Aircraft (43)

Which airlines are transporting animals?

Almost every airline which are subject to the IATA regulations are transporting animals. However the following has to / should be checked in advance: breed, loading possibilities, country requirements as well as airline requirements. The airlines differentiate between the following categories: either if your animal flies alone as so-called “manifested cargo” in the heated / climate controlled cargo compartments or on the passenger’s side as excess baggage.

Meaning of IATA

International Air Transport Association. The worldwide aviation association which regulates and determines everything around flying.

Where are the animals loaded on the aircraft?

In planes there are heated “rooms”. Those are called “Cargo Compartment” / “Cargo hold”. The animals in their transport boxes are safely loaded and securely leashed down. If you have several animals we can talk to the airline that the transport boxes are placed next to each other so that your animals have the possibility to see each other.

Which animal species are not allowed to fly on the passenger´s side?

Oversized dogs, short headed / flat-nosed (brachycephaly) so-called “snub-nosed dog” breeds (such as Pug, French bulldog, Shar-Pei and others) and so-called “listed / fighting dog” breeds are not allowed to travel on passengers side. Exotic animals and rodents are also not allowed on the passenger’s side as excess baggage or pet in cabin.

Which dog breed can not fly?

Some airlines have an embargo on breeds such as snub-nosed breeds and they do not transport them as excess baggage or pet in cabin. Most snub nosed dogs are only transported on cargo side.

What means flying dog or cat as excess baggage?

On the passenger’s side animals fly as so-called “excess baggage” or “bulky luggage”. The compartment in the plane is heated and has adequate air circulation.

Flying cat as excess baggage?

Depending on the country and airline requirements the carriage of excess baggage can be done. Many airlines do not transport snub-nosed cats as excess baggage or pet in cabin. Those have to fly as “manifested cargo”.

Flying dog as excess baggage?

Depending on the country and airline requirements the carriage of excess baggage can be done. Many airlines do not transport snub-nosed dogs as excess baggage or pet in cabin. Those have to fly as “manifested cargo”.

Excess baggage or Cargo, what are the differences in animal transport?

If you transport as excess baggage an excess baggage tag will be issued for your pet in addition to your personal ticket. In fact, transport on cargo side is safer, because the IATA and the authorities regulate the animal transport. A seamless transport chain is guaranteed and documented by the Air Way Bill.

Dog or Cat in bulkbaggage?

On the passenger’s side animals fly as so-called bulkbaggage or “excess baggage”. The compartment in the plane is heated and has adequate air circulation.

Does my dog have to go into the cargo hold?

The cargo hold on the aircraft is heated to 21°C because there is a special compartment. There is also an adequate air supply / air circulation.

Up to how many kilos can I transport my dog in the cabin?

The total weight (animal and cage) must not exceed 8,0 kilos.

What is the maximum size of my transport box for the Lufthansa cabin?

With Lufthansa, the size of the required transport box for the cabin must not be larger than 55 x 40 x 23cm

Can I let my dog fly alone in the cabin?

No, an accompanying person must always fly with your dog. Here, however, the country and airline requirements have to be followed.


What kind of bag is allowed on the plane?

The dimensions of a "soft bag" must not be larger than 55 x 40 x 23cm. However, it also applies that your pet must be able to stand upright in the "bag" without any problem.

Is it possible for animals to travel in the aeroplane cabin?

Rodents are not allowed in the cabin. Exotic animals are not allowed in the cabin. A limited number of small dogs and cats (up to 6 Kg) may be allowed.

Always discuss this with the airline you want to fly with. There are the only ones who can agree this with you.

What weather-related issues should I consider, if I travel with my pet?

Which breed do you have?

When travelling with short-nosed breeds of cats and dogs you should pay careful attention to the temperature. If the temperature should rise beyond 27 C at the receiving airport, it is likely that a flight ban will be pronounced.

The endangered breeds include:Pug, Boxer, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Japanese Chin, English Toy Spaniel, Chow Chow, Shi Tzu, Pekinese and Persian Cat.

Animals need our help and protection, because if conditions are too hot for them they will be unable to breathe properly because of their anatomy and may suffocate.

Is there any chance that animals can be carried on a plane as excess baggage? Or how can I fly with my dog as excess baggage?

Some airlines may offer to do this. Your pet must then be checked in as excess baggage in the luggage area. We would like to point out that there is no secure supply chain if you do this, so in the case of any emergency you will have to seek help from the "Baggage Lost and Found Service" call centre of the respective airline.

