The Lufthansa pet policy for 2023 includes various options for flying with dogs and cats in the cabin, or in the hold of the plane as checked baggage or cargo. Note that cats and dogs are the only animals permitted to fly in the cabin of a Lufthansa plane. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old to fly with Lufthansa, or 16 weeks if you’re flying to or from the USA. Also, your cat or dog must be able to move around within their carrier, and they have to travel with an adult passenger. The cost of flying your pet with Lufthansa varies depending on the destination and whether your cat or dog will travel in the cabin, or in the hold as checked baggage or cargo. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are no longer accepted under the Lufthansa pet travel policy, following the decision by the US Department of Transport (USDOT), however, you can travel free with a full trained and registered Assistance or Service Dog. On flights to and from the USA, you may fly with your Psychiatric Service Dog (PSVD) in the cabin free of charge. You can check out pet travel reviews for Lufthansa Airlines, or leave a pet travel review if you’ve flown your cat or dog with Lufthansa!
Note that at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lufthansa Cargo implemented an embargo on pet travel. Many international airlines have changed their pet travel rules due to flight cancellations and staff shortages as a result of the pandemic. However, Lufthansa is again accepting pets as cargo in the hold.
Read on for the full Lufthansa pet policy 2023.
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Table of contents
- Lufthansa Airport Lounges
- Lufthansa Pet in Cabin Policy
- Dogs and Cats in the Hold as Checked Baggage
- Flying a Pet with Lufthansa Cargo
- Lufthansa Snub Nosed Cat & Dog Breed Policy
- Lufthansa Airlines Banned Dog Breeds
- Lufthansa Policy for Assistance & Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals
- Pet Travel Documentation & Vaccines
- Lufthansa Excluded Pet Flight Routes
- Are Pets Safe on Planes?
- Related Pages
|Dogs & Cats in the Cabin of the Plane||✅|
|Dogs & Cats flying as Checked In Baggage||✅|
|Pets flying in Cargo Hold||✅|
|Assistance Dogs in Cabin||✅|
|Psychiatric Service Dogs in Cabin||✅|
|Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in Cabin||❌|
Lufthansa General Pet Travel Rules 2023 for Cabin & Hold
Cats and dogs can be transported on a Lufthansa flight either in the cabin and/or in the cargo hold, with a very generous two pets per passenger rule:
- No more than two dogs or cats in the cabin, within one approved transport container
no more than two animals in the cargo hold, in one or two approved transport containers
- One dog or cat in the cabin, within an approved transport container
one animal in the cargo hold in their own approved transport container
Lufthansa Airport Lounges
You can take your cat or dog into the Lufthansa Airport Lounge, however, they shouldn’t be allowed to roam around freely.
Lufthansa Pet in Cabin Policy
Dogs and cats are accepted to fly in the cabin by Lufthansa in their travel bag, up to a combined weight of 8 kg. Your cat or dog must remain in their travel bag under the seat in front of you for the flight duration. Note that dogs and cats are the only species permitted to fly in the cabin with Lufthansa, provided that they meet the weight restrictions whilst inside their airline travel bag.
Along with a maximum combined weight of 8 kg, Lufthansa sets maximum dimensions of L 55 x W 40 x H 23 cm for the pet travel carrier.
To enable Lufthansa to fly your pet with you in the cabin, you need to confirm that your pet meets the stated requirements. At check in, you must present two copies of this fully completed and signed form for travel. Be aware, you must register your pet to fly in the Lufthansa passenger cabin at least 72 hours prior to departure.
IATA Regulations for Cats & Dogs Flying in the Cabin
While you need to ensure that your pet’s travel crate meets the maximum dimensions set by Lufthansa to fly in the cabin, remember that you must also adhere to the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This includes calculating the minimum inner crate dimensions allowed by the IATA LAR for your cat or dog to fly in the cabin. In addition, the airline pet travel carrier must adhere to the criteria set by the IATA LAR, in terms of ventilation, design etc.
If you’re new to pet travel, check out 8 IATA Compliant Airline Pet in Cabin Carriers.
Cost of Flying a Pet in the Cabin with Lufthansa
The cost of flying your cat or dog in the Lufthansa passenger cabin depends on the route. Note that prices are per pet carrier, per flight.
|Route||Pet in Cabin Cost|
|Domestic flights in Germany|
|To and from Japan|
|North Africa, Central Asia & countries on the Eastern Mediterranean coast|
|Short intercontinental flights|
|Medium intercontinental flights|
|Long intercontinental flights|
At check in, Lufthansa permits you to pay to transport your cat or dog in the cabin, although it’s advisable to pre-book.
Dogs and Cats in the Hold as Checked Baggage
Under the rules of the Lufthansa international pet policy 2023, if your cat or dog weighs more than 8kg whilst in their travel carrier, they must fly in the aircraft hold.
However, no animals can fly in the hold if there’s a connection at Munich airport.
Pet travel containers in excess of L 125 × W 75 × H 85 cm cannot be transported in the hold, but may meet the conditions to be transported with Lufthansa cargo.
IATA Requirements for Pets Flying in Hold
For the safety of your pet during air transport, the airline travel kennel must meet the legal requirements of the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Therefore, in addition to ensuring that your cat or dog in their travel crate adheres to the maximum weight and dimensions set by Lufthansa, the minimum inner kennel dimensions defined by the IATA LAR must also be met.
You can calculate the minimum inner space permitted by the IATA LAR, in addition to learning about the required construction, design etc for the pet in hold travel crate.
Should you need a new travel kennel, check out 4 Popular IATA Compliant Pet in Hold Crates.
