Business class with a dog – is it possible?

Every pet owner will agree that pets are real family members. If you are a pet owner, it’s understandable that you will want to bring your beloved pet on your air trip. So if you wonder whether dogs  are allowed on  business class flights, the short answer is –yes.

It’s understandable that you will want for your dog to feel comfortable and safe on the flight as much as you.

Most airlines allow their passengers to bring a dog or cat with them on the flight. All passengers who wish to travel with their dog or a cat should follow the conditions of Regulation  576/2013. 

If you want to travel with your dog in either first, business or economy class, you need to check the conditions of your air carrier to ensure the safety of your pet during the entire flight duration.

Depending on the airline some business class cabins don’t allow the transportation of dogs or just allow up to 2 animals. That’s because business class on intercontinental flights doesn’t offer much space under the business cabin seats for placing pet carriers.

If we are talking about an assistance dog, there are specific rules for traveling with such a dog in an airplane cabin. You should ask your airline about its conditions for traveling with an assistance dog.

Depending on their size and breed dogs and  cats can fly either in the cabin together with their owner or in the cargo hold.

Before going on an air travel trip with your pet, you need to pay attention to some important things. There are certain rules concerning air travel with a pet.

Business with a dog - is it possible?

Traveling on an airplane with your dog is a matter that is concerned with the carry-on baggage policies of airlines. Different air lines have different requirements when it comes to flying with pets no matter if it’s business or economy class.

If you want to bring your pet with you, you can choose to check the conditions of your airline first. Most airlines allow their passengers to travel with a small dog or a cat in a business class cabin as long as the pet and its carrier meets the airline’s cabin allowance requirements.

However there are some universal requirements that apply for all airlines. One of them is the requirement that passengers who travel with their pets need to book their flight by the phone 14 days prior to the flight date and make their check-in on the spot at the airport’s check-in counter.

The period for flight arrangements of 14 days is required because airplanes usually have a limited space for pet carriers. Passengers who travel with pets need to make their flight reservation 48 hours before the departure at the latest.

Business with a dog - is it possible?

Each airplane has a certain number of pet slots, so you should not wait until the last moment to book a flight with your dog.

All passengers who fly with their dogs have three options for their pet- the cabin, the hold or the cargo.

The transportation of all types of pets (whether it’s a dog or a cat ) in business class must be done by a carrier designed for pet transport.

The carrier should meet certain requirements set by the airline industry. It should be leak-proof, well-ventilated and it should close properly so that the animal cannot escape.

The pet’s carrier should also offer good ventilation from at least both of its sides and it needs to be the right size so that it can fit under the seat in front of the pet owner’s seat. For this reason you cannot choose exit seats for your flight, if you plan to share it with your dog.

You should know that passengers are not allowed to take their pets out of their transport kennels or carriers during the flight.

Some airlines do not allow pets in their first or business class on transatlantic routes. And others may require their passengers who fly with pets to pay an additional fee each way on international and domestic flights.

What fees do you need to pay if you fly with your dog?

The standard fee you should pay for a pet including the cage with a weight of up to 32 kg. is 100 EUR for each direction. 

And if the total weight of your pet and its cage is over 32kg., the fee for each direction is 140 euro.

and it’s recommended to do this as soon as you buy your own ticket.

Pet carrier dimensions

There are some instructions for people who are flying with their pets.

  • For most companies the standard maximum allowed weight  of the animal together with the cage or the container on the airplane cabin  is up to 18 lbs (8 kg). 
  • The maximum allowed dimensions of the pet’s cage for economy class cabin are 48 x 35 x 22 cm.But as we have said these numbers can vary depending on the airline and its pet allowance policy.
  • You need to know that when it comes to air travel pets are not included in the free baggage allowance. Passengers are obliged  to pay a fee of 60 EUR per direction.
  • When it comes to carriage of live pets in the airplane cargo hold – AVIH (pets in the hold), there are also some conditions you need to follow. The standard dimensions of a pet container for an airplane’s hold are 110 x 65x 70cm.
  • Your dog should be at least 10 weeks old. The weight limitation for the pet traveling in the cargo hold is less than the pet weight limitation for the airplane cabin. In general the total weight of the dog and its cage/kennel can be around 165 lbs (75 kg).

