flight with dog

In a world where pets are cherished members of the family, the idea of leaving our four-legged friends behind while embarking on international adventures can be heart-wrenching. Fortunately, as the travel landscape evolves, so do the pet policies of airlines around the globe. Now, more than ever, jet-setting with your canine companion is not just a dream but a delightful reality.

In this guide, we'll explore the soaring heights of pet-friendly travel with our loyal friends, focusing on the top 10 dog-friendly international airlines of 2024. From in-cabin cuddles to cargo holds designed for comfort, these airlines have redefined the way we think about traveling with our furry pals. Join us as we uncover the pet-friendly perks, unique policies, and heartwarming stories that make these airlines the go-to choice for globetrotters and their canine co-pilots in the year 2024. Get ready to unleash a world of travel possibilities, where the journey is just as exciting for your dog as it is for you!

10 Dog-Friendly International Airlines to Explore in 2024

1. American Airlines

American Airlines 

As the foremost airline on a global scale, American Airlines stands out for its exceptional pet-friendly accommodations. Specifically designed to cater to pet owners, the airline welcomes furry companions on board for shorter flights, allowing them to share the cabin space with their owners. This privilege, however, comes with the condition that pets are securely confined in a small carrier under the seat for the duration of the flight.

For longer journeys, typically categorized as long-haul flights, American Airlines has instituted a policy where pets are required to be transported as cargo. This measure is implemented to ensure the comprehensive and appropriate care of pets during extended periods of air travel. While fees associated with this service may fluctuate based on factors such as the specific flight and the size of the pet, the general sentiment from numerous positive reviews attests to the airline's commitment to providing a safe and comfortable experience for pets.

The recognition of American Airlines as a pet-friendly carrier is underscored by the reassurance offered to pet owners through positive testimonials. Despite the potential variance in fees, the consensus is that the price is justifiable, given the airline's dedication to ensuring the well-being of pets during their journey. This combination of thoughtful policies and positive customer experiences reinforces American Airlines' position as a preferred choice for pet owners seeking reliable and accommodating travel options for their beloved animals.

2. Jetblue

JetBlue airlines 

JetBlue has positioned itself as a paragon of pet-friendly travel, going above and beyond with its dedicated pet perks program known as JetPaws. This program is tailor-made for pet-parent travelers, offering a comprehensive package that includes a specially designed carrier bag, a curated list of invaluable tips for managing pets during travel, and an enticing incentive of 300 TrueBlue points, adding an extra dimension of reward for both the pet and its owner.

What sets JetPaws apart is not just the thoughtful inclusion of essential items but also the emphasis on providing pet owners with valuable insights into ensuring a seamless and comfortable journey for their four-legged companions. The carrier bag, designed with the well-being of pets in mind, contributes to a stress-free travel experience for both pets and their owners.

Adding to the appeal of JetBlue's pet-friendly policies is the affordability factor. With a modest $100 fee each way, JetPaws proves to be a cost-effective option for those traversing through northern regions (and a bit of the south) with their beloved pets. This reasonable fee aligns with the airline's commitment to making pet travel accessible without compromising on the quality of service.

Beyond the tangible offerings, JetBlue stands out for its commitment to ensuring the safety and happiness of pets throughout the journey. The combination of the JetPaws program, reasonable fees, and the airline's reputation for excellent customer service creates a travel experience that is not only pet-friendly but also genuinely enjoyable for both pets and their human companions. With these pet perks and the extra helping hands provided by JetBlue, pet owners can confidently navigate their journey from point A to point B, knowing that their furry friends are in capable and caring hands.

3. Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines has carved out a reputation as a pet-friendly airline, simplifying the process of traveling with furry or feathery companions, provided the necessary documentation and vaccinations are in order. Notably inclusive, Turkish Airlines permits the travel of cats, dogs, and even singing birds in the cabin, offering a level of accommodation that extends to a variety of beloved pets.

To ensure the comfort and safety of both passengers and their pets, Turkish Airlines stipulates that these traveling companions must remain in their carriers throughout the duration of the flight. This policy is designed to create a secure and controlled environment for the pets, fostering a stress-free travel experience.

What sets Turkish Airlines apart is its flexibility regarding multiple small pets. In a gesture that acknowledges the companionship many pets share, the airline allows two small pets to occupy the same carrier, provided they are familiar with each other and exhibit friendly behavior. This unique provision is a testament to the airline's commitment to recognizing and respecting the bond between pets, making the travel experience more reassuring for both the pets and their owners.

