Travelling with pets in KLM

On most KLM flights, you can take your cat or dog with you. To make your pet’s journey with KLM a smooth and safe one, we offer a range of travel options.

Reservation for your pet

Always make a separate reservation for your pet via the KLM Customer Contact Centre. We strongly advise to make the reservation as soon as possible after you have booked your ticket, but at the latest 48 hours before departure.


Pets in the cabin

You can take a small cat or dog with you into the Economy Class cabin of most KLM flights, and in Business Class on most KLM flights within Europe. Make sure to meet these requirements:

  • Your pet must travel in a suitable pet travel bag of max. 46 x 28 x 24 cm (L x W x H). Your pet must be able to stand up and lay down comfortably.
  • Total weight of your pet and travel bag or kennel combined may be max. 8 kg (18 lbs).
  • The kennel must be put under the seat in front of you (therefore exit rows are excluded). It is not allowed to take your pet out of the travel bag or kennel during the flight.

Please note that there’s a limited number of kennels in the cabin. It is 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.

Special rules apply to bringing your assistance dog into the cabin. You can request more information on travelling with service animals from KLM CARES.

Pets in the hold

Your cat or dog may travel in a ventilated part of the hold on all KLM flights.* Make sure to meet these requirements:

  • Your pet must travel in a kennel that complies with the 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).
  • 2 adult animals of comparable size that are compatible, up to 14 kg (30 lbs) each, can travel together in 1 kennel. This also goes for 3 animals up to 6 months old from the same litter, up to 14 kg (30 lbs) each.

* During winter, your pet may not travel in the hold on KLM Cityhopper flights longer than 2 hours.

Please note that during the flight, we are not able to give pets travelling in the hold any food or water.

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, most snub-nosed animals may therefore only be transported in the cabin or as cargo. Unfortunately, we cannot transport English and French bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs either in the cabin, in the hold or as cargo.


Kennel image describing the rules

When transporting your pet in the hold, 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 centralised locking system which fastens both locks on top and at the bottom of the door. (A)
  • The door hinge and locking pins must extend the container by at least 1,6 cm (5/8 inch) beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening where the pins are fitted. (B)
  • The 2 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.
  • The kennel must have a blanket, newspaper, or other absorbent material on the floor. Please note that straw is not allowed.
  • The kennel must have either 2 fixed food bowls, or 1 fixed food bowl with 2 compartments for food and water.

You can purchase such a kennel at larger pet shops or specialist shipping agents. Make sure to secure a label to the side of the kennel stating the animal’s name and feeding instructions.

Pets as cargo

Do you want to take more than 3 pets with you? Above that number, pets must be shipped as cargo. Your pet should also be transported as cargo by Air France-KLM Cargo if:

  • Your pet and kennel combined weigh more than 75 kg (165 lbs).
  • The kennel is larger than 292 cm/115 inch (l + w + h).
  • 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 cargo 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. Or read more at the website of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association. 

Travel documents and health certificates

Be sure to arrange vaccinations, travel documents and other important matters well in advance. To find out which documents are required and which rules apply to transporting your pet, consult the embassies of the countries of departure, transfer and arrival. Find more information on the following websites for travel:

  • To, from or within the European Union: read the European Commission regulations. 
  • Some countries do not allow pets being transported to and/or from that country. For more information about these exceptions, please visit the website of IATA.

Before departure

Prepare your pet for travel:

  • Allow 5 days before the flight for your pet to get used to its kennel.
  • Do not allow your pet to drink or eat for 2 hours before departure. Walk your dog just before departure.
  • We strongly advise you not to tranquillise your pet. It will take longer to get accustomed to its new surroundings, and its temperature may drop during the flight. In any way, tranquillising your pet should only be done in consultation with a veterinarian.

At the airport, we will use a checklist for your pet, travel documents and kennel (in English only). The check-in process for pets may take some time. We recommend arriving at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled departure time and bringing a filled out form for transporting your pet in the hold.

Costs and transfer

A fee of EUR 30 to EUR 200 applies, depending on the destination. In addition, if your pet is travelling as check-in baggage and the transfer at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 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 your pet something to eat and drink. Dogs will be walked, and cats will get a fresh litter box while they stay in a larger kennel.

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