Likewise, no airline will check the accuracy of your documents in advance, and neither will they check the entry requirements for your planned destination in advance. You are solely responsible for your own pet.

Are professional zookeepers employed in the animal lounge?

Yes, it is considered important that trained zookeepers are involved in the process.

Will the weather conditions in the receiving country affect my animal transport?

Yes, it can sometimes be too hot or too cold. Then, for the sake of the animals, an embargo is pronounced and your animal will be unable to fly. Before departure, we check whether an embargo has been issued or whether a pick-up at the aircraft can be guaranteed by employing special handling methods.

Is there any particular heat or cold embargo which could affect the air transport of my pet?

Yes, depending on the breed, we have to evaluate which animals will be allowed to fly, and which ones will not.

We always act in the interests of animal welfare. If the temperature at your destination airport will be more than 27C, we recommend that you should not transport your animal.

Will my pet be allowed out of the box at the animal lounge before departure?

Yes, it will be let out of the animal transport box before departure, and will receive some water. Shortly before departure, your animal will be put back in the transport container and taken directly aboard the aeroplane.

What happens in an animal lounge at the airport?

Most animal lounges at airports are staffed by trained animal keepers who are responsible for the welfare of animals. An animal lounge looks rather like a quarantine facility, which means high standards of hygiene are expected and must be complied with. Most establishments are monitored by state authorities.

On a transit flight, will my dog be fed and cared for in the respective animal lounge?

Yes, because it is a requirement to provide immediate care for an animal upon landing.

Will the pet transport box be cleaned when my pet does his business?

Yes, the transport box will be cleaned if your animal should happen to soil it before departure. The aim is to make the animal as comfortable as possible during his long journey

Will quarantine regulations be observed?

Yes, because animal lounges at international airports must protect the respective country from the risks of disease and epidemics. A state-run monitoring system ensures compliance with all necessary quarantine regulations.

Who carries out monitoring in the airport’s animal lounge?

In most instances, this supervision is exclusively carried out by state-appointed vets.

Where will my pet be housed when it flies as cargo, or as excess baggage?

Animals are housed in a separate air-conditioned cargo hold. This area is properly heated and ventilated. There is no difference between the aeroplane’s freight and excess baggage areas.

Will I have access to my pet when I'm on the same aircraft?

No, because there is no way to access the cargo hold.

Whereabouts in the aircraft will my pet be housed?

This will vary according to the type of aircraft used. The cargo space is located underneath the passenger deck. All cargo spaces are heated and ventilated in the same way as the passenger compartment.

Is there heating in the aircraft hold where the animals are kept?

Yes, the special cargo space for animals is climate-controlled. The flight declaration informs the captain that he has an animal aboard, and he will then set the environment to suit the species involved.

Is there lighting in the aircraft’s cargo hold for animals?

Yes, dim lighting is used in this area of the cargo hold.

What is the difference between Excess Baggage and Value Cargo?

Excess baggage:

Here your animal is booked in like a suitcase and treated like one for administrative purposes. You must also observe the entry requirements for the respective country, because that remains your responsibility. In you are unsure about what is required, then you should ask the respective airline where you have booked in your pet. On the day of departure, you deliver your pet to the check in/ bulky baggage counter and it will then be placed in the respective suitcase hall in the right position for the runway. This is not an air-conditioned animal lounge but an open, noisy area where all suitcases are stored for departure before everything is brought out to the plane. The same procedure then happens at the receiving end. There is no initial care in an animal lounge. A tip from us, please remember to take enough water with you at the pickup – you will need at least one litre of water, which should not be chilled. After you have cared for your pet please go through the red customs declaration area, because your animal must be examined by a vet and the customs officials.

Conclusion: This option is very reasonably priced, but if anything should happen you are then on your own and will have to deal with lost and found baggage.


Also used to transport diamonds which can never be lost, this secure supply chain procedure is also used in animal shipping. Here, your pet is booked in at the respective airline and handled professionally by an experienced accredited animal carrier. This freight carrier also handles the export customs declaration. In most cases, the correct type of transport box will have been selected before booking and will then be available for the flight. The animal carrier collects your pet on the day of departure and brings it to the animal lounge where it is free to leave the box again. Then your pet goes on to board the aircraft in a KTT special vehicle and is loaded last. From here, the airline takes over, the captain will set the correct heating and ventilation, and the journey is under way. Incidentally, the animal is stowed in the same location as the aircraft’s excess baggage. After the long journey and the landing, the animal is brought to the animal lounge where it will be cared for. After the vet and customs officials have confirmed import clearance, the animal can then be collected. Again, you are recommended to bring at least one litre of water.

Conclusion: This is an expensive but justified option, because using well-trained operatives and a secure supply chain means you will always know where your pet is.

Can GRADLYN book an animal in excess baggage on my behalf?

No, we cannot do that. You will also have to ask the airline for the country code which applies.

Will any box size be accepted for excess baggage?

You should check this via the airline you want to fly with. For oversized animals, e.g. housed in this animal transport box 122 x 81 x 88cm, the airline may only be able to offer carriage in the cargo hold.

Why can a large animal transport box be carried as cargo but not as excess baggage?

This has something to do with the handling of the box and loading it on to the plane. Large boxes often need to be lashed to an aircraft pallet. This takes place in an animal lounge and cannot be undertaken elsewhere.

Are there countries which refuse to accept animals brought in via excess baggage?

Yes, there are countries which only allow entry with an "Import Permit". This permit will also stipulate the import regulations and indicate the vaccinations which your pet needs for entry.

Australia, for instance, has no rabies cases. Thus, animals can only enter as manifest cargo, because all imports are very strictly monitored.

South Africa, as well as the Emirates and some other countries, also follow this example.

How long does it take to check an animal into excess baggage at the airport?

You must ask the respective airline where you have registered your pet.

And where exactly will my pet be kept before being loaded on to the plane?

You hand over your pet at the check in counter. From there, he will be brought into the luggage hall where he will wait along with the suitcases prior to loading. This area is not an animal lounge, it is a cargo hall where suitcases arrive on a conveyor belt to be collected.

Do I need to register my dog for export with the customs authorities?

Yes, always.

Is it illegal to take an animal with me as excess baggage?

If you register the animal with the customs authorities as an export, then no.

Where should I go to hand over my pet?

To the excess baggage counter.

Do I have to go to the Customs and Border Control (Veterinary) after landing?

Yes, you will have to visit the vets and customs officials, otherwise your pet will be illegally residing in that particular country.

Animal Care (7)

Please think of your pet first.

A holiday for (only) 14 days always means stress for your pet. New smells, viruses, different languages etc. can quickly ruin the vacation. Your vet, who knows your pet very well is not around either. Due to that we only recommend a shorter journey by car. Nevertheless it is your decision and of course we are happy to help as “customer is king”. The flight costs differ in the following categories: either if your pet flies alone as “manifested cargo” in the heated cargo compartment or on the passenger’s side as “excess baggage”. Both ways must be requested separately from the airline.


Can you carry out veterinary formalities for me when my pet has to fly?

We recommend that you visit your own vet yourself, because he knows you and your pet. However, if you are unable to do this because of your impending relocation, we will take charge of everything that must be done on your behalf. For example, the European Vaccination Certificate, an official health certificate from a qualified vet, or CITES export documentation in the case of protected animals.

Can animals stay at Gradlyn overnight?

Our offices are too uncomfortable, so we include an option to accommodate your pet near the airport in selected pet boarding & animal lounges. Your pet will be looked after by specialist, trained animal keepers.

What is involved in handing over my pet?

The exact time of the hand over will be shown in your Gradlyn booking confirmation/ flight data. This is typically four hours before the scheduled departure. You bring all the relevant animal documents to our office, for example, a European vaccine certificate, an official health certificate, or any necessary import permits ... We examine these and take copies for ourselves and for the respective airline. (We undertake this service on behalf of the airlines to avoid any possible mistakes or mix-ups.) Then we take your pet and bring it to the animal station ready to board the plane.

Who will care for my pet during the flight?

There will be no in-flight care because there is no access to the air-conditioned cargo space.

Will anyone take care of my pet before departure?

Yes, your pet will be given water before departure.

When will my pet be picked up from the plane at the destination airport, and who will do this?

As soon as the plane lands, the animal is first unloaded by the respective ground traffic service, and then taken to the animal lounge where it will receive post-flight care.

Sedation (4)

How bad is flying for my dog?

Flying is the same for your dog as it is for us humans. It is important that enough water will be available to compensate the loss of water after flying.


Does my dog need sedation or medication before being transported by plane ?

