TRAVEL WITH A DOG ON AIR FRANCE

 

Doggy air test 1

 

Have you already traveled by plane with a medium or big dog? If so, you know how stressful it is to let your beloved pet go into the hold of an aircraft.

If you have never traveled with your dog or plan to do it, if you are wondering which airline is better when it comes to pet transport, well you’re in the right place.

As my dog and I travel quite a lot, we try different airlines and compare their pet policies and services. Our aim is to showcase which ones are better in terms of rates and service.

For the first Doggy Air Test, we put AIR FRANCE, the national French airline, on the test stand.

 


 

Logo Air France

 

Shark and I traveled on an Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris in January 2015. A 12-hour flight is extremely long. But when you spend 12 hours stressed out, wondering if you will find your dog alive at the arrival, believe me, it seems truly endless. But Shark made it to France!

Below, you will find all you need to know if you plan to travel with your dog on an Air France flight. Then, you will find out our tips and our evaluation.

 

TRANSPORT RULES:

  • IN THE CABIN: dogs weighing less than 8 kg / 17 lb (including the transport bag or container) and guide dogs regardless of their weight. 1 animal maximum per passenger.
  • IN THE HOLD: dogs weighing more than 8 kg / 17 lb and up to a maximum weight of 75 kg / 165.3 lb. 3 animals maximum per passenger (this number may be restricted, depending on the aircraft type).
  • BY FREIGHT: if the dog and its container weigh more than 75 kg / 165 lb; if the dog is traveling to a country that authorizes animal transport only by freight.

Category 1 dogs, as defined by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, are not permitted for transport in the cabin, or as baggage or cargo. Category 2-defined dogs are permitted for transport on cargo flights provided by Air France.

Since October 2014, it is forbidden to transport snub-nosed animals in the hold on Air France flights because they can suffer from breathing difficulties in high-stress situations. Snub-nosed dogs include: Affenpinscher, Boston Terrier, Boxer (all breeds), Brussels Griffon, Bulldog (all breeds), Cane Corso, English Toy Spaniel, French Mastiff, Japanese Spaniel, Lhassa Apso, Mastiff (all breeds), Pekingese, Presa Canario, Pug (all breeds), Shih Tzu, Shar Pei, Tibetan Spaniel.

RATES :

  • Flights in metropolitan France: 40€ in the hold – 20€ in the cabin
  • Flights in Europe or between Europe and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) or Israel: 75€ in the hold –  55€ in the cabin
  • Flights between metropolitan France and Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre, Saint-Denis (Réunion): 55€
  • Flights within the Caribbean: 20€
  • Other flights: 200€ (departures from Europe), 200 CAD (from Canada), $200 (from all the other countries).

You must pay these fees at the airport. They are calculated based on a departure flight and for a single container (holder or bag). If your trip includes one or more connecting flights, the fee is calculated based on your departure country and your final destination.

TIPS:

  • I strongly recommend that you contact the airline before booking your trip to make sure your dog can travel with you. Specify their weight, age and breed. Ask them if there is any restriction to pet transport to your destination.
  • Once you make sure you can travel with your dog, book your trip and send an email to Air France to inform them that you will travel with a dog. You can’t book your dog’s trip on their website.
  • Make sure your dog’s container is approved by the IATA (International Air Transport Association). You must respect the conditions of transport indicated in this document: travel container size, materials, locking mechanisms, etc. Print and complete this form before arriving at the airport.
  • The airline requests you to arrive at the check-in counter 3 hours before departure for an intercontinental flight, or 2 hours before a flight departing within France or Europe. Seriously, if you want your dog to travel on the same flight as you, you need to arrive very early.
  • Once you get on the aircraft, kindly ask a crew member to check if your dog has been put in the hold. I also always ask them to make sure the pilot is informed that an animal is traveling in the hold.

EVALUATION:

3 Stars

  Excellent experience

I really appreciated the whole service provided by Air France as to pet transport. First, they have very clear rules explained in details on their website which is also full of useful information. Second, the fee you pay for your pet transport is fair since it is proportional to the distance traveled and not the weight of your dog, as is the case in many airlines. Third, when I was on board, I felt reassured by a crew member who took the time to explain to me the traveling conditions of an animal in the hold. Therefore, I totally recommend choosing Air France for your next trip with your dog !

