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 may be affected in various ways.

 

Please read "Traveling with Pets" before checking in your pet.  

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.

  • Your pet has a respiratory condition.
  • Your pet is not able to regulate its body temperature well.
  • Your pet has lost its appetite or has diarrhea on previous flights.
  • Your pet has a condition that is physiologically ill-suited for air travel.
  • Your pet has a tendancy to become stressed when in dark places.
  • Because French Bulldogs and Bulldogs are more susceptible to the changing environment during air travel than other breeds, Japan Airlines does not allow them on any 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 2000m 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. Please make sure your pet has had sufficient food and water before check-in.
  • 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.
  • To ease you pet's stress level, you may place a towel or other familiar items inside the crate. (We reserve the right to refuse certain items if felt they may pose a health threat to your pet).
  • Please arrive a minimum of 120 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 japan domestic 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 pet travel

Conditions

Reservation

Advanced reservation is required to ensure that space is available in the aircraft cargo compartment.
Please contact us (JAL International Information and Reservation) for more information about these conditions.

  • Each aircraft can only accommodate a limited number of crates. The acceptable size and number of crates vary by aircraft type.
  • When making a pet reservation, we will ask you about the size of the crate (length/width/height), the total weight of the pet and crate, the type of pet, and whether the pet is at least 8 weeks old. We will process this information and notify you at a later date whether your pet can be accommodated. Please note that it may take several days to receive this notification.

Animals allowed for transport

Dogs, cats, small birds (that eat seeds, fruit and insects), rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, marmots, squirrels, chinchillas.

  • We accept the following live animals (domestic pets).
  • French Bulldogs and Bulldogs are not accepted.
  • Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks of age to travel.
  • Pregnant pets will not be accepted.
  • Pets must be in good health, should not cause harm to other animals or baggage, and should not have an offensive odor.

Please contact us (JAL International Information and Reservation) for more information about these conditions.

Documents required for pet transportaion

  • Obtain the necessary documents according to the quarantine regulations of the exporting and importing countries. The passenger shall be solely responsible for confirming and preparing all import and export documentation. Please check with the quarantine office, the appropriate embassy, consulate, etc., and take the necessary procedures.
  • You will be requested to sign our documents at the departure airport.
  • Traveling with pet for U.S. flights
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of United States of America released the "Notice of Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States from High-Risk Rabies Countries." Japan Airlines will not accept dogs from countries listed as high-risk Rabies countries from July 14, 2021. Please refer to the below CDC web pages for the details on countries and restrictions. For inquiry, please contact the authorities concerned (US CDC).

About pet crate

When checking your pet in, you must provide a crate that meets the following conditions:

  • Crates must be large enough for the animal to stand up, lie down and turn around.
  • Crates must be constructed of durable plastic, fiberglass, wood or material of similar strength, and be leak proof.
  • Crates must have proper ventilation.
  • Crates which are made entirely of welded mesh or wire mesh except the bottom surface are not suitable for air transport.
  • Crates must be lockable and escape proof.
  • Rabbits, hamsters and other pets known for their strong teeth will fly in special carriers that are fully enclosed with wire mesh to prevent them from damaging wiring and other sensitive aircraft components. Please prepare the crate which could be stored in the crates for rodents.
  • All rental crates are disinfected in advance to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
  • Basically, only one pet can be carried in a crate.
    Please contact us (JAL International Information and Reservation) for more information about these conditions.

Crates for rodents

How to transport your pet

Before departure

STEP 1

Review before checking your pet

Please review transport environment information and notes on animal transport to ensure an enjoyable flight with your pet.
Rules regarding the import and export of pets vary by country and region.

Prior to travel, be sure to contact the quarantine office, embassy, consulate, etc., of your departure and arrival countries to determine the required documentation for import and export of your pet. This may include an export quarantine certificate, import/export permit, health certificate, and import certificate.
Please note that Japan Airlines cannot be held responsible for problems arising from incomplete customs paperwork.

For countries requiring an export quarantine examination, please complete the examination prior to going to the check-in counter.

  • In cases where an export examination is required at an airport in Japan, please confirm the quarantine office's hours of operation in advance.

STEP 2

Prepare a letter of consent

Please prepare a letter stating your consent to check your pet as baggage.
You may download it from the following link.
Please bring the completed waiver with you to the check-in counter on the day of departure.

From the departure/check-in date to pick-up

STEP 3

Check your pet in up to 120 minutes in advance

Pets can be checked in at the same check-in counter as their owners.
Please present your pet's required customs paperwork to the check-in agent just as you would present your own ticket and passport. You will be asked to sign the necessary forms.
The check-in agent will provide you with information on the applicable charges.
Please arrive at least 120 minutes prior to departure.

To the extent possible, checked-in pets will be kept in indoor air-conditioned rooms.

Before boarding the plane

As there is no air conditioning in the carry-on baggage storage area inside airports, pets will be transported with care to the aircraft soon after being checked in, with check-in available until just before the flight leaves.

Inside the aircraft

Checked pets will be held in the bulk cargo room.

  • Although bulk cargo rooms are temperature and humidity controlled by air conditioners, the environment in these spaces may differ from that in passenger cabins due to atmospheric temperatures and other factors.

STEP 4

Pick-up at the arrival airport

Our agent will carry your pet from the cargo compartment to the arrival lobby and deliver your pet directly to you in the baggage claim area.
Proceed to the quarantine station at your arrival airport to complete your pet's immigration procedures.

To passengers traveling on codeshare flights

If you are flying on a codeshare flight, requirements may vary depending on the operating carrier's rules.
Please contact us (JAL International Reservation and Information) or your travel agent for more details.