No, in fact it is strictly forbidden to sedate animals. Unfortunately, veterinarians mistakenly give tranquilizers to pet owners all the time, but this is forbidden in the best interest of the animal! In the airplane there is another air pressure, so that the heart circulation is lowered by nature. An additional sedation can therefore lead to cardiac arrest.

Should I give my dog or my cat a sedative for the flight?

No, because the air pressure will be different, and this may slow down the animal's cardiovascular system. By taking sedatives, the cycle would shut down so much that your pet may not wake up. If your vet recommends a sedative of the type used for road transport, this is wrong. Please talk to your vet who will be happy to give you more information. If your pet is sedated before departure, he will not be allowed to fly that day, and the airline will not cover your rebooking costs.

Can my pet get a sedative from the airline?

No, it is forbidden to sedate animals. If an animal is sedated it will not be able to fly.

Booking (11)

Do I have to book my pet with the airline if I buy the passenger ticket from GRADLYN?

Of course not. We are happy to do this for you and book your pet with the respective airline. We also check the loading in advance so that a smooth process is guaranteed.

Who registers / book my pet with the airline?

GRADLYN will register / book your pet and after the airline has reconfirmed your ticket will be confirmed.

When should I start planning my pet/s’ transport?

The airlines accept the booking requests earliest two weeks or 30 days before departure.
Depending on the destination country, you should at least start 3 months prior departure to deal with the regulations for the country of destination.
Exceptions concern Australia and New Zealand. Here you should start planning already one year before, because the handling of the documents alone takes a minimum of six months.

Will I get the Gradlyn flight data once I have made a booking?

Yes. You will receive this information as soon as we have received confirmation of your animal shipment from the respective airline.

My pet is very tall, can GRADLYN still arrange the transport?

Yes. In principle this can be accommodated on all international flights.

However, it sometimes happens that a few aeroplanes on national flights may not have enough clearance to get larger animals through the doors. If this occurs, then loading is not possible. In such circumstances, it’s always advisable to check such details with forwarding flights in advance.

How should I supply a written order for my animal transport?

Please complete the necessary travel plan on our website, and we will then contact you within 1-2 business days. An e-mail with all the required information may, of course, suffice, but our experience shows that something important is always missing. Consequently, the process can end up taking longer than it should.

Why can’t I book animals into the cargo hold of the respective airline myself?

Airlines will only accept animal bookings from accredited animal carriers. The only exception applies to transport via the so-called excess baggage service in the oversize luggage area.

Which should I book first, my pet booking with Gradlyn or my own passenger booking?

Please discuss this with us in advance, because the entry regulations and local veterinary opening hours at the import destination airport must be taken into consideration.

I would like my pet to fly tomorrow, is it possible to make arrangements very quickly?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. Your pet must be booked in with the airline at least 3 working days before the planned departure date. Checks must be made to ensure there is enough space in the designated hold. And in addition, all parties involved must be informed about the impending transport in order to guarantee a secure supply chain.

How far in advance should I book transport for my pet with GRADLYN?

From 4-30 days before your planned departure day.

When should I check my animal in at Gradlyn?

Four hours before the scheduled departure. This information will be clearly specified in the flight data you will receive from us.

Gradlyn Petshipping (20)

Flying with pets, that´s how it works:

Valid rabies vaccination. Your pet should get used to the transport box in good time. Putting an item of clothing in the box is always a good idea. Follow the country requirements.

Can you deliver my pet to my home in the new destination country?

Using our international partners around the globe, we can also provide a Comfort Service which will deliver your pet to your new home.

When was Gradlyn established?

In 1968.

Which airlines do Gradlyn work with?

All IATA-registered airlines who have a designated AVI representative for handling AVI issues (Live Animals – Cargo Code).

Do Gradlyn only transport animals?

Yes. It is our passion and we love what we do.

Which animal carriers does GRADLYN work with in foreign countries?

We only use selected animal carriers we know personally and have worked with on several occasions. Because we are represented on various boards (IPATA and ATA), being accepted as part of our worldwide network is an attractive proposition.

What languages are spoken at Gradlyn?

Our employees are trained forwarding agents who speak German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Filipino, Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian and Greek.

Does Gradlyn fly animals to all airports across the world?

Throughout 50 years of company history, we have constantly expanded our route network, so you could say that is almost true. But we have still not got around to Antarctica…

What exactly does Gradlyn do?

Gradlyn Petshipping specializes in the transport of live animals. It was the first animal carrier in Europe, and is still a pioneering force which sets today‘s Global Petshipping standards.

Is Gradlyn a training company?

