Organize your Trip

Travel documents, special assistance, moms-to-be, children and pets: Find out how to better organize your trip.



Not every aircraft has animal transport facilities and the maximum size of the pet carriers they can take on board varies. Please find out if your pet can travel with you by calling our Special Assistance service.

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Some advice to prepare your trip:

  • Get your pet used to a carrier or cage at least five days before your trip if your pet will be traveling in the cargo hold
  • Give your pet frequent but small quantities of water before take-off
  • Feed your pet up to four hours before take-off and make sure it has enough food for the entire trip
  • Check with your vet to see if your pet might benefit from tranquilizers

Other criteria for the pet's comfort and safety

  • The bottom of the carrier must be covered with a blanket, newspaper or other absorbent material. Straw is forbidden
  • The pet must not have a leash or a muzzle. In addition, these accessories must not be left inside the carrier
  • The pet must not show signs of physical tiredness and must not be injured. Check with your vet to see if your pet might benefit from tranquilizers and remember to put at least a bowl inside the carrier so that your pet is comfortable during the journey. The bowl must be empty, fastened and accessible without opening the carrier.

If these conditions are not met or if the pet disturbs passengers, the captain can transfer it to the cargo hold.

If you want advice and suggestions on the best way to plan your trip with your pet, please visit the website of Ministry of Health.

Not every aircraft has animal transport facilities and the maximum size of the pet carriers they can take on board varies. Please find out if your pet can travel with you by calling our Special Assistance service.




In order to travel within the EU, cats, dogs and ferrets must have the following:


  • A passport issued by a veterinarian listing the vaccinations your pet has received (valid and up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate is compulsory) and attesting to its health
  • Legible tattoo or microchip


In order to travel within the United States, cats and dogs must have one of the following documents or information:


1. Valid rabies vaccination certificate


2. CDC (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention) issued unimmunized dog permit (for dogs inadequately immunized against rabies). For further information and to apply for permit, visit the web site


3. Written (or oral) statement that the dog has been living in a rabies-free country for the past 6 months or since birth. Check the countries list here ->



There may be other restrictions on bringing in certain animal species depending on the destination country.

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Certain conditions must be met for the pet to travel with you in the cabin:

  • Transportation of animals, both in the cabin and the hold, is only permitted if the animal is placed in a suitable container.
  • The animal must remain closed within its container for the entire duration of the flight.                
  • For the entire journey, the pet must remain in a carrier no larger than:
    • 24 cm high
    • 40 cm long
    • 20 cm wide
  • The pet must be comfortable and able to turn around and lie down in the carrier. The carrier must be well ventilated, waterproof and sturdy, preferably semi-rigid or soft as long as it meets the previous conditions. If the top of the carrier is soft or semi-rigid, it can be slightly (2–4 cm) higher than indicated. 
  • The carrier may hold up to five animals of the same species as long as the total weight does not exceed 10 kg (including carrier and food)

These conditions must be met for the pet to travel in the hold:

  • The pet must travel in a rigid carrier
  • The body of the carrier must be made from fiberglass or hard plastic only
  • If the carrier has wheels, these must be removed. If they are retractable, they must be locked with adhesive tape
  • CAGES for transporting DOGS must:
    • have a metal door with a locking system that locks the closure points at the top, middle and bottom of the door
    • The side air inlets of CAGES for transporting DOGS must be made of metal, not plastic
  • The dimensions of the CAGE may vary based on the type of aircraft being used for the journey. For further information, please contact our Call Center


Recommendations for the transportation of brachycephalic races in the hold

Brachycephalic races or snub nose, are particularly susceptible to stress and temperature. To ensure the wellness and safety of your pet, we suggest you to evaluate carefully the overall health of your pet and consequently to assess the risks associated with this type of transport.

Based on IATA Regulations, it includes the following races:


  • Affenpinscher
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chihuahua (apple-headed)
  • Chow Chow
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • English Mastiff
  • French Bulldog
  • Japanese Chin
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Pekingese
  • Presa Canario
  • Pug
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Silky Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Valley Bulldog
  • Yorkshire Terrier


  • Burmese
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Persiano
  • Himalayano 

For more information please contact our Call Center.


In order to prevent the spread of avian (bird) flu, the EU and the Ministry of Health have placed a total ban on the importation of birds from Asia, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, Romania and the Balkan Peninsula.


In order for your pet to be able to travel with you, you must pay an additional ticket charge, which will vary depending on the pet's weight, the departure and arrival airports, and whether it will travel in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Check all the informations about the additional charges.


You are entitled to a refund of the extra baggage allowance fee in the following cases:

  • Illness/death (in each case, not flying due to illness or death must be proven by a valid hospital certificate or death certificate):
    • of close relatives: spouse, children including adopted children, parents, brothers/sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and sons-in-law and daughters-in-law; in this case, proof of the relationship must be provided with the appropriate certificate (certificate of family status or other certificate issued by a local council or registry office)
    •  of passengers who are relatives or friends on the same PNR
    • of the pet

In any case, the cancellation due to death/illness must be supported with a death certificate, a hospital certification or a veterinarian certificate validating the impossibility for the pet to travel due to illness.



Alitalia supports non-profit social enterprises to transport animals (cats and dogs) for the purposes of adoption.

Discover how this works by asking for special rates.