Travelling or flying with a service dog

Only certified service dogs are permitted in the cabins of Air New Zealand domestic and international aircraft when they are accompanying and assisting their handler.

Dogs undertaking recognised service dog training are permitted in the cabin on domestic New Zealand services at Air New Zealand's discretion where the flight is being taken as part of the dog's active training.

Air New Zealand is pleased to confirm that there is no charge for this service.

In order to accommodate you and your certified service dog (or dog undertaking recognised service dog training) Air New Zealand requires a minimum of 48 hours notice prior to your intended flight and that you check in 1 hour prior to our standard check in time.

To help prepare for your travel, please note the following:

  • The dog must wear an identification tag with the owner's name, address and telephone number
  • Upon request, you must be able to provide current proof that your dog is a certified service dog
  • During flight your dog must be restrained by its lead and seated on an absorbent mat (which will be provided by us)
  • You will need to prepare your dog for the journey by exercising and limiting its fluid intake for several hours before boarding the aircraft

Air New Zealand will, subject to availability on the day of travel, allocate an extra seat next to you to provide additional floor space for your certified service dog when travelling in Economy class. Where this is not possible we will give you the option of having your dog sit within the space in front of your seat or changing travel dates.

Additionally Air New Zealand complies with all legislation as required by local laws. For example, for flights to and from the USA Air New Zealand complies with the service dog requirements for foreign airlines under the US DoT regulations, including carriage of psychiatric service dogs in accordance with those regulations on flights to and from the USA.

Important information regarding service dogs

  • All service dogs travelling to New Zealand must have an import permit issued by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) indicating that they are certified. If a standard import permit is issued without an assistance dog endorsement the dog must travel as cargo and arrangements must be made via an approved pet transporter where any applicable costs will apply.
  • Due to FAA and CAA requirements to have an obstruction free aisle, travel in Business Premier on a widebody aircraft may not be possible. Please contact us to discuss options if required
  • Most countries that Air New Zealand flies to have strict animal import regulations which must be adhered to (including pre-approval for travel). It is your responsibility to ensure that all such requirements are met
  • It is also important to note that while you may be permitted entry to one destination, not all destinations are the same. Failure to provide details of the required documentation during the booking and check-in process may result in your dog not being permitted to travel. This includes all points on your journey, including transit countries as well as the final destination, and returning to your origin country. Air New Zealand will not under any circumstances accept liability if your dog is not approved for quarantine clearance at any point on your journey or when returning to your home country
  • Any dog that Air New Zealand does not believe to be a certified service dog must travel in the aircraft hold and the applicable costs associated will apply. For further details please refer to our travelling with pets section

If your dog is declined carriage

If Air New Zealand declines to carry your dog in the aircraft cabin and you disagree with that decision, you may request a review via our Policy Manager at

Where requested we will notify you in writing of our decision (including the result of any review) regarding the carriage of your dog in the aircraft cabin.

Glossary of terms

The following is a glossary of terms used in this section:

A certified service dog is a dog that has been trained by, and has current certification issued by, a recognised organisation confirming that the dog currently meets the recognised standard for a service dog. For domestic New Zealand flights this also includes dogs undergoing recognised service dog training who are accompanied by their handler for the purpose of training on that flight.

Recognised service dog training is training conducted (and certified as having been successfully completed) by a recognised organisation.

Recognised standard means having successfully completed training in both the required disability related tasks and public access requirements as set out by a recognised organisation. Additionally training specific to air travel is required for travel in the aircraft cabin.

A recognised organisation is a fully accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or a full member of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). Additionally this includes organisations as set out in the New Zealand Dog Control Act. 

A handler is a physically disabled person who has been matched with a specific certified service dog for the purpose of being assisted in the course of their daily lives. A handler can also be an able bodied person actively conducting recognised service dog training on behalf of a recognised organisation when travelling on domestic New Zealand flights.

A psychiatric service dog is a dog whose purpose is to provide psychiatric support. A psychiatric service dog may be permitted to travel in the aircraft cabin for travel to and from the USA (but not other routes) where it meets all requirements set out in 14 CFR part 382 Subpart E. This includes providing the relevant forms on the animal's training, behaviour and health, and its relief ability.

An emotional support dog is a dog whose purpose is to provide emotional support to its owner. Air New Zealand does not accept these pets for travel in the cabin.

A therapy dog is a dog whose purpose is to provide therapy, affection and comfort to people. A therapy dog generally assists people other than their owner. Air New Zealand does not accept these pets for travel in the cabin.

A comfort dog provides comfort to its owner. Air New Zealand does not accept these pets for travel in the cabin.