Yes, we have been a training company officially certified with Frankfurt’s IHK Chamber of Commerce and Industry for more than 30 years.

How strict are your safety standards?

IATA-AVI safety standards apply to all valuable freight transported by air so the supply chain must be complete and verifiable. Each airline must have a designated IATA – AVI representative in their company who meets the respective standards.

All our employees at Gradlyn G.K.Airfreight Service GmbH have been properly trained. We are very proud to be able to say that each employee has completed the certification process in accordance with IATA guidelines.

Will Gradlyn handle any animal transport, even if we do not fly over Germany. For example, flights such as USA to Brazil, or Brazil to Australia?

Yes, of course, we can handle all such animal transports, because that's what we specialise in. Many companies rely on us when their employees have pets which need to be transported.

Do I have to fly with the animal, or can it fly alone?

You can choose to do either.

What happens to the animals when there is no direct flight and a transit stop is required?

Where there is no direct flight to your destination, we will choose the best possible route. As a rule, the animals are fed and cared for at the first landing destination before boarding the forwarding flight.

Where will my pet be kept at the transit airport?

The animal will first be picked up at the aircraft and then taken to the animal lounge. There, it will be fed and cared for, and later it will be brought out again to board the forwarding flight.

Who will collect my pet from the aircraft and put it on board the next forwarding flight?

This is usually done by the ground handling services at the local airport.

Will my pet spend the night in the transit box?

If the animal is kept in the animal lounge he will naturally be released from the box. However, the open box is also placed in the kennel so he can sleep in there if he prefers.

Who will care for my pet at the transit stop and provide it with food and water?

This will be the responsibility of the animal lounge at the respective airport. This task is a legal requirement.

Will my pet be allowed out of the box during the transit stop?

If this is a short transit stop (a plane-to-plane transfer of 3 hours or less) then no. Water will still be given, and once again this is a legal requirement.

If the transit stop is longer than this, then of course there is more time and the animal will be allowed out of the box, and will be fed and cared for.

With a short transit stop of around 3 hours or less the animal will stay in the transport box and will be given some water. Of course, if it is a longer transit stop, then the animal can leave the box and will stay in the animal lounge where it will be cared for by the keepers.

If my pet has soiled the box during the flight, will the box be cleaned at the transit stop?

Generally speaking, everything possible is done to allow the animal to fly in a clean transport container.

Once someone realises that a box has been soiled, the cage is then cleaned immediately. This is always done in an animal lounge and not on the runway.

Documents (9)

Flying with animals, what are the requirements / regulations?

The country and airline requirements always have to be followed and strictly fulfilled.


Are there any pet import requirements for the destination country?

Yes, for example import permits. For each country there are certain import requirements, which we will gladly inform you of when you place a confirmed order, as these must be strictly fulfilled.

What import requirements are given for my pet?

For each country there are certain legal import requirements, which we will be happy to provide you with a confirmed order, because these must be strictly fulfilled.

Does my dog need a health certificate?

Yes, usually a health certificate issued by the normal “pet veterinarian” is required. However for some countries you will need a health certificate which must be issued by the official state veterinarian / district veterinary office.

What documents will my pet need for an international journey?

Each country has its own entry requirements, so you must always prepare your documentation carefully to avoid any problems when importing your pet. Generally speaking, you will receive such information from us along with your booking confirmation. Because the detail of such entry requirements can vary so much, it is very difficult to generalise about what is expected. Your booking confirmation will include the country specific information you need.

What happens if the documents are wrong and entry is refused?

If the documents are invalid, an entry ban can be issued by the border inspection post at the receiving airport. That means your animal must fly back on the same plane or else go into a local quarantine station for at least 30 days. You will be required to meet all the costs involved.

Is the European Animal Vaccination Passport sufficient for importation purposes?

This will allow free movement within Europe. Outside of Europe you must observe the regulations which apply for the respective country.

Can my pet fly with copies of the documentation, or are the originals mandatory?

Your pet may only travel when accompanied by the original documents.

Who is responsible for the accuracy of these documents?

The owner of the animal in the departure country is always the person held responsible.

Collar and Leash (5)

Do I have to bring a leash?

The dog leash should be fixed on the crate and not in the crate. Your dog could strangle itself with it in the crate.

Does an address tag has to be attached to the collar?

The collar should be fixed on the crate and not in the crate. Your dog could strangle itself with it in the crate or get stuck in it.

Does my animal need a muzzle while flying?