Understanding that fees are a crucial consideration for pet owners, Turkish Airlines adopts a reasonable and transparent approach. The fees for traveling with pets range from 70 TRY to 170 TRY, taking into account variables such as the specific flight, the type of pet, and the carrier used. This tiered fee structure reflects the airline's commitment to providing fair and accessible options for pet travel.

Lufthansa airlines

4. Lufthansa Airlines

Lufthansa Airlines has established itself as a welcoming option for pet owners, extending its hospitality to a variety of furry companions, including cats, dogs, and even hares. This airline's commitment to facilitating pet travel is evident in its comprehensive approach, allowing pet owners the flexibility to journey to numerous destinations worldwide with their beloved animals.

One noteworthy feature of Lufthansa's pet-friendly policies is the accommodation for two pets to share the same carrier, provided they can do so comfortably. This inclusive approach acknowledges the companionship that pets often share and aims to make the travel experience more reassuring and less stressful for both the pets and their owners. Moreover, for larger dogs that may require more space, Lufthansa ensures their comfort by allocating a dedicated and secure area within the cargo hold for the duration of the flight.

Understanding that the safety and well-being of pets are paramount, Lufthansa has implemented measures to ensure that the travel experience is both comfortable and secure. Larger dogs traveling in the cargo hold are carefully attended to, and the airline takes necessary precautions to guarantee their safety and minimize any potential stress during the journey.

For budget-conscious pet owners, Lufthansa offers a cost-effective solution with prices starting at €55. This affordable pricing structure reflects the airline's commitment to making pet travel accessible without compromising on the quality of service. It's a testament to Lufthansa's dedication to providing a travel experience that is not only convenient but also affordable for those journeying with their furry companions.

5. Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines, known for its commitment to passenger satisfaction, extends its care and attention to four-legged family members through a comprehensive and thoughtful pet travel service. While pets may not have the option to travel in the cabin, the airline goes to great lengths to ensure that their journey in the cargo hold is as comfortable and secure as possible.

In the cargo hold, pets on Japan Airlines flights experience a level of service that prioritizes their well-being. Air-conditioned rooms are designated to house the pets, creating a climate-controlled environment that helps mitigate the stress of travel. The airline takes special precautions to secure the pets safely during the journey, recognizing the importance of their comfort and safety in transit.

A noteworthy aspect of Japan Airlines' pet service is the personalized touch they offer upon arrival. Following the flight, a dedicated agent ensures that your pet is delivered directly to you, adding an extra layer of reassurance for pet owners. This hands-on approach reflects the airline's commitment to providing a seamless and stress-free experience for both pets and their human companions.

To facilitate a smooth travel experience for pets, Japan Airlines requires pet owners to arrive a bit earlier for their flight, approximately 120 minutes in advance. This early arrival allows for the necessary paperwork to be processed efficiently, ensuring that all documentation is in order for a hassle-free journey for your pet.

KLM airlines

6. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM, known for its commitment to passenger satisfaction, extends a comprehensive set of travel options to ensure the smooth and safe journey of pets. Recognizing the unique needs of travelers with animal companions, the airline has implemented a range of pet-friendly policies aimed at accommodating a variety of pets.

To initiate the process of traveling with your pet on KLM, the airline recommends starting with a telephone call. This personalized approach allows pet owners to make bookings via phone, facilitating a detailed discussion where all relevant details can be sorted out prior to the flight. This initial contact ensures that both the airline and the passenger are well-prepared for a seamless and stress-free travel experience for the pet.

Cats and dogs are welcomed on KLM flights, with the flexibility for them to either travel in the cabin or in cargo, depending on their size. This accommodation recognizes the diverse needs of pet owners and aims to provide a travel experience that suits both the pets and their human companions.

For pets weighing more than 18 pounds, KLM generally recommends cargo travel to ensure their comfort and safety during the journey. While prices for pet travel depend on the specific flight, KLM simplifies the process for pet owners by offering an online tool to determine the associated costs. This transparent and user-friendly tool enables passengers to plan and budget for their pet's travel expenses effectively.

In essence, KLM's approach to pet travel reflects a commitment to providing flexibility and transparency for passengers traveling with their beloved animals. The combination of a personalized booking process, diverse travel options, and accessible online tools for cost estimation ensures that the journey for both pets and their owners is characterized by convenience, safety, and peace of mind.

7. Alitalia Airlines

For pet owners dreaming of exploring the enchanting city of Rome with their furry or feathered companions, Alitalia Airlines emerges as an ideal travel partner, prioritizing the inclusion of pets in both domestic and international flights. The airline's pet-friendly policies encompass a variety of animals, including cats, dogs, ferrets, and birds, offering the flexibility for them to travel either in the cabin or cargo, contingent on factors like size and breed.

