will I know the exact flight details of my animal?
Depending on the airline, there are different advance booking deadlines. With some airlines the animal can be booked up to 3 months before departure, with others it is a maximum of 10 days. As soon as we receive the booking confirmation from the airline, we will send you the exact flight details.
How can I imagine the organization of an animal transport by PetAir?
At the beginning we will send you an offer about the possible flights and the expected costs.
We will discuss with you the entry regulations of the country and explain which steps have to be done in which order.
As soon as the airline allows it, we can book the flight ticket for your pet and you will receive the exact flight details from us.
If an import agent is required or requested by you for the completion of all import formalities, we will of course also take care of this.
When was the company PetAir founded?
PetAir has been a reliable partner for animal transportation since 1972.
What distinguishes PetAir?
PetAir is your tour operator when it comes to transporting animals. When transporting animals, experience matters, because animals cannot express what they are missing or what they need to travel well. So preparation, planning and organization is the key when it comes to transporting animals!
We are at your side. Thanks to our more than 35 years of experience in the field of animal transport, we know exactly what is important. Our experts know all about rules, permits, regulations, guidelines and more. In addition, we can provide you with information about the right transport boxes and, depending on your wishes, we can gladly make a suitable one for your pet. The PetAir team takes care of the entire journey and is there for you and your pet from the very beginning. Of course, individual specifications and wishes will be taken into account. The well-being of you and your pet is close to our hearts.
With which airlines can PetAir book flights for my pet?
PetAir can book flights for your pet with all airlines that are members of IATA and that transport animals.
Does PetAir specialize exclusevely in animal transportation?
PetAir specializes in the transportation of live animals: Pets, zoo animals and exotics. In addition, we can also transport any other type of cargo.
Can I have my animal transported by PetAir to any place in the world?
In principle, yes! While not every airport or airline offers a "pet service", we can always have your pet transported by road via one of our partners abroad to the desired address following a flight.
Alternatively, we can provide charter transport to any airport.
What safety standards apply when transporting animals?
When transporting animals, the same high safety standards apply as everywhere else in aviation, of course.
In addition, everyone involved in the transport of animals must undergo extensive training and obtain special certificates on the Live Animals Regulations (LAR).
Is it required that I fly on the same flight as my pet?
No, you may - but are not required to - fly on the same flight.
Can I use any animal transport box to transport my animal?
No, the transport boxes must comply with the regulations of IATA, International Air Transport Association.
For example, the boxes must meet certain criteria for air circulation and stability. Also, for example, the cage door must not be located at the top of the box.
You are welcome to order a suitable box from us online via the following link:
Does every airport have a veterinarian?
A veterinarian is available at each international airport. Official veterinarians monitor the accuracy of the required documents and examine the animals for diseases upon importation.
This is done at the airport's so-called "border inspection post." There, the import and export of live animals is monitored.
I have heard that many animals are taken to an animal station at the airport before departure. Are they well cared for there?
To make the wait before departure as pleasant as possible, Frankfurt Airport, for example, has an animal station, the so-called "Animal Lounge". Animals can be accommodated there before departure.
As at many other international airports, trained animal caretakers work there. They care for your animal in a manner appropriate to its species and let it out of the transport box once again. Special attention is paid to hygiene. Before departure, the animals are returned to the box and taken to the aircraft by the shortest route.
My animal will be accommodated on a transit flight in an animal station at the airport. Will it be well taken care of there?
Yes, your pet will be cared for and let out of the transport box immediately after landing.
What happens if my pet soils its transport box?
The box will be cleaned immediately. To ensure animal welfare, it is not permitted to transport animals in contaminated transport boxes. In any case, please make sure that your pet does not eat anything for at least 12 hours before departure and, if it is a dog, that you take it for a walk before dropping it off.
Are the staff in the airport animal stations also well trained?
Yes, only trained animal caretakers work in the airport animal stations.
Can I have PetAir transport my pet by road within Germany?
We have a fleet of special transport vehicles with which we can transport your animal throughout the EU.
Are there flights for my pet from any airport?
Smaller airports often do not offer handling for an animal transport. Also, airlines use planes on many routes that do not have the necessary capacity for animal transport.
Therefore, PetAir also offers road transport using specially air-conditioned and equipped buses to provide transportation to the nearest larger airport.
Can PetAir also bring my animal to my home at the destination?
We work with internationally recognized shipping companies worldwide. Our local partners can transport your pet by road to any destination.
Can I rely on the partners PetAir works with abroad?
We work only with selected internationally operating agents approved by IATA (= International Air Transport Association).
