How do I fly with my pet in the cabin?

To fly with your pet on board, please note that we only transport dogs and cats; other pets are not accepted in the cabin. If you wish to travel with your pet, you must request the service at least 48 hours before the departure of your flight. Please note that pet transportation is subject to availability.

There are other requirements to consider when traveling with your pet on board. Find out more below and be prepared before you travel.

We will change our policy as of February 1, 2023 

Your emotional support dog can travel with you in the cabin:

  • If it has a maximum weight of 10kg.
  • If you transport it only in flexible containers (crates), as long as they can be placed under the chair in front of you on the plane.

*Container measures: Length 41cm, Width 28cm and Height 20cm.

Your dog must remain inside the container during the flight, at all times.

If your emotional support dog weighs more than 10kg it will travel in the hold, free of charge, as of this date (February 1, 2023).

You must book your pet's travel at least 48 hours before your flight. 

Discover the available channels for booking the service

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*The carriage of pets is subject to availability, with a maximum limit of 6 pets in the cabin per flight (regardless of whether they are emotional support or pets), in compliance with the legal provisions in force. The limitation of the number of pets in the hold will depend on the type of aircraft.

  • Did you buy a ticket before February 1, 2023?

*If you booked the transportation of your emotional support pet before February 1, 2023, for travel thereafter, the cabin transportation conditions in effect at the time of your purchase will be maintained.

Learn more here. 

 

Important!

In addition to the documents required to travel with your pet, you must present the form for transporting pets in the hold and cabin. Download it here and present it printed at the airport or ask our service agents at the counter.

Travel with your pet onboard

Types of pets Requirements Container Cost of transporting pets in cabin
  • Pet: We accept dogs and cats over 4 months old.
  • Service dogs: trained to work or perform tasks for a qualified person with a disability. They are trained in specialized and certified centers.
  • Emotional support dogs: do not require to be trained and the passenger must show a medical certificate issued by a mental health professional proving their condition to travel with their pet.
Conditions and generalities

Conditions to bear in mind:

  • Dog hygiene and health: If it is determined that the hygiene or health conditions of the dog endanger the health or safety of the flight, crew or passengers, the customer may be denied boarding with the accompanying emotional support or service dog.
  • To travel with your pet you must present a photocopy of its vaccination card, its health inspection certificate, issued by a veterinarian, indicating the professional registration number. The time of validity of this document depends on the country. You may have to comply with other conditions if the regulations of your destination require it. Remember to refer to the pages of the countries where you can find this type of information before your trip.
  • When traveling with your dog or cat to Colombia, you must have an original health certificate showing that your pet is fit to be transported. It must be valid for no more than 10 calendar days and must state that your pet is free of infectious, contagious and parasitic diseases. Likewise, it must be mentioned that there are no fresh or healing wounds. Also, you must specify the species, identification, breed, sex, age and coat of the animal, the vaccination plan and the vaccination certificate issued by a veterinarian indicating his professional registration number.
  • Pets coming from the United States of America must arrive in Colombia accompanied by a health certificate stamped and signed by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service USDA - APHIS, which is the official entity of Animal Health of the U.S.A.
  • The reimbursement of your ticket does not apply if your pet does not have the required health and veterinary documentation or shows aggressive behavior.
  • The pet transportation service applies to TACA International, Avianca Costa Rica, Avianca Peru, Avianca and Avianca Ecuador S.A. The service does not apply to bookings with partner airlines and/or codeshare airlines. It is important that you validate with the airline you are booking with, as policies may vary according to your origin or destination.
Conditions for transporting service dogs
  • We do not have breed restrictions on service dogs. However, each country's regulations may restrict the entry of the dog and the airline is not responsible for any subsequent actions taken by the health authority.
  • Up to 2 service, guide or rescue dogs can be flown per passenger.

  • It must be placed during the flight at the feet or on the legs of its owners (the latter option, as long as the dog does not exceed the size of a small child in a position to travel on the legs of a passenger).
  • For identification purposes, search and rescue dogs (K, B and R) fly with bib, microchip, certificate, collar and double leash.
  • For the dog to be considered and accepted as a service dog it must meet the following criteria:
    • Presence of a harness or markings on a harness.
    • Identification card or tag.
    • Present a credential of the animal identifying it as a service animal.

Note: psychiatric support animals are treated the same as other service animals that are individually trained to work or perform a task for of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability.

Service dogs are accepted regardless of size, as long as the dog can be accommodated in a place in the passenger cabin that does not obstruct evacuation. If it is determined that it cannot go on board, the following options may be taken for safety:

  • Carry it in the warehouse at no cost.
  • Purchase the additional seat service. This option is only for the dog to have more space on the floor and not to fly in the chair.
  • Attempt to rearrange the passenger to another seat within the same class of service that will accommodate the assistance dog.
  • Reassignment to another flight.

