Dog-Friendly Europe

Which European Flag-Carrier Airlines Allow Dogs in the Cabin?

European flag-carrier airlines that allow dogs in the cabin

I previously wrote about which European budget airlines allow dogs in the cabin, but what about if you’re not looking at travelling with a budget airline, or they don’t fly where you want to go? At the other end of the spectrum are flag-carrier airlines, with most (but not all) European countries having one of these. And sometimes their fares are as cheap as or cheaper than budget airlines, depending on when you’re looking. So, which European flag-carrier airlines allow dogs in the cabin? And how do their pet policies compare? To view the pet policy of all 34 flag-carriers, sorted by country, scroll below. But first of all, I answer some key questions…

Read my guide to flying with your dog in the cabin in Europe, including what to expect at the airport

Do Any Flag-Carrier Airlines Not Allow Pets in the Cabin?

Out of the 34 flag-carrier airlines operating across Europe, nearly all of them allow pets to travel in the cabin (as well as in the hold). But not surprisingly, a handful of carriers operating in countries where pets usually can’t be transported in the cabin (except for service animals), don’t allow pets in the cabin. Each of British Airways, Aer Lingus and Icelandair don’t allow pets to fly in the cabin. Additionally, Air Albania probably doesn’t allow pets in the cabin, although no information is provided online either way.

Note also that for airlines that do allow pets, sometimes pets may not be allowed on certain flights. This includes flights to certain destinations, such as the United Kingdom. Plus if you’re lucky enough to be booking a long-haul Business class flight with a reclining seat, dogs are generally not allowed in those Business class cabins. Always check first, before making a booking.

Do Any Airlines Have a Higher Weight Limit?

Nearly all of the airlines listed below have a 8kg limit for dogs travelling in the cabin, including their carrier bag. But there are two airlines that offer a higher weight limit. Both Alitalia and Air Malta have a maximum weight of 10kg, rather than the standard 8kg limit. However, you need to also keep in mind the maximum carrier dimensions, which are still quite small!

Do Any Airlines Have a Lower Weight Limit?

On the other hand, a few of the airlines have a lower weight limit than 8kg, including the carrier. Georgian Airways has a weight limit of just 6kg. A 6kg limit also applies on selected Bulgaria Air flights operated to and from Paris by Air France, although other flights have an 8kg limit. Also, while British Airways normally doesn’t allow pets, their flights within Europe operated by SUN-AIR do allow pets, albeit with a 6kg weight limit.

Are Full-Service Airlines More Generous Than Budget Airlines For Pets?

Generally the pet policies of both full-service airlines and budget airlines in Europe are fairly similar when it comes to pets, usually with a standard weight limit of 8kg and similar fees charged. However, many budget airlines in Europe, including some of the most popular, don’t allow pets, while the majority of full-service airlines do allow pets in the cabin.

So here’s the key details of the pet policy of each of the European flag-carrier airlines…

Albania: Air Albania

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Probably No

There is no mention on their website of pets being allowed. However, the website (at least the English version) is quite basic, so I recommend calling up their call centre if you are considering flying Air Albania with a pet.

Austria: Austrian Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Austrian Airlines allows small pets in the cabin (up to 8kg), plus larger dogs in the hold. The requirements are quite standard, although they also mention carriers in the cabin should be “smell-proof”. Fees vary between €50 (for domestic flights) up to €110 (for long intercontinental flights), and you should call up when you are booking to confirm your pet can be accommodated. The full pet policy is here.

Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Azerbaijan Airlines allows pets to travel both in the cabin and in the hold. Pets in the cabin should be a maximum weight of 8kg, including the carrier, with a fee charged of €50 or equivalent currency. The full pet policy is here.

