Lufthansa Airlines welcomes most common household pets on its flights, in one capacity or another. Small dogs and cats may travel in a carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. Larger dogs, cats, rabbits, and hares can travel in the cargo hold as excess baggage. Lufthansa Airlines also does an admirable job of providing information resources and customer service to facilitate a safe trip for you and your pet. You can find information about checking in with your pet, deadlines for pet reservations, and travel options for specific animal breeds. Lufthansa permits a maximum of two animals per passenger.
- Flying with Pets in the Cabin: Small dogs and cats, who are at least 16 weeks old and weigh a maximum of 8 kg including an approved transport container, may travel in the passenger cabin. For regional flights, animals only need to be 12 weeks old. You’ll need to make sure you have a soft-sided travel carrier that meets all the necessary requirements. Additional restrictions apply to fighting dog breeds and snub-nosed dog and cat breeds.
- Flying with Pets in Checked Baggage: Dogs and cats weighing more than 8 kg (including the transport container) may not travel as pets in the cabin. For dogs and cats the minimum age is 12 weeks; for journeys to/from the USA it is 16 weeks. There are specific travel container requirements that must be met for pets flying as checked baggage. Hares and rabbits must always travel in the cargo hold as checked baggage.
- Flying Pets as Cargo: Lufthansa Cargo has its own set of pet policies and travel guidelines. Their employees provide personalized care and food to your pets. Compared to checked baggage, cargo travel means you can avoid unnecessary stress on animals by waiting to bring them to the aircraft until shortly before departure. You can also get an airline-approved plastic kennels if you book in advance.
- Service Animal Policies: Like most every major airline in the world, Lufthansa also allows service animals to accompany passengers with special needs, but you should still inform the airline that you’ll be traveling with a service animal when you first make the reservation. The airline maintains separate requirements and regulations for regular service animals. Lufthansa no longer recognizes emotional support animals as service animals. Emotional support animals must travel as pets on all Lufthansa flights.
Find additional pet policy details by contacting Lufthansa Airlines about making a pet travel reservation.
Traveling with Animals to and from the US
Your pet’s travel preparation and documentation depends on your personal itinerary, as it might include a combination of airlines. Find more information here about the following scenarios:
- Example: Your pet is traveling in the cargo hold. You are flying on United Airlines from the USA to Frankfurt or Munich, where you will catch a connecting flight with Lufthansa.
- Example: Your pet is traveling in the cargo hold. First, you have a United Airlines flight within the US, and you are then flying with Lufthansa to Germany.
- Example: Your pet is traveling in the cargo hold. You are flying with Lufthansa to the US and have a connecting flight there with United Airlines.
Animal Import and Export Regulations
There are several animal import and export regulations you need to be aware of when traveling to and from the European Union and the United States. Whether it’s a short-term visit with a common household pet or a longer-term stay/permanent move with a more exotic breed, we recommend consulting the following EU and US agencies about what the specific requirements for your animal and on your travel dates.
- The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service offers specific information about traveling to and from Germany with an animal.
- The European Commission has its own guidelines and regulations about the movement of pets within its borders.
- The Center for Disease Control is another potential source of information with regulatory authority over animal importation into the United States.
Still not sure which airline carrier is right for your pet travel needs? Check out our full list of domestic and international pet-friendly airlines.