Are there airlines that allow dogs in the cabin to Japan?
Nowadays, lots of airlines are recognizing that many people have pets they’d like to fly with and as a result, are providing transport services for animals.
Before planning a trip with your beloved pet, it’s important to know the rules and regulations surrounding what is and isn’t allowed so that you don’t get a surprise at the airport.
First things first, do Japanese airlines allow dogs in the cabin? The quick answer to the question is that no, (the only exception being if the dog is a “Certified Service Animal”), there are no airlines that allow dogs in the cabin in Japan. However, there are other options like shipping your pet as unaccompanied cargo or as check-in baggage.
You’ll need to be aware of the equipment requirements and fees before you book the flight, especially if your flight is an international one.
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Are there any airlines that allow dogs in the cabin to Japan?
Generally speaking, no. However, if you have a certified service animal, it will be permitted free of charge in the passenger cabin.
This is only when the owner is in the aircraft and is wholly dependent on the assistance dog for their mobility. You will, of course, need to notify the airline and have made an advanced reservation.
Airlines that allow dogs in the cabin to Japan – service dog requirements
If you do need to travel to Japan with a service dog, you’ll need to follow certain rules.
Firstly, you’ll need to show proof that the assistance dog has received training and certification as a service dog.
The dog will also need to wear a cape or vest indicating its role as an assistance dog. You will need to keep the dog at your feet for the whole flight and have a muzzle to hand that you can use if and when necessary.
Finally, you won’t be allowed to feed your dog whilst on board, though you can provide water.
Emotional support animals
Emotional support animals are not allowed to fly in the cabin and must fly in the hold. This is because they are not classed as service animals and are not needed for mobility.
Flying other pets with checked baggage
In Japan, you can check your animals into the hold along with checked baggage. The airlines are accommodating to many different species and breeds of animals.
The requirements are that your pet must be inside a leak-proof, hard-sided container or crate that can be locked using a padlock. If a dog is particularly strong, a reinforced carrier will be needed.
The crate needs to be large enough for the pet to move freely. They should be able to lie down, stand, and turn in it. There should also be ample ventilation.
There are also restrictions for snub-nosed dogs and animals so you’ll need to check that your pet can fly as checked baggage if this applies.
Flying other pets with the cargo option
If you have to fly a pet to Japan, you can fly it as cargo through JAL Cargo.
This is a Japan Airlines subsidiary company. This can be an easier way to transport your animals when it isn’t practical or possible for the owner to fly at the same time. This can be done on either international or domestic flights.
It is possible for emotional support animals to fly this way, for example.
Regulations on animal exports and imports
Whenever you take a flight with an animal, you take full responsibility for complying with and understanding the requirements of the countries you’re flying to and from.
There could be different animal export and import regulations to know about. In some countries, there are quarantine regulations, for example.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a short-term trip with a family pet or looking to relocate long-term with an exotic animal, you should always consult the relevant animal agencies for your trip.
Which pets do Japan Airlines allow on their flights?
All cats and dogs are allowed to travel on Japan Airlines flights. The only exceptions are bulldogs and French bulldogs.
This is because these species are very vulnerable to changes in light, humidity, sound, pressure, and temperature and may have problems during the flight. What’s more, pets need to be at least 8 weeks old to travel.
As well as dogs and cats, you can use cargo travel for the following:
- Small birds (ones that eat insects, fruit, and seeds)
- Guinea pigs
What documentation is needed?
The rules will vary depending on the region and country you’re flying to.
It’s always advisable to contact the specific consulate, quarantine office, and embassy of both the departing and arriving countries so that you know what documents are needed.
You might need things like an export/import permit, a health certificate, a shipper’s declaration, and a quarantine certificate, for example.
What about domestic flights?
If you’re traveling with a pet on a domestic flight in Japan, you don’t need an advanced reservation. You can even rent a pet carrier.
Pets must not weigh more than 32 kg to fly with hold baggage. If they are heavier, they need to be flown as cargo.
What are the fees involved?
There are no additional costs for certified service dogs in the cabin in Japan.
For domestic flights with a pet in the hold, you will pay between 3,000 and 6,000 Yen, depending on the flight. For international flights, the cost will vary depending on availability and the route. Here is a rough guide as to what you might pay:
- Flights between Japan, India, Oceania, Asia, Hawaii, Europe, Middle East, North/South/Central America, and Africa – 40,000 Yen
- Flights between Japan, Asia Oceania, and Guam – 25,000 Yen
- Domestic flights (when international rules apply) – 5,000 Yen.
Final thoughts on do Japanese airlines allow dogs in the cabin?
As we’ve seen, only certified service dogs are allowed in the cabin on Japanese airlines. However, this only includes service dogs that are needed for mobility purposes.
Emotional support dogs are not classified as service dogs in this respect and must, therefore, travel in the hold or as cargo.
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