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

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.

Man holds cat in his arms

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.

Woman with dog at a mountain lake

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 holds a small dog on her arms

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

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs (guide dogs or hearing dogs) may be carried with you in the cabin free of charge on Austrian Airlines providing all the safety requirements are met.

The dog must fit into the footwell in front of your seat and must be secured on a lead intended for this purpose and wear a muzzle on board. Please note that the obligation to wear a muzzle may be lifted by the cabin crew on board in certain cases.

Please register your dog at the time of booking, because assistance dogs are limited in size and weight. Please state the dog’s service ID and its breed and weight.

Emotional Support Animals

There is the option of carrying a dog in the cabin for therapeutic purposes (Emotional Support Animal) if you have booked a flight from or to the USA.

The specific training of your dog must be verified at check-in. You must also register your dog in advance no later than 48 hours before departure. You will also require up-to-date evidence from your treating psychologist to prove that you must have the animal with you during the flight.

We will also have to take hygiene precautions on long-haul flights. You must therefore submit written confirmation that the dog will not foul the passenger cabin during the flight.

Until 31 January 2021, carriage is free of charge on our direct flights from/to America, including feeder and connecting flights.
From 1 February 2021, dogs who provide emotional support will only be transported free of charge on Austrian flights to and from the USA. No special conditions apply to all other routes, including connecting flights from or to the USA. The dog will travel in a suitable transport container in the passenger cabin or in the cargo hold, depending on the size and weight, for an additional fee. Please refer to the tables listed above.

Please note: 

  • Bring a suitable transport container for the animal with you at the start of your journey. 
  • On connecting flights outside the USA, upon which the dog cannot be transported as additional hand luggage in the cabin, you are responsible for the entry, exit and customs formalities for your accompanying emotional support dog yourself. 
  • Allow enough time (3 hours) to either pick the dog up or check it in.

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