Japan Airlines Pet policy allows certain pets to be transported as checked baggage or cargo on domestic and international flights. Pets are not allowed in the passenger compartment, but guide/assistance dogs and certified service animals can travel in the cabin with their owners for free.

Japan Airlines Pet Policy - AirlinesPolicy

In this article, we will explore the rules for transporting pets as checked baggage or cargo, as well as the special provisions for guide/assistance dogs and certified service animals traveling in the passenger cabin.

Japan Airlines Pets In Cabin Policy

As per Japan Airlines Pet In Cabin Policy, pets are not permitted to travel in the passengers cabin, they can only travel either as checked baggage or in the cargo compartment.

Japan Airlines International Pet Policy

You are permitted to bring certain pets on foreign flights with Japan Airlines as checked baggage. This means that while you and your pet will be flying together, they won’t be sitting in the passenger cabin with you. Your pet will be given to you in the baggage claim area after arrival.

Japan Airlines pet policy for international pet travel

Pets accepted on Japan Airlines flights

Below is the overview of the pets that are accepted by the airlines –

Pet TypeAccepted Pets
DogsYes (excluding French Bulldogs and Bulldogs)
Tiny BirdsYes

Steps to book Japan Airlines pet travel

To ensure a spot for your pet, it is advisable to make a prior reservation. Japan Airlines (JAL) may take 48-72 hours to confirm the availability. Here’s what you need to do –

  • Contact the JAL office in your city or country to reach out to Japan Airlines,
  • When making the reservation, make sure to have the following details ready –
    • Dimensions of the pet crate, including its length, width, and height.
    • Total weight of the pet and crate combined.
    • Type of pet carrier.
    • Age of your pet on the day of travel.
  • Once you provide this information, the JAL airline’s representative will guide you through the due process, and the other necessary requirements.
  • Pay the required fee.
  • The airline will send you the confirmation for the pet travel. Please note the airline arranges the same aircraft for pets as you. 

On the day of departure, visit the Japan Airlines check-in counter, submit the required documents for pets, and collect the boarding pass.

Additional information

The other conditions include –

Minimum AgeTraveling cats and dogs must be at least 8 weeks old.
Restricted PetsFrench Bulldogs and Bulldogs. The airline does not accept pregnant pets. 
Health conditionsMust be in good health. Should not exhibit aggressive behavior.
Reservation deadlineUp to 4 days prior to departure

Pet’s health status requirements for travel

It is generally recommended to consult the licensed veterinarian if any of the following conditions apply  –

  • Pet has a breathing condition
  • A pet is not able to control its body temperature.
  • Pet lost its appetite
  • Pets that are psychologically ill
  • Pets are prone to stress in dark rooms or spaces. 

Japan Airlines Pet Travel Guidelines For Rodents

To ensure the safe transport of rabbits, hamsters, and other animals with strong teeth, it is necessary to use special rodent crates that are completely covered with wire mesh on the inside. 

It is important to note that only one pet can be carried in each crate. 

Additionally, all rental crates are disinfected in advance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Japan airlines rodents dimensions

Check the other sizes too for the rodents –

L SizeDetails
Size (W x H x D cm)45 x 45 x 41
Crate Weight11.5 kg
Reservation DeadlineUp to 4 days prior to departure date
M SizeDetails
Size (W x H x D cm)32 x 32 x39
Crate Weight7.4 kg
Reservation DeadlineUp to 4 days prior to departure date

How to transport your pet as cargo with Japan Airlines?

Follow these steps – 

  • Review Japan Airlines pet policy and note on animal transport for a hassle-free journey of the flight. 
  • Check the import and export rules for departure and arrival destinations.
  • Prepare a letter stating your consent to check your pet as baggage.
  • On the day of departure, you must arrive at the JAL check in counter up to 2 hours before the flight.
  • Present your pet’s required customs paperwork to the check-in agent and sign the necessary forms.
  • After you collect the boarding pass, the checked pets will be helped in the cargo bulk room area,
  • Proceed to the quarantine station at the arrival airport to complete your pet’s immigration procedures.

These guidelines ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your pet.

Before boarding the plane

Checked pets will be held in the bulk cargo room. These spaces are controlled by air conditioners.

Pet checked carrier on Japan Airlines

Pet cargo area

Japan Airlines checked pet policy

Passengers must take note of the following considerations –

  • It is advised to avoid traveling with your pet during the daytime due to hot and humid conditions.
  • Exercise caution if your pet is sensitive to cold, as outside temperatures can be severe.
  • During the flight, all lighting inside the bulk cargo room is turned off.
  • The air pressure in this area is set to 0.8 bar, similar to the pressure felt at the peak of a 2000m mountain.
  • The pressure change may cause reactions in your pet when ascending and descending.
  • Your pet will hear noises such as wind noise and mechanical noise during takeoff, flight, and landing.

These measures ensure the well-being and comfort of your pet during air travel.

