Carriage of Pets

Travelling with pets



Guidelines for carrying pets on domestic and international flights

Read below to learn all about our policies when travelling with your pet on a domestic or international flight.

How to make a booking for your pet?

  • Bring your pet to the check-in counter with the required travel case and paperwork to purchase a ticket.
  • You can also book your pet at our airline or city ticketing offices.

Please book the flight at least 72 hours before departure for the carriage of pets in the cabin. We do not allow multi-city bookings when travelling with a pet.

Charges when travelling with pets

  • Standard excess baggage charges by weight/piece will be applied, regardless of whether the free baggage allowance is utilised. The carriage of pets, including the weight of containers or pet carriers, will not be included in the free baggage allowance.
  • The charges that apply are based on the excess baggage fee depend on the following:
    • Weight of your pet
    • The weight of the container, i.e., the kennel, cage, or bag.
    • Other belongings of the pet, for instance, food.

Things to know when travelling with your pet

  • We welcome domesticated dogs and cats on our flights in the passenger cabin or the aircraft hold as baggage (cargo compartment), subject to approvals by Air India.
  • Your pet must be at least eight weeks old to travel in the cabin and 3 months or older to travel in the cargo hold.
  • We do not allow pregnant pets to travel with us to ensure their safety. Also, do inform us if your pet has given birth in the last 48 hours.
  • We allow all breeds of dogs and cats to fly in the cabin. However, certain breeds, such as snub-nosed or flat-faced pets, may be at risk if carried in the cargo compartment. Therefore, they are not permitted to fly in the cargo compartment. If you plan to take these at-risk breeds in the cabin, we strongly recommend you seek advice from your vet. Please note that we shall not be liable for any issues that may arise in this regard.
  • The carriage of your pet in the cabin or the cargo hold depends on the following:
    • They can travel in the cabin if the combined weight of the pet and their container is under 7 kg/ 15 lb.
    • They can travel in the checked-in baggage hold (cargo compartment) if the combined weight of the pet and container is over 7 kg/ 15 lb but under 32 kg/ 70 lb.
    • If the combined weight of the pet and the container is over 32 kg/ 70 lb, they must be carried as cargo.
  • The pet needs to be in a soft, ventilated bag or kennel not exceeding 46 cm/ 18 in x 46 cm/ 18 in x 30 cm/ 12 in. 
  • As per DGCA guidelines, we allow only two pets in the cabin per flight. Additionally, each pet must be accompanied by a passenger.
  • For safety reasons, label each pet's kennel, bag, or cage with its name and place an extra absorbent mat at the base. Please carry extra absorbent mats so the pet can relieve itself during the journey.
  • Please do not sedate or cloak your pet. This is because:
    • It may cause hinderance with the health assessment that is performed before departure to ensure your pet is fit to travel. 
    • In accordance with the IATA standards, sedating or tranquilising your pet may be dangerous to their health due to pressure difference. 
  • Please be aware that no food items are allowed inside the container.
  • Unaccompanied minors are not allowed to travel with a pet.
  • If you are travelling with an infant or need wheelchair assistance, we recommend that you do not travel with your pet in the cabin to ensure safety of all onboard the flight. Your pet can travel in the cargo hold.

Documents required

  • You must carry validated vaccination and health certificates (duly signed and stamped) from the sanitation department advising that the animal is in good health at most 72 hours before the date of travel. 
  • You need to have a certificate that confirms that the animal has been inoculated for rabies by a registered veterinarian. 
  • Please download and complete the indemnity form. For direct flights, fill out and carry two copies of the indemnity form. 
  • Please bring the original documents along with the photocopies to be submitted at the time of check-in at airports.

In addition to the above-mentioned documents, you will also need the following if you are traveling internationally with your pet:

  • You must hold entry permits and other documents, as required by the countries of entry or transit. 
  • For more details, please visit AQCS, US CDC, and IATA Program & Policy.

At the airport with your pet

  • You must report at least three hours prior to departure of your flight when travelling with a pet to be able to complete all travel formalities.
  • You will be allowed to check-in and board on priority if you are travelling with a pet.
Seat Assignment
  • If you are travelling with a pet, you will be assigned a seat in the last row of the booked cabin class.
  • If you are travelling with a pet on a single cabin configuration (all-economy flight), one passenger and their accompanying pet will be assigned the last row, and the other will be at least five rows apart.
  • Your pet will not be allowed to occupy a passenger seat, even in case the adjoining seat is unoccupied. 
  • Additionally, you will not be allowed to carry your pet in your hand or lap. 
  • Emergency exit rows are not assigned to the passenger and their accompanying pet.  
  • Please note that Air India is solely responsible for assigning a seat.

