The Adventures of Django and Arya


The Qantas pet policy for 2023 includes options for flying with dogs or cats in the cargo hold, or as freight, but not in the cabin. Details of the Qantas pet travel policy for international flights with your cat or dog are included. For pets in the cargo hold, any dog or cat must be at least 12 weeks old. You can check out reviews for Qantas Airlines by fellow pet travellers to find out what their pet policy is like in practice. When flying with your pet in the cargo hold with Qantas, your cat or dog must be able to move around within their carrier, and they have to travel with an adult passenger. The price for flying your pet in a Qantas cargo hold varies, depending on the route and the size of your pet. Qantas‘ pet travel rules do not permit pets on certain flights, or to specific international destinations. Certain dog breeds are not permitted to travel in the hold. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in Australia, flights for pets can only be booked through Qantas Freight Services. Read on for full details of Qantas pet policy, including Assistance and Service Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). You can check pet travel reviews for Qantas or leave a Qantas pet travel review! Read on for the full Qantas pet policy for 2023.

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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
Qantas Pet Policy 2023

Does Qantas Allow Pets in the Cabin?

Qantas doesn’t allow pets to fly in the cabin. Only registered Assistance & Service Dogs are permitted to fly in the Qantas passenger cabin with you.

Therefore, all cats and dogs flying with Qantas must travel in the aircraft hold. You can check out other pet friendly airlines if you want to fly your pet in the cabin.

Does Qantas Allow Dogs & Cats in the Hold as Checked Baggage?

Your cat or dog can fly in the hold while you travel in the passenger cabin. The number of crates permitted on each Qantas flight is limited, as well as the number of pets you can take with you.

Qantas Domestic Pet Flights within Australia

A ticketed passenger is allowed two pet crates weighing up to 65kg each (including the pet) at the special accompanied pet price. Crates over 65kg must travel at the rate for pets travelling on their own.

There is no limit on the number of additional animals travelling on their own, although charges do vary.

Qantas International & Intercontinental Pet Flights

There’s no cap on the number of pets you can have on international Qantas flights.

Due to current COVID restrictions in Australia, pets can’t be booked for travel on the Qantas website at the moment as checked baggage. Instead, all flight reservations for cats and dogs must be done through Qantas Freight Services, therefore your pet will travel as cargo.

At all times, if your pet will be travelling unaccompanied, or you are flying internationally, the reservation for your cat or dog must be made through Qantas Freight Services.

Can My Pet Fly in the Qantas Hold as Cargo?

At present, all bookings for pet travel with Qantas are made through Qantas Freight Services, therefore all cats and dogs will fly as cargo with Qantas. This applies to both domestic and international pet friendly Qantas flights.

On domestic flights, Qantas guarantees that your pet will travel on the same flight as you. However, for international Qantas flights with pets, your cat or dog may have to fly on a different plane.

You can check out the differences between flying your pet as checked baggage or cargo in the hold. Be aware that the latter is always a more expensive option.

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 Qantas, 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.

IATA dog crate calculator pet kennel dimensions formula airline approved cat dog carrier

Should you need a new travel kennel, check out 4 Popular IATA Compliant Pet in Hold Crates.

Qantas Airlines Banned Dog Breeds

The following dog breeds, which are classed as dangerous, aren’t permitted to travel with Qantas:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Canario
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Perro De Presa
  • Presa Canario

American and English Staffordshire Terriers are allowed to travel, subject to special conditions being met, which includes a special IATA Complaint in Hold Crate.

Qantas Snub Nosed Cat & Dog Breeds Policy

Snub nosed breeds (brachycephalic) of cats and dogs can have difficulty breathing when travelling in the hold. Ethical airlines don’t transport snub nosed breeds in the hold as checked baggage, and they’re usually only permitted in the cabin. However, some airlines do fly snub nosed breeds in the cargo hold, but you should always discuss this with your veterinarian.

The following breeds are only allowed on Qantas flights of five hours or less, and with no more than two sectors per journey.:

  • British Bull Dog
  • Boston Terriers
  • French Bull Dog
  • Japanese Chin
  • Pug
  • Pekingese

To increase air flow and comfort, these dog breeds must travel in an approved crate that is twice the usual minimum required size.

Qantas Restricted Pet Flight Routes

At present, there’s a ban on dogs being imported to the USA from more than 100 high risk rabies countries. If you’ve visited one of these countries in the last six months, the same rules apply.

Although Qantas doesn’t fly pets in the cabin, except Assistance & Service Dogs, it’s important to be aware that you can’t fly your pet into Australia in the cabin. This applies to many other worldwide destinations too. However, Qantas only flies pets as cargo at the moment, which is readily accepted by global countries.

Qantas Policy for Assistance & Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

Fully trained and registered Assistance & Service Dogs (SVANs) are allowed to fly in the cabin free of charge with Qantas. An Assistance or Service Dog is one that has been professionally trained to carry out a specific task to aid their owner’s health and wellbeing.

Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSVDs) are therefore permitted to fly with Qantas on flights to and from the USA. However, as Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) aren’t trained to perform a specific task for their owner, ESAs can’t fly under the Qantas Assistance & Service Dog policy.

Pet Travel Documentation & Vaccines

Qantas is an Australian international pet friendly airline, so for flights to Australia, your pet must meet the requirements of the Australian Pet Travel Scheme.

For flights to 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 travel laws for other worldwide destinations in 2023.

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.

In the USA, a monthly report is provided for pet incident rates for each airline. The US Department of Transport (USDoT) defines an incident as the loss, injury or death of a pet during airline transport. However, there isn’t an equivalent report in Australia at the moment.

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.

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 in Southern European destinations pose a serious threat.

You might also want to check out 10 Pet Friendly Airlines in the EU and Pets in Cabin from the UK and 7 Transatlantic Pet Friendly Airlines.

And don’t forget the all important Essential Pet Travel Accessories!

Prior to booking, always view the Qantas 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 pet travel review for Qantas if you fly your pet cat or dog, in the cabin or hold!

Remember to ensure you adequately protect your pet against vector borne diseases in a foreign country, and leave a review if you fly your pet with Qantas!

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