TRAVELLING WITH PETS
Domestic flights with pets
Pets cannot travel in the passenger cabin on-board Australian flights. The only exception to this is the transportation of service dogs.
If a passenger is travelling on a domestic flight then they need to advise the airline when booking that a pet animal needs to be transported as well. This allows the airline to investigate if that flight is available for transporting a pet. It is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure that the pet is transported in the correct crate size or the pet will not be able to travel.
Qantas does allow pets to be checked in as part of a passengers checked baggage allowance however if a pet is taken as well as other baggage, then excess baggage rates will be charged. The pet may be able to be checked in at the terminal at the same time as the passenger and other baggage but this depends on the quarantine laws of that state.
If the pet cannot be checked in at the terminal then the pet will need to be taken to Australian Air Express (AAE) which is located close by to the terminal. The pet needs to be checked in a minimum of 60 mins prior to the flight departure at the terminal or 90 mins at AAE. *AAE restricted hours on weekends.
If the pet animal and cage is heavier than the permitted 23kgs, then the pet will need to travel as freight via AAE. A booking needs to be made via AAE direct and applicable freight rates will apply and be charged directly by AAE.
Thousands of pets travel on aircraft every year and the staff members who look after them are trained to do so. However when booking a pet for travel on an aircraft, it needs to be remembered that the airline cannot be held responsible for injury, sickness or death of an animal. If a passenger is in any doubt of the health of the pet animal, then a vet must be consulted prior to the animal travelling. AAE or airport staff will make the final decision about the transporation of any animal.
Qantaslink Flights (Regional Australia)
Qantaslink do allow pets to be transported on their flights. As regional aircraft are smaller in capacity, it is essential that Qantas is contacted to book a pet on these regional flights. This is required due to the restricted freight space available on smaller aircraft. Call Qantas on 13 13 13 for further details.
Virgin Australia does allow pets to be checked in as part of a passengers checked baggage allowance. To ensure that there is room on the flight for the pet, passengers must make a booking via the Virgin contact centre.
No booking – no transportation for your pet.
If the pet exceeds the checked baggage allowance, then Virgin Australia uses Toll Air Express to transport pets.
Contact Virgin Australia on 13 67 89 for further details.
Jetstar Airways and Tiger Airways
Both Jetstar and Tiger do allow service dogs to travel on flights. Please contact the airline directly to make arrangements.
Jetstar and Tiger do not allow pets to travel on flights.
International flights with pets
Pets can be transported overseas however there are strict rules and regulations to follow. Pet owners need to arrange valid health and vaccination certificates, plus entry, transit and exit permits for all countries.
This type of documentation can take several weeks to organise depending on which country the pet is being transported to. The pet may need to complete a stay in a government quarantine centre in the arrival country for several weeks or months.
To organise your pet to travel overseas either contact your airline freight department or speak to a specialised pet travel company who can help organise the move for you.
For further reading regarding baggage please refer to the following links: