Travelling with pets

Find out how Air New Zealand can help you transport your pets to another destination.

Cats, dogs and small caged birds can travel as checked-in baggage on all domestic flights around New Zealand provided they fly in pet carriers suitable for air travel.  

If you're not travelling with your pet and they're flying solo within New Zealand, or if your pet is travelling for profit (such as racing greyhounds), please visit our national cargo services page

If your pet is jet-setting to an international destination, you'll need to know about our international pet services.

Add your pet to your domestic flight booking

If you're making a booking through a travel agent (including any Air NZ agent), please let them know you'll be travelling with your pet. 

If you have a domestic flight booked directly through Air New Zealand, please contact us to let us know the following details: 

  • Your six-character booking reference (found on your flight confirmation emails and itinerary)
  • Pet name
  • Pet age
  • Pet type
  • Weight of pet
  • Weight of cage/carrier

If you're flying on Air New Zealand Link services with flight numbers in the 5000 and 8000 series, the space limitations of the smaller aircraft means that only one carrier per customer can travel. If you have more than one pet carrier, you'll need to pre-book your pet to travel as cargo

How much it costs to fly with your pet

The pet carriage fee is payable at the airport and reflects the special treatment required to ensure the safety of your pet.

  • For pets up to 25kg: NZD $75
  • For pets up to 26kg and over: NZD $100

To help us calculate and plan for your pet's travel in the hold, we consider your pet's checked-in carrier (with your pet inside it) as part of your baggage allowance.

Each checked-in animal in their carrier counts towards your baggage allowance.  If the carriage of your pet results in you exceeding your baggage allowance, you can pre-pay for the extra bag prior to arriving at the airport and before check-in closes.

If you choose not to pre-pay for the extra bag, then the excess baggage charge and the pet carriage fee will both be payable at the airport.

Prepare your pet's travel carrier

For your pet's comfort and safety during their flight, all pets must travel in carriers that meet the standards approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). We will not accept carriers where the animal is unable to naturally stand, sit up, turn around and lay down. 

Pet carriers must be no larger than the dimensions of the aircraft's cargo door, which will depend on the flight you are booked on:

  • A320 and A321 aircraft - 90 cm H x 80 cm W (bulk hold only)
  • ATR aircraft - 150 cm H x 120 cm W
  • Q300 aircraft - 150 cm H x 120 cm W

Please note that Air New Zealand does not hire or sell pet carriers. 

Animals per carrier

If you're travelling with multiple pets, please keep these requirements in mind:

  • Up to 3 animals if from the same litter and less than 6 months old and not over 14 kg each
  • Up to 2 adult animals of comparable size, not exceeding 14 kg each who are used to cohabitation
  • Only 1 animal per carrier if exceeding 14 kg

Cat and dog carriers

Construction of cat or dog carrier

Permitted

✔ Fibreglass, metal, rigid plastic, welded metal mesh, solid wood, and plywood carriers

✔ Ventilation holes are only permitted on the upper half of three sides, excluding the door. See example

✔ The door must be open and covered with welded mesh, bars etc., nose and paw-proof

✔ The door must form the whole of one end of the carrier (can be sliding or hinged) and can't be accidentally opened

✔ The floor must be solid and leak-proof and the interior must be smooth with nothing sticking out

✔ Spacer bar must be fitted in the middle on three sides (not the door) Handles should allow easy carriage of the carrier

✔ Wheels are permitted but must be removed or inoperable when carried

✔ Separate food and water troughs must be fitted; however no food or water is permitted on flights less than 4 hours

Not permitted

✘ Entirely welded mesh, open wire, pop-up hatch style carriers

✘ Ventilation on the upper and lower sides of a carrier


Door locking and latching

Permitted

✔ The top and bottom of a plastic carrier must be fixed together using either 'bolt tightened' or another 2-step method e.g. screw & dial

✔ Minimum fasteners include one at each corner and at least 1 down each side, carriers longer than 60cm must have minimum of 2 fasteners each side

✔ Door hinge & locking pins on rigid plastic carriers must engage the carrier by at least 1.6cm beyond the horizontal extrusion above and below the door opening

✔ Cable ties must be attached to all four corners of the carrier's door to prevent it from being prised open by the animal  

Not permitted

✘ Latches fixing the top and bottom of plastic carrier

✘ Restraint straps etc., securing a carrier

✘ Doors that have a 'twist clip' around the locking pins


Inside the carrier

Permitted

✔ you must include appropriate and proportionate absorbent material e.g. paper, shredded newspaper or puppy pee pad

✔ you can include a blanket in the carrier

✔ please ensure your pet has had food and water prior to travelling

Not permitted

✘ Important: No food or toys are permitted in, or attached to, the carrier.


Use of cable ties

Permitted

✔ Airport staff may use a cable tie as a secondary means of securing a cage and preventing accidental opening. 

Not permitted

✘ Must not be applied through ventilation holes

✘ Must not be cut short as they pose a risk of injury to your pet


For other useful information about pet carrier requirements, please visit IATA's pet corner page

Example of approved pet carrier for air travel

  1. Adequate ventilation on the upper section of three sides (not including the door)
  2. Top and bottom fixed together e.g. tightened bolt and screw at each corner. Minimum of 1 fixing on sides for carriers under 60 cm; minimum of 2 if carrier exceeds 60 cm
  3. Space bar fitted on three sides
  4. Leak-proof floor
  5. Locking pins must extend a minimum of 1.6 cm into the top and bottom lips
  6. Separate food and water carriers

Pet-shipping-images-unacceptable-738x492.jpg

Example of unsuitable pet carrier

✘ This pet carrier will not be accepted for air travel as it has ventilation holes on the lower half of the carrier's sides.


travelling-with-pets-wooden-cages.jpg

Travel cages and carriers for birds

Your bird/s may travel in a bird travel carrier, or size-appropriate cat/dog carrier may be used, provided the required perch/perches are fitted.

Perches

For birds that rest by perching, the carrier must include round perches that:

  • are large enough for the birds to grip firmly and comfortably (relevant to the species)
  • allow for all birds (if more than one) to perch comfortably at the same time
  • are placed so droppings do not fall into food or water troughs
  • are placed at such a height that the birds can leave the perch without their heads contacting the roof, nor the tail with the floor while perching
  • are not placed too high within the carrier for the birds to become upset during transport.

For parrots (psittacine), that do not rest by perching, suitably sized smooth rails fixed to the floor must be provided so that the birds can feel secure.


On the day of travel

Before check-in

  • please check-in 60 minutes prior to your flight's departure
  • from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson or Queenstown, your pet must be in their carrier before arriving at the terminal
  • from a New Zealand regional airport (excluding Nelson), your pet can be on a leash and placed in the carrier at check-in
  • remember that every airport has a different configuration of where to take your pet for check-in
  • At check–in your pet will be weighed and payment taken

After your pet has been checked in

The Air New Zealand ground staff who load the pets onboard at the departure airport and unload at the arrival airport are trained in pet travel and will do what they can to minimise stress for your furry or feathered friend.

Your pet will travel in a climate-controlled space in the aircraft hold which, just like an aircraft cabin, is pressurised for their comfort.

Arrival and pick up

Your pet will be carried into the baggage arrival area by one of our team. This may be before, during or after other baggage has been delivered to the baggage claim area, depending on the airport.


Frequently asked questions for pet travel

How do I add a pet to my booking?

How do I pay for my pet to travel?

Do I need to include paperwork or vaccination information?