Traveling with Pets

Air New Zealand Pet Policies

[fa icon="calendar"] August 21, 2019 / by Starwood Animal Transport

white chow dog in airplane seat looking out the window

Air New Zealand adheres to the high standards set by the International Air Transport Association when it comes to care and comfort of animals entrusted to them, because “we recognize that we are dealing after all with family members.”

Pets traveling on Air New Zealand may not ride in the passenger cabin. They may travel as checked baggage if their itinerary is entirely within the country, otherwise pets fly as cargo. Either way, pets are treated to the same temperature and ventilation controls and pressurization as human passengers to ensure their comfort. You can find all the requirements, plus answers to many common questions about pet travel, on the airline’s website.

In-Country Travel

This brochure explains everything you need to know about pet travel on Air New Zealand within the country. Some of the key points:

  • Only cats, dogs, and small caged birds qualify
  • You may check only one cage/crate if you’re on an Air New Zealand Link flight, because space is limited
  • Your pet counts as a “checked bag,” which might incur excess baggage charges
  • There is also a pet carriage fee, which is NZD $75 for animals/cages up to 25kg (about 55 pounds) or NZD $100 if the weight is higher than 25kg

If you will be flying domestically with your pet, it is essential to not only make reservations in advance but to ask about the aircraft model. This is because not all sizes of pet crate fit in all aircraft holds. 

International Travel

If your pet is traveling from New Zealand to another country, you may not make the arrangements yourself. Due to the complex nature of required documentation, the need to comply with Ministry for Primary Industries regulations, and the need for travel-specific veterinary exams, you must hire a pet transportation company approved by the airline. (The Ministry for Primary Industries provides export certification confirming the health of pets that will be traveling internationally.)

This part is easy, since you can simply contact our pet travel experts here at Starwood. And you won’t have to worry about the details.

You should be reassured to know that Air New Zealand is picky about which transport companies they work with. There is an official registration and approval process. Even more reassuring to pet parents, the airline approves each pet to fly only after completing a 32-item checklist that covers details from booking information and documentation to water.

Depending on your destination, itinerary, and the day of the week, your pet may be able to travel on the same flight(s) as you. In most cases, pets need to arrive at the cargo terminal at least three hours before departure.

Breed Restrictions

Air New Zealand does not accept greyhounds unless you can prove your dog is only a pet and has been only a pet for at least 12 months. Other breed restrictions relate to brachycephalic dogs and cats – those with shortened or flat snouts. Air travel can exacerbate breathing and other health issues with these animals. If your pet is listed below he may be allowed to travel, but only on single-sector flights, and only those that last five hours or less. You will have to sign an indemnity form

Dogs (including cross-breeds):

  • Affenpinscher (all breeds)
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog (all breeds)
  • Cane Corso
  • Chow Chow
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Pit Bull
  • Presa Canario
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Pekingese

Cats – only Persian

 IATA-Approved Travel Crate

Whether your dog or cat is booked as checked baggage or cargo, he will have to travel in a crate that meets specific requirements for safety and sturdiness. The earlier you get this special kennel, the more time your dog or cat will have to become familiar with it, helping reduce potential anxiety when it’s time to fly. Air New Zealand recommends putting a small blanket with a familiar scent in the crate (you have to provide some type of absorbent lining). They also allow a soft toy.

Sedation Is Not Allowed

Like virtually all airlines, Air New Zealand does not accept pets for travel that have been sedated, or appear to be sedated. This is a safety regulation, because sedation can make air travel both physically and emotionally more dangerous for pets. It applies to both domestic and international flights.

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Topics: Pet Travel, New Zealand, air travel, Airline Policies