Belarus: Belavia

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Belavia allows pets to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. The rules are fairly standard, with a maximum weight of 8kg for pets in the cabin and a charge of €50 or equivalent currency. As Belarus is not in the EU, make sure you have reviewed the details for pets travelling into and out of the country, with some relevant details provided on the airline website. Belavia also allows pets to travel in the cabin when leaving the UK (but not travelling to the UK). For full details, click here and here.

Fly to Belgium with your dog

A summer weekend in Antwerp, Belgium

Belgium: Brussels Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Brussels Airlines permits pets to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. Although like other airlines, pets are only allowed to be transported to the UK as cargo. The rules are fairly standard, with a maximum weight of 8kg including the bag, plus you should check in advance whether there is capacity. There is a fee of €50 within Europe, including Tel Aviv, Morocco and Russia, or €70 for intercontinental flights. The full pet policy is here.

Bulgaria: Bulgaria Air

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

If you’re flying with Bulgaria Air, pets are allowed both in the cabin and in the hold. A maximum weight of 8kg applies for pets in the cabin, accept on two flights to and from Paris operated by Air France, where a maximum weight of 6kg instead applies. A compulsory confirmation is required, either through the call centre or via email. The fee is €50 for pets in the cabin. For further details, click here and here.

Fly to Bulgaria with your dog

Exploring the mountains in Southern Bulgaria

Croatia: Croatia Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Croatia Airlines allowed dogs and cats to be transported both in the cabin and in the hold. Pets in the cabin are restricted to two animals, with one carrier bag per passenger, with a maximum weight of 8kg. The charge for domestic flights within Croatia is 150 HRK + 25% VAT (about €25), or €50 for international flights within Europe and €70 for international flights outside Europe. For further details, read the full pet policy here.

Czech Republic: Czech Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Czech Airlines permits animals to travel both in the cabin and in the hold. Just be sure to check in advance that your pet can fly on your chosen flight, as there is a maximum of two crates in the Economy cabin and one in the Business cabin. The maximum size of the crate in the cabin is a generous 43cm long x 30cm wide x 27cm high, but a standard maximum weight of 8kg. The fee is €59. Click here for the full pet policy.

Thumbs Up: We flew with Czech Airlines from Prague to Bucharest with our dog, with a smooth experience!

Denmark: Scandinavia Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Scandinavia Airlines is the joint flag-carrier for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, i.e. all of Scandinavia. Pets are allowed to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. You need to book your pet within 24 hours of your own booking, and a document is required to be completed in advance, except for domestic flights. There is a maximum weight of 8kg for pets in the cabin, including carrier, with fees varying from €50 (domestic) to €70 (across Scandinavia and Europe) to €95 (intercontinental). Click here for the full pet policy.

Fly to Estonia with your dog

The Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia

Estonia: Nordica

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Nordica allows pets to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold as both check-in luggage or cargo. As there is a maximum number of pets pet flight, it’s advised to book within 24 hours of your own booking, and at least 24 hours in advance. The standard rules apply, with a maximum weight of 8kg including the carrier and a generous maximum carrier size of 56cm long x 45cm wide x 25cm high. The fee is €50, one-way within Europe. Click here for the full pet policy.

Finland: Finnair

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Finnair allows pets to travel in the cabin as well as in the hold on their flights, although always check rules for specific destinations. The standard rules apply, with a maximum weight of 8kg for pets in the cabin, including carrier, and a maximum carrier size the same as for carry-on luggage. The relevant charge for pets in the cabin is €40 on short haul flights, €75 (or $100 USD or $100 CAD) on long haul flights. Click here for the Finnair pet policy.

France: Air France

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

If flying with Air France, pets are permitted in the cabin, as well as in the hold or via freight, on most flights. The standard conditions apply, with a maximum weight of 8kg. It’s possible to buy a carrier on the Air France Shopping website, for travelling with a pet both in the cabin and in the hold, for delivery in selected countries. The relevant fee caries between €40 for domestic flights within metropolitan France up to €125 for long haul flights. Click here for their pet policy, plus click here for information on animals not allowed to travel.

