It's natural to want to take the whole family along when you travel, and your furry friends are no exception. With the right preparation, travelling with your pet can be a great experience for all concerned - but it is important to be well prepared. 

Virgin Australia can accommodate pet travel on most domestic flights, where we have appropriate pet handling arrangements in place at each end of the journey. See the "Check-in Locations' tab for a list of airports where pet travel is accommodated. 

Before travelling with your pet, however, there are some domestic quarantine restrictions you should be familiar with. Visit the Quarantine Domestic website to check if your pet will be welcome at your destination. 

Due to the complexity of quarantine laws (and to guarantee the health of your pet), Virgin Australia will only accept pets for international travel from approved International Pet & Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) pet agents. 

Naturally, to keep everyone (including your pet!) safe, there are a few rules and guidelines to follow, as set out below. Virgin Australia reserves the right to refuse carriage of animals in its sole discretion which do not meet the requirements set out below.

Step One - Is my pet suitable for travel?

All pets (excluding authorised Assistance Dogs) travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft, which is temperature controlled like the aircraft cabin, and dimly lit. To travel with us, your pet must:

Please note, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet meets all quarantine requirements.

A Veterinary Certificate confirming that your pet is fit for air travel (dated within 2 weeks of travel date) is required if the pet is:

Breeds of dog prohibited for import into Australia under “The Customs (prohibited imports) Regulations 1956”, including crossbreeds, will only be accepted at the discretion of Virgin Australia Airlines or its agents. The breeds include, but are not limited to:

At all times, Virgin Australia reserves the right to refuse carriage of your pet.

Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dog and cat breeds, including crossbreeds, are more likely to suffer from respiratory distress and heat stress, placing them at risk during air travel. It is recommended that you check with your vet about the suitability of air travel for these breeds.

Virgin Australia Cargo strongly recommends that if the temperature is forecast above 25 degrees Celsius and or it is a multi-sector journey, guests should consider changing your flight to one where the temperature is more conducive to your pet’s comfort.

These breed types include:

Note: Sedation is NOT recommended for pet air travel unless specifically recommended by your vet. If you wish to sedate your pet for travel, contact your vet for expert advice. Virgin Australia does not take responsibility for the consequences of sedating pets prior to flying.

A maximum of 2 cages per flight is permitted, within aircraft type limitations. 

Aircraft Type

Total cages allowed per flight





A330, 737





A330 bulk hold only

0-10 kg pet
11-20 kg pet
21-30 kg pet
31 kg + (max 65 kg) pet






 0-10 kg pet & 11 – 20 kg pet






 0-10 kg pet only






  0-10 kg pet only








Generally, only one pet may travel per cage, however:

Up to three pets can travel per cage if they meet all of the following criteria:

• All from the same litter
• Under 6 months old
• Under 14 kgs each

A maximum of two adult animals of comparable size up to 14 kg each, that are compatible, may be shipped in the same container. Animals over 14 kg must travel individually. 

Step Two – What container/crate will I need for my pet to travel safely?

Your pet should have enough room to move comfortably, yet be contained securely during travel in and around the aircraft. It is your responsibility to provide a crate for your pet’s travel which complies with the standard required by Virgin Australia.

Safety is also about our staff and other guests, and Virgin Australia reserves the right to refuse to carry your pet unless a compliant crate is supplied. The following container guidelines are designed to protect the welfare of dogs and cats travelling with us, whilst also complying with occupational health and safety legislation.

If your pet does not have a travel crate/container which meets our requirements or is not the right size for your pet, we may refuse to accept your pet for transport.

A number of reputable suppliers can assist you in selecting the right crate to purchase or hire for your pet, including:

The container must be:

Note: Powerful and strong animals can break through plastic and therefore need to be in a metal container.

The size of the container is very important to the welfare of your pet. The following guidelines must be followed:

Step Three – How do I book?

With limited capacity for pets on each flight, please ensure that you book early. To ensure there is room for your pet to travel on your flight, the booking for you and your pet must be made via our Guest Contact Centre.

Information for Velocity Members

In addition to your own Points, Velocity Frequent Flyer members can earn Points when travelling with a cat or dog on a Virgin Australia domestic flight*. Members will earn a minimum of 300 Points per pet container/crate for each flight sector flown. Silver, Gold and Platinum members earn a 50%, 75% and 100% Points bonus respectively on top of the base Points earned.

To earn Points, you must be travelling with your pet on the same flight and your Velocity membership number must be added to the booking.

You must make an Accompanied Booking for your pet by calling Virgin Australia’s Guest Contact Centre on 13 67 89.

Points Earned per Virgin Australia flight:
# of Pet Carriers Red Silver Gold Platinum
1 Pet Carrier 300 Points 450 Points 525 Points 600 Points
2 Pet Carriers
600 Points 900 Points 1,050 Points 1,200 Points

For more information visit the Velocity website

*Points will not be earned for unaccompanied pets, the international transportation of pets, or Service dogs that travel in the cabin of the Virgin Australia flight. Points will be awarded for a maximum of two pet carriers per booking. Pets will be carried in accordance with the Velocity Frequent Flyer Member Terms and Conditions.

Step Four – How do I prepare my pet for travel?

Check-in for your pet closes 90 -120 minutes ahead of scheduled departure (or depending on port 90 - 50 minutes ahead if departure is scheduled at or before 7:00am). Pets must be checked in prior to closure and cannot be checked in earlier than 2 hours before the scheduled departure time of your flight.

Effective from 04 December 2018:

Guests travelling with their pet are required to utilise self-check-in options, such as online or mobile check-in prior to arrival at Cargo. Your boarding pass must be presented to the cargo agent at time of pet lodgement

Virgin Australia Domestic Pet Travel Guidelines (PDF, 521KB)

Your pet’s checklist for travel:

A week before travel

The day before travel

On the day of travel

Your checklist:

Virgin Australia Cargo Conditions of Carriage

Virgin Australia Domestic Pet Travel Guidelines (PDF, 521KB)