Travelling with pets
On this page:
Pets in the cabin
A small cat or dog can be taken into the Economy Class cabin of most KLM flights, and in Business Class on most KLM flights within Europe:
- In a suitable pet travel bag with max. dimensions 46 (length) x 28 (width) x 24 (height) cm, or in a hard kennel with max. dimensions 46 (length) x 28 (width) x 20 (height) cm. Your pet must be able to stand up and lay down comfortably.
- Total weight of pet + travel bag or kennel may be max. 8 kg (18 lbs).
- The kennel must be put under the seat in front of you. It is not allowed to take your pet out of the travel bag or kennel.
Always make a reservation by telephone or through My Trip at least 48 hours in advance. Please note that we have room for a limited number of kennels in the cabin. It is not possible to reserve a seat in the Economy Comfort zone when travelling with your pet in the cabin. Unfortunately it is also not possible to bring a pet in the cabin in Business Class on intercontinental KLM flights, because there is no space for your pet under the seat in front of you.
Contact KLM Telephone Reservations>
Pets as check-in baggage
Your cat or dog may travel as check-in baggage in a ventilated part of the aircraft:
- In a kennel that complies with IATA rules – for example those of the 'Sky' and 'Vari' brands. See below for precise rules for your pet’s kennel.
- Total weight of your pet and kennel combined may be max. 75 kg (165 lbs).
- On all KLM flights (and on KLM Cityhopper flights of less than 2 hours). Between 1 November and 31 March each year, pets cannot be taken in the hold of Fokker aircraft because it cannot be heated.
Always make a reservation by telephone or through My Trip at least 48 hours in advance. Please note that each passenger may bring up to 3 pets but that we have room for a limited number of kennels in the hold.
Snub-nosed animals such as pugs, boxers, bulldogs, Pekinese and Persian cats can have trouble breathing during the flight due to high temperatures and stress. To ensure their well-being, snub-nosed animals may therefore only be transported as cargo. Unfortunately, we do not transport English and French bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs in the hold or as cargo.
When transporting your pet as check-in baggage, its kennel needs to comply with several rules:
- The kennel must have a fiberglass or rigid plastic shell. Wooden, metal bar or welded wire mesh kennels are not allowed.
- The wheels must be removed or if retractable they must be taken off or blocked with duct tape.
- The door must have a centralized locking system which fastens both locks on top and at the bottom of the door. (A)
- The door hinge and locking pins must engage the container by at least 1.6cm (5/8 in.) beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening where the pins are fitted. (B)
- The two parts of the kennel must be joined by bolts. Any other locking system is strictly forbidden. (C)
- The kennel must be large enough for your pet to stand up without touching the top; to be able to turn around easily and to lie down in a natural position.
Pets as freight
Your pet should be transported as freight by AIR FRANCE-KLM Cargo if:
- Your pet and kennel weigh more than 75 kg (165 lbs).
- The kennel is larger than 292 cm/115 inches (l + w + h). On some types of aircraft, the kennel must not be larger than 247 cm/97 inches (l + w + h). Contact your travel agent or call us for advice.
- Your pet is not travelling on the same flight as you are.
- Your pet is travelling to a country whose authorities allow the transportation of pets as freight only.
To transport your pet as cargo you should contact a specialised cargo agent. You can find a list of cargo agents in the Netherlands at the AIR FRANCE-KLM Cargo website.
Go to AIR FRANCE-KLM Cargo (in English only)
Or you can read more at the website of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association
Travel documents and health certificates
To find out which documents are required and which rules apply to transporting your pet, we recommend consulting the embassies of the country of departure and the country of destination.
Find more information on the following websites for travel:
- To, from or within the European Union: read the European Commission regulations
- To the United Kingdom (only possible via AIR FRANCE-KLM Cargo): visit the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Between other countries: visit www.iata.org
Special rules apply to service animals which have been trained to assist passengers with disabilities, or rescue teams. You can request more information from KLM Cares.
At the airport, we will use a checklist for your pet, travel documents and kennel.
Read the airport checklist for pets>
Read more about KLM Cares>
Prepare your pet for travel:
- Allow five days before the flight for your pet to get used to its kennel.
- Do not let your pet eat or drink 4 hours before departure.
- Do not tranquillize your pet. Its temperature may drop during the flight, and it will need longer to get accustomed to its new surroundings.
The check-in process for pets may take some time. We recommend arriving at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled departure time, and bringin a filled out form for transporting your pet as check-in baggage.
Download the form for transporting your pet as check-in baggage(PDF, 72KB) (in English only).
Read the airport checklist for pets>
The costs depend on the destination. Also, if your pet is travelling as check-in baggage and the transfer at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport lasts 2 hours or longer, you will have to pay an additional EUR 150 (or USD/CAD 200) to cover the animal’s care during the transfer.
In the animal hotel, we’ll give it something to eat and drink, dogs will be walked and cats will get a fresh litter box while they stay in a larger kennel.
Always make a reservation by telephone or through My Trip at least 48 hours in advance.
View the fee for transporting your pet per KLM flight>