As residents in the UAE make plans to travel home for the long summer break, some may be contemplating taking their furry friends with them too.
While most airlines offer the option of transporting pets as cargo, at fairly high prices, Etihad Airways offers passengers the chance to take small cats and dogs on board with them instead.
Last year, the airline announced that pets can travel at an additional cost of the person’s cabin bag allowance.
In economy, it costs $150 (Dh550) per pet, per flight, to travel for six hours or less, and $250 (Dh920) for flights lasting more than six hours. If transiting, the combined price per flight will apply. This charge is applicable if the pet is stowed under the seat.
"Etihad has welcomed trained service animals, and pet cats and dogs on board since September 30, 2021," the airline told The National.
Guests can take small pet cats and dogs in the cabin on all flights to, from and via the UAE, provided all required travel conditions are met.
An adult is allowed one pet per flight and owners have to present the veterinary and official documents for animals at the time of check-in.
The combined weight of the pet and travel bag or kennel must not exceed eight kilograms and it is the responsibility of the passenger to check all entry and exit regulations for the country they are flying to and from.
In cases where a person with an allergy and a person with a pet both request to travel on the same flight, the Etihad representative said the request of the person who made the reservation first will be confirmed.
How the service works and how to book
You must submit a booking form, which is available on the Etihad Airways website, at least 72 hours before your flight.
Before you travel with an animal in the cabin, you must ensure the following:
- You have checked all entry and exit regulations for the countries you are flying to and from.
- All applicable veterinary examinations or treatments have been completed.
- Carry any medication that may need to be administered to your pet during the journey.
- Have all the official documents required for your pet to travel.
- You have registered your pet for travel and received confirmation of pet acceptance.
- You have a lead and a suitable harness or collar available.
- You have dry pet food in a sealed container in your cabin baggage.
How will my pet travel?
- In economy, the pet will sit in their carrier under the passenger’s seat or the owner/guardian can purchase an adjacent seat for the carrier to sit on. If the pet is on the adjacent seat, normal seat charges will apply.
- The pet travel bag or kennel must not exceed 40 x 40 x 22 centimetres (L x W x H) to fit under the seat or 50 x 43 x 50cm (L x W x H) if you have purchased an adjacent seat.
- If the passenger is travelling in business or first class, they can purchase an adjacent seat for their pet to sit in their carrier next to them. The pet travel bag or carrier must not exceed 50 x 43 x 50cm.
- The pet must stay in the travel bag or kennel for the entire flight.
Criteria for travel
- The cat or dog must be at least 16 weeks old and weigh no more than 8kg, including the carrier.
- The pet must be able to sit, stand in a natural position with its head fully erect (without touching the roof) and they must be able to turn around and lie down.
- The pet travel bag or kennel must be ventilated on at least three surfaces and must be escape-proof and leak-proof.
- The floor of the bag or kennel must contain absorbent material.
How much does it cost?
Economy it costs $150 (Dh550) per pet per flight for flights of six hours or less, and $250 (Dh920) per pet per flight for journeys lasting more than six hours.
If you are transiting, the combined price for each flight will apply.
If you wish to purchase an adjacent seat, you must do this in advance.
Business You must purchase an extra seat in advance for your pet.
Pets will not be accepted on flights operated by Etihad partner airlines.
Information required for booking form:
- Declare whether it is a pet or service animal
- Name, breed and date of birth of animal
- Microchip number
- Health certificate (signed by authorised vet)
- Fit-to-travel certificate (from local vet within 10 days of travel)
- Vaccination certificate (completed in full)
- Rabies vaccine (EU 21 days, other countries 30 days)
- RNATT – Rabies titre test (check with local authority if applicable)
- Internal and external parasite treatment
- Screwworm / tapeworm treatment
- Export permit (check with local authority if applicable)
- Import permit (check with local authority if applicable)
- Weight (gross weight of animal and container in kilograms)
- Dimensions of container (in centimetres: length x width x height)