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Best Pet-Friendly Airlines in Europe

Best Pet-Friendly European Airlines in 2023

Amy Lancelotte
Written By Amy Lancelotte
8 minutes read
Last Updated: May 01, 2024

European airlines that allow pets (in cabin) are luckily not that uncommon. But what if your cat or, more likely, your dog is too large to ride with you? Do European airlines allow pets as cargo? Yes. We have crafted a list of the top 5 pet-friendly airlines in Europe for when leaving your furry friend at home isn’t an option. 

  • We reviewed 15 European airlines’ pet policies.
  • We found that only 2 airlines don’t allow pets in the cabin.
  • Three airlines don’t allow pets as cargo/checked baggage.
  • Five carriers expressly permit pets in their airport lounges.

To rank among the most pet-friendly airlines Europe offers, each one needs to answer yes to 3 simple questions:

  1. Are pets allowed in the cabin?
  2. Can pets be flown as baggage or in the cargo hold on your flight?
  3. Can your pet accompany you into the airline’s lounges?

We asked these questions for our larger research on the Best European Airlines, and here are the top European carriers for pet-friendly flights (in alphabetical order):

Aegean Airlines 

The Greek national airline, Aegean, ticks all the boxes for flying with a cat or dog in Europe. The airline permits one small cat or dog in the cabin per person up to 8kg, which includes the animal and the carrier. If your pet exceeds this limit, you have 2 options: the baggage compartment or cargo. The weight limit for the baggage compartment is 25kg, and the cargo hold is for any pet over 25kg. These limits also include the weight of the carrier or cage.

As for the cost, in the cabin, Aegean charges €35 for domestic flights and €65 for international ones. Checking your pet into the baggage or cargo hold ranges from €50 to €190, depending on your destination and whether or not your flight is direct.


If you plan to take advantage of the Aegean Airlines airport lounges during your trip, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort because of your travel companion. Just don’t forget your pet passport and ensure necessary vaccinations are up to date.

When you travel with a pet, and your flight is delayed, the stress is compounded. Alleviate some of the burden by starting a claim for compensation from the airline today.


KLM is among the pet friendly European airlinesKLM, based in the Netherlands, is another of the European airlines that allow dogs in the cabin (and cats, for that matter). As with all our top 5 pet-friendly European airlines, KLM limits the total weight of your pet and carrying case to 8kg, and it’s strictly one pet per person. As for checking pets into the cargo compartment, you can do that, too. The limit is 75kg.

The cost for the privilege of travelling with your pet with KLM depends on your starting point and destination. Generally, it ranges from €75 to €400 each way. Reservations for pet-accompanied flights must be made at least 48 hours before departure, so make sure you plan ahead.


To travel with your pet in-cabin, the animal’s travel bag can’t be larger than 46 x 28 x 24 cm because, like every pet-friendly European airline, they must fit under the seat in front of you. 


Lufthansa is one of the European airlines that allows dogs The national carriers seem to have the most generous pet policies, and Lufthansa, Germany’s leading airline, is no different. They also allow pets in the cabin, hold, and lounges. In the cabin, Lufthansa permits small dogs and cats up to 8kg, which is customary. It’s necessary to make your reservation a minimum of 72 hours in advance, and the maximum carrier dimensions are 55 x 40 x 23 cm, slightly different from KLM. There’s one travel carrier per person in the cabin, but if your dogs or cats are small enough, two can fly simultaneously in a single carrier.


If your cat or dog is larger than the 8kg limit, your only choice is to check them into the air-conditioned (and climate-controlled) cargo compartment. The maximum number of pets that can accompany you in the hold on any given flight is 2.

In the cabin, pet fares with Lufthansa range from €50 to €110 (one-way) based on distance, and for the cargo hold, it’s €80 to €380, depending on both distance and the size of the animal.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines

SAS, the go-to airline of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, also has a flexible pet policy. Your travel kennel cannot exceed 40 x 25 x 23 cm in the cabin, and the usual 8kg weight limit applies. Up to 2 animals (as long as they’re the same species) can be taken aboard in a single carrier as long as they aren’t too heavy, and with any pet in the cabin, reservations have to be made at least 24 hours before departure.