Cost of Flying a Pet in the Hold as Checked Baggage with Lufthansa
The price for flying a pet as checked baggage in the Lufthansa hold depends on the route, as well as the size of the airline travel crate. Pets are charged as excess baggage with Lufthansa, therefore you can calculate your expected fee on their website. However, you can’t pre-pay to take your pet as checked baggage, you must pay at the Lufthansa check in desk or their airport service counter.
For flights within Europe, you can expect to pay around €100 for a medium sized dog crate, or €200 for a large dog crate.
For animals in the hold, a surcharge of EUR 150 / CHF 170 / USD 170 / CAD 220 is charged for transfers via Brussels, Geneva, Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich.
Flying a Pet with Lufthansa Cargo
In some cases, your pet may have to fly with Lufthansa as cargo, rather than checked baggage. For instance, if you’re travelling on a different flight as your pet, or you’re flying to a country that doesn’t permit pets to arrive in the cabin.
For example, all animals, including cats and dogs must arrive in the United Kingdom (UK) as cargo, they can’t enter in the passenger cabin or in the hold as checked baggage. When flying to the UK, Lufthansa only transports cats and dogs as cargo, due to legislation set by the Department for Agriculture, Environment, Forestry and Agriculture (DEFRA).
Your pet will also have to fly as cargo if their crate exceeds the maximum dimensions set by Lufthansa for cats and dogs transported as checked baggage. In addition to cats and dogs, the following species may fly with Lufthansa Cargo:
- Ornamental Fish
To obtain more information, contact Lufthansa Cargo Services.
Lufthansa Snub Nosed Cat & Dog Breed Policy
Dogs and cats belonging to snub nosed breeds have anatomically restricted airways which affects their respiratory system. The stress caused by transportation and high temperatures at the departure, transfer and destination airports can cause circulatory issues that may result in breathing problems. As a result, the Lufthansa international pet policy no longer permits snub-nosed breeds to travel in the hold as checked baggage, but they can travel in the cabin with you. Lufthansa also permits snub nosed breeds in the hold as cargo, however, this isn’t recommended.
When flying with a snub nosed cat or dog in the cabin, remember that you need to add 10% to your IATA compliant pet carrier calculation.
Lufthansa uses external air freight suppliers across Europe and can put you in touch with the appropriate pet courier for your journey.
Lufthansa Airlines Banned Dog Breeds
Dog breeds classed as dangerous by Lufthansa can only be transported in special crates in the hold. An exception is made for puppies between the ages of three and six months, who can be transported in standard dog crates for travel in the cabin or hold depending on weight.
The following dangerous dog breeds can’t be imported to Germany due to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL):
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
However, you can export or transit these dog breeds.
Remember that dangerous dogs must be transported in special IATA compliant crates, you can check an example of a suitable crate in 4 IATA Compliant Pet in Hold Crates.
Lufthansa Policy for Assistance & Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals
Lufthansa accepts fully trained and registered Assistance & Service Dogs in the cabin free of charge, provided that your dog fits in the foot space of your seat. At no time is your Assistance or Service Dog allowed to occupy a passenger seat.
An approved Assistance or Service Dog is defined as:
A dog that’s specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a an individual with a disability, including a visual, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) aren’t trained to perform a specific task for their owner, therefore they can’t travel for free in the cabin under the Lufthansa Assistance & Service Dog policy. However, trained Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSVDs) are accepted to travel on flights to and from the USA. To travel with a PSVD, you must complete the USDOT Application Form, attesting to the dog’s training and behaviour, and send it to Lufthansa prior to travel.
Pet Travel Documentation & Vaccines
Lufthansa is a German international pet friendly airline, so for flights within the EU, your cat or dog has to meet the EU Pet Travel Scheme criteria. This means that you’ll need to arrange either a Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate, and ensure that your cat or dog is microchipped and vaccinated against Rabies.
You can also check out the pet import laws for taking a cat or dog to Germany, as well as other worldwide destinations in 2023.
Lufthansa Excluded Pet Flight Routes
Due to government pet travel rules, you can’t fly your cat or dog in the cabin to certain countries. These rules are in place in some pet friendly destinations that are currently rabies free, in order to protect their borders. For example, when flying to the UK (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland), all pets arriving on a plane must travel as cargo in the hold.
At present, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has extended the ban on dogs travelling to the USA from more than 100 high risk rabies countries. If your dog has visited any of these countries in the last six months, the same rules apply.
Are Pets Safe on Planes?
If you’re worried about your furry travel companion’s wellbeing when flying, check out our comprehensive post regarding pet safety on planes. While in the USA, a monthly report is provided for airline pet incident rates, there isn’t an equivalent in Europe at the moment. So, there’s no data available for incidents when flying pets in the hold with Lufthansa. Note that even the airline pet incident reports submitted in the USA are only for cats and dogs flying in the hold, and don’t include any in cabin events.
No doubt, at some point your trip will involve a car ride, so have a look at our 12 Essential Pet Car Safety Tips too. Should your cat or dog suffer from motion sickness, we’ve also compared some of the treatments, strategies and medications for pet travel nausea.
It’s important to be aware that you can’t sedate or tranquilize your cat or dog for their flight, whether your pet, or pets, are travelling in the Lufthansa cabin or hold.
In addition, to protect your pet’s health and wellbeing in a new country, be sure to keep your cat or dog safe from vector-borne diseases. In particular, Heartworm from mosquitoes and Leishmaniasis from sandflies pose a serious pet threat in Southern Europe.
And don’t forget the all important Essential Pet Travel Accessories!
Prior to booking, always view the Lufthansa pet travel policy on their website for any recent changes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some airlines are frequently amending their rules for pets on planes.
Have a safe and wonderful trip, and remember to leave a review for Lufthansa if you fly your pet cat or dog, in the cabin or hold!