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4 IATA Compliant Airline Pet in Hold Crates

IATA compliant airline pet in hold crates cargo checked baggage cats and dogs

Pet safety is of paramount importance when flying a cat, dog or other animal in the aircraft hold, so an International Air Transport Association (IATA) compliant airline crate is vital. Since large dogs can’t fly in the cabin of any commercial airline in 2022, the only option for those of us with pets on the heavier side of the scales is to fly them in he hold. The exception to the rule is, of course, certified Assistance & Service Dogs. Sometimes, even small cats and dogs must fly in the hold as cargo, which is the case if the destination country doesn’t accept pets arriving in the cabin. When cats and dogs fly in the hold of the plane, as opposed to the passenger cabin, they travel either as checked baggage or cargo. However, it’s important to be aware that, in recent years, numerous safety concerns have been raised due to issues with pets flying in the ventilated hold of commercial aircraft. In particular, the large number of incidents involving snub nosed (brachycephalic) cat and dog breeds, has resulted in ethical airlines refusing to transport these pets in the hold. Another exception to airline pet travel policies for animals flying in the hold is dog breeds labelled dangerous or fighting, such as Pit Bulls. However, most other cats and dogs, are allowed to fly in the hold, so if it’s your first time flying with your furry friend, also be aware that the cat or dog airline kennel must comply with the IATA Live Animal Regulations (IATA LAR). Here, you’ll find everything you need to know to fly your pet in a safe airline transport crate. We’ve thoroughly investigated our selection, as pet safety is always our priority. Read on for the advantages and disadvantages of 4 IATA compliant airline crates for cats and dogs flying in the hold in 2022, including a CR 82 IATA compliant kennel for dangerous dogs..

IATA compliant airline pet in hold crates cargo checked baggage cats and dogs

Estimated reading time: 17 minutes

Countries that ONLY Accept Pet Arrivals in Hold

Although small cats and dogs can usually fly in the cabin with pet friendly airlines in 2022, some destinations only accept pets arriving in the aircraft hold. So, even if you’re flying with a small pet, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary for your cat or dog to fly in the hold as cargo.

If your pet is flying in the cabin, you’re in the wrong place! So, check out 8 IATA Compliant Pet in Cabin Carriers!

Some global countries and territories, such as the United Kingdom (UK), Australia and New Zealand don’t permit pets to enter in the cabin. For these countries, all pets must arrive in the hold of the aircraft, and usually as cargo rather than checked baggage.

In addition, be aware that many countries, and airlines, ban certain dog breeds classed as ‘dangerous’, so you’ll have to comply with this aspect of pet travel too.

Selecting an Airline Pet in Hold Travel Crate

Before you purchase an IATA compliant airline crate to fly your cat or dog in the hold, it’s important to do your homework. Your cat or dog’s travel kennel must:

  • Have the minimum inner dimensions permitted by the IATA
  • Comply with IATA specifications for pets travelling in hold 
  • Not exceed the maximum dimensions permitted by your chosen airline 

Airline weight restrictions for cats and dogs flying in the hold are for your pet and their travel carrier combined. 

So, for our selection of the best IATA compliant airline crates for cats and dogs flying in the hold in 2022, we’ve included the weight of the crate on its own. This enables you to gauge suitability for your pet and your chosen airline, based on the weight of your cat or dog, plus the IATA compliant airline travel kennel.

Flying a Cat or Dog as Checked Baggage or Cargo

For dogs weighing more than an airline allows to fly as checked baggage, instead, a pet friendly airline may allow your flying companion to travel in the hold as cargo. As mentioned above, when flying to particular countries, all animals must arrive in the cargo hold.

In addition, if permitted, dogs classed as dangerous are usually required to fly in the hold as cargo rather than checked baggage.

When airlines accept your pet as checked baggage, the booking and check-in etc are all handled by airline staff. In many cases, pet friendly airlines allow you to book your pet as checked baggage when making your own ticket reservation.

When travel day arrives, as you might have guessed, you take your cat or dog to the airline check in desk for approval to fly. There, airline staff will verify your pet’s documents, and ensure that their kennel meets airline requirements, and the IATA Live Animal Regulations (IATA LAR).

If your cat or dog has to fly as cargo in the hold, the reservation for your pet, and all travel arrangements will be made through the cargo courier, as opposed to directly with the airline. Your pet will be checked in for travel by the cargo company, who is then responsible for transporting your pet to and from the aircraft hold. They’ll also take your pet to border control, or the airport pet reception centre, at your destination, if applicable.

In either case, be aware that you cannot sedate your pet when they’re flying in the hold either as cargo or checked baggage.

IATA Minimum Inner Crate Dimensions

First off, you need to get out the measuring tape and measure your cat or dog. To calculate the minimum inner crate dimensions permitted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), you need to follow the guidelines for measuring your pet.

IATA dog crate calculator pet kennel dimensions formula airline approved cat dog carrier

For snub-nosed cat and dog breeds, add 10% to your calculations.

Once you have these dimensions, you know the minimum inner area for the airline pet kennel that’s approved by the IATA for your cat or dog to fly in the hold. But, you then also need to make sure that there’s a pet friendly airline accepting pet travel carriers of those dimensions in the hold.

