Pets in cabin

Choose your pet travel experience

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.

Is your pet suitable for travel?

All pets (excluding authorised Service/Assistance Dogs) travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft, which is temperature controlled like the aircraft cabin.

Unfortunately, due to container restrictions, only dogs and cats are accepted for transport when accompanying guests. All other animals will need to be transported using an animal transportation supplier.

To be able to travel, your pet must:

  • Be over eight weeks old (this is due to possible dehydration while travelling);
  • Be in good health;
  • Not exceed 65kgs (including the container);
  • Not be unduly aggressive;
  • Be transported in a container which complies with the Virgin Australia guidelines for pet containers and is the correct size for your pet; and
  • Be treated for the Hydatids Tapeworm prior to arrival if travelling to Tasmania.

If your pet has any of the below conditions,

 a Veterinary Certificate confirming that your pet is fit for air travel (dated within two weeks of the travel date) is required for your pet. This is a restriction that applies on all Virgin Australia flights. All pets with the below conditions are flown at the shipper’s risk.

  • Pregnant or has given birth within 48 hours of the planned departure time;
  • Over 12 years of age;
  • Between 8 and 12 weeks old;
  • Sick, injured or recovering from surgery;
  • Has been sedated.

We recommend you familiarise yourself with our conditions of carriage prior to travel.

Some states have specific quarantine requirements. Please ensure you check quarantine requirements prior to travel.

Restrictions

How to book

Following consultation with industry experts, independent advisory bodies and pet transport experts, Virgin Australia Cargo has introduced a pet travel policy for brachycephalic (snub-nosed/flat-faced) breeds.

This policy has been designed to address the inherent risks associated with carrying these types of animals and their cross-breeds whilst working to ensure their utmost welfare during travel. ​

All approved Brachycephalic pet transport specialists are fully aware of these measures which include Vet assessments prior to travel, crate sizes, time of travel, number of flights per day and weather conditions.

Virgin Australia currently requires all guests wishing to book travel with their pet to make a booking with a Commercial Pet Transport Company.

Booking with a Commercial Pet Transport Company will ensure your pet is collected directly from your home prior to departure and delivered to a pre-arranged recipient at your destination to avoid the risk of separation with your pet should you be required to quarantine.

If you wish to send a pet on Virgin Australia domestic services, please contact Virgin Australia Cargo directly on details listed below.

Please note, you will need to arrange your own airline approved crate for travel and arrange all airport pickup and deliveries and adhere to all IATA requirements.

Virgin Australia Cargo
Phone: 13 82 87
Email: cargo@virginaustralia.com

Preparing your pet for flights

To avoid adverse temperatures that may pose a risk to your pet, please avoid booking travel for them during peak temperature periods, such as in the middle of the day.

We strongly recommend that if the temperature is forecast for significant heat and humid and/or it is a multi-sector journey, guests should consider changing their flight to an early morning or late afternoon/evening departure time to ensure your pet’s comfort.

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. A vet certificate will be required for pets sedated for travel. Virgin Australia does not take responsibility for any consequences as a result of sedation.

Much like any passenger, your pet should be fit to travel. To prepare for the trip, we recommend your pet: 

  • Visit the vet for a health check-up prior to any air travel to ensure they are fit and healthy and ready for travel 
  • Spend time in their pet crate (crate training) prior to travel so they are comfortable and familiar with being in a confined pet carrier for the duration of the flight

Animals can become dehydrated during travel, so a water container needs to be fitted to the pet crate. 

For further information on ensuring your pet is suitable and prepared for travel, Virgin Cargo recommends owners to review the following guidance information, along with any additional information that your selected pet transporter has available for you:

What do I need to consider before transporting my pet by air? – RSPCA Knowledgebase

Why and how should I crate train my dog? – RSPCA Knowledgebase

FAQ