Fly to Paris with your dog

A quick trip to Paris

Georgia: Georgian Airways

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Georgian Airways allows pets to travel with your both in the cabin and in the hold. The maximum weight for animals in the cabin is lower than usual, at just 6kg, although the maximum carrier dimensions are 55x35x20. The charge for a pet in the cabin is €50 or $55 USD. The full pet policy is here,with fees listed here.

Germany: Lufthansa

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Lufthansa permits pets to travel with you in the cabin, as well as in the hold. Their instructions are long and comprehensive. Standard rules apply, including a maximum weight of 8kg, although they also mention your pet’s carrier can be attached to your safety belt by a leash, rather than under the seat in front of you. Fees vary between €50 for domestic flights and €60 for flights within Europe, up to €110 for long-haul flights. You are also required to print out, complete and sign two copies of their form at the check-in desk. Click here for their full pet policy.

Greece: Aegean Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Aegean Airlines permits dogs, cats and ferrets to travel in the cabin with you, as well as in the hold. The standard regulations apply, with a maximum weight of 8kg, including carrier. You can ring up their call centre to check whether there is still space for animals on your selected flight, but you can also easily add your pet to your online booking. Prices are quite cheap, with a fee of €20 for domestic flights (rising to €30 in the peak summer period), and €50 or €60 for flights within Europe. They can also provide a free, disposable cardboard container for you to use at domestic airports. Click here for their full pet policy.

Thumbs Up: We flew twice with Aegean Airlines, firstly from Bucharest to Athens and then from Athens to Paris, and were quite impressed with their roomy seating, inclusion of a meal and the ease of booking. 

European flag-carrier airlines that allow dogs in the cabin

Exploring Meteora in Greece

Iceland: Icelandair

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? No

Iceland is one of the most restrictive countries to travel to in Europe with your dog, with a long quarantine period, so it’s no surprise that pets are not allowed in the cabin. They do however accept up to four animal crates in their climate-controlled special hold area, plus one service or emotional support dog in the cabin. Click here for more details.

Ireland: Aer Lingus

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? No

Aer Lingus doesn’t accept pets for carriage in the cabin, except for suitably harnessed service dogs. If flying on Aer Lingus Regional flights, either within Ireland or between Ireland and Britain, you can book directly for animals to travel in the hold, but for flights to and from the rest of Europe you need to book through a freight forwarder. Click here for more details.

Italy: Alitalia

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Alitalia allows pets to travel both in the cabin and the hold. The weight restriction in the cabin is more generous than other airlines, at 10kg. However, the maximum dimensions of the crate are restricted to 40cm long x 20cm wide x 24cm high, or up to 28cm high if it has a soft or semi-rigid top. Fees for pets in the cabin range from €40 for domestic flights in Italy up to €200 for flights to the rest of the world. For more details click here, plus here for fees.

Fly to Italy with your dog

At Villa d’Este near Rome, Italy

Latvia: airBaltic

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

As also noted on the list of budget airlines (airBaltic is both), airBaltic accepts pets for travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. An advance booking is required, ideally at the same time as your own ticket. Standard rules apply, with a maximum weight of 8kg including the box. Note that if you are travelling with an infant, you cannot also travel with a pet. The fee charged for a pet in the cabin is €60 one-way. Click here for the full pet policy.

Thumbs Up: We flew with airBaltic from Riga to Warsaw with our dog in the cabin and thoroughly enjoyed our flight. The food and beverage service costs extra, but prices are reasonable and quality is high. If you were flying in October 2018, you may have noticed our appearance in the in-flight magazine!

Luxembourg: Luxair

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Luxair accepts pets in the cabin on its flights, as well as in the hold, except on flights to London and Dublin. The standard rules apply, with a maximum weight of 8kg. Note carefully also the documentation requirements, including that the rabies vaccine must be given at least 30 days in advance and that a health certificate is required for pets from outside of the EU. Pets in the cabin cost €50 one-way. Click here for the full details.

