Home Leisure & Lifestyle The World’s Most Pet-Friendly Airlines for 2024 Revealed

The World’s Most Pet-Friendly Airlines for 2024 Revealed

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If you’re a pet parent, you might have already considered or experienced flying with your furry companion. According to a survey from Condor Ferries, 27% of pet owners intend to take three to five getaways with their pets a year.

Whilst it might seem like a straightforward decision to bring your furry friend along, it can be a stressful situation if you haven’t researched airlines before. There are many details to figure out, such as are there any specific restrictions on species allowed? What is the maximum weight your pet/equipment must be to accompany you in the cabin? Plus, how many pets per passenger are allowed?

With these questions in mind, travel experts at SkyParkSecure have uncovered the best pet-friendly airlines in the world. Even if you’re an experienced pet traveller or dreaming to take your pooch with you on your next trip, there are plenty of airlines that will make you and your pet feel safe and comfortable.

The research looked at the following factors:

  • If pets are allowed in the cargo
  • If pets are allowed in the cabin
  • Maximum weight
  • Species allowed
  • Pets per passenger
  • Price

American Airlines named the most pet-friendly airline in the world

Rank

AirlineCargoCabinMaximum weight/dimensionsSpecies allowed

Pets per passenger

1

American Airlines

YY45 kg2

1–2

2

Korean Air

YY32 kg–45 kg3

1–2

3

Czech Airlines

YY8 kg–32 kg3

1

4

Air Canada

YY45 kg2

1–2

5

Finnair

YY8 kg in cabin or 75 kg in cargo6

1

6

Nordica Airlines

YY8 kg on cabin and 60 kg on cargo3

1

7

El Al Israel Airlines

YY9 kg3

2

8

Azerbaijan Airlines

YY31 kg for cabin and 32–75 kg for cargo3

4

9

TUI

YY8 kg in cabin, 121 cm x width 81 cm x height 88 cm in cargo3

1

10

Qatar Airways

YY32 kg3

1

Taking the top spot as the world’s most pet-friendly airline is American Airlines. The airline offers a generous weight limit of 45kg. Pets are permitted to fly in the cabin to most destinations in the US, with up to one cat or dog in a carry-on container which must remain under the seat throughout the flight, or two pets permitted in the cargo. This year, the airline has made a change to the policy to allow customers with a pet to also bring either a personal item or carry-on bag stowed overhead.

Landing in second place is Korean Air, one of the world’s top 20 airlines. Including their container, pets must be between 32kg to 45kg to fit in the cabin or cargo, with 1 on board, and 2 as checked. The airline also has a ‘SKYPETS’ programme, which allows passengers to collect stamps for each flight taken with their pets. The loyalty programme aims to make the experience for pets convenient and memorable.

Rounding off in third place is Czech Airlines. A maximum of two transport crates for economy class, and one per business class carrying small dogs and cats can be transported aboard the cabin under 8kg, with dog, cats and ferrets in the hold, with a maximum weight of 32kg.

TUI lands in the top 10

TUI, the UK’s leading travel brand ranks 9 in the world’s pet friendly airlines, which is no surprise as it’s one of the only UK airlines that allow pets in the cabin. In the cabin, 1 cat or dog is allowed per passenger and must weigh no more than 8kg. For cargo, dogs and cats can be more than 8kg, but the cage most follow certain dimensions.

Tips from a pet behaviouralist on how to prepare your pet for a flight

Flying with your pet can be a daunting thought, but Liz Clifton, a calm coach for you and your animals, has provided tips to help you and your pet feel at ease onboard a plane.

Preparing your pet

“My favourite ways to relax and release mental and physical stress with your pet are shared silent meditation space, dog yoga and letting them snuggle up in their favourite space at home either inside or outside.

Help them to acclimatise to any different experiences that the plane travel will include. For example, ensure that they are comfortable and used to the crate, harness, lead or other travel equipment that they will be using on the plane.”

Check their health

“Observe their behaviour and movement daily so that you notice any changes and share these with your vet. Always seek support from your vet, pet behaviour, physio, holistic health practitioners and professionals with any concerns.”

Cabin or cargo travel

“When choosing where your pet will travel consider it from their point of view and what they would prefer. Consider how your pet enjoys their time usually, do they prefer being with you or enjoy alone time?

The length of the flight along with the pre and post flight times and environment will also help you decide if they’d be better with you or in cargo.”

Other top tips

“Make sure to include their favourite pet safe familiar bedding, healthy food, toys and comfort blankets plus any current or travel medication or holistic remedies.

As our pets are sensitive to our own emotions it’s also important to look after yourself and release any of your own built up stress to help them enjoy as calm and happy a travelling experience as possible.”

If you’re looking to fly abroad with your pet soon, take a look at our hotels and parking to discover pet-friendly options. You can find out more about the top pet friendly airlines here.

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