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Are Dogs Allowed in Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines Flights?

Information on transporting dogs, cats, and other pets on board Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific flights – straight from the airlines themselves

As an archipelago of at least 7,641 islands, travelling with a pet in the Philippines isn’t as simple as settling our dog safely in the back seat of the car and driving to our destination. Sometimes that can be done, if we’re staying within the same island, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. Whether we’re travelling for pleasure or because we’re really moving to another part of the Philippines, sometimes there’s no other choice but to transport our pets by air.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific are the two biggest airlines in the Philippines so they’re a natural choice when it comes to flying our pets.

Here’s what you need to know about the pet policies and requirements of Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

Philippine Airlines

The Philippine Airlines website has a page dedicated to their policies on transporting dogs and other pets, which makes it really convenient for those of us who need to make flight arrangements for our pets. They accept service animals on board and other animals as “special baggage.”

Are dogs allowed on board?

  • Only service dogs who are accompanying a person with disability are accepted on board Philippine Airlines flights.
  • Service dogs are accepted on both domestic and international flights.
  • The service animal dog must fit on either their human’s lap or foot space.
  • Passengers with disability are allowed:
    • at most two service dogs free of charge on flights to the United States
    • only one service dog on other international and domestic flights
  • Psychiatric service dogs are only accepted on international flights to and from the US. (Philippine Airlines’ specific wording is that they are not allowed in all non-US international flights and domestic flights.)
  • Emotional support dogs are no longer considered service animals and are not allowed into the cabin on all PAL flights.
  • You can get more information about flying with service dogs in the page of the Philippine Airlines website dedicated to Service Dogs (Travel Information > Special Assistance > Service Dogs).

What kind of pets do they transport as special baggage?

  • Philippine Airlines says they accept “pets such as dogs, cats and birds, if and when they are acceptable for carriage as baggage.”
  • Brachycephalic dog breeds, including their cross breeds, cannot be accepted on PAL flights as check-in baggage. These dogs are also known as snub-nosed dogs and include such breeds as boxers, bulldogs, chihuahuas, mastiffs, pugs, rottweilers, and various terriers. A full list can be viewed on the PAL website.

What are the requirements?

  • Valid vaccination certificates
  • Exit/entry permits from the Bureau of Animal Industry

Other things pet owners need to know:

  • Pets must be accompanied by passengers who are at least 12 years old.
  • Pets must be placed in a “secure hard case and leak-proof container.”
  • You should call the PAL Reservations Office at least 48 hours before your scheduled flight to verify if your pet can be accepted as baggage at the airport you’re flying from.

How much will it cost? Pets will be considered excess baggage and charged according to the prevailing rates for excess baggage. The rates will differ depending on the countries you’re flying to and from, so make sure you check the latest prices on the PAL website. For domestic flights, pets up to 5 kg are charged Php 1,000. Just like bags, the heavier the pets are, the higher the charge is, with pets weighing 40-50 kg charged Php 10,000.

Philippine Airlines

Looking for information about Cebu Pacific’s pet policies can be a little frustrating. Unlike Philippine Airlines, they don’t seem to have a specific page in their website detailing their policies and requirements for flying pets. Whenever you search for if pets are allowed in Cebu Pacific flights, or how to transport animals as cargo on Cebu Pacific, sometimes you get pointed to a page on the Cebu Pacific website that no longer exists. The most helpful search result points to one of their Facebook posts but that post is dated 2017. They also have a Twitter post dating back to 2015. Most of the information in these posts are likely still accurate but I figured the best way to get current information that we can be 100% sure of is to really get in touch with Cebu Pacific, so that’s what I did.

Are dogs allowed on board? In their Facebook post, Cebu Pacific replied to a comment asking about this, saying, “Only guide dogs or Seeing Eye Dogs will be allowed on board,” and they gave a link to their website for special service requests. However, that link no longer works.

What kind of pets do they transport as cargo?

  • Cebu Pacific says they transport “animals such as dogs, cats and turtles” on domestic flights, while on international flights they also transport “marine and aquatic animals.”
  • The pets must be at least 3 months old.
  • Snub-nosed pets – also known as brachycephalic pets – are not accepted by Cebu Pacific (and many other airlines) because their narrower airways make them more vulnerable to changes in temperature and air quality and to the stress involved in transport.

What are the requirements?

  • Health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian at most 10 days prior to travel
  • Updated vaccination record showing that the pet has had vaccination against rabies
    • There must be an interval of at least 14 days between the date your pet received rabies vaccination and the date of travel.
  • Shipping permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry – National Veterinary Quarantine Services Division (sometimes referred to as Bureau of Quarantine)
    • The permit must be signed by the quarantine officer at the airport.

Other things pet owners need to know:

  • Cebu Pacific only accepts bookings for pet transport 1-3 days before the flight, presumably because they can only accept pets in aircraft that have adequate ventilation.
  • Once bookings for pets are opened, reservations are done on a “first come, first served” basis.
  • Your booking request can be sent to cargocare@cebupacificair.com. Attach the required documents to your booking request.
  • Your pet must be placed in a sturdy, IATA-compliant pet crate or plastic kennel.
    • The kennel must NOT have an opening above the cage.
    • The top and bottom halves of the crate must have been fastened together using metal hardware.
    • The kennel must be lined with absorbent material (e.g., pet pad).
    • The container must be spacious enough that your pet can lie down, stand, and sit erect.

Shipping permits

Shipping permits from the Bureau of Animal Industry can be requested online.

There are forms that you will need to fill up. Some of the information you need to have on hand include the following:

For your pet:

  • Age and sex of your pet
  • Breed of your pet
    • They do not allow you to just put “mixed” or “undetermined” for dog and cat applications, you need to know the breed.
    • If you’re unsure what to put here, ask your vet.
  • Tags:
    • Collar tag
    • Ear tag
    • Leg band
    • Microchip code
    • Tattoo code
    • None
  • Color of your pet
  • Estimated weight of your pet in kilograms
  • Recent photo of your pet – file should be in JPG, GIF, or PNG format

For the veterinary health certificate:

  • Date issued
  • Name of the person who issued the veterinary health certificate
  • PRC license number of the person who issued the veterinary health certificate
  • Image of the document in JPG, GIF, or PNG format

When your application is complete, its status will be “for review.” The status will progress as follows:

  1. For review
  2. For endorsement
  3. For approval
  4. Approved 

The system will automatically send a notification to your email once the application has been approved.

You can apply for the shipping permit anytime but processing will only be done on weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The maximum processing time for the application is three (3) working days.

Shipping permits are FREE.

This post was originally published at BooksBudgetsAndPets.com, which has now been sunsetted.

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