Does PetAir offer overnight accommodations for my pet?
If you are already leaving before your animal or it can no longer stay with you for other reasons, we can organize one or more overnight stays in selected animal boarding facilities near the airport. Due to our long-standing cooperation with these boarding kennels, there is also always a "place" free.
Alternatively, PetAir also has two kennels at the airport where your pet can be accommodated.
What is the exact procedure when I drop off my pet at PetAir?
At the agreed time, which we will communicate to you together with the flight details, you drop off your pet at our office. We will check the required documents again, which you should bring to us in the original (e.g. pet passport, health certificate). After that we will take care of your pet and bring it to the respective airline.
Can PetAir take my pet to the veterinarian to have all the necessary examinations done?
We will be happy to have our PetAir veterinarian perform the necessary examinations for you or, if necessary, take your pet to the official veterinarian. However, it is often advisable, in order to leave the animal in its familiar environment, to have all the examinations done in advance by the veterinarian you trust.
Will someone take care of my animal during the flight?
During the flight, there is no access to the special area reserved for animal transportation, in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
Will my pet get enough water before and during the flight?
Before the flight, we and all caregivers keep an eye on the animal to make sure it is adequately hydrated until departure. During the flight, the animal has the opportunity to hydrate itself from the water bowls in the transport box.
What happens to my animal after landing?
After landing at the destination, your animal will be the first to be unloaded from the aircraft by the handling staff there and brought to the animal station. There the animal will be taken care of immediately. After all import formalities have been completed - which can take 2-3 hours depending on the airport - your animal can be picked up.
Can I take my pet with me into the aircraft cabin?
It is allowed in individual cases to take small cats and dogs up to 6 kg into the cabin. However, their carrier bag must fit under the front seat and the animal must not leave it. Please contact your airline about this.
Can I transport my pet as excess baggage?
This depends entirely on the regulations of the destination country and the airline. If this is possible, the booking must be made by yourself. Unfortunately, in this case we cannot provide you with any assistance in complying with the entry regulations.
Where will my animal be accommodated on the aircraft?
All animals traveling on an aircraft as "cargo" are accommodated in a special area of the cargo hold. The cargo and baggage area of an aircraft is located throughout the lower half. The cargo hold is air conditioned (heated) in the same manner as the passenger cabin. The temperature usually ranges between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius.
Can I visit my pet during the flight if I fly on the same flight?
No. There is no possibility to get into the cargo hold of an airplane during the flight.
Is there a light in the cargo hold?
No, there is no light in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
There is no non-stop flight for my animal? How do I have to imagine a stopover?
A stopover for animals is usually much longer than a stopover for us humans. It is a good opportunity for the animal to recover.
During a stopover, the first thing your pet will do is to be unloaded from the plane and taken to an animal station at the airport. There it will be let out of its transport box and cared for. Depending on the length of the stopover, your animal will then spend a night in its "single room" in the "airport pet hotel".
Shortly before the onward flight, your animal will then be brought back to the aircraft in its box.
How should I imagine an "animal hotel" at the airport?
An "animal hotel", in Frankfurt the "Animal Lounge", is an animal station where animals are looked after by professional animal caretakers during their stopover or before a flight. Each animal has its own "room" and can rest there.
Who is responsible for transporting animals to the aircraft at the airport?
The ground services responsible for this are responsible for the transport on the airport apron. Specially equipped and air-conditioned buses are usually used for this purpose.
Does my animal have to spend the time in its box during an overnight stopover?
No, each animal gets its own "room" and can get out of the box. The box is open in the room, so that the animal - if it wants to - can withdraw into it.
Does my animal come out of its box during a stopover?
Normally, stopovers are several hours long and usually include a night. During this time, the animal comes out of its box and is cared for at an animal facility at the airport.
However, some flights include short stops of no more than 3 hours, during which the animal remains in its box and is provided with water.
Will the transport box be cleaned during a stopover if my animal has soiled it during the flight?
If the box is soiled upon arrival, it will be cleaned immediately. Please make sure that your animal does not eat anything for at least 12 hours before departure in order to avoid contamination as much as possible in the interest of animal welfare.
What is the difference between transporting my pet as "excess luggage" and transporting it as "cargo"?
When transported as excess baggage, your animal will be treated (almost) as a "normal suitcase". In case of transport as cargo, there is a complete care by specially trained personnel. In addition, the animal will be transported in specially equipped and air-conditioned buses promptly to the departure airport.
I would like to take my pet as "excess baggage". Can PetAir do this for me?