Alitalia's commitment to the well-being and comfort of pets is evident in its thoughtful pet policy. The airline stipulates that the carrier's bottom must be covered with a blanket, underscoring its dedication to ensuring the utmost comfort and safety for the animals during the journey. This attention to detail not only reflects the airline's pet-friendly ethos but also provides pet owners with the reassurance that their companions will experience a stress-free and pleasant travel experience.

The flexibility in accommodating pets of various sizes and breeds in both the cabin and cargo emphasizes Alitalia's commitment to inclusivity. This approach recognizes the diverse needs of pet owners and their animal companions, offering a personalized travel experience that suits the specific requirements of each traveler.

Beyond the practical considerations, Alitalia's pet-friendly initiatives contribute to an overall travel experience that goes beyond the ordinary. The airline's willingness to cater to the needs of pets and its emphasis on their safety and comfort positions Alitalia as a go-to choice for pet owners seeking a seamless and enjoyable journey to Rome or any other destination served by the airline.

8. Iberia

Iberia, standing as one of Spain's prominent international airlines, opens up a world of possibilities for pet owners looking to traverse destinations both within and beyond Europe. The airline's pet-friendly approach adds a touch of inclusivity, allowing passengers to bring along a variety of animal companions on their journeys.

While the charming ferret might have to sit this one out, Iberia warmly extends its hospitality to cats, dogs, birds, and even tortoises. Yes, you read that correctly – tortoises are welcomed aboard Iberia flights, making the airline's pet policy quite distinctive and accommodating a diverse range of pets.

When booking your ticket for a journey with your furry or feathery friend, a direct contact with the booking office is recommended. This proactive step ensures that the airline is well-informed about your pet's travel plans, allowing for the necessary arrangements to be made for a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Iberia's commitment to the safety and comfort of pets during air travel is evident in the requirements for pet carriers. Pet owners are advised to have a well-ventilated carrier with a waterproof floor, contributing to a secure and cozy environment for their animal companions. This attention to detail not only aligns with aviation regulations but also emphasizes Iberia's dedication to ensuring a positive travel experience for both pets and their owners.

In terms of affordability, Iberia offers pet travel at a reasonable starting rate of €120. This pricing structure reflects the airline's commitment to providing accessible options for pet owners, reinforcing the idea that traveling with pets can be both convenient and budget-friendly.

aeroflot

9. Aeroflot

This Russian airline sets itself apart with what could be considered one of the most inclusive and diverse pet policies in the aviation industry. The comprehensive approach of this airline goes beyond the conventional, making it a standout choice for pet owners seeking to travel with an extensive range of animal companions.

Cats, dogs, and birds enjoy the flexibility of flying either in the cabin or cargo, contingent on factors such as size, breed, and compliance with required documentation and containers. This accommodation ensures that pet owners have options tailored to the specific needs and preferences of their beloved animals.

What truly sets this Russian airline apart is its extraordinary openness to various exotic pets. Beyond the usual domestic animals, the list of welcomed creatures extends to polecats, ferrets, meerkats, fennec foxes, lorises, pygmy hedgehogs, mini-lop rabbits, and marmosets, provided they are tamed. This level of inclusivity reflects a unique and forward-thinking approach, acknowledging the diverse array of pets that people may consider as part of their families.

The emphasis on allowing a wide variety of animals to fly underscores the airline's commitment to providing a truly inclusive travel experience. This approach caters not only to traditional pet owners but also to those with more unconventional or exotic animal companions. It fosters an environment where individuals can travel seamlessly with their pets, regardless of species, within the bounds of safety and regulatory guidelines.

10. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines emerges as a global travel companion that not only spans destinations in over 60 countries but also prioritizes the inclusion of pets in the travel experience. Pet owners flying with Delta have the advantage of exploring a multitude of destinations, both domestically and internationally, with their furry or feathered companions by their side.

A noteworthy feature of Delta's pet-friendly policies is its accommodation for household birds when flying domestically. This unique provision adds an extra layer of inclusivity, recognizing that pets come in various forms and extending the travel experience to avian companions as well.

Similar to many pet-friendly airlines, Delta adopts a tiered approach based on the size of the pet. Small pets have the privilege of riding with passengers in the cabin, fostering a close and reassuring proximity to their human companions. Larger dogs, on the other hand, are directed to the cargo hold, ensuring their safety and comfort during the flight.

Delta's pricing structure for pet travel is designed to be reasonable and accessible. With fees ranging from $75 to $200 depending on the final destination, the airline strikes a balance between providing a pet-friendly service and ensuring it remains affordable for pet owners. This approach aligns with Delta's commitment to making pet travel a convenient and economical option for passengers.

Dog friendly airlines