Travelling with pets

Find out about how Air New Zealand can help you transport your pets to another destination.

Regional travel in New Zealand is guided by the Covid Protection Framework (or 'traffic light system'). Under this framework, you can travel with your pet as checked-in baggage between all parts of New Zealand.

Air New Zealand carries animals in accordance with the current standards published in the IATA Live Animal Regulations. This includes the use of a pet carrier that must allow the animal to naturally stand, sit up, turn around and lay down.

Flights within New Zealand

Air New Zealand allows domestic cats and dogs (excluding any transported for profit e.g. racing greyhounds) and small birds to travel as checked in baggage on all domestic flights. For any other type of domestic pet or livestock, please visit our cargo section.

How to let us know that you're travelling with a pet 

We're trialling a new way to tell us you're travelling with a pet. If you've booked a domestic flight and are flying with your pet, please email us with the details below. This trial will run until 12pm (NZST) on 29 July 2022.

  • Flight booking reference (can be found on your confirmation emails and itinerary)
  • Pet name
  • Pet age
  • Pet type
  • Weight of pet
  • Weight of cage

We'll respond to your email within 48 hours. If your travel is within that timeframe and you've booked direct with us, please contact us and let us know the above details. 

If you've booked through a travel agent (including any Air NZ agent) and you and your pet are travelling within 48 hours, please contact your agent with the above details. 

Before you travel to the airport

Due to space limitations on Air New Zealand Link services  with flight numbers in the 5000 and 8000 series, only one carrier per customer can be accepted for travel. If you have more than one, you will need to pre-book your pet to travel as cargo.

When you travel:

  • please check-in 60mins prior to your departure
  • from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson or Queenstown, your pet must be in their carrier before arriving at the terminal
  • from a New Zealand regional airport (excluding Nelson), your pet can be on a leash and placed in the carrier at check-in

Cats and Dogs

For your pet's comfort:

  • the carrier must include appropriate and proportionate absorbent material e.g. paper, shredded newspaper
  • you can include a blanket in the carrier
  • please ensure they have had food and water prior to travelling

Important: No food or toys are permitted in or attached to the carrier.

Animals per carrier

  • Up to 3 animals if less than 6 months old and from the same litter not exceeding 9kg
  • Up to 2 adult animals of comparable size, not exceeding 14kg each who are used to cohabitation
  • Only 1 animal if exceeding 14kg
  • Dogs exceeding 40kg are not permitted in a rigid plastic carrier, speciality carriers with two secure door fasteners on each side must be used

Carrier size

  • Must allow for the animal to naturally stand, sit, turn around and lay down
  • Is limited by the aircraft cargo door dimensions:

A320 and A321 - 90cm H x 80cm W (bulk hold only)

ATR - 150cm H x 120cm W

Q300 - 150cm H x 120cm W


  • Fibreglass, metal, rigid plastic, welded metal mesh, solid wood, and plywood carriers are permitted
  • Must have adequate ventilation:

Openings are only permitted on the upper half of three sides (excluding the door)

The door must be open and covered with welded mesh, bars etc., nose and paw proof

  • The door must form the whole of one end of the carrier (can be sliding or hinged) and can't be accidentally opened
  • The floor must be solid and leak proof
  • Interior must be smooth, no protrusions
  • Spacer bar must be fitted in the middle on three sides (not the door)
  • Handles should allow easy carriage of the carrier
  • Wheels are permitted but must be removed or inoperable when carried
  • Separate food and water troughs must be fitted however no food or water is permitted on flights less than 4 hours

 Not permitted

  • Entirely welded mesh, open wire, popup hatch style carriers
  • Ventilation on the upper and lower sides of a carrier

Door locking and latching

  • The top and bottom of a plastic carrier must be fixed together using either 'bolt tightened' or another 2-step method e.g. screw and dial
  • Minimum fasteners include one at each corner and at least 1 down each side, carriers longer than 60cm must have minimum of 2 fasteners each side
  • Door hinge and locking pins on rigid plastic carriers must engage the carrier by at least 1.6cm beyond the horizontal extrusion above and below the door opening
  • Cable ties must be attached to all four corners of the carrier's door to prevent it from being prised open by the animal

Not permitted

  • Latches fixing the top and bottom of plastic carrier
  • Restraint straps etc., securing a carrier
  • Doors that have a 'twist clip' around the locking pins

Carrier examples

Permitted carrier for pets not exceeding 40kg

  1. Adequate ventilation – three upper sides (not including the door)
  2. Top and bottom fixed together e.g. tightened bolt and screw at each corner. Min 1 fixing on sides for carriers under 60cm, exceeding 60cm minimum 2
  3. Space bar fitted on three sides
  4. Leak proof floor
  5. Locking pins must extend a minimum of 1.6cm into the top and bottom lips
  6. Separate food and water carriers

Permitted carrier for pets exceeding 40kg

  1. Two secure door fasteners on each side of the speciality carrier

Not Permitted

Ventilation on the lower half of carrier

Use of cable ties

  • Must not be applied through ventilation holes
  • Must not be cut short as they pose a risk of injury to your pet
  • Airport staff may use a cable tie as a secondary means of securing a cage if required

Small birds

Speciality carriers are available or a size appropriate cat/dog carrier may be used, provided the required perch/perches are fitted.


Most members of this group rest by perching. For those birds that do, the carrier must include round perches that:

  • are large enough for the birds to grip firmly and comfortably (relevant to the species)
  • allow for all birds (if more than one) to perch comfortably at the same time
  • are placed so droppings do not fall into food or water troughs
  • are placed at such a height that the birds can leave the perch without their heads contacting the roof, nor the tail with the floor while perching
  • are not placed too high within the carrier for the birds to become upset during transport.

Carrier examples


For Parrots (psittacine), that do not rest by perching, suitably sized smooth rails fixed to the floor must be provided so that the birds can feel secure.

Pet carriage fees

  • Up to 25kg: NZD $75
  • 26kg and over: NZD $100

The pet carriage fee: 

  • reflects the special treatment required to ensure the safety of your pet
  • includes the pet and carrier
  • is only payable at the airport


Each checked in animal and carrier is counted as one 'piece' of baggage.  If the carriage of your pet results in you exceeding your baggage allowance you can pre-pay for the extra bag prior to arriving at the airport.

 If you choose not to pre-pay for the extra bag, then the excess baggage charge and the pet carriage fee will both be payable at the airport.

On arrival

Your pet will be carried into the baggage arrival area by one of our team. This may be during or after other baggage has been delivered to the baggage claim area.

International flights

On international flights, pets are not permitted as checked-in baggage and must travel as cargo. They must be booked with an approved pet transporter or an IATA agent. We will transport live animals on certain flights to certain destinations.

For further information go to our international cargo pets section.