A muzzle is prohibited because it must be ensured that your dog can drink. Emergency supplies also must be ensured.

Should my pet keep his collar on during a long journey?

No, because your pet could injure himself while trying to remove it.

Should I attach the leash to the box?

It’s wise to attach a collar and leash to the box. They will then be ready if needed during an emergency.

Costs (9)

Do I need an insurance or the insurance number?

The airline insures your pet for EURO 27,50 per KG in accordance with the Warsaw / Montreal Agreement. The Warsaw Agreement has now been replaced for many states by the Montreal Agreement. Therefore “Montreal Agreement”


Can we take out an additional insurance?

Yes, we can organize that. Tariff: EUR 95.00 once per policy and 2% of the value of your pet. However, no insurance is liable for natural death!


Is my pet insured on the flight, and if so by whom?

An Air Waybill regulates the insurance according to the Montreal Convention of 28 May 1999. The liability extended is approximately EUR 27.00 per kilogram. If you would like additional insurance, you must order this from us as an extra. A one-off policy costs EUR 95.00 plus an additional 1.5% of the value of the goods insured.

What is the cost of a supplementary flight insurance for my pet?

EUR 95,00 for a one-off policy, plus an additional 1.5% of the value of the goods insured.

Example: Goods valued at EUR 10,000.00 x 1.5% = EUR 150.00 in additional insurance costs.

What is the cost of transporting animals from one continent to another?

There is no standard cost. In general, it depends on the size of the animal and where it is due to fly. Some film clips and details of your travel plans will help us to respond to your enquiry.

What fees will I be charged when flying an animal?

Depending on your chosen route to the destination country and the size of the animal, please allow between EUR 600.00 – EUR 3.000,00

Why does freight transport cost much more than simply calling the airline direct?

This is easy to explain, because if you transport your animal as excess baggage it will travel as a suitcase. If you should then lose it, you will be literally dealing with lost and found baggage. (Customer - check in - bulky goods - luggage hall – transport luggage consignment to the aircraft - flight - transport luggage consignment from the aircraft - luggage hall - bulky goods / luggage belt - customer)

Things are very different indeed when flying in cargo. This method is described as a complete supply chain and the animal transport is covered by an air waybill (a contract between the airline, the customer and the animal carrier). (Customer - animal carrier - animal lounge - driving the cargo order to the aircraft - flight - driving the cargo order from the aircraft - animal lounge - animal transport - customer)

Why don't you fly my pet with Condor or Air Berlin, because these are much cheaper than Lufthansa, for example?

Low-cost airlines do not offer a sophisticated freight service.

Why is an animal transport so expensive?

When you know about the whole process, you will understand why this is so. Each part of the transport procedure is handled by trained staff. The complete supply chain is monitored, and all elements are controlled via the air waybill. The Air Waybill is a contract between all the parties involved. (the airline – the customer – the animal carrier)

Airfreight is an expensive product. When you fly an animal, you not only have to calculate the volume of the transport box, on animal-rights grounds you must also allow an air space around the box. After all, each party wants your animal to arrive safe and healthy in the receiving country.

Pet Carrier (16)

How and where do I get my transport box for my animals journey?

The airlines do not provide transport boxes due to epidemic reasons. Unfortunately even pet stores often have the wrong boxes because those are not allowed by the IATA despite aircraft advertising or the boxes do not have the correct size. We have a “box size calculator” for you which recommends the right box for your animal.

Does my flight box have the right size?

Your animal must be able to stand upright in the box without touching the ceiling. Your animal also must be able to turn around in the box without any problem.

Is your dog small enough for the cabin of the aircraft or does it have to go into the cargo hold?

If your dog is shorter than 23cm the airline still can allow this. However the country and airline requirements have to be followed.

What does a transport box for flights cost?

Depending on the size and condition the price is between EURO 60,00 up to EURO 500,00.

Can I put a t-shirt in the box?

Yes, you can put socks and t-shirts in the box. The familiar smell gives your pet a feeling of security during the journey.

Can plastic screws be used?


Can I transport several animals in the same air transport box?

From our many years of experience, we would always advise against doing this. Even when animals are used to living together, the weaker animal has no refuge and thus risks being injured by the stronger one.

Do you also hire out transport boxes for the flight?

No, this is prohibited for reasons of hygiene and medical regulations. Only new or clean boxes may be used for air cargo travelling in the hold.

How long must my dog or cat spend in the box altogether during the trip?

