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 carrying 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 weighing more than 8 kg including their carrying container are not permitted to 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 carrying 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 carrying container) or no more than two animals in the cargo hold (in one or two approved carrying containers).
- One animal (dog or cat) in the cabin (in an approved carrying container) and one animal in the cargo hold (in an approved carrying container).
Please also note the minimum age of the animals to be transported. For dogs and cats the minimum age is:
- 12 weeks,
- and 15 weeks for carriage from/to/via Germany.
Detailed information about the quality and dimensions of carrying containers can be found further down this page.
Special regulations also apply to breeds of fighting dogs and snub-nosed animals.
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. Lufthansa also reserves the right to apply stricter regulations where necessary and refuse bookings on certain routes (such as to the UK or Ireland, for example).
If Lufthansa has 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. Different prices apply to carriage as air freight.
You require the services of a carrier which specialises in the carriage of animals for this. 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).
If the animal is to travel in the cargo hold as excess baggage and your itinerary includes a United Airlines flight before or after your Lufthansa flight, please note the following information.
Information regarding the carriage of animal species other than the permitted dogs and cats can be found on the website lufthansa-cargo.com.
You require the services of a carrier which specialises in the carriage of animals for this. 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).
You can take your dog or cat with you on your Lufthansa flight as excess baggage in special carrying containers in the air-conditioned cargo hold. We’ll check the availability and make the booking for you no later than 72 hours before departure.
Specifications for the carrying container
To transport an animal in the cargo hold, you will require a carrying container compliant with current IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations; otherwise Lufthansa can refuse to carry the animal.
Please note: the carrying 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 carrying containers are required according to the animal species being transported. You must bring the carrying container with you. It is not generally possible to purchase one at the airport. We recommend that you obtain the carrying 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. All containers must be suitable for the cat or dog to be carried.
2. The dimensions must be such that the animal can stand, move and lie down in its natural position.
3. The inside of the container must be smooth and have no projections that the animal can bite or scrape off to ensure that the container remains completely intact.
4. The top must be leakproof to prevent rain, snow or hail from getting in.
5. Containers consisting of an upper and lower part must be securely bolted together.
6. The container must be sturdy, lockable, clean and have a waterproof bottom lined with absorbent material.
7. It must be possible to fasten the doors securely.
8. We recommend the use of cable ties to fasten the doors.
9. Wheels on the container are not permitted. If it has wheels, they must be removed or rendered non-functional before the container can be accepted.
10. There must be ventilation on all four sides of the container. The vents must be small enough or covered with a grille to prevent any part of the animal’s body from protruding or sticking out to prevent any risk of injury.
11. The vents on the sides and back must be in the top two-thirds of the container.
12. Spacers must be incorporated into the design (both lengthwise and at the back) to act as handles for moving the container and preventing the vents from being blocked by other cargo or items of luggage.
13. Water and food bowls must be fixed.
- Water containers must not be filled for the flight and must be accessible from the outside. Food and water for the flight can be provided in non-spill containers.
- Feeding and watering instructions must be indicated on the information sticker.
14. The container must be easy for staff to handle and provide protection against scratch and bite injuries from the animal.
Carrying containers for dogs and cats
Please note the following: containers made of wire or wire mesh are not allowed for air transport. The top of the container must also not be made of wire but must be made of solid material. Air holes are allowed providing 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 on the route and the size of the carrying 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). The price is charged again for return flights and stop-overs (travel interrupted by more than 24 hours).
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 carrying container, of course you can also take with you the free baggage allowance included with your ticket.
Note: 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.
You can check your free baggage allowance in just a few steps with our baggage calculator - based on the 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.