When you travel with larger dogs on this European airline, they have to go in the cargo hold, which is standard. However, the carrier and pet's combined weight can be as high as 150kg. Requirements depend on the size of your aircraft, so it’s always a good idea to check you meet the minimums. Otherwise, you may be refused, which would be hugely disappointing - for you and your furry travel partner.

TAP Air Portugal

TAP is among the airlines that allow cats in cabin (Europe)TAP Air Portugal rounds out our top 5 pet-friendly airlines in Europe as it meets all the criteria. Pets in the cabin and lounges? Check. Pets in the baggage compartment or cargo hold? Also, check.

The travel carrier must be soft-sided and measure no more than 45x30x23cm for cabin animals. Your pet booking needs to be done 48 hours in advance.

Prices for taking your pet in the cabin or hold vary based on domestic vs. international and how you book - either online or by phone. The range is from €40 for a domestic flight booked online to €160 for an intercontinental flight that’s booked any other way. In the hold, the fees are €80 for domestic, €120 for Europe, and €230 for intercontinental flights for pets and carriers that weigh no more than 32kg. If your pet plus kennel weighs between 32kg and 45kg (the maximum), it will set you back even more.

Have you had a flight cancelled recently? Regardless of whether or not you were travelling with a pet, compensation up to €600 could be an option.

Other Factors to Consider

Some airlines have additional exceptions to pet policies that include things like:

  • Certain breeds, such as snub-nosed dogs like bulldogs and pugs.
  • Destinations. Some airlines only allow pets to travel separately from you as freight to countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Hong Kong.
  • Limited numbers. Aside from the typical one pet (or sometimes one carrier) per person, a flight may limit the total number of pets in the cabin.
  • Documentation requirements will differ whether you’re travelling between EU countries or to other international destinations. Double-check that you meet all the destination country’s requirements before booking.
  • Connections. It’s not uncommon for airlines to prohibit pets if you have a connection layover that’s 3 hours or more.
  • Age of the animal. Usually, any pet younger than 12 weeks is not permitted aboard.
  • Your flight class. Some airlines don’t allow pets in Premium or Business Class seats, so watch out for that!
  • Codeshares. Pets are often not allowed if you’re on a flight that’s a codeshare (shared with another airline). The same goes for connections made with different airlines.

European Airlines to Avoid When Travelling with Pets

Ryanair is not one of the dog-friendly airlines (Europe)Two airlines don’t allow pets at all: Ryanair and Wizz Air. Whether you want to travel with a pet in the cabin or in the baggage hold, you’re out of luck. These low-cost carriers aren’t big on extras, so it’s probably not all that surprising.

Summary of Pet-Friendly European Airlines

Best for petsCarry-On PetsShipping Pets (Cargo)Lounges Pet PolicyPoints
Aegean AirlinesYes (1 pet up to 8 kg, including the container)YesYes10
KLMYes (up to 8 kg including carrier)YesYes10
LufthansaYes (up to 8 kg including carrier)YesYes10
SASYes (small cats and dogs)YesYes (service dogs and small cats and dogs)10
TAP PortugalYes (up to 8 kg including carrier)YesYes10
Air EuropaYes (up to 10 kg including carrier)YesNot specified6
Air FranceYes (up to 8 kg together with carrier)YesNot specified6
FinnairYes (up to 10 kg including carrier)YesNot specified6
IberiaYes (up to 10 kg including carrier)YesNot specified6
LOT Polish AirlinesYesYesNot specified6
Norwegian Air ShuttleYes (up to 8 kg together with carrier)YesNot specified6
VuelingYes (up to 8 kg together with carrier)YesNot specified6
VoloteaYes (up to 10 kg including carrier)NoNot specified3
RyanairNoNoNot specified1
Wizz AirNoNoNot specified1

How AirAdvisor Can Help

Travelling with a pet inevitably creates additional stress on any journey, and if that stress increases because you encounter a flight disruption, we can help. We’ve claimed millions of euros in compensation for European travellers for flights delayed 3 hours or more. Plus, there are compensation regulations for cancelled flights and denied boarding, too. Contact us to start a stress-free claim as soon as you return home.


Europe has quite a few options for pet travel, which isn’t the case in other areas like the United Kingdom. Count yourself lucky that you have more than 10 choices when you need to bring your pet with you in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Wizz Air and Ryanair are the only airlines you need to avoid entirely. Otherwise, you and your pet will have an unforgettable European (or international) trip!

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