Business with a dog - is it possible?

  • If you are traveling with two dogs, then they can be up to 30 lbs (14kg) each to travel in the hold in one and the same kennel. And if you are traveling with three dogs, the same rule applies too. They can be up to 30 lbs (14kg) each given that they are from the same litter and their age is 6 months or younger. The pet carriers are usually placed in a ventilated part of an airplane’s hold.
  • Depending on the airline’s policy sometimes pets and pet cages that exceed 32 kg. are not allowed to travel to and from certain locations. The free baggage allowance doesn’t apply to pet transportation on airplanes.
  • If your dog should travel in the cargo, then its total weight together with the carrier should not exceed 165 lbs (75 kg).The dog’s carrier should be up to 292 cm high.

If you are transporting your dog as a cargo, you need to make sure that the authorities of the country you are flying to allow the transportation of pets as cargo.

Business with a dog - is it possible? 

Pet carrier design

The pet’s cage or other type of container should be big enough for the animal to stand in its natural position. The pet should be able to stand, turn around and lie down inside the container in a comfortable way.

And because traveling on an airplane can be a stressful experience for all animals, a dog’s container should be comfortable for the dog  so that the animal will feel safe when flying.

The surface of the pet’s container should also be leak-proof.It’s recommended to have a moisture-absorbing material such as blankets or newspapers on the carrier’s floor.

The pet containers should be made from reliable strong plastic material, fiberglass or hardwood. The structure shouldn’t contain toxic materials or harmful ingredients. Containers with wire-mesh and metal bars aren’t recommended for air travel with pets.

Business with a dog - is it possible?

Another important thing is that there should be ventilation holes at all of the sides of the pet’s container so that there is no danger of suffocation for your dog. The pet’s cage should also be escape –proof and a centralized locking system is preferred.

To make sure that your dog is fully protected, check whether the interior of your dog’s cage has any sharp edges, corners or nails. This will prevent your dog from hurting itself.

Business with a dog - is it possible?

Pet condition

One of the main requirements for traveling with your pet (whether  it’s a dog or a cat) is that the pet should be 10 weeks old at least.

Your dog’s breed is also an important factor for determining where your dog can travel in an airplane,

You should know that dog breeds with snub noses such as Pekinese and boxers may experience breathing problems during air travel because of stress or high temperatures. These breeds are not suitable for traveling in the hold. The best location for them is the cabin or the cargo.

Business with a dog - is it possible?

Dog breeds such as pug, French and English bulldog, Boston terrier should be placed only in the cabin.

Some airlines don’t allow the transportation of more aggressive types of dog breeds who are likely to fight only as cargo. Also, some airlines don’t allow the transportation of pets on their Boeing models.

What things you need to do when traveling with your pet? 

Useful advice for flying with dogs

When preparing to fly with your dog, don’t forget to bring all of its important documents such as vaccination certificates, health certificates, identification tags.

When preparing to fly with your dog, don’t forget to bring all of its important documents such as:

  • vaccination certificates
  • health certificates
  • identification tags.

Upon booking a flight with your pet, make sure to make a separate reservation for your pet. Make sure that your dog is used to the carrier/kennel in which it’s going to travel. Allow your dog a few days to get accustomed to the carrier’s space.

Business with a dog - is it possible?

You should know that an airline may not allow your pet to fly, if it’s ill or behaves in an aggressive way towards unknown people.

Because your dog is going to spend some time without much movement, make sure to go on a walk with it before departure.

You should keep in mind that flight attendant staff aren’t responsible for feeding the animals in the hold or giving them water. Therefore you should not forget to leave enough water and food for your dog for the entire trip.

Fortunately air companies don’t have responsibility for the well-being of their passengers’ pets. So before deciding to go on a trip with your pet, you should know that  in the case of an emergency in the cabin or in the cargo hold, your pet won’t get immediate oxygen administration.