Travelling with pets

The safety and well-being of your pet during transport in the aircraft are very important to us. Please read the following information carefully.

A dog with an Austrian bandana at the airport

Transport of animals to the USA

Due to new limitations issued by the United States Government the import of dogs into the US will be limited starting on 14th July 2021 until further notice.

If you have an existing booking including a confirmed dog transport, please contact your Service Center. 

For all new bookings please make yourself familiar with the new entry restrictions.

Further information and the application for a special import permit can be found on the website of the United States Center for Disease Control.

These limitations are valid for all dogs to be imported to the United States, including Service Animals.

Please note

  • You can carry up to two healthy pets in an approved carrying container.
  • Your pet must be at last twelve weeks old (16 weeks from or to the USA). Young animals must be weaned from their mother.
  • Your pet may be carried in the cabin and/or the cargo hold depending on your pet’s size, weight (including carrying container) and the applicable regulations in the country concerned. You will find the respective details on this page below.
  • Special conditions apply to the carriage of your assistance dog (for example guide dog or hearing dog).

The carriage of large animals to certain destinations in the cargo hold is not possible due to local conditions and restrictions.

Please note that the carriage of dogs and cats belonging to short-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds has been restricted since 1 January 2020. Existing, confirmed bookings will continue to be valid even after 1 January 2020.

Please notify us in good time if you wish to bring your pet with you. We will check the conditions of carriage and the space available.

General information and registration by telephone on +43 5 1766 1000 or by email to our Service Centre.

Compliance with animal welfare provisions and import/export regulations for animals

Please make yourself familiar with the import and export regulations applicable to your pet in your departure-, transit and- destination country before booking your flight. Such information is available from the relevant consulates, for example.

Furthermore, Austrian Airlines reserves the right to apply even stricter regulations and to refuse the booking on certain routes (for example to the UK), if necessary, in order to exclude the animal from travel.

Please also ask your vet about applicable animal welfare provisions when travelling with your pet. Obtain all the travel documentation required so that everything is prepared for the trip with your pet. 

Small pets in the cabin

The carrying container must:

  • be soft, bite-proof and leak-proof.
  • insulated against odours.
  • be adequately ventilated even when closed.
  • be large enough to accommodate the pet in a natural position.

The total weight of the pet and the carrying container must not exceed 8 kg, a maximum size of 118 cm (55 x 40 x 23 cm) so that it can be stowed easily under the seat in front of you.
Please note: In some countries, such as Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Hong Kong and South Africa, pets must be carried as freight irrespective of their size.

General information and registration by telephone on +43 5 1766 1000 or by email to our Service Centre.

Man holds cat in his arms

Large animals in the cargo hold

Animals for which there is no space in the passenger cabin may be carried in the cargo hold subject to compliance with the relevant conditions of carriage. Please inform us of the size and weight of the carrying container you are providing at the time of booking. The container must comply with the IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations. We will check the availability of space and the loading options in the aircraft.
A maximum of two pets, who must be accustomed to one another, with a maximum individual weight of 14 kg per animal may be accommodated in a single carrying container.

Austrian Airlines reserves the right to check the condition of the carrying container and the pet’s behaviour at check-in to ensure it is carried safely and securely throughout the entire journey.

Woman with dog at a mountain lake

Dogs classified as fighting dogs and short-nosed/brachycephalic breeds

There are special conditions for the carriage of dogs classified as fighting dogs and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, for example the use of a special cage.
Dogs and cats that belong to short-nosed breeds have constricted airways due to their anatomy and may be short of breath as a result. The stress caused by transport or high temperatures at the departure, transfer or destination airport may lead to circulatory problems and increased shortness of breath as a result. You pet may therefore suffer serious injury to its health or even die during the journey. The carriage of these breeds in the cargo hold has therefore been restricted since 1 January 2020.

You can get further information at specialcases@austrian.com

Woman holds a small dog on her arms

Service dogs

General requirements for taking a service dog into the cabin

To ensure safe and undisturbed flight operation, your dog must be trained to be obedient to your commands and must behave appropriately in a public space (e.g. no barking, growling, or jumping up at people).

If your dog does not behave appropriately, Austrian Airlines may transfer the dog to the cargo hold at an additional cost or refuse to transport the animal.  You are liable for any damage and additional costs arising from the transport of your dog.

Certain requirements have to be met so that you may take the dog in the cabin with you. We have summarized the information for you about the carriage of service dogs:

Information about travelling with and registering service dogs on all flights except direct flights to/from US

You can bring one (1) service dog free of charge.

Information about travelling with and registering service dogs on direct flights to/from US

You can bring two (2) service dogs free of charge.

Emotional Support Animals

As of  01 March 2021, Austrian Airlines will only accept trained service dogs in the cabin. 

Emotional support dogs are no longer classified as service dogs therefore, we will no longer accept new bookings of emotional support dogs as of this date. They will travel as pets, either in a suitable transport container in the passenger cabin or in the cargo hold, depending on the size and weight, against a fee.  Please refer to the tables "Small pets in cabin" and "Large animals in hold" listed above.

This is how you can take your pet with you when you travel

Tips for the well-being of your four-legged friend

Flying is not only stressful for us humans. We have put together a few tips for you so that your pet is relaxed and well prepared: 

  • As far as possible get your pet used to the carrying container at home by placing the pet in the closed container for a few hours several times and then rewarding it afterwards.
  • Many pets are very nervous before and during the flight. If you are considering whether you want to calm your pet with medication, please speak to your vet about this. The pet’s reactions are often not predictable and may lead to circulatory problems.
  • Place a blanket with a familiar smell and a favourite toy in the carrying container to calm the animal.

Enquire from your vet how you can adjust your pet’s food during the flight.

Frequently asked questions 

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