Pet travel - FAQs

Important things to consider before sending pets by air


The significant reduction in the number of Qantas domestic and international flights means pet travel opportunities are severely constrained. With additional flying still under review, capacity for pet and animal travel will continue to be extremely limited.

Whether you want to travel with your pet or send your pet unaccompanied, you'll need to use a pet travel specialist. There are restrictions on travel for brachycephalic (snub-nosed/flat-faced) breeds

We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times.

What is defined as a ‘pet’?

Dogs (excluding racing greyhounds and banned breeds), cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, domestic fish with no aeration requirements (not intended for resale), and domestic birds (maximum four birds per cage) that do not need a permit to travel.

How old must my pet be before it is able to fly?

All pets need to be at least 12 weeks old before they are able to fly. Pets older than 12 years will need to present a certificate from a vet stating that the pet is healthy enough to fly.

Are there any travel restrictions for brachycephalic breeds?

Due to their compromised respiratory systems, brachycephalic (snub-nosed/flat-faced) breeds must be booked through selected pet travel specialists as health requirements and flight restrictions apply. 

What are conditions like in the hold and at the terminal?

Temperature and noise experienced by your pet are similar to what you’d experience in the passenger cabin of the aircraft. Any lighting is switched off as this will encourage your pet to rest.

Our freight terminals are not air conditioned and can be quite noisy so please take into consideration the weather conditions and your pet’s temperament when planning their transportation.

Will I need a permit?

It’s your responsibility to be aware of any state quarantine requirements that may restrict interstate transportation of your pet.

As state laws and regulations are subject to change, we strongly recommend that each time you’re planning to travel with your pet you check the current state rules:

Domestic - find these on the Australian Interstate Quarantine site.

International - check requirements with appropriate departments in the country of destination.

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Are there weight limits?

Each crate has a maximum weight limit, depending on size.

We’ll be able to check the compatibility of the aircraft type and your crate, simply contact us on 13 12 13 if the combined weight of your pet and crate exceeds 50kgs.

We cannot accept pets travelling on Rex (ZL) aircraft if the total weight is over 32kgs.

Does weather impact pet travel?

Yes it does. While we do all we can to provide shelter and comfort for animals travelling with us, the tarmac and areas around the aircraft aren’t covered and are exposed to weather.

For this reason, it’s wise to consider the forecast weather at your pet’s points of departure, arrival and any transit stops in between.

We do not recommend transporting pets during extreme weather, which is why we suggest:

  • If your pet is travelling in summer, avoid flights during the middle of the day, and in winter avoid early or late flights
  • If at any stage of the planned journey the temperature is forecast to be above 35°C or below 5°C, carefully consider the need to transport your pet by air.

Can I change my pet’s flight?

Yes, you can change your pet’s flight at no cost up to 14 days before flight departure. If travelling with your pet, and weather results in it being on a different flight, we’ll still provide the accompanied pet discount if that rate applied to the original booking.

Can I earn Qantas Points for pet travel?

You cannot earn Qantas Points for your pet travelling on a Qantas domestic or international flight.

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How long should I allow between connecting flights?

Domestic - We require 90 minutes to transfer your pet safely from one aircraft to the next. Qantas Freight is unable to meet a connection to any flight that is less than 90 minutes.

International - We can transfer your pet from a domestic flight arriving in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney onto an international flight as long as the transit time is between 3 hours and 5 hours. To transfer your pet between international flights you'll need to use a pet transportation company.

Should I sedate or cloak my pet?

No. Please don’t sedate your pet as we need to make a health assessment on arrival at our freight terminal to determine if it’s sleepy or unwell (as sick pets cannot be accepted for travel).

As for placing a coat on your pet to keep warm, there's no need. The cargo holds are regulated to a temperature between 18 and 22°C. Placing a coat on your pet may increase body heat and lead to dehydration.

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How many pets can I take on the same flight as me?

Domestic - A ticketed passenger is allowed two crates up to 65kg each (including the pet) at the special accompanied pet price. Crates over 65kg must travel at the rate for pets travelling on their own.

There is no limitation for additional animals travelling on their own, however charges do vary.

International - There is no limitation on pet bookings internationally.

What happens if the flight is delayed, cancelled or a connecting flight is missed?

Your pet will be kept in a comfortable area and regularly supervised. Our staff will also top up water containers as needed. If you’re travelling with your pet on the same flight and it is delayed, you can see them by attending the freight terminal in that port.

If the delay exceeds 5 hours we may engage the services of an expert animal care company to provide a comfort stop including giving your pet time outside of their crate and cleaning the crate for the onward journey.

If a flight is cancelled, we’ll book your pet for the next available flight that day (subject to availability). If there aren’t any, our team will contact you to pick your pet up for re-lodgement the following day as we’re unable to care for animals in our terminals overnight.

If a connection is missed in a transit port, we’ll have an expert animal care company provide an overnight comfort stop and they will re-lodge your pet on a flight the following day.

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How do I calculate the cost of my pet's travel?

Just like all other air freight items, how much your pet weighs as well as the size of the crate will determine the price of the travel. 

Pet crates are available at all our major terminals, too. Get a quote here or call 13 12 13.

Are there limitations on the flights I can book for my pet?

Yes. Accompanied pets on domestic services can only be booked and travel on flights operated by Qantas with flight numbers QF400 and above.

When I want to travel with my pet, should I book my flight or my pets flight first?

If you want your pet to travel on your flight, we suggest you make your pet's booking prior to making your own flight booking.


Are children allowed in the freight terminal to drop off or pick up pets?

As most of our freight terminals are adjacent to busy, airport operational areas, pet drop off and pick up locations are not suitable for anyone requiring supervision. For the safety of all customers and staff, children under 17 years of age are not permitted in our terminals even if accompanied by an adult and we recommend you plan ahead to ensure you're not inconvenienced when you arrive at the terminal.