Taking your pet as excess baggage is only possible in individual cases. PetAir cannot make the booking for you in these cases. You have to ask the airline directly.
Likewise, we can unfortunately not organize the necessary entry formalities for you.
Can I also take very large boxes in excess baggage?
Whether an animal can generally be transported as excess baggage depends on the airline's regulations and the entry requirements. Likewise, you must clarify directly with the airline up to what size boxes can be transported as excess baggage. If you are transporting your pet as cargo via PetAir, there are no limits on the size of the box on most routes.
Why can very large boxes be transported as „cargo“ but not as excess baggage?
The reason for this is usually that there are different handling processes for excess baggage. Excess baggage must be handled through the baggage handling facilities at the passenger terminal, while cargo is handled in an extra cargo terminal.
Can I import my animal into any country as "excess baggage"?
No, many countries do not allow animals to be imported as excess baggage. For example, when traveling to South Africa, you must always have your animal transported as "cargo".
Can I also book animal transports with PetAir that do not leave Germany (exports) or go to Germany (imports), e.g. from India to Australia?
Yes, you are welcome to book this with us.
Do very high or very low temperatures have an impact on animal transport?
Yes, if temperatures are very high or very low at the point of departure or arrival, the airline may issue what is called a "temperature embargo". This means that your pet can then not be transported on the desired flight at short notice. We always keep an eye on the days before departure to see if there might be a temperature embargo and will of course inform you immediately and look for alternatives together.
Sometimes, however, a temperature embargo only affects certain breeds, such as "flat-nosed dogs".
I have heard that "flat-nosed" animals often cannot be transported - is this true?
Unfortunately, a great many airlines now have general embargoes on the transport of flat-nosed or blunt-nosed animals.
Also, regulations are much more restrictive at very high temperatures than for other animals. For example, so-called "temperature embargoes" sometimes apply only to the transport of flat- or blunt-nosed animals.
These animals include the following breeds: Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Pug, Japanese Chin, English Toy Spaniel, Shi Tzu, Chow Chow, Pekinese and Persian cats.
Can you pick up my pet at my home and bring it to the airport?
Yes, our experienced drivers will be happy to pick up your pet at your home and bring it safely to the airport in specially air-conditioned buses.
How much time will my pet spend in the transport box?
Before departure it will be about 3-4 hours, plus the respective flight time and 2-4 hours after landing.
What do I have to pay attention to when choosing a transport box?
In general, the box must meet the requirements of IATA (International Air Transport Association). However, please always discuss this in detail with us!
Can I put toys in the transport box for my pet?
Unfortunately, this is not allowed.
The reason for this is on the one hand to minimize the risk of injury during transport. On the other hand, it is also not allowed to transport objects - apart from a small blanket - together with the animal in the box during the security check.
Can I put a blanket in the transport box?
Yes, a small blanket is allowed.
Where can I buy a suitable transport box?
We always have approved transport boxes in stock in any size.
Can I rent a transport box for the flight?
This is not possible for hygienic reasons. Boxes may not be rented for the transport of animals.
Transport boxes can be purchased from us online at the following link:
Can my transport box have plastic doors?
No, in order to comply with the requirements, the box must not have plastic doors.
Can my transport box have plastic screws?
No, in order to comply with the requirements, the transport boxes must not have plastic screws.
Can several animals be transported in one transport box?
We generally do not recommend this.
The unfamiliar environment can cause problems even for animals that have known each other for many years. Some airlines also do not allow the transport of several animals in one box.
What vehicles do you use for animal transport?
We use Mercedes Sprinters in neutral livery. The vehicles are air-conditioned, air-suspended and GPS-monitored. A "thermologger" monitors the temperature during the journey. In the event of a temperature fault, a warning signal is immediately sent to the driver.
Have the drivers received special training on animal transport?
All our drivers have received various internal and external trainings on animal transport.
What is the noise level in your transport vehicles?
The noise level is identical to that in the driver's cab due to optimal insulation.
What are the entry regulations for my animal?
Each country has different entry regulations. We will send you these when you book your flight and discuss them with you.
Does my animal need a rabies vaccination for the trip?
Every animal needs a valid rabies vaccination for the trip.
Do I need a European Pet Passport?
As a general rule, you will need a European Pet Passport for travel.
What documents do I need for the travel of my pet?
This is entirely dependent on the country you are traveling to with your pet. You will receive detailed entry requirements from us at the time of booking, which we will then discuss with you.
Do I have to bring all original documents with my animal?
