What is Finnair’s policy on pet acceptance?
Finnair accepts pets for carriage both in the passenger cabin, as well as in the cargo hold, but some restrictions apply.
Pets are not accepted on flights to/via Great Britain, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as to/via Ireland from outside of EU.
When Finnair will agree upon transporting your pet as baggage, it will not be part of the free baggage allowance, and additional conditions specified by the airline may apply. Any pet you bring along, whether it will be carried in the cabin or in the hold, will be regarded as excess baggage and charged accordingly.
Finnair’s pet policy only applies on flights operated by Finnair. If you are traveling on a codeshare flight (a flight operated by a Finnair’s partner airline), the rules of this airline apply, including for transporting pets, but many airlines do not accept pets if the flight ticket has been bought with another airline’s flight number (codeshare).
What responsibilities do I have?
A limited number of pet carriage requests can be made for each flight, thus it is your responsibility to contact the airline in advance and inquire for pet transportation availability. In general, two pets in the cabin and two pets in the hold of the aircraft are accepted, but restrictions may apply due to the weather, aircraft type, allergic passengers, etc.
The reservation for your pet must be made at the same time with yours, by contacting your travel agency, or through Finnair customer care. Upon making the reservation, the airline must be informed about all the details regarding your pet, including the size of the container in which your pet will be transported, as well as the total weight of your pet and its kennel.
The pet must be transported in a pet carrier or transportation complying with the IATA regulations and have all the necessary travel permits (valid health and vaccination certificates, permits for exit/entry/transit depending on the countries of travel etc.), otherwise, its transportation may be denied.
Country-specific regulations are the second most important thing you have to consider. For example, Finland regards puppies younger than eight weeks as ineligible for air transportation. Other countries might have different age restrictions for pets, so contact all the relevant authorities in the countries of exit, transit and entry before engaging in the booking process.
Thirdly, according to European Union directives, dogs, cats and ferrets carried across the Union must be microchipped or tattooed in a clearly manner, for easy identification. Beside this microchip or tattoo, the animal must have a valid passport containing your pet’s health details, as well as rabies vaccination status. The Finnish Food Safety Authority can provide you with more specific information on the matter.
Re-entry in the European Union might imply different regulations than simply travelling inside the Union. Other documentation requirements may be in effect, so make sure you inquire for all the restrictions regarding animal welfare before traveling.
Pets in the Passenger Cabin
With certain restrictions, only small animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits and other rodents, may be carried in the passenger cabin.
On intercontinental flights, pets are not accepted in the Business Class cabin, since the reclining seats leave no room for placing your pet underneath in a suitable manner.
When traveling with Finnair, your pet must be enclosed in an appropriate container, e.g. a soft bag or a suitable box. Should the kennel be too large for transportation in the cabin or the animal carried in inappropriate conditions, for example in a container too small for it, the airline reserves its right to decline carriage. The pet must not exit from its container during the journey.
Weight and Size Restrictions
The total weight of your pet together with its container should not exceed 8 kg (17 lbs).
If you are planning to take your pet with you in the cabin, Finnair advises you to use for transportation a soft bag, except for rodents, which must always be transported in a hard case. This bag, although supposed to fit under the seat directly in front of you, should still be large enough to contain your pet in a comfortable manner. As far as your pet’s well-being is concerned, it must be able to stand, sit and lie in a natural position, as well as turn around normally while in the bag.
A soft bag must have the same maximum dimensions as carry-on baggage, specifically 56 x 45 x 25 cm (22 x 18 x 10 in), while hard carriers must measure maximum 35 x 30 x 20 cm (14 x 12 x 8 in).
If these dimensions or the aforementioned weight are exceeded, the animal and its container will be transferred to the aircraft hold.
Pets transported in the passenger cabin are not included in the free baggage allowance, but always regarded as excess baggage and charged accordingly:
- Short-haul flights – €40 one-way.
- Long-haul flights – €75 / $100 USD/CAD one-way.
Pets as Checked Baggage
All animals, regardless of their type or species, must be transported in the aircraft hold as checked baggage if the total weight of the pet and its container exceeds 8 kg (17 lbs). When transporting a pet as checked baggage, you should take into account the following:
- The transportation box must comply with the IATA regulations. The box must be not only proportional to the animal’s size, but also large enough to allow it to travel in the most humane conditions possible. Therefore, to spare your pet additional stress, try and make sure its container provides it plenty of space to move freely, as well as sit comfortably during the flight.
- A strong transportation box must be provided for pets heavier than 40 kg (88 lbs).
- The maximum total weight of the animal and its box must not exceed 50 kg (110 lbs).
- Cargo transportation is mandatory for pets that, together with their kennels, weigh more than 50 kg (110 lbs).
Since pets are not part of the free checked baggage allowance, they will be subject to excess baggage charges:
- Short-haul flights – €75 one-way.
- Long-haul flights – €300 / $400 USD/CAD one-way.
No matter what flight you will take with Finnair, you are always permitted to take your Guide Dog, Hearing Dog or Service Dog in the cabin with you. If you are traveling with an Assistance Dog, you should notify Finnair at least 48 hours before departure. Assistance Dogs are transported in addition to the free checked baggage allowance, so no charges will apply for them, unlike for all other pets, which are subject to excess baggage fees.