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Female passenger boarding with her pet at THY istanbul airport

Traveling with pets

Dear Passengers,

In addition to current standards, we have improved our services to make sure you have a safe and healthy journey during the COVID-19 process. Please visit the travel information page for current applications and measures we have implemented.


In accordance with the United States Department of Transportation rule effective on January 11, 2021, a service animal is “a dog, regardless of breed or type that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The rule allows airlines to recognize emotional support animals as pets, rather than service animals, and permits airlines to limit the number of service animals that one passenger can bring onboard an aircraft to two service animals.

Pets can travel safely and comfortably: For an additional fee paid at the airport, your pets can enjoy discovering new destinations with you.

You can travel with a pet by paying the pet transportation fee applicable to your route. For more information, see the pet transportation fees tables.

Pet Reservations and Guidelines

To transport a live animal in the cabin or the aircraft hold, the reservation must be made and confirmed no later than 6 hours before flight departure time. Please note: in accordance with aircraft type, there is a capacity limit on the number of animals that can be carried per aircraft. Passengers can complete check-in procedures for pets at check-in counters. The passenger’s name, surname, address, telephone number, number of animals and the name of the pet or pets must be available on a label affixed to the cage or container. Also ensure that the pet’s medical reports are available, along with its certificate(s) of vaccination with ID details and any other necessary documentation. Please be reminded that transportation of pets is not included in baggage allowance and is subject to additional baggage fees.

For pets traveling with you in the cabin, the weight of the animal and the crate must not exceed 8 kg. The crate can be a maximum of 23 cm (height) x 30 cm (width) x 40 cm (length). We advise you to carry your pets in specially produced hard- or soft-side bags, rather than plastic carriers.

Pregnant animals and puppies or kittens under 10 weeks old are not permitted on Turkish Airlines flights.

Full liability of passengers is assumed regarding compliance to health, safety, animal management, and all conditions and permits mandated by governments, regulations, entry and exit permits, health certificates of countries plus restrictions of states, regions or relevant authorities. Requests for traveling with pets may be rejected at airport even if the related reservation is confirmed.

Cats and dogs or cats and birds are not permitted on the same plane, whether or not they are separated by cabins. Dogs and birds may be carried in different cabins, or in the same cabin at the furthest distance possible.

In cases when passengers have provided a medical report prior to the flight stating that they are allergic to animals, pets will be accepted in the cabin according to specific conditions:

  • In cases of a passenger with an allergy statement and a passenger with a pet request travelling on the same flight, the request of the passenger who made the first reservation will be confirmed.
  • In cases of a passenger with an assistance dog and a passenger with an allergy statement travelling on the same USA flight, assistance dogs always take precedence regardless of reservation order. (Pursuant to US Department of Transportation rules)
  • Excluding USA flights and except search & rescue dogs, in cases of a passenger with an assistance dog and a passenger with an allergy statement travelling on the same flight, the order of reservation will be considered.

Pet permitted to be carried within the flight cabin

Cats, dogs and small singing birds (e.g., parakeets, canaries) kept as pets may be transported in the cabin with the passenger. Conditions set below are taken into consideration when pets are brought onboard:

  • Passengers traveling with in-cabin pets: The pet must be kept in a carrier that fits underneath the seat in front of the passenger.
  • Passengers traveling with pets in the cabin may select seats that are not located in rows with emergency exit doors or infant stroller apparatus.

Parrots and pigeons must be transported in the aircraft hold (AVIH).

Service animals (SVAN)

In accordance with the decision taken by the United States Department of Transportation, the rule of transporting ESAN service animals has been abolished effective as of January 11, 2021. If passengers have tickets booked for January 11, 2021 and later and have ESAN dogs booked and approved, they will be transported at a cost under PETC or AVIH rules.

A service animal is a dog, regardless of breed or type, individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Only dogs are accepted as service animals for our flights.

We accept service dogs on Istanbul-USA and USA-Istanbul flights in accordance with U.S. DoT regulations. Passengers traveling with a service dog are required to provide related documents and obtain a booking confirmation at least 48 hours before departure. In addition, passengers travelling with SVAN on these routes are required to complete the U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Air Transportation and U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation forms at least 48 hours before the flight and send them to istoccyhm@tgs.aero and svan@thy.com for exit from the Istanbul station and usaops@thy.com for exit from the United States. Click here to download the relevant forms.

DOT Service Animal Transportation Form (updated with OMB control number)

Service Animal Relief Attestation Form (updated with OMB control number)

Seeing Eye Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Medical Alert Dogs and Rescue Dogs in the SVAN category may accompany the passenger free of charge in the cabin on all routes. For connecting flights before and after these routes, the dog may be transported in a crate in the passenger cabin or in the aircraft hold for an additional charge. This fee is calculated according to the baggage concept applied and is collected at the first departure point. Passengers travelling with a Psychiatric Service Dog who have a connecting flight must carry an empty crate with the appropriate dimensions. Carrying an empty crate is not subject to a fee. For passengers arriving from the United States with a connecting flight from Istanbul, the empty crate may be checked in at U.S. airports. The crate will be presented during the boarding of the connecting flight from Istanbul. After placing the dog in its crate, we ensure that it travels in the passenger cabin or in the cargo area of the aircraft in accordance with our rules. Psychiatric Service Dogs arriving in Istanbul from other airports and continuing to the United States may be transported, in the crate, in the passenger cabin or aircraft hold from the first exit points, in accordance with our rules. During the boarding of Istanbul to United States flights, the empty crate will be transported to the aircraft hold.