Required paperwork

As per Japan Airlines international pet policy, the following paperwork is required – 

  • Passengers need documents related to the quarantine guidelines of the export and import destination.
  • Health certificate with 10 days of scheduled departure.
  • Latest vaccination record.
  • Pet passport (for international travel).

For passengers traveling to and from the US, you need – Under any circumstances, pet transport is not applicable. For more info, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website

Japan Airlines pet carrier requirements

To fly on Japan Airlines with a pet, the following requirements must be met for your pet container –

Pet carrier requirements for Japan airlines
  • The pet crate must provide enough space for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down
  • The pet box should be made of sturdy materials such as fiberglass, wood, plastic, or a similarly strong substance.
  • The pet carrier needs to have proper ventilation to ensure adequate airflow.
  • If the bottom of the pet carrier is made entirely of wire or welded mesh, it must be leakproof and escape-proof.
  • For rodents and animals with powerful teeth, like hamsters and rabbits, the pet carrier must be specifically designed with wire mesh to prevent escape.
  • Each carrier should only contain one pet.
  • If there are wheels equipped, they must be removed or protected.

Japan Airlines pet fee for checked baggage

The cost to check a pet internationally varies depending on the route and is normally as follows:

Flight from Japan ToPet travel fee (in USD)
India, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North America, Hawaii, Central/South America, Oceania, and Hawaii325
Oceania, Guam, and Asia200

What is Japan Airlines Pet Policy for Domestic Flights?

The Japan Airlines pet policy for domestic flights includes –

Minimum AgeTraveling cats and dogs must be at least 8 weeks old.
Pets allowedDogs, cats, small birds, rabbits, hamsters, and other small animals. Passengers may also carry goldfish, turtles, and insects. 
Restricted PetsFrench Bulldogs and Bulldogs. The airline does not accept pregnant pets. 
Weight limitDogs, cats, small birds, rabbits, hamsters and other small animals. Passengers may also carry goldfish, turtles, and insects. 
Check-inThe combined weight limit for the pet and the carrier must be up to 100 kg per passenger
Pet Carrier DimensionPassengers report at the Japan Airlines baggage counter area up to 40 min before scheduled departure.
Pet FeeJPY4,400 – JPY 6,600 per pet crate per flight sector

How to weigh?

If the combined weight of the pet and crate goes over 32 kg, it will be considered cargo instead of regular passenger baggage. Any baggage exceeding 20 kg will incur additional charges for excess baggage.

Please Note: The weight limit for JAC/HAC and RAC-operated flights is 45 kg.

Japan airlines weight limit for JAC/HAC and RAC-operated flights is 45 kg

Rent a Pet Carrier – You have the option to either bring your own crate or rent a pet crate from JAL. If your crate is not suitable for safe transport or if a rental crate is unavailable, passengers need to request a Japan Airlines flight change for a different flight.

Below is the overview of the pet carrier offered by the Japan Airlines –

SizeDimensions (W x H x D cm)Examples of Acceptable PetsCrate WeightReservationPet Charge Advance Pay Service
Small43×40×54Small dogs and cats3kgNot requiredAvailable
Medium51×48×69Medium-sized dogs5kgNot requiredAvailable
Large55×60×81Large dogs7kgRequiredN/A
XL63×67×90Large dogs10kgRequiredN/A

Does Japan Airlines allow pets on Cargo?

Yes. The airline allows cargo travel for pets on domestic as well as international flights. To understand the process from acceptance to delivery, please refer to the following steps:

  • Before being loaded onto the aircraft, your pet will be kept in an air-conditioned indoor area whenever possible.
  • To safeguard your pet from rain and wind, JAL transports them to the aircraft with utmost care using a specialized cart.
  • Your pet will be loaded into the bulk compartment of the aircraft.
  • Upon arrival at the destination airport, your pet will be swiftly transported to the cargo office.

Transportation Environment

The airline prioritizes the safety and comfort of the pet on cargo travel. However, you must make a note of the following considerations –

  • During the flight, the lights will be turned off in the cargo compartment, creating a dark environment.
  • Air pressure inside the compartment will rise to 0.8 psi, similar to the summit of a 2,000m high mountain.
  • Please be aware that noises from operating machines or ground support equipment may be audible during flight, takeoff, and landing.
  • Wind noise, which is typically inaudible on the ground, may also be noticeable inside the cabin.
  • It is important to provide your pet with sufficient water before checking in, especially for small dogs that may have difficulty regulating body temperature efficiently.
  • Puppies, aged dogs, and snub-nose dogs are particularly sensitive to heat, so consider the temperature and the traveling hours when planning the journey.
  • During the winter season, the temperature inside the cargo compartment may fall to zero. 

