Travelling with pets

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

Flights within New Zealand

Air New Zealand allows domestic pets - cats and dogs (excluding any transported for profit e.g. racing greyhounds) and small caged birds to travel as checked in baggage on all domestic services.

Please note: if you require the transportation of any other type of domestic pet or livestock, or wish your pet to travel unaccompanied, please visit our cargo section.

Due to space limitations on Air New Zealand Link services (flight numbers in the 5000 and 8000 series), only one cage per customer will be accepted for travel as checked baggage. If you have more than one cage, then your pet must be pre-booked and travel as cargo.

Air New Zealand sets as a minimum standard the provisions of IATA Live Animal Regulations. This is a yearly publication covering acceptance, packaging, labelling stowage and handling of animals for carriage by air and we must ensure that all provisions are complied with.

In accordance with these regulations, a maximum of two adult animals of comparable size up to 14kg each that are used to cohabitation may be shipped in the same container. Animals over 14kg must travel individually. Animals up to six months old from the same litter, up to a maximum quantity of three, may be shipped in the same container.

Each animal and cage that is checked in will be counted as a 'piece' of baggage and any excess charges will be applied as they would for additional items of baggage. In addition to any applicable excess baggage or prepaid Extra Bag charges, a pet carriage fee will apply and this will be charged at the airport on the day. This pet carriage fee reflects:

  • The special treatment required of the pets to ensure their safety
  • The additional space they take up in the hold of the aircraft, which impacts on the airline's ability to carry other additional baggage or cargo

Pet carriage fees

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

These fees apply if your pet is travelling with you as checked baggage domestically and are based on the combined weight of your pet and the cage. If the carriage of your pet results in you exceeding your baggage allowance you can pre pay for the extra bag, however the pet carriage fee is only payable 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.

To enable us to provide care for your pet, it will be loaded by our staff into aircraft at the earliest possible opportunity. Your pet will be offloaded and carried into the baggage arrival area. This could mean that on arrival, your pet may arrive in the baggage claim area after other baggage has been delivered.

Please let your booking agent know at the time of making your reservation, that your pet will be travelling with you. Or if you are booking direct with us, please contact us.

Please remember carriage of pets is subject to availability of space on the aircraft and we recommend you check your pet in 60-mins prior to a domestic flight. 

  • If you're travelling from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Queenstown, your pet must be in their crate before arriving at the terminal.
  • If you're travelling from a New Zealand regional airport, your pet can be on a leash and placed in the crate at check-in.

Air New Zealand has robust standards in place around the transportation of animals to ensure the comfort and safety of pets at each stage of their journey. These standards are constantly reviewed by the airline to ensure your pet is offered the best possible care.

The container should be constructed out of rigid plastic, wood, or a material of comparable strength. Fibreboard or wire mesh containers are not suitable for air transportation.

In accordance with IATA regulations, the container must be a suitable size to allow for the animal to lie down, sit up, stand up and turn around with ease. The container must be clean, leak proof, well ventilated and have more than one method of securing the door. Airport staff must use a cable tie as a secondary means of securing a cage if required. If a container has wheels, they must be removed or rendered inoperable.

Container requirements (domestic cats, dogs and caged birds)

Air New Zealand's rules around cage requirements are there to further enhance the safe carriage of your pet throughout its journey.

Cages that do not meet the requirements below will not be accepted for travel as checked-in baggage.

Pets must travel in a portable animal container which should be made from fibreglass, metal, rigid plastic, wickerwork, wire mesh or wood with a strong framework. Open wire cages are not acceptable. The container must be clean, leak proof, well ventilated and free from any obvious defects. In accordance with IATA regulations, the container must be a suitable size to allow for the animal to lie down, sit up, stand up and turn around with ease. If a container has wheels, they must be removed or rendered inoperable.

Cage latching mechanisms

The fasteners between the top and bottom halves of your rigid plastic cage must either be the bolt-tighten type or another variety that has a two-step method (such as a screw and dial) to ensure that the latching mechanism is secure. See examples below.

If your rigid plastic cage has latches between the top and bottom halves it will not be accepted, unless there are bolts/screws added in each corner with at least one down each side of the cage. If your cage is longer than 60cms there must be a minimum of two bolts down each side.

Restraint straps or strapping on a cage is not an acceptable means of securing the cage and will not be accepted by the airline.

Door locking mechanisms

For rigid plastic cages, the door hinge and locking pins must engage the container by at least 1.6cm (0.6") beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening where the locking pins are fitted.

Within 3cm (1.2") of the door, either a bolt/screw or cable tie must be applied to ensure the robustness of the door. See example below.

The cage doors are to be strengthened by attaching cable ties to all four corners of the door to the cage to prevent the door from being prised open by the animal. See example below.

Doors that have a 'twist clip' around the locking pins are not permitted for travel on Air New Zealand.

Cable ties

Applying cable ties through ventilation holes is not permitted under the IATA Live Animals Regulations as there must be no surface or edge at which your pet can gnaw or scratch.

Cable ties must not be cut short once applied. Cutting cable ties results in a sharp stub which could potentially injure you or your pet.

Additional requirements for small caged birds


Most members of this group rest by perching. For those birds that rest by perching, round perches must be provided per container, the diameter of the perch will depend on the species to be shipped but must be large enough for the birds to grip firmly and comfortably. If there are multiple birds, they must be able to perch comfortably at the same time. The perch must be placed so that droppings do not fall into the food and water troughs. The perches must be placed at such a height that the birds can leave the perch without their heads coming in contact with the roof nor the tail with the floor while perching, but the perches must not be placed too high within the container for the birds to become upset during transport.

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.

There must be sufficient perch space for all birds to perch simultaneously. The numbers of birds will be restricted by the length of perch space within the container.

Pop-up hatches in cages

Cages with a pop-up hatch in the top of the cage will not be accepted for travel on Air New Zealand.

Cage sizes

The following dimensions are the maximum container sizes for pets to travel as domestic checked baggage. Please remember to check your aircraft type when booking your domestic journey with Air New Zealand:

  • A320: Height 97cm (38") x width 79cm (31") x length 131cm (52")
  • ATR72: Dimensions to be confirmed by the airport origin (contact details)
  • Q300: Height 82cm (32") x width 75cm (30") x length 120cm (47")

Please note that ATR72 and Q300 aircraft may be interchanged at short notice for operational reasons.

Cage examples

Acceptable latching mechanism - bolt tighten fastening.


Acceptable latching mechanism: Bolt tighten fastening

Acceptable latching mechanism - 2 stage locking mechanism.


Acceptable latching mechanism: 2 stage locking mechanism - screw on left must be loosened before the dial can turn

Cage accepted by airport staff.


Acceptable door reinforcement: Cable ties attached to all four corners of cage door

Acceptable door reinforcement.


Acceptable door reinforcement: Cable ties secured to the corners of the cage

Acceptable door reinforcement within 3cm of cage door.


Acceptable door reinforcement: Door reinforcement within 3 centimetres of cage door

Unacceptable latching mechanism.


Unacceptable latching mechanism: This cage will not be accepted as it only has a twist clip around the locking pins and no way to secure both halves of the cage together

Unacceptable door reinforcement


Unacceptable door reinforcement: This cage will not be accepted as it does not have bolts/screws to strengthen the two halves of the cage together, at the corners and along the sides of the cage

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.