Have you ever waited on the check-in line at the airport and and noticed a passenger off to the side with a big crate and a big dog in it? Or perhaps you’re standing behind the white line at immigration and watch a passenger carting a cat carrier with a cute kitty in it. If you’re like me, you’re probably daunted by the idea of bringing a pet on a flight. But Lufthansa Airlines has some very straightforward steps to take. While other airlines may differ in terms of policy, their regulations are similar to those of Lufthansa:
1. Call Lufthansa Airlines (800 399-5838 or 800-645-3880) and find out what kind of container you need to take your pet in. If you have a small dog or cat, you may bring your pet on board with you into the cabin. The pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. According to Lufthansa regulations as of this writing, the combined weight of your cat carrier and pet cannot exceed eight kilograms (17.6 lbs). The box cannot measure more than 55 x 40 x 20 cm (about 22 x 15.5 x 7.8 inches). In addition, Lufthansa offers you a “Pet Box” at the check-in counters . As of this writing, the pet box is free of charge, but that can change anytime.
A good idea when booking your flight is to see if you can get an emergency exit seat so that there will be more room for you to place your pet and carrier in front of you.
If your pet is too big (usually dogs), you will need to transport him in the cargo hold (which is air conditioned for animals). You may use your own transport container for your animal if it complies with IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations. Your animal must be able to stand up straight and move in the box. If necessary, you can purchase containers in different sizes from Lufthansa Cargo. Click here for more information.
2. At least 24 hours before you bring your pet to the airport, call Lufthansa and reserve a spot for your pet. The best time to do this is when you book your flight, so you won’t forget. Here again is contact information for Lufthansa Reservations–USA: 800 399-5838 or 800-645-3880
3. You’ll probably have to pay a fee for transporting a pet–either flying in the cabin with you or in the cargo–unless your animal is a guide dog. Depending on your airline, the tariff goes by weight or by the “piece” of excess baggage. On Lufthansa, flying from the USA (as of this writing), an animal and carrier that weigh between 23 and 32 kg (50.6 and 70.4 lbs) will cost $50 in economy class. Click here for additional information on Lufthansa’s regulations on excess baggage.
Have a good, safe flight with your pet.
Lufthansa Airline Regulations for Animals