Conditions for pet travel

As per Japan Airlines pet policy, the following conditions may apply 

Age LimitPets under 8 weeks are not permitted
Restricted BreedsSnub nose dogs (Bulldogs and French bulldogs). More details in the section below

Restrictions on Breeds

Snub-nosed breeds are not permitted as cargo on domestic as well as international flights. The other animals include- 

  • Young pets within 8 weeks
  • Wild pets or birds
  • Dogs and monkeys for research or experiment purposes
  • Live pets that are prohibited
  • Pets that are placed in containers that are not suitable

Besides, there are 21 breeds of snub-nosed dogs that are not accepted by Japan Airlines on international flights – 

Pit Bull TerrierAffenpinscherItalian Corso dogBordeaux Mastiff
Shar PeiBoxerMastiffBoston terrier
PugCavalier King Charles SpanielPekineseKing Charles Spaniel
Bull terrierChow chowLhasa ApsoPerro de Presa Canario
Brussels GriffonShih TzuStaffordshire Bull TerrierTibetan Prayer Dog

The following breeds are restricted for domestic travel –

ShepherdSt. Bernard
Japanese AkitaJapanese Kishu
Great DaneJapanese Tosa

Documents required

The Air Waybill must include the following documents for domestic as well as international travel –

  • Declaration of the Shipper for Live Animals. Download this form simply by visiting JAL’s Shipper Declaration page.
  • Export Certificate of Quarantine.
  • Certificate for Rabies (issued by a certified vet).

How to book the cargo for a domestic flight?

Before transporting your pet, it is essential to review the Japan Airlines pet policy for crate requirements and breed restrictions. The steps include – 

  • Contact the airline’s sales office in advance to make a reservation for your pet’s journey.
  • On the day of departure, please bring your pet to the JAL cargo sales office at the departure airport. 
  • During the booking process, you will need to provide the required documentation.
  • It is important to agree to the Shipper’s Declaration for live animals. Also, other documents may be required for domestic flights.
  • Arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. 

Please Note: The Japan Airlines pet fee for cargo is 50% higher than the standard fare

Pet crate requirements for cargo

To ensure the comfort and safety of your pet during transportation, it is essential to provide a suitable pet box that meets the following requirements –

  • The pet box should allow your pet to turn around comfortably while standing. It should also provide enough space for your pet to sit and stand with its legs fully extended.
  • The shoulder width of the pet box must be at least twice as wide as the crate to ensure that your pet has enough room to move comfortably.
  • When your pet is standing up inside the crate, the height should be adjusted so that its head does not touch the ceiling. 
  • The pet box should be made of sturdy and durable materials suitable for travel. 
  • Sufficient airflow is crucial to maintain a well-ventilated environment inside the pet box. 
  • The door (lid) of the crate should be lockable from the outside to prevent any accidental openings during transportation. 
  • The latches on the pet box must be fastened firmly to prevent any accidental opening or escape of your pet. 

Containers of the following kinds won’t be accepted

Japan airlines containers of the following kinds won't be accepted

Precautions – Passengers must take the following precautions when transporting pets as cargo – 

  • Make sure the water container doesn’t leak before placing it inside the pet kennel.
  • Before checking in, make sure your pet has received enough food and drink. Alternatively, ensure it doesn’t leak while providing enough food and water.
  • Items that make your pet feel safe, like a favorite blanket, towel, toy, etc., are permitted.
  • Pets must be brought to the departure area at least 90 minutes prior to departure.

Do Japan Airlines acknowledge emotional support animals?

It’s important to note that Japan does not officially recognize ESAs to the same extent compared to other countries. If you plan to bring an ESA into Japan, you will need to ensure that both your airline and Japanese customs permit the specific type of animal you intend to bring. There is no guarantee that your airline will accommodate your request. 

By understanding and adhering to Japan Airlines pet policy, pet owners can navigate the process with greater ease and enjoy their travels while ensuring the well-being of their beloved pets.

FAQs related to Japan Airlines Pet Policy

Are dogs allowed on Japan Airlines?

The airline does not allow snub-nosed dogs.

What are the health parameters of my pet I need to check before traveling?

Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all required vaccinations and has documentation of them. Japan Airlines requires a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within a certain time frame before travel.

Can I check-in with my pet 60 minutes before departure? 

Japan airlines allow pets to be checked in as early as 120 minutes before departure for international flights, and 40 minutes before for domestic travel.

What types of pets are allowed to travel with Japan Airlines?

Dogs and cats are permitted to travel as cargo on domestic and international flights. French Bulldogs and Bulldogs are not permitted to travel with JAL.

Where do I check in my pet for Japan Airlines flight?

For pets traveling as checked baggage, you can check them in at the designated Japan Airlines check-in counter at the airport.

What if my pet is pregnant?

Japan Airlines does not allow pregnant pets to travel in the cabin or as checked baggage.

What if my pet is not iIn good health?

JAL may refuse the passenger as well as the pet to board the flight.

Do I need a health certificate for my pet for Japan Airlines flight?

Yes, Japan Airlines requires a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of scheduled departure.

Can I bring my pet in the passenger cabin?

No. The airline does not allow pets in the cabin.

What kind of pets are allowed on JAL flights?

The airline permits pets as checked luggage. These include Cats, Dogs, Tiny Birds, Ferrets, Hamsters, Rabbits, Squirrels, Chinchillas, and Marmots.

What if my pet is an Emotional Support Animal?

The airline does not support ESA travel on its flights.

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