Malta: Air Malta

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Air Malta accepts pets in the cabin on its flights, as well as in the hold. Like Alitalia, a more generous weight limit of 10kg applies, although the dimensions of the carrier are still small. Note that Malta has additional requirements for pets travelling to the island, with your pet usually required to be wormed and an appointment made with a government vet for your arrival. Read more about the requirements and our experience. Air Malta also requires a health certificate for your pet and charges a flat fee of €70. Click here for more details.

Thumbs Up: We flew with Air Malta from Catania on Sicily to Malta, a very quick flight! It was a little difficult to get a health certificate from an Italian vet within 3 days of the flight, plus the worming treatment, but it’s a comfortable alternative to the ferry.

Moldova: Air Moldova

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Air Moldova accepts pets for travel in the cabin only, not in the hold. A maximum weight of 8kg applies, including the carrier, and flights to and from Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal and the UAE are excluded. As Moldova is not in the EU, carefully read the details about documentation required, depending on the destination of your pet. You will also be required to sign a special declaration at departure. A flat fee of €40 is charged. Click here  for the full pet policy.

Montenegro: Montenegro Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Montenegro Airlines allows small pets to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. Standard rules apply, including a maximum weight of 8kg, including the carrier. Note that Montenegro is not in the EU, so carefully check that you fulfil all documentation requirements. A fee of €20 applies for flights between Montenegro and Serbia, or €30 to other European destinations. Click here for the full pet policy.

Fly to Norway with your dog

Exploring the fjords of Norway

Norway: Scandinavia Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

As I mentioned above, Scandinavia Airlines is the joint flag-carrier for Denmark, Norway and Sweden. On Scandinavia Airlines, pets are allowed to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold, with a maximum weight of 8kg for pets in the cabin. You need to book your pet within 24 hours of your own booking, and a document is required to be completed in advance, except for domestic flights. Fees vary from €50 (domestic) to €70 (across Scandinavia and Europe) to €95 (intercontinental). Click here for the full pet policy.

Poland: LOT Polish Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

LOT Polish Airlines permits pets to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. The regulations are fairly standard, including a maximum weight of 8kg including the carrier, and a maximum height of 20cm, in-line with carry-on baggage dimensions. Fees charged are €12 + VAT for domestic flights, €50 for flights within Europe and the Middle East, or €70 to the USA, Canada, China and Japan. Click here for more details.

Portugal: TAP Air Portugal

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

TAP Air Portugal permits small pets to fly both in the cabin and in the hold. Standard regulations apply, including a maximum weight of 8kg, including carrier, which can have maximum dimensions of 40cm x 33cm x 17cm. Note that pets need to be booked at least 24 hours in advance, and if you are travelling from outside of the EU, except for a handful of countries, you will need to email the Veterinary Directorate-General at least 48 hours in advance. Fees charged are €35 for domestic flights, €70 for flights within Europe and to/from Morocco, and €150 for intercontinental flights. Click here for more details.

Fly to Romania with your dog

The medieval town of Sighisoara in Romania

Romania: TAROM

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

TARAM permits small dogs and cats to fly in the cabin, as well as accepting animals for transport in the hold. The rules that apply are fairly standard. The maximum weight is 8kg including the carrier, with the maximum dimensions a small 44cm long x 26cm wide x 17cm high. Make sure you include your pet when making your booking. Click here for the full pet policy, and here for specific rules for pets in the cabin.

Russia: Aeroflot

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Aeroflot permits small pets to fly in the cabin, as well as in the hold. A maximum weight of 8kg applies, along with maximum total dimensions of 125cm for rigid carriers or 135cm for flexible carriers. Take note of the documentation requirements that apply, including a health certificate from a vet within 5 days of transport. Unfortunately, brachycephalic dog breeds are not accepted (in the cabin or in the hold), plus dangerous breeds can only travel in the hold. The charge for domestic flights is 3750 RUB (about €48), or €75 for international flights. Click here for the long and detailed instructions, and here for fees.