This will be: 2 hours before departure + the respective flight time + 2-4 hours after landing.

Can I purchase an animal transport box suitable for air transport from you?

Yes, we stock animal transport boxes in all sizes.

What do I have to consider if I get my own transport box?

Make sure that the transport box you acquire is approved under the appropriate IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations. No other type of boxes are allowed. We often find that an aeroplane symbol has been printed on a sale label. Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with the IATA, and will not validate a box which is otherwise inadequate.

Can I put my pet’s favourite blanket in the box?

Yes. You can put in a towel or a small baby blanket.

Can the box have plastic doors?


Can a cage door be positioned at the top of the box?


What kind of transport box will my pet need for the flight?

Any transport box used must conform to the appropriate IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations.

Can I put toys in the transport box?

No, that is not allowed.

Vaccination (3)

Does my dog or cat need to be vaccinated?

If your animal is fully grown it has to be vaccinated. For puppies, the proven rabies vaccination of the puppies mother is usually sufficient. However, each country has its own regulations, which must be strictly followed!


Will my pet need a rabies vaccination for travel purposes?


What vaccinations and regulations must my pet comply with to leave or enter a country?

Each country has its own entry requirements, and these can change from one day to the next. We are in daily contact with our international partners to avoid being caught out by surprise changes in regulations and requirements.

Pick Up (2)

Can you arrange for collection and delivery in connection with air transport?

Yes. Our service uses the very latest modern vehicles.

Will you collect my dog or cat from my home?

Yes, we employ experienced drivers of long-standing who know how to transport your animal safely. We are also happy to pick up animals at night to avoid traffic jams and unnecessarily long journey times. We use unmarked vehicles which have heating and air-conditioning.

Vehicles (4)

Do you have a European transport permit?

Yes. We are authorised as hauliers in accordance with Article 11 (1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 (22 December, 2004) concerning the protection of animals during transport.

Our approval number is: DE 0641 2000 10322 / TYPE 2

Our approval number for in-transit tracking is: DE 0000 5210

What type of vehicles do you use?

Our vehicle fleet consists of unmarked Mercedes Sprinter vans. They are properly insulated, heated and air conditioned, and are fitted with air suspension and GPS monitoring. A Thermologger is used to monitor the temperature throughout the entire transport period. If there is any temperature disturbance, this system sends a warning to the driver.

How high are the noise levels in the cargo compartment of your special vehicle for animal transports?

Our vehicles are very well insulated. Therefore, the noise levels are the same as in the driver's cab.

Are your drivers trained to handle animals?

Yes. All our drivers and employees receive internal and external training.

Exotic Animals (5)

What is a CITES document?

CITIES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The CITES Export & Import documentation is mandatory for species-protected animals.

In Germany, requests for CITES approval must be submitted to the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation in good time prior to the intended import, export or re-export of live animals. Applications should be made 7 weeks prior to the planned transport wherever possible. If all requirements are met, the statutory processing period is 4 weeks. If any additional documents or further information has to be obtained and/or requested, this deadline may be extended.

Who actually issues me with a CITES permit?

The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

How should species-protected animals be flown or transported?

For all species-protected animals, the transport process must be handled by an accredited animal carrier.

Can GRADLYN transport exotic species such as insects, molluscs, echinoderms, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds?

Yes, we already have experience of transporting many of these species.

Do GRADLYN also transport zoo animals such as elephants, monkeys, rhinos, giraffes etc.?

Yes, we have already handled the transport and delivery of all these animals. We are especially proud of one of our largest transports where eleven elephants were flown from Central Africa to the United States aboard a 747 freighter (not wild elephants, but orphaned elephants which had been hand-reared).

Import (15)

What is a commercial invoice?

A customs declaration requires a statistical export trade invoice which excludes VAT. The following information must be stated on the invoice: sender, consignee, invoice no., description, statistical total.

What do customs officials monitor at airports?

All goods flows are registered and statistically monitored by customs officials.

Why does a customs declaration have to be completed for each export?

In plain language, when an animal is sold abroad, the commercial invoice issued is VAT exempt. This must then be submitted with your end-of-year tax declaration and accompanied by your customs export certificate. (A statistical export commercial invoice does not have to match the commercial invoice submitted with your tax declaration.)

Do you also undertake road transport of animals within Germany?

Yes, we are allowed to transport animals throughout the EU via our special vehicles. Our European approval number is DE 0641 2000 1032

Does GRADLYN also transport animals across Europe, and why is this necessary?