***

Read ALL MY TIPS TO TRAVEL TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR DOG BY AIR!

***

Feel free to ask me a question or share your experience 😉

Photos & contents @ The Tropical Dog 2015-2017. 

Follow us on  logo facebook   logo-insta   

11 Comments

  • Nikki says:

    Hello…question for you…what do you typically do with your dogs crate after the flight??? We are flying from Boston to Paris then taking the train to Bordeaux. Our dog is in an extra large crate (she’s 31kgs).
    Many thanks, love the blogs!
    Cheers,
    Nikki

    • Hello Nikki! Thanks! I’m so glad you find my blog and you like it 🙂 I bought my dog’s crate 3 years ago, a large one, and still have it. After each flight, I dismantle it, put it on a carrier at the airport with my luggage in it and go to the hotel. You can put it with the lugagge in the train to Bordeaux with no problem. I’ve already did it. You just need to dismantle it and try to arrive early to find room in the luggage compartment. Once in Bordeaux, if you don’t need it anymore you can sell it or keep it on the luggage storage of the hotel. Are you moving out to Bordeaux? Cheers and hapy new year!

  • Constanza Burgos says:

    Hi! I’m going to travel with my cat in cabin, on Air France. From Chile to Berlin, one stop in París.
    I was wondering if you know if attendants measure the crate when you check-in? I’ll but a softbag, since it is allowed by this airline and I thought maybe one a few centimeters taller.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Best,
    Constanza.

    • Hello Constanza, some airlines do measure the bag if it looks too big. If it’s a softbag and only 1 or 2 centimeters taller you won’t have problems. If you wanna be 100% sure, you can ask my fellow blogger from http://montecristotravels.com/ She travels internationally with a small dog in cabin so she is more experienced in this matter 🙂 Have a safe travel with your cat!

  • Camila says:

    I’m traveling with my dog from Argentina to Paris and then to London by train. I’m pretty scared as it’s the first time I will be flying with etah and if’s a looong way. I’m glad I found your blog, I’m less scared now!

    • Hello Camila! I’m so happy that you feel less scared! That’s exactly why I created this blog. To share my experiences of traveling internationally with a dog and give some useful tips. It’s very important to make sure that Etah gets sufficient water in her crate during the flight. Put a large and deep bowl of water in the crate or a special dog travel bottle. You can look at the picture in this post: http://thetropicaldog.com/voyager-en-avion-avec-un-chien-2/
      If the bowl is not deep enough, the water spill out when the agents put the crate in the plane and your dog could get dehydrated.

      Safe travels with Etah!!!

  • Andy Chula says:

    Hi. Since you had to arrive at the airport 3 hours early, does that mean your pup had to go 15+ hours without a potty break. That would be one of my biggest concerns for a long, international flight. Thank you.

    • Hi Andy! I totally understand your concern. Well you have to arrive at the airport 3 hours early to check your dog and yourself in and drop your luggage. What I do is that I always ask at the check in counter if I can bring my dog later and at what time maximum. That allows me to walk my dog, give her water and rest a bit with her. In big airports I have to bring her 90 minutes before the flight. In small ones, 60 minutes. When possible I try to book by night long flights to allow my dog to maintain her natural rhythm. It’s also very important to keep your dog hydrated during long flights (fix a deep bowl of water or a special pet travel bottle to the container’s door). Hope I answered your question 🙂

  • BH says:

    We are thinking of moving our 90 lb akbash dog with us to Okinawa. Any experiences with giant breed travels to Japan? I looked at Air France because of weight limits but am concerned about the length of time traveling from us to
    Paris to oka

  • Kushal says:

    Hi, i am traveling with my dog of 2kg from Mauritius to halifax, canada. Transiting through london heathrow. Layover of 3.5hrs. Flying by Air Mauritius and Air Canada. Dog going as checked-in luggage in hold. Do you have any tips or experience on that route. Is it possible to go through london heathrow as checked-in.

    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *