Are you travelling with your pet? To make your travel smoother, we compiled a checklist and useful tips for you to prepare for your journey.
Pets on Finnair flights
Checklist for travelling with a pet
- Find out if it is allowed to travel with a pet to your destination.
- Check if your pet can travel in the cabin or in the hold on the same flight with you, or if it should travel separately as cargo.
- Book your journey well in advance.
- If you have already booked your tickets and decide to travel with your pet, please let us know in advance.
- Take care of the necessary documents and vaccinations for your pet.
- Make sure you have a suitable carrier, box or container for your pet.
- Prepare your pet for the flight, for example familiarise it with the pet carrier or container already in advance.
- Please check in for your flight at our check-in desk instead of using the self-service channels.
Can I travel to my destination with a pet?
Different countries have different regulations regarding travelling with pets. Some countries may have entry limitations for certain animals or breeds. We recommend that you find out the specific regulations for your destination from the nearest consulate or embassy.
When travelling to or via certain countries, you can only ship pets as cargo, meaning that your pet is not travelling with you. Such countries are, for example, Great Britain, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Australia.
Pets in the cabin or hold or shipped as cargo?
Small pets, including cats, small dogs, pet rabbits, tortoises and hedgehogs, can travel with you in the cabin on our flights, given that the total weight of the pet and the pet carrier does not exceed 8 kg (17 lb). Bigger dogs and ferrets can travel in the hold on the same flight with you, if the combined weight of the pet and its pet carrier is under 50 kg (110 lb). Please note that if your pet and its box weigh together over 50 kg (110 lb), the pet needs to be shipped as cargo.
If you are travelling with a puppy, it needs to be at least eight weeks old, weaned from its mother and able to eat on its own.
Dogs that are specifically trained to assist disabled passengers are carried free of charge in the cabin on all our flights. If you are travelling with a guide dog, hearing dog, seeing eye dog or service dog, please let us know at least 48 hours before departure.
Please note that to/via some countries you can only ship pets as cargo. Also, rodents and more exotic pets, such as snakes, lizards, birds or insects, need to be shipped as cargo. All unaccompanied animals and animals brought by a third person from outside the EU are shipped as cargo as well.
If you are uncertain whether you can take your pet with you, our customer service is happy to help you.
Making a booking
To travel with your per on our flight, you will need confirmation from us in advance. We recommend that you book your flights through our customer service so that you can let us know about your pet at the same time. Please, have at hand the dimensions of the pet carrier, as well as the total weight of the pet and the carrier.
If you have already made a booking and decide to take your pet with you, please let us know by filling in the special baggage form.
Normally we can accept two pets in the cabin and two in the hold for one flight. However, the aircraft type, weather in the destination or allergic passengers on the flight may limit the number of pets.
Please note that different airlines have different policies for travelling with pets. If your ticket includes flights operated by other airlines, please check also their policies.
Documents, vaccination and quarantines
Regulations regarding transporting pets and the required documents, vaccinations and quarantine times vary by country. We recommend that you consult the authorities of the country of departure and destination already before booking your flights.
A pet passport is mandatory for all cats, dogs and ferrets travelling between EU countries. You can purchase a pet passport from your vet. Further information about transporting pets to/from Finland is available on the Finnish Food Authority’s website.
Check-in for pets
When travelling with a pet, please check in for your flight at our check-in desk instead of using the self-service channels. The check-in process is similar for both pets travelling in the cabin and in the hold of the aircraft.
During check-in, we weigh your pet and check that the pet carrier or box fulfils the IATA (International Air Transport Association) requirements and is big enough for your pet. We will also go through all the necessary documents with you, including for example the pet passport, export/import/transfer permits and health and vaccination certificates.
If your pet travels in the hold, we will take care of it after the check-in has been completed. To avoid keeping your pet in the hold of the aircraft any longer than necessary, you pet will only be taken there once all departure preparations have been done and the aircraft is ready to take off.
Pets will also need to go through the security check. If your pet travels with you in the cabin, you will take the pet through security control. For pets travelling in the hold, our staff will take them through security after check-in.
In the cabin with a pet
Small pets, such as cats, dogs or rabbits and other rodents, can travel in the cabin. You can find instructions and tips below.