Yes, we act throughout Europe. Sometimes there are no available flights from smaller airports, so we pick up the animals and fly them directly to their destination from an international airport.

Why do you need an EORI number for a commercial transport?

An EORI number (Economic Operational Registration and Identification number) is a customs reference number which facilitates customs clearance between authorised traders. Customs operations in the EU are no longer possible without an EROI number.

Can GRADLYN create an export certificate, and how does this help?

Yes, we can register your pet at the respective customs office with your EORI number. To do this we will need an ex-VAT statistical commercial invoice. There may be a customs inspection after the statistical customs declaration, but if the identity of the animal to be exported has already been secured, there will be nothing to prevent the export going ahead. Proof of identity is shown by the exit note with the customs application, and this is equivalent to an official export certificate. Then, for tax and official purposes, your animal is considered to be no longer in Germany.

Where can I pick up my pet on arrival?

If your pet travels as manifest cargo via an accredited animal carrier, then the animal can usually be picked up from the respective animal lounge.

Is there a vet or veterinary surgeon at the airport?

Each airport can call upon a vet in an emergency. Each international airport has border vets who will check import documents. All animal health regulations must be observed, and these will be monitored by the veterinary border inspection post.

What is a veterinary border inspection post?

A veterinary border inspection post monitors the import and export of live animals in order to protect the country from the risk of disease.

What happens to my pet after landing?

In most cases, your pet will first be unloaded from the aircraft and taken straight to the animal lounge in a closed, air-conditioned vehicle. Once there, he will receive his initial post-flight care. Then, a customs and veterinary clearance must take place.

Will the customs officials examine the animal after the flight?

Yes, the customs officials will check the customs declaration. Their job is to verify the identity of the animal which is about to enter the respective country. After customs clearance, the animal is then deemed to have been legally imported.

Will there be a veterinary check after landing?

Yes, after each international flight the veterinary border inspection post will check the animal and its accompanying documentation. Once it has been pronounced free from disease, release will be granted and your pet may then legally enter the country.

How long does an animal import clearance take?

Between 4-6 hours, depending on the airport.

When will I see my pet after landing?

Your pet will be released for import once customs clearance has been obtained and the veterinary border inspection post checks have been completed.

Payment (4)

Will my new employer pay for transporting my pet to my new location, or can I receive reimbursement for the costs?

Having gained an international post at your company would suggest you are a valued employee. In most cases, employers will assume responsibility for an animal transport because, even though it is an animal, it is considered an important commodity. Just ask your HR department.

How do I settle the bill for my animal transport?

Animal transports are usually payable in advance. The payment options are cash, EC, credit card, bank transfer and PayPal.

Will there be additional costs if I pay by PayPal or credit card?

Yes, there is a credit card charge of 2.5% because we are also charged fees.

What are GRADLYN’s payment terms?

In general, all transport must be paid before departure.

Food and Water (6)

How many hours before the planned departure should I give my pet a final meal?

Because we cannot predict how your animal’s digestive system functions, we can only say that animals should always fly with an empty stomach.

What food will my pet be given during the flight, and on arrival?

No animal feeding is allowed before and during the flight. On arrival, water should be given immediately and then some food.

How much food can I give my pet for the flight?

There must be no food in the box. However, you can put a small amount of feed (200-400g) in a separate bag which must be firmly attached to the box. An initial ration of the usual feed can then be given at the receiving airport.

When should my pet be given water for the last time before departure?

Immediately before departure, some water should be poured into the drinking bowls provided for this purpose.

How often is water refilled during the flight?

To be honest, your pet will not be given water during the flight.

Can I bring some water with me when I pick up my pet after landing?

Yes, it’s a great idea to have around a litre of bottled water available. However, the water should not be chilled.

Noises (2)

How high are the noise levels in the aircraft cargo hold used for animals?

The noise level is the same as in the passenger compartment above. Just like human passengers, the monotonous turbine noise will mean your pet sleeps most of the time.

Will it be too loud for my beloved pet on the airport runway?

Should your pet travel as excess baggage, it will be in the luggage hall before departure. That is a very noisy environment because the suitcases come into this hall on a conveyor belt. Your animal will then be brought to the aircraft on an open suitcase trolley.

If your pet is travelling with an animal carrier, he will usually be brought from the animal lounge to the aircraft in a closed air-conditioned vehicle. This method is safer for your pet, and much more pleasant.