Transporting animals as excess baggage in the cargo hold
To make sure that your pet arrives safe and sound at your destination airport, on this page we provide you with all the essential information about transporting animals as excess baggage in special transport containers in the air-conditioned cargo hold.
Lufthansa strives to ensure the safety and welfare of all its passengers – and this also, of course, includes animals. For this reason, our guidelines are based on current animal protection regulations, on import and export provisions and on International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations.
In addition, please note the general information on the carriage of animals on Lufthansa flights.
Dogs and cats that weigh more than 8 kg including their transport container may not travel in the cabin.
Please note: no animals are accepted in the cargo hold on connecting flights via Munich. Through-checking of animals transported in the cargo hold is not possible at Munich Airport. The booking of transit and connecting flights with checked-in animals and their through-checking is still possible via Frankfurt.
Please note the following exceptions for the transport of assistance dogs (e.g. guide dogs or hearing dogs).
Each passenger is allowed to take a maximum of two animals with them (in an approved transport container). Animals can be transported either in the cabin and/or in the cargo hold:
- No more than two animals (dog or cat) in the cabin (in an approved transport container) or no more than two animals in the cargo hold (in one or two approved transport containers).
- One animal (dog or cat) in the cabin (in an approved transport container) and one animal in the cargo hold (in an approved transport container).
Please also note the minimum age of the animals to be transported. For dogs and cats the minimum age is:
- 12 weeks,
- for transportation to/from Germany 15 weeks,
- for transportation to/from the USA 16 weeks.
Detailed information about the quality and dimensions of transport containers can be found further down this page.
Compliance with import and export provisions as well as animal protection regulations is your responsibility. Please enquire about the regulations applicable in the country or countries you intend to visit at their respective consulates and at your veterinary surgery. Furthermore, Lufthansa reserves the right to apply stricter regulations and to refuse bookings on certain routes (such as, for example, to the UK, Ireland or Bangalore in India) if necessary.
Should Lufthansa have to refuse the carriage of your pet because of non-compliance with the regulations, Lufthansa is not liable for any resulting costs, such as, for example, rebooking charges, animal boarding costs or hotel accommodation.
In exceptional cases, for example due to the regulations of a particular country, it is possible that we will not be able to transport your pet as excess baggage in the air-conditioned cargo hold of a Lufthansa aircraft, despite the fulfilment of all the requirements mentioned here. However, transport as air freight in the cargo hold of a Lufthansa aircraft may be possible in some circumstances. Varying prices apply to transportation as air freight.
In this case, you require the services of a carrier who specialises in transporting animals. You can find the contact details of one near you with the help of the animal carrier search. If you have any questions about this, the Lufthansa Cargo Service Centre will be happy to help you on: 0180 6 - 747 100 (calls cost EUR 0.20 per min. from a German landline network; max. EUR 0.60 per min. from a mobile phone network).
Information regarding the carriage of animal species other than the permitted dogs and cats can be found on the website lufthansa-cargo.com.
In this case, you require the services of a carrier who specialises in transporting animals. You can find the contact details of one near you with the help of the animal carrier search. If you have any questions about this, the Lufthansa Cargo Service Centre will be happy to help you on 0180 6-747 100 (calls cost EUR 0.20 per min. from a German landline network; max. EUR 0.60 per min. from a mobile phone network).
Specifications for the transport container
To transport an animal in the cargo hold, you will require a transport container compliant with current IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations; otherwise Lufthansa can refuse to carry the animal.
Please note: the transport container must be secured with screws. A plastic locking mechanism is not considered to be a secure enough method of fastening and will therefore not be accepted.
Different transport containers are required according to the animal species being transported. You must bring the transport container with you. It is not, as a general rule, possible to purchase one at the airport. We recommend that you obtain the transport container in plenty of time so that your pet can get used to it before the flight.
Below you will find the specifications for the containers for transporting dogs and cats in the air-conditioned cargo hold.
1. The transport container must be big enough for the animal to be able to stand in its natural position and have enough room to lie down and turn round.
2. The maximum size for a container for transport in the cargo hold of a passenger aircraft is 125 × 75 × 85 cm.
3. The container must be escape-proof. We recommend sturdy plastic or wooden cages made from harmless and non-toxic material. The transport container must have ventilation holes in all four sides. The holes must be small enough to prevent the animal getting any part of its body through and risking injury and to guarantee protection from biting or scratching by the animal.
4. The inside of the container must not have any sharp corners, edges or protruding nails on which the animal could injure itself.
5. The transport container must have a water-proof floor and be lined with absorbent material, such as a blanket or absorbent pad/mat. Newspaper, cardboard and straw are not permitted.
6. Food and water bowls (empty) must be attached to the cage and be fillable from the outside. Food and water for the flight can be optionally provided to take with the animal; however, it must be ensured that these cannot be spilled during the flight.
7. Castors/wheels are not permitted on the container. If necessary, they must be removed before the cage is accepted.
8. There must be spacer bars located centrally on both of the long sides.
9. Please carry your pet’s collar and lead with you in your carry-on baggage.
10. Only one animal is permitted per container. Exceptions apply*
* Up to two young animals of comparable size, which may be between 12 weeks and 6 months old, or two fully grown animals of comparable size and up to 14 kg per animal or a mother animal with one young animal (0–6 months) still dependent on the mother are permitted in the same transport container. The requirement for transporting several animals in one container is that all the animals in it must be able to stand, turn and lie down in their natural positions and that they are used to being together.
Transport containers for dogs and cats
Please note the following: containers made of wire or wire mesh are not allowed for air transport. Equally, the top of the container must not be made of wire but must be solid. Air holes are allowed so long as they do not reduce the stability of the top of the container.
1. Door hinges and latches must protrude above and below the door openings on the horizontal projections by at least 1.60 cm.
2. Ventilation holes
3. Rear view
4. Attached food and water containers
5. Door latch
The price for the carriage of animals as excess baggage in the cargo hold depends both upon the route and the size of the transport container. The price applies per flight direction, so also with a Lufthansa connecting flight, and is charged only once (e.g. on a flight from Hamburg via Frankfurt to Madrid). For return flights and stop-overs (travel interrupted for more than 24 hours), the price is charged again.
Payment for taking your pet with you should be made at the check-in counter or at the Lufthansa service counter at the airport. In addition to your pet and its transport container, you can, of course, also take along the free baggage allowance included with your ticket.
You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator – based on route, travel class and fare. Here you can also find the prices for transporting your pet in the cargo hold or in the cabin.
To make your preparations easier, we have prepared a checklist with all the important points.