- Your pet travels in its own pet carrier or box that is placed under the seat in front of you. The pet needs to stay in the carrier or box throughout the journey from the departure gate to the arrival terminal at your destination.
- For cats, dogs and rabbits, a soft pet carrier is the most convenient choice, as it is flexible enough to fit under the seat in front of you and allows your pet to stand up and lie down comfortably.
- Please choose an IATA-approved pet carrier or box with a solid bottom. A soft pet carrier should be waterproof and have a breathable mesh at the front. Other types of soft bags may not be used for transporting pets. A soft pet carrier can be the same size as a normal carry-on baggage, 56 x 45 x 25 cm (22 x 18 x 10 in) (length x width x height). The maximum dimensions for a hard case are 35 x 30 x 20 cm (14 x 12 x 8 in). If your flight is operated by Norra, the maximum dimensions for a soft pet carrier are 55 x 40 x 20 cm (21 x 15 x 8 in). The total weight of the pet and its carrier may not exceed 8 kg (17 lb).
- In one pet carrier or box you can carry two adult pets or maximum three puppies that are not older than six months, given that the total weight does not exceed 8 kg (17 lb).
- Please note that pets cannot travel in Business Class on our intercontinental flights, since there is not enough room under the full-flat seats.
- Flying can be an exciting experience for pets. It is good to offer them food and water well in advance before the flight. However, feeding the pet just before the flight is not recommended, since flying can cause nausea for animals. You can also reserve a diaper for your pet just in case. Most pets fall asleep on the aircraft. A familiar blanket often calms a restless pet.
- When travelling with your pet, you will board the flight normally with the group mentioned in your boarding pass.
- Customers with pets are usually seated in the rear of the aircraft.
Pets travelling in the hold
Bigger pets that cannot travel in the cabin may travel in the hold of the aircraft on the same flight with you. However, if your pet and its container weigh over 50 kg (110 lb), the pet can only be shipped as cargo.
The section in the hold where pets are carried has air-conditioning and is heated (always above +10° Celsius). Due to fire safety requirements, there are no lights in the hold. Below you can find some instructions and tips, if your pet is travelling in the hold.
- Please choose a transportation container that is meant for animal transportation. The transportation container needs to be large enough to allow your pet to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably. Please check IATA's (International Air Transport Association) regulations for transportation containers. A pet weighing over 40 kg (88 lb) must be transported in a strong transportation box. We do not sell or rent transportation containers.
- In one container you can transport two adult pets of comparable size or maximum three puppies that are not older than six months and are from the same litter. When transporting several pets in the same box, the maximum weight for each pet is 14 kg (30 lb).
- Flying and travelling in the hold can be an exciting experience for pets. It is recommended to familiarise the pet with the container already in advance. Most animals relax and sleep in the dark. A familiar blanket may help your pet to calm down in the transportation container. Flying can cause nausea for some pets, so it is recommended to avoid feeding the pet just before the flight. IATA discourages the use of sedatives and tranquillisers for animals during transport.
- Please note that the hold cannot be accessed during the flight.
- After the flight, you will meet your pet in the arrival hall at the airport. Please show our agent the baggage receipt given to you at check-in. If you need any assistance, our ground crew at the airport arrival services will be happy to help you.
- Please note that pets travelling in the aircraft hold don’t transfer automatically to connecting flights at Helsinki Airport as of 1 March, 2020. When you have a connecting flight from Helsinki onwards, please collect your pet in the airport arrivals hall and check it in for your connecting flight in the airport departure hall.
Pet transportation fees
The table below contains the pet transportation fees for Finnair flights (operated by Finnair and bearing a Finnair flight number).
Fees per one direction
Flights within Europe and the Middle East
Pet in the cabin
Pet in the hold, max. combined weight with the container 50 kg
Shipping pets as cargo
You can ship your pet as cargo with Finnair Cargo.
If your pet is shipped as cargo, you will need to take the pet to a cargo terminal and pick it up from a cargo terminal at the destination. The collected fee depends on the size and weight of your pet and its container, among other things.
For more information about shipping pets as cargo, visit the Finnair Cargo website.