Traveling with pets

This page provides information about our pet travel service.

  • If you are planning to transport your pet by air, it will be transported as cargo. Please read information provided by JAL Cargo.

Japan Airlines follows the advice of veterinarians and other experts to ensure pets have a safe trip.
However, as conditions differ from their everyday environment, their health can be affected in various ways.

Please read before checking in your pet.

Your pet's health

We recommend consulting with your veterinarian before you consider traveling with your pet if any of the following conditions apply.

  • Pet animal has a respiratory disease.
  • Pet animal is unable to regulate body temperature well.
  • Pet animal has lost its appetite or had diarrhea during previous air transportation.
  • Pet animal with symptoms that may indicate a physical unfitness for air transport.
  • Pet animal tends to feel stressed in the dark.
  • In order to reduce stress, you can check in your pet with towels or other items that retain their usual odor.
    (We reserve the right to refuse the baggage if the staff deems it unsuitable, such as if it could wrap around its body.)
  • We reserve the right to refuse accepting your pet for check-in with routing on certain international connection flights.

Pet cargo area environment on aircraft

Temperature and humidity

Temperature and humidity is controlled inside the bulk cargo room by air-conditioning. However, the outside air and heat make cause temperatures to be higher than normal.
Pets are kept in shaded, air-conditioned areas until the flights depart. However, temperature and humidity may change depending on the season during transport, loading and unloading.

Precautions in summer and winter

Summer (May 1 through Oct 31)

As it is hot and humid, it is advised to avoid traveling with your pet during the daytime, as outside temperatures may affect your pet.
Please take particular note to transport dates and times with respect to puppies, elderly dogs and brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dog breeds that are sensitive to heat.

Winter

As outside temperatures can be cold and severe in winter, please exercise caution if your pet is sensitive to cold.

Lighting/Air pressure

During a flight, all lighting inside the bulk cargo room is turned off. The air pressure in this area is set to 0.8 bar (roughly the pressure felt at the peak of a 2000 m mountain). The pressure change may cause "airplane ear" or other reactions in your pet when ascending and descending.
The bulk cargo room is air-conditioned so that temperature and humidity is the same as inside the passenger cabin.

Sounds and noises

Your pet will hear noises not heard on the ground such as wind noise and mechanical noise during takeoff, flight and landing.
Your pet will also hear noises of other aircraft and ground vehicles during loading and unloading.

Precautions at check-in

  • You may place your pet's water bottle, which must be watertight and durable, inside the crate. Our agent will not provide food or water to your pet after check-in.
  • For itineraries that include transfers and/or long layovers, you can provide food and drink to your pet. Please be sure to inform our agent when checking in your pet at the departure airport.
  • In a transportation environment that is significantly different from everyday life, it may affect pets' health in a number of ways.
  • There is a possibility that cargo space is not available and you will be asked to take a different flight.
  • Please arrive a minimum of 40 minutes prior to the departure time of your flight to allow your pet to adjust to the local temperature.
    Sudden changes in temperature may affect your pet.

In the event of an emergency at the airport, we do work closely with local veterinarians and pet hotels to assist you. (please understand that not all airports have these services).

  • Facilities may not be able to accommodate your pet for reasons related to business hours or accommodation requirements. (e.g. proof of vaccination).

About Traveling with Pets

Terms and Conditions of Acceptance

Animal species

Venomous species of animals are not acceptable in checked or carry-on your pet.

Small animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.
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  • Checking in your pet

Small animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc., are acceptable if they meet the terms and condition.

However, bulldogs and French bulldogs, which are short-headed dogs, are not acceptable in both checking in and carry-on your pet. 

  • Pugs, Chins, Boston Terriers and other short-nosed and short-headed dogs, Bulldogs and French Bulldog hybrids are acceptable for consignment.
  • Carry-on your pet

Not acceptable.

Conditions for checking your pet

  • Must be of specified size and weight.
  • Must not be pregnant.
  • Must be at least 8 weeks old.
  • Must be personal pet only.
  • Must be vaccinated for rabies within 1 year (dog only).

Conditions for carry-on your pet

  • Must be contained in a small container (no larger than 20 cm (width) x 20 cm (height) x 30 cm (length)).
  • Must be a container that does not escape outside and no water leakage.
  • No risk of causing discomfort or inconvenience to other customers.
  • The container must be placed in a bag or other container so that the contents cannot be seen.
  • Must be personal pet only.

Fees of entrust pet

JPY4,400 - JPY6,600 per pet crate per flight sector

  • Fees differ by route and boarding day.
  • Generally, pets are limited to one pet per crate for dogs, cats, rabbits, and hamsters, and a pair of small birds per container.
  • There is no charge for pets when bringing them on board.

Weight limits

The weight of all pets and checked baggage is limited to a total of 100kg per passenger.

How to weigh

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  1. If the total weight of pet and crate exceeds 32 kg, it will be checked in as cargo, and not as passenger baggage.
  2. Excess baggage charges will apply for baggage in excess of 20kg.
  3. The weight limit is 45kg for flights operated by JAC/HAC and RAC.

Preparation of pet crates

You can either use your own crate or rent a JAL pet crate.
If your pet crate is deemed unsatisfactory for safe transport or if a rental crate is not available, we may ask you and/or your pet to change flights.
All rental crates are disinfected in advance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

When using your own pet crate, need to prepare own crates in accordance with IATA standards.

Prepare a crate that complies with IATA standards.

  • Crates must be large enough for the animal to stand up, lie down and turn around.
    (Please check JAL crate sizes for size guidelines)
  • Crates must be constructed of durable plastic, fiberglass, wood or material of similar strength materials, and be leak proof.
    (Soft crates, folding crates, and crates such as birdcage which are made entirely of welded mesh or wire mesh except the bottom surface are not suitable for air transport.)
  • Crates must have proper ventilation.
  • Crates must be lockable and escape proof.
  • The locking pin of the door must protrude at least 1.6 mm from the extrusion opening when inserted.
  • Container fasteners (nuts and bolts) must be securely fastened.
  • If wheels are equipped, they can be removed or secured.

[Example of a crate meeting IATA standards]

Front

Back

Crate size

Dogs and cats
  • Cargo compartments can accommodate only a limited number of L and XL sized pet crates. Please contact us (JAL Domestic Information and Reservation) before you make a reservation.
Crates for rodents

Steps to Boarding

On the day of departure: from check-in to pick-up

STEP 3

At least 40 minutes prior to scheduled departure time

STEP 1

Confirmation before check-in

Please confirm transport environment information and precautions on animal transport to ensure a safe flight with your pet.

STEP 2

Prepare a letter of consent

Please prepare a letter of consent to check-in your pet as baggage.

Please use form (1) to pay pet fee with mileage, and form (2) to accumulate mileage.

  • Although letter templates are available at airport counters, we recommend filling out the form in advance to avoid congestion at the counter.

STEP 3

Check-in in your pet

Contact our agent at the Traveling with Pets service counter in the baggage check-in counter area. Please arrive at least 40 minutes before your departure time as you will need to pay the pet fee and we will confirm your letter of consent.

Checked-in pets will be kept inside air-conditioned rooms to the extent possible.

Before boarding

As the checked baggage storage area in the airport is not air-conditioned, pets will be kept at the counter until just before departure and delivered with care to the aircraft.

Inside the aircraft

Pets will be transported inside the bulk cargo room.

  • Temperature and humidity inside the bulk cargo room is controlled by air-conditioning. However, the transport environment may differ from that inside the passenger cabin due outside temperatures and other factors.

STEP 4

Pick-up at the arrival airport

An airport agent will carefully carry your pet to the arrival lobby and hand it to you.