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Transport bags and boxes

In the car the transport crate of a pet can be as large as fits in the car. Instead, there are specific restrictions on the size of the crate in the airplanes and sometimes also on the ships. When choosing a transport crate, it is important to select the most spacious and well-ventilated option, while ensuring that its dimensions do not exceed the maximum allowed limits set by airlines or other means of transportation.

 

This page mainly focuses on the characteristics of transport bags and crates used in air travel, as the restrictions there are the strictest.

What size of box to choose?

When choosing a transport crate, it is important that it is sufficiently large for the pet. The pet should be able to stand, sit upright, lie down in a natural position, and turn around in the crate. If multiple pets are traveling in the same crate, they should all have enough space to be comfortable.

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed a formula for selecting an appropriately sized transport crate. You can have a measuring tape ready and calculate the space your pet needs following the IATA guidelines. Check the instructions here!

 

For soft-sided carriers, it is possible to get a slightly larger size than what the airline size restrictions allow. This way, the pet has a bit more space in the carrier, but the carrier can still fit under the seat in front of you as required when traveling on an airplane.

Check here a table of size restrictions for transport crates used by the most common airlines operating in Europe!

How many pets in one box?

Depending on their size, pets can travel either alone or together in the same transport container. If a pet weighs over 14kg, it must always be transported alone.

 

If the pets weight under 14kg each, are approximately the same size and accustomed to each other, two pets can be transported in the same transport container.

 

From the same litter, a maximum of three weaned puppies can be transported together if they all weigh under 14kg and are under six months old.

 

Not all airlines accept the transportation of multiple pets in the same transport container, so always check directly with the airline before booking your trip.

Transport carrier requirements

The transport container must have a solid bottom that does not allow liquids to pass through. Absorbent material (such as newspapers or absorbent pads) and blankets/fabrics should be placed on the bottom.

 

The roof must be solid, but it can have holes or a metal mesh across the entire area for ventilation, as long as its strength remains intact.

 

Ventilation openings should be present on all four sides; one side (such as the door) must be completely "open," in addition to ventilation openings on all other sides. The ventilation area must be at least 16% of the surface.

 

The pet's and owner's information should be written on the side of the transport container. For containers going into the cargo hold, a separate green "Live Animals" sticker must be used, and the direction of the container should be indicated with a "This Way Up" sticker on at least two sides of the container.

Animals in cargo hold

  • The transport container must be made of rigid material and should not fold or collapse at any point.

  • The interior of the transport container must be smooth, without any protruding parts.

  • All openings (ventilation) should be small enough to prevent any part of the animal from getting out (especially paws and snout).

  • Individual openings should not exceed 25 x 25 mm for dogs and 19 x 19 mm for cats.

  • The wheels must be removed from the container during the flight.

  • Acceptable materials for the container include fiberglass, metal, rigid plastic, metal mesh, solid wood, or plywood (wood material must comply with IPPC standards).

  • If metal wire is used for the bars, it should have a thickness of at least 2.5 mm for dogs and 2.0 mm for cats.

  • A fully cage-like (without a solid wall) transport container is not suitable for flying.

Animals in the cabin

Soft, slightly foldable fabric transport crates are better in the cabin than those made of rigid material. Some airlines only allow soft pet carriers in the cabin.

 

It is important to be careful with weight restrictions! Some airlines are very strict and regularly weigh pets before the flight, and the staff may refuse to allow your pet to travel if the weight limit is exceeded. Some airlines may allow the pet on their flight even if the weight is slightly over the limit. Some airlines do not weigh the pets at all but assess the size of the pet visually.

 

According to airline regulations, the transport crate must fit under the seat in front of you, and the pet must be kept locked in the crate throughout the flight.

 

However, in reality, the pet can travel in your legroom, and a soft transport crate can provide additional height space.

 

Based on experience, partially opening the zipper and providing additional space for the pet has always been allowed, even though official guidelines do not permit it. Some airlines also allow taking the pet out of the transport crate during the flight, even though this is prohibited in official instructions.

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