Additional guidelines for carrying pets on international flights

For destination-specific regulations and documents required for pet travel, please refer to IATA Travel Centre.

  • The owner must ensure their pets meet all quarantine requirements. Your pet may be subjected to quarantine at the destination. The quarantine period may vary and would be at the discretion of the veterinary authorities in the destination country.
  • We are not responsible if your pets are refused entry into or passage through any country or territory.
  • Due to specific destination restrictions and operational reasons, we are currently unable to transport your pet into or out of the destinations below in the cabin and/or as checked baggage:
    • USA
    • Canada
    • Australia
    • United Arab Emirates
  • For flights to UK, we will be able to transport your pet in the cargo hold only.

For more information, please reach out to our customer support executive or head to our airport or city ticketing office

Country specific guidelines

There may be additional guidelines for the travel of pets based on the country they are arriving.

Import and export of pets to or from India

If you intend to import or export your pet to/from India:

  • You will need a ‘No Objection Certificate’ or ’Pre-import Clearance’ from the Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (AQCS). Please click here for more information and to download the required certificates and clearance forms.  
  • The import and export service of pets is allowed only at these airports:
    • Bangalore
    • Chennai
    • Delhi
    • Kolkata
    • Mumbai
    • Hyderabad 

You can import or export your pet only from the airport mentioned in your permit. For instance, if the AQCS office in Delhi granted you pet import permission, your pet can depart or arrive only at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.

  • To ensure the safety and health of your pet, they will only be accepted when they are correctly yet comfortably kept in their isolated bag, kennel, or cage.
  • Your pet must have valid documentation from its country of origin certifying that it is free from diseases like rabies, distemper, and leptospirosis.

We understand that this may be a lot of paperwork. But take it as our commitment to the well-being of your furry companion.


Learn more about Oman’s guidelines for the carriage of pets.

Middle East and Gulf countries

Booking your pet on a connecting flight

We allow pets on direct, transit, and connecting flights, provided the connecting flights are between Air India flights only (AI - AI) and not with other airlines. This applies to routes where pets are currently accepted.

Charges applicable

  • Standard excess baggage charges by weight/piece will be applied for each segment of your journey, regardless of whether the free baggage allowance is utilised. 
  • You will be required to pay at your origin for all segments of your trip.

Documents required

For connecting flights, please carry two copies of the indemnity form for each segment of your journey, i.e., a total of four indemnity forms.

Travel checklist for your pet

Before you travel with your cat or dog, make sure:

  • You’ve checked all entry and exit regulations for the countries you’re flying to and from. Do note that every country has its own set of requirements when it comes to travelling with animals.
  • You have all the official documents, vet examinations and treatments for your pet to travel.
  • You’ve at least 72 hours in hand to make the booking for the pet.
  • You’ve asked your vet about any medication your pet may need for the journey.
  • You have a leash and a suitable harness or collar available.
  • You have dry pet food in a sealed container in your cabin baggage.
  • You bring all the original documents for your pet for verification.
  • Your pet is familiar with their travel bag or kennel.

Pets can get anxious in unfamiliar surroundings. However, some measures can be taken to help them relax. We suggest you undertake the following actions:

  • A few weeks before departure, acclimatise your pet to the container it will be travelling in. Periodically place your pet within the container and keep it closed for about two hours before giving it a treat.
  • Place a familiar blanket and absorbent material on the container floor.
  • On the day of departure, provide your pet with a light meal and a little water for two hours before placing it in the container.
  • Walk your pet before proceeding to the airport.
  • Always remove your pet’s leash before placing it in the container.
  • Do not administer any form of sedatives or tranquillisers to your pet before the flight.

Service animal

Guide dogs, service animals, or psychiatric service animals trained to assist passengers with special needs may travel free of charge provided they meet all requirements and regulations of the individual country. For more information, please read our guidelines on flying with a service dog.

United States (US)

Air India allows service dogs and psychiatric service dogs on our direct flights to or from the US.

  •  An official service animal is a dog that has received training to perform tasks that benefit a qualified individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities. Find out more about travelling with a service dog.
  • The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a temporary suspension of dog imports, including service dogs, travelling to the US from countries considered high-risk countries. Learn more about US CDC suspension for high-risk countries.

Have a question?

Confused about any of the guidelines related to the carriage of pets? Have them clarified by going through our frequently asked questions.