Yes, all original documents, including the pet passport, must travel with the animal.
Who is responsible for the correctness of all documents?
Ultimately, the pet owner is always responsible for the documents.
What happens if my pet's documents are not valid or complete upon entry?
In this case, your animal may be refused entry. This means that your animal will be flown back on the next available flight or placed in a quarantine facility for an extended period of time at its destination. Any costs incurred as a result must be borne by you.
What is a CITES document and where can I get one?
"CITES" stands for "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild". It is a convention that concerns international trade in endangered wild animals and plants. CITES is also better known as the "Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora".
A CITES document is available from the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation at www.bfn.de.
Can I also ship e.g. insects, reptiles, fish or birds with PetAir?
Yes, we also organize transports for these animals.
Can PetAir also transport zoo animals such as lions, monkeys or rhinos?
Yes, we also transport these animals.
Food and water
How many hours before departure should I stop feeding my pet?
In general, we recommend that you do not feed your pet from 12 hours before departure.
Will my pet be fed during the flight?
It is not possible to feed your pet during the flight, as the cargo hold of the aircraft is not accessible.
Can I give my animal food for the flight?
It is not allowed to put food in the transport box. If your pet requires special food, we can attach it to the outside of the transport box in a bag.
During a stopover or shortly after arrival, your pet can then be fed with it.
What do I need to pick up my pet at my destination?
When you pick up your pet at the airport, you will need the following documents:
- Air Way Bill (AWB), which you will have received from us prior to departure.
- An official identification document
- For your pet, ideally a bottle of water, not too cold, and a water bowl.
Collar and leash
Can my animal keep its collar on during transport?
A collar that cannot be tightened can usually be kept on. Like the leash, we can also attach it to the outside of the transport box, so that both are always at hand.
Should I give my animal tranquilizers for the trip?
It is forbidden to give the animal sedatives before a flight. It is impossible to estimate how the animal's cardiovascular system will react in the altered pressure conditions of an airplane. In addition, if the animal has not been sedated, it will be much better able to adjust to the new, unfamiliar situation. It would be a disproportionately higher stress load for the animal if it was sedated before departure and then did not "wake up" until it was in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
Sedated animals are not transported by the airline. Any rebooking fees must be borne by you in this case.
Will my animal be given sedatives by the airline?
No. It is prohibited to transport animals that have been sedated.
How loud is it in the cargo hold of the aircraft?
The noise level in the cargo hold is identical to that in the passenger cabin. Due to the darkness and the monotonous turbine noise, your pet will be asleep most of the time.
What is the noise level on the apron when my pet is brought to the aircraft?
Your pet will be taken to the aircraft in specially equipped, soundproof buses just prior to departure. There it is immediately loaded into a separate area of the cargo hold so that noise levels are kept to a minimum.
Is my animal insured on the flight?
According to the "Montreal Convention" of 1999, any shipment sent with an Air Way Bill is insured for approximately 27 Euros per kilo.
If you wish to be insured beyond this amount, please contact your insurance company.
How much does it cost to transport my animal?
This depends on many factors: The size of the animal, the route of the flight, the current rates with the airline and much more.
Simply fill out our PetAir online form to receive a no-obligation quote for your desired flight.
Why is it much more expensive to fly my pet as "cargo" compared to transporting it as excess baggage directly with an airline?
Transporting your pet as cargo has many advantages over transporting it as excess baggage: In this case, your pet will be cared for seamlessly - from drop-off to pick-up at the destination airport. When transporting as "excess baggage" your pet will be treated like a "normal suitcase". A real care is not given in this case.
Furthermore, we will provide you with all information about the required documentation and all entry regulations.
Why can PetAir not book my pet as "cargo" with some airlines?
Not all airlines offer a service for the transport of animals. Especially classic "charter airlines" (e.g. Condor) do not offer the possibility for pet transport.
Why does the transport of my animal cost so much?
Animal transport requires specially trained personnel throughout the entire process. The care is much more intensive than with a "normal piece of cargo". In addition, more volume is required in the cargo hold to get the necessary air circulation.
Furthermore, you will receive from us all information about the required documentation and all entry regulations.
When do I have to pay for the transport of my animal?
The animal transport booked with us must be paid before the departure.
How can I pay for my animal transport?
You can pay our invoice in advance by credit card or by bank transfer.
If you pay when you drop off your animal, you can do it by credit card, debit card or cash.
Do I have to pay a fee if I pay my bill by credit card?
No, this is not allowed by law.
What is the payment deadline with PetAir?
Each shipment must be paid for before departure.