SVAN dogs must be trained and certified. Please ensure that the dog’s training certificate, vaccination card, pet passport - identification card and all other documents required according to the rules of the destination country are up-to-date and available. If documents are missing, the SVAN may not be permitted on the flight or may be transported, in the crate, in the passenger cabin or aircraft hold.

A SVAN dog may not be permitted in the cabin or on the flight if it behaves aggressively during check-in and/or boarding; is not well-maintained and clean; exceeds a certain size; causes a safety hazard; and/or if the crew states that the dog may cause interruption of services or may be transported, in the crate, in the passenger cabin or aircraft hold.

On flights other than to the USA and as a condition of permitting service dogs to travel in the cabin, we require passengers travelling with a service dog to provide documentation that the animal will not need to relieve itself, or that the animal can relieve itself in a manner that does not create a health or sanitation issue during the flight. Acceptable documents:

  • A written statement issued by a veterinarian
  • A written statement describing the procedures implemented by the passenger to prevent the dog from relieving itself
  • A signed statement with photographs or other illustrations of the dog’s ability to relieve itself without posing a health or sanitation problem
  • A letter of undertaking stating that, should the dog relieve itself accidentally, the affected area will be thoroughly cleaned by the dog’s owner (please bring bags, napkins, wipes, etc.). All damages that may arise during travel are the passenger’s responsibility.

SVAN dogs must be clean, and wear a vest and/or an identifying harness. Throughout the flight, the dog must be seated in front of the passenger’s feet and the extension of its leash or harness should be attached to the passenger’s belt. It is strictly forbidden for SVAN dogs to sit on passenger seats. When traveling with SVAN dogs, passengers are required to bring a muzzle, in case of barking, bared teeth, etc.

Please note that we may have to change your seat due to safety reasons and the passenger is liable for any damages the SVAN dog might cause.

Transporting pets in the aircraft hold

If your pet's crate exceeds standard dimensions or exceeds 8 kg, it will be transported in the aircraft hold. To ensure that the pet is comfortable and safe, crates must be of sufficient size, properly ventilated and watertight. Please also make sure that a label displaying the pet's information is affixed to the cage.

Pilots make the final decision on whether pets can be transported in the aircraft hold. If the pilot informs staff that ventilation conditions in the aircraft hold are unsuitable, the pet cannot be transported in the aircraft hold.

Pets on international flights

Please ensure that you have all documentation required for your pet by the destination country with you. Otherwise, we will be unable to transport your pet. Please remember that some countries do not allow pets to enter, exit or transit with passengers. In accordance with the rules of the destination country, the valid vaccination card, pet passport - identity card and all other documentation required for service dogs to be accepted on flights must be made available at all times by passengers. We are unable to carry service dogs if these documents are incomplete or missing.

We recommend that you check the rules of the destination country regarding pets. For your pet to be permitted onto the aircraft, you must carry your pet's vaccination card, its ID details and other documents required by the destination country.

Animals which are indigenous to Turkey and under protection, such as the Sivas Kangal, Angora cats and Van cats, may be transported on the condition that permission has been granted by the relevant directorates of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

Transportation of pets in the cabin is governed by the relevant country's laws relating to the entry/exit and transit of live animals. For more information, please review the TIM/TIMATIC sources.

Animals prohibited from flying

Due to international aviation regulations, we do not allow some pets onto our aircraft. Dogs posing a danger such as American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Pitbull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro are not permitted on our aircraft. The American Bulldog, Bandog Tosa Inu, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Caucasian Ovcharka, Douge De Bordeux, Doberman (Pincher Doberman and all Doberman breeds), Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Mastiff (excluding Bull Mastiff), and Wolf Dog Hybrid breeds are permitted on flights, provided that they are transported in the aircraft hold by the cargo unit.

Within the frame of CITES-1, the African gray parrot (scientific name: Psittacus Erithacus) is not accepted on our flights.

Pets sharing crates

In the cabin, two animals of the same species, that are used to being together, may be transported in the same crate. It is possible to carry two birds, two cats or two dogs familiar with each other in the same crate, provided that the maximum weight limit of 8 kg is not exceeded.

A maximum of three animals that are 10-24 weeks old and born of the same mother may be carried in a single crate in the aircraft hold. Animals of the same species (each weighing maximum 14 kg, similarly sized and familiar with each other) may be transported in a single crate in the aircraft hold. If each animal weighs more than 14 kg, each must have their own crate. A maximum of two adult animals of the same species (each weighing maximum 14 kg, similarly sized and familiar with each other) may be transported in a single crate in the aircraft hold. If each animal weighs more than 14 kg, it must have its own crate.

Pets with special conditions

We cannot transport puppies or kittens under 10 weeks of age or which are still nursing, or mother dogs or cats which are still nursing. Puppies or kittens between 10 to 12 weeks of age may be transported upon approval from a veterinarian. In the aircraft hold, a mother cat or dog and up to three newborns of 10 to 24 weeks of age may be transported in the same crate.

It is our priority to ensure that cat breeds with respiratory problems travel in the aircraft cabin, subject to weight limits. These breeds include Iranian cats, Himalayan cats and Burmese cats.

It is our priority to ensure that dog breeds with pug noses/respiratory problems travel in the aircraft cabin, subject to weight limits. These breeds include the Affenpischer, Pekingese, Pug (all breeds), Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Japenese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Spaniel, Chow Chow, English Toy Spaniel, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bull Mastiff (English Mastiff) etc.

Turkish Airlines bears no responsibility for any health issues your pet may experience during or after the flight.