When moving pets overseas to places like Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, or to the US from any of these areas, we often look to Lufthansa first. Lufthansa created Live/td with access to more than 300 destinations worldwide via passenger aircraft and freighters for live animals. Lufthansa transports animals in a climate controlled and pressurized cabin beneath the plane. You also might be able to make special arrangements to take your small pet on board with you. If any of you know Sarah and Elaine personally you know they spend A LOT of time checking in pets and receiving pets from Lufthansa at IAH, DFW, and AUS.
Any pet that doesn't fit underneath the seat in cabin comfortably will have to travel underneath the plane. Pets with Passports books your pet its own ticket which is known as manifest cargo. This means you do not have to be on the same flight. In fact, it's not always recommended. Pets with Passports likes to be able to contact you while your pet is traveling. On Lufthansa, your pet must travel as manifest cargo if your pet's kennel is larger than a 500 crate. There are also a few destinations worldwide where pets must arrive a manifest cargo and having your pet travel on your ticket is not an option.
Lufthansa will transport just about any pet, but they do have some specific regulations that other airlines may not. There is a list of "fighting breed" dogs (even though Pets with Passports knows your Rottie or Pit Bull is probably a snuggle bunny) to be aware of that will need a special container when flying on Lufthansa. Please check with us to be sure what breeds are included or check here for more information.
Lufthansa also has some temperature restrictions for the following breeds: Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bull Dogs (all breeds except the American Bulldog), Chow Chow, Brussels Griffon, Japanese Chin, English Toy Spaniel, Pug, Pekinese, Shih Tzu. It's recommended to not fly your pet if it is going to be 80 degrees or hotter at the origin or destination of your trip.
All pets traveling underneath the plane on Lufthansa will transit through Frankfurt Airport for anywhere from 4-23 hours on average. Lufthansa has an entire staff dedicated to caring for animals at the Lufthansa Cargo Animal Lounge. There are 25 animal keepers and 25 veterinarians on staff who take turns caring for and checking on your pet when traveling via Frankfurt. Upon arrival into Frankfurt, your pet will be inspected, fed, watered, and walked (if applicable). Your pet will be placed into a larger holding area (kennel for cats and small dogs and dog runs for larger breeds). The Lufthansa Cargo Animal Lounge is the most advanced animal station at any airport in the world. They now offer a premium service which includes a photo of your pet during transit and a larger space to relax in. You can read more about the Lufthansa Premium Service here.
While Lufthansa is one of our favorite and preferred airlines, they do not guide you on your pet's paperwork, vaccine requirements, crate purchasing, etc. If you have not already, please contact us to facilitate your pet's move and we will be happy to talk to you further about the right airline for your pet's move.
(just another normal day checking in 9 dogs at Lufthansa Cargo at IAH Houston)