The service dog must behave appropriately in public settings. For example:

    • Remain at the feet of its owner.
    • Do not run freely around the airport or aboard the aircraft.
    • Do not bark or growl repeatedly at other people at the airport or on board the aircraft.
    • Do not attempt or bite a person.
    • Do not jump on people.
    • You must not relieve yourself at the airport or on board.
Note: If the service dog behaves inappropriately according to the criteria described above, it will be cause for denial of boarding. As long as it is possible, the customer may be given the option of transporting it in the hold subject to availability and applying the respective charges.

 

Considerations for Transporting Emotional Support Dogs
  • To travel with your emotional support pet in the cabin, you must bear in mind that its weight must not exceed 10 kg, including the container. 
  • If your emotional support dog weighs more than 10Kg, it can be transported in the hold at no cost.

  • Make your reservation at least 48 hours before the flight departure, through the Contact Center.
  • In order to verify the information, you must present yourself at the airport counter at least 2 hours before the flight departure for domestic flights and at least 3 hours before the flight departure for international flights. This condition does not apply for flights to and from the United States.
  • Only 1 emotional support dog can be flown per passenger.
  • Documentation is required no more than one year from the date of commencement of travel certifying that the person requires the psychiatric support dog or emotional support dog. This documentation must be on letterhead and signed by a mental health professional or the passenger's attending physician and certify that: (except for flights to and from the U.S.)
    • The client has a recognized emotional, psychiatric or mental disability.
    • The dog's company for the client is necessary during the air travel or/and for the activities that the client is going to develop in his destination.
    • Identify animal type and breed.
    • Describe as a medical prescription that the animal identified above is required by treatment to accompany your patient's mental, emotional or psychiatric condition during the flight.
    • The person performing the client's assessment is a licensed physician or mental health professional, and the passenger is under his or her professional care.
    • The date and type of the physician's or mental health professional's license and the place where it was issued.
    • If the dog has a potentially aggressive behavior, it is the passenger's duty to wear a muzzle and ensure its use if necessary.
    • Airline personnel may request the use of a muzzle in case of evidence of aggressive behavior on the part of the dog.
Considerations for the United States

When traveling to the United States, keep in mind the following restrictions for the entry of dogs:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK) 
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 
  • Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • This restriction includes countries such as Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The complete list can be consulted here.

In order to enter the United States with your dog, you must meet a list of requirements, be part of the exception group, apply for and obtain an advance import permit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by sending an email to CDCanimalimports@cdc.gov at least 30 business days prior to the date of entry. Applications must be submitted by the owner or importer of the dog. If you do not comply with this requirement and arrive without written approval from the CDC issued in advance, your dog will be denied entry, returned to the country of origin, and you will be responsible for any costs incurred.

List of persons who may apply for import permits for dogs if the dog lives or has been in a country considered high risk in the last 6 months:

  • U.S. government employees with permanent change of location or temporary work orders.
  • U.S. citizens or legal residents who are relocated to the U.S., e.g., for employment or education purposes.
  • Owners of service dogs that are specifically trained to assist the owner with a disability.
  • Importers of dogs for bona fide scientific, educational, exhibition, or law enforcement purposes.

You can download the import permit application here. In addition, you must meet these requirements:

  • Provide a valid rabies certificate.
  • Your dog must be at least six months old.
  • Your dog must have a microchip.

Permits are limited to three dogs per person (except for importers of dogs for scientific, educational or exhibition purposes). Also, keep in mind that all dogs traveling with a permit must enter the United States through an airport with a live animal care facility with a Facility Information and Resource Management System (FIRMS) code issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Currently, New York-JFK is the only airport that meets this requirement.

Considerations for Europe
  • According to EU Regulation 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the non-commercial movement of pets, at the authorized Passenger Points of Entry for the introduction of pets, checks will be carried out on all pets, whether traveling in the cabin or in the hold, upon disembarkation from aircraft, when the flight is coming from a third country.
  • For travels to Spain, the pet must have a passport (vaccination card or zoosanitary certificate) and be identified with a microchip or tattoo. It is important to treat the pet with praziquantel at least 48 hours before the flight.

  • In Madrid and Barcelona, the responsibility for carrying out these controls is the personnel of the Guardia Civil and in case the required documentation is not available or is not in order, the decision will be one of the following two:

    • Re-dispatch the animal, which means that it returns to its country of origin on the first flight that is possible.
    • Quarantine the animal, if the previous option is not possible.
    • If your flight is from Spain to Colombia, you will have to present the Export Certificate from the Kingdom of Spain for any type of pet. This document will be required upon arrival in Colombia.
Exceptions to pet transportation
  • The transport of live animals to the Galapagos Islands is not permitted.
  • Please note that due to Animal Reception Centre restrictions, this service is not available for flights to the UK.
  • This service is not available for flights from - to Aruba and Curaçao. The only exception is in case of a definitive move to the island of Curaçao with the corresponding authorization of the authority.
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