Serbia: Air Serbia

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Air Serbia allows small dogs and cats to fly in the cabin, but doesn’t offer transportation of animals in the hold. Standard rules apply for pets travelling in the cabin, including a maximum weight of 8kg. Note that you are required to check-in at least 2 hours in advance if travelling with a pet. Fees charge vary between €25 and €85, depending on the destination. Click here for more details.

Fly to Slovenia with your dog

Exploring Lake Bled in Slovenia

Slovenia: Adria Airways

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Adria Airways permits small dogs and cats to travel in the cabin on its flights, as well as in the hold. Standard rules apply, including a maximum weight of 8kg. Note that you need to contact Customer Care in advance, both to book your pet and to find out further details. No fees are listed on the site. Click here for more details and the contact phone number.

Spain: Iberia

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Iberia allows pets to fly both in the cabin and in the hold. For small pets travelling in the cabin, standard rules apply including a weight limit of 8kg. You also need to book your pet’s transport in advance. Fees vary between €25 for domestic flights in Spain up to €50 for flights in Europe, Africa and Middle East, with higher charges for flights to and from America and Asia. Click here for the full pet policy.

Sweden: Scandinavia Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

As I mentioned above, Scandinavia Airlines is the joint flag-carrier for Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Pets are permitted to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. Make sure you book your pet within 24 hours of your own booking, and fill out the required document, except on domestic flights. Standard rules apply, including a maximum weight of 8kg including carrier in the cabin. The fees for a pet in the cabin range from €50 (for domestic flights) to €95 (for intercontinental flights). The full pet policy is here.

Switzerland: SWISS

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

SWISS allows small pets to travel in the cabin, as well as in the hold. The standard rules apply, including a weight limit of 8kg, including carrier, for pets to travel in the cabin, except for dogs providing protective or assistance functions. If you fly directly to Switzerland, your pet will be checked by Customs at the airport, with a charge if you are entering from a non-EU country. The fees charged for pets in the cabin range from €50 for domestic flights to €110 for long-haul intercontinental flights, or the equivalent currencies. Click here for the full pet policy, and here for an FAQ.

Fly to Switzerland with your dog

In the Swiss Alps

Turkey: Turkish Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Turkish Airlines allows pets to travel in both the cabin and in the hold. For pets travelling in the cabin, a maximum weight of 8kg including the carrier bag applies. Certain breeds of dangerous dogs are prohibited from being carried – check the website for more details. For flights within Turkey, there is a charge of 70 TRY for pets in the cabin. When flying internationally, the fee depends on the excess baggage calculations, with a minimum of $70 USD. Click here for the full pet policy.

Ukraine: Ukraine International Airlines

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Ukraine International Airlines allows pets to travel in both the cabin and the hold on their flights. For pets travelling in the cabin, standard rules apply, including a maximum weight of 8kg combined for the pet and carrier. Bookings for pets must be made at least 24 hours in advance, with up to a 50% discount applying if you pay at least 24 hours in advance, although I can’t find the actual fees listed online. Click here for their pet policy.

United Kingdom: British Airways

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? No

Considering pets aren’t allowed to travel in the cabin on most flights to the UK (and often, but not always, when leaving), it’s no surprises that British Airways doesn’t permit pets to fly in the cabin. (This is the same for all UK airlines.) The only exception made is for recognised assistance dogs. All other pets, including emotional support animals, need to travel in the climate-controlled hold as cargo. This can be booked through IAG Cargo. The one exception is on flights operated within Europe by SUN-AIR under the British Airways brand, where pets in a very small carrier up to 6kg are allowed in the cabin, except for on flights to the UK. Click here  for full details.

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Europe Flag-Carriers Dogs in the Cabin

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