What is Virgin Australia policy on pet acceptance?
The airline accepts dogs and cats for pet travel on both domestic and international flights. Pets are transported in the cargo hold of the aircraft, except for authorized Assistance Dogs and Guide Dogs, which are permitted accompany a person with a disability in the cabin.
How can I make a booking for my pet?
For domestic flights, to ensure there is room for the pet to travel on the same flight as the owner, pet bookings must be made via the airline Guest Contact Centre (Internet discount fare will be honored). Pets not booked via this service will be refused travel and sent as cargo, on a different flight and at a higher fee.
On international flights, Virgin Australia accepts cats and dogs to travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft on international services. For the moment, Virgin Australia is unable to accept bookings direct from passengers, and recommend that all passengers who wish to travel with their pets contact an approved International Pet and Animal Transportation Association agent. For further information and to book your pet’s travel, please contact an approved Pet Agent from the IPATA website.
Pets in the Hold – Domestic Flights
Conditions of Pet Travel
Pets must travel in the cargo hold. To travel, the pet must:
- Appear to be in good health and not unduly aggressive.
- Be over 8 weeks old. It is advisable to obtain a veterinary certificate for dogs or cats under 12 weeks old.
- If traveling into Tasmania, the dog must be treated for the Hydatids Tapeworm before arrival.
- Travel in an approved pet container, which complies with the Virgin Australia guidelines for pet containers.
Generally, only one pet per cage is permitted, but up to three pets can travel in one container if they are all from the same litter, under 6 months old and under 14 kg each, or a maximum of two compatible adult animals up to 14 kg each and of comparable size may be travel in the same container.
Guidelines for Pet Containers
The following container guidelines are designed to protect the welfare of dogs and cats. Virgin Australia reserves the right to refuse carriage of pets that are not traveling in a container with the following requirements. The pet container must be:
- Supplied by the passenger, or purchased from an approved supplier.
- Not too small for the dog or cat.
- With an absorbent material placed on the floor, so that no water or excreta can escape.
- Made of a polypropylene material or metal, and must not have any wheels attached.
- Must be adequately locked, and have escape proof hinges and latches.
- Not exceeding 65 kg.
- Comply with the airline’s size limitations:
|Aircraft Type||Total cages per flight||Height||Width||Length||Maximum Weight|
|A330, Boeing 737, Embraer 190||2||80 cm||70 cm||110 cm||65 kg|
|ATR 72||1||80 cm||60 cm||110 cm||20 kg|
|F100||4||80 cm||70 cm||110 cm||10 kg|
|A320||0 (due to inadequate ventilation and heat, carriage of animals is prohibited)|
Virgin Australia charges fees based on the combined weight of the container and the pet(s) which will be traveling in that container. Fees are non-refundable, and payable when checking-in the pet. Fees are charged per sector, per container:
|Small Pet||0–10 kg||95 AUD|
|Medium Pet||11–20 kg||115 AUD|
|Large Pet||21–30 kg||150 AUD|
|Extra Large Pet||31 kg + (max 65 kg)||180 AUD|
An Assistance Dog accompanies a person with a disability other than a vision or hearing impairment. For travel on domestic and international short-haul flights, Virgin Australia will only accept Assistance Dogs that have been appropriately trained by organizations approved by the airline. Organizations must meet or exceed the minimum standards set by Assistance Dogs International or Queensland Guide Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009. The owner of an Assistance Dog must carry a proof of identity card that shows the level of appropriate training attained. On international long-haul flights, passengers who are accompanied by an Assistance Dog must carry documentary evidence of the dog’s accreditation with one of the organizations approved by Virgin Australia. If the Assistance Dog has not been trained by an approved organization, Virgin Australia requires further information to determine whether the Assistance Dog can be accepted in the cabin.
Guide Dogs are permitted by law to accompany their handler in all places, provided that they have the proper credentials. Guide Dogs are permitted in the cabin of all of the aircraft when they are traveling with their owner who is entirely dependent on the Guide Dog for mobility. All Guide Dogs must be harnessed.
When traveling with an Assistance/Guide Dog, the booking must be made through the Guest Contact Centre(Internet discount fare will be honored). Assistance/Guide Dogs are carried free of charge. The dog must be fully trained (if not, it must be harnessed, wearing an identifying coat and accompanied by a trainer) and seated on an absorbent mat for the duration of the flight, supplied by the handler. Only two Assistance/Guide Dogs per flight are permitted to travel on domestic and international short-haul flights. If you are traveling on the international long-haul flight with a group, and there are 10 or more Assistance/Guide Dogs traveling with you, you have to contact Virgin Australia at least 10 days before departure so that they can ensure your needs are met onboard.