As well as the minimum dimensions, pet friendly airlines and owners must also comply with the IATA Live Animal Regulations (IATA LAR). So make sure when you buy your in hold cat or dog crate, it has the functionality defined by the IATA LAR. These rules are in place to ensure your pet has space, ventilation and security when flying in the hold.

Note that the IATA doesn’t promote, approve or endorse any brand or model of airline pet crates, whether for cats and dogs in the cabin or hold. Therefore, any claim that an airline in hold pet crate is IATA approved is false. However, the design of the carrier should be compliant with the IATA’s specifications.

The IATA permits the following materials for cat and dog airline crates in the hold:

  • Fibreglass
  • Metal
  • Plywood
  • Rigid Plastics (not normally suitable for large or aggressive dogs)
  • Solid Wood
  • Welded Wire Mesh

For pets flying in the hold, rigid plastic crates are most widely used, and recommended. However, this type of construction isn’t usually allowed for dangerous or fighting dogs.

Airline Maximum Size & Weight

Many airlines require metal bolts and fastenings, so while a kennel for pet travel in the hold may be IATA compliant, you need to be sure of your airline’s requirements too. If the cat or dog crate you want to purchase only has plastic fasteners, you can often purchase metal bolts and screws separately. For instance, these Pet Carrier Metal Fasteners by DryFur are highly rated by pet travellers.

Across pet friendly airline travel policies, some airlines don’t allow pets in the hold as checked baggage or cargo, or both. For those that do accept cats and dogs in the hold, each airline sets the maximum dimensions permitted for the IATA compliant pet travel carrier.

Airlines also set maximum weight restrictions for the cat or dog combined with their travel crate.

There isn’t a set maximum weight that applies to all pet friendly airlines for animals in the hold. But, 75kg is frequently set as the maximum pet in hold weight, although this varies greatly across many airlines.

So, now you know:

  • if your pet must fly in the hold as checked baggage or cargo to your chosen destination
  • the minimum IATA compliant inner crate dimensions
  • the pet crate design permitted by the IATA
  • your chosen airline’s maximum pet kennel dimensions
  • the weight of your cat or dog

You’re ready to choose an IATA compliant in hold pet crate. So, here we go with 4 airline kennels for cats and dogs flying in the hold, including a CR 82 IATA compliant kennel for dangerous dogs.

Selecting the Best Airline Pet in Hold Carrier in 2022

Whilst airlines often accept hard or soft pet carriers in the cabin, for cats and dogs flying in the hold, only hard kennels or crates are allowed.

To help you make the best choice for your pet’s needs, we’ve rated the best IATA compliant airline carriers in 2022 for cats and dogs, based on:

  • Customer Reviews
  • Assembly
  • Easy Cleaning
  • Functionality
  • Price
  • Safety

1. Trixie Kennel Gulliver IATA Airline Compliant Pet Crate for Cats & Dogs in Hold

Trixie Gulliver Transport Crate features include lockable snap fasteners, and two large storage compartments allowing extra space for treats and other accessories. A practical plastic food and water bowl is also included, which can be attached to the bars at the front of the cage. This is required for pets flying in the hold under the IATA Live Animal Regulations.

With the Trixie Gulliver Transport Crate, the cage door can be opened outwards or even completely removed. This IATA compliant pet travel kennel is available in sizes 4, 5, 6 and 7, so be sure to calculate the IATA LAR minimum crate requirements for your cat or dog, and select the appropriate size for your pet. The grilled windows of sizes 5, 6 & 7 are equipped with extra horizontal bars.

Advantages

  • IATA compliant
  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Available in different sizes
  • Replacement parts available

Disadvantages

  • Wheels aren’t included and must be ordered separately
  • Insert mats for your pet’s comfort during transport must be purchased separately
  • Some users report the crate cracking, and that the plastic is of poor quality
  • Some airlines set specific requirements regarding the locks on pet crates. So, check with your pet friendly airline if they will accept plastic bolt fasteners before purchase, or you can buy your own metal screws and bolts.
  • Not suitable for dogs weighing over 50kg
IATA Compliant Design

Inner Dimensions (cm)
(L x W x H)

Size 4 – 64 x 46/43 x 47/41 cm
Size 5 – 71 x 54/49 x 57/51 cm
Size 6 – 83 x 60/54 x 62/56 cm
Size 7 – 94 x 67/61 x 73/66 cm
Exterior Dimensions (cm)
(L x W x H)

Size 4 – 72 x 52 x 51 cm
Size 5 – 79 x 58 x 60 cm
Size 6 – 92 x 64 x 64 cm
Size 7 – 104 x 73 x 75 cm
Carrier Weight
Size 4 – 4.7 kg (10 lbs)
Size 5 – 7.1 kg (16 lbs)
Size 6 – 8.9 kg (20 lbs)
Size 7 – 11.3 kg (25 lbs)
Maximum Pet Weight
Size 4 -18 kg (40lbs)
Size 5 – 25 kg (55 lbs)
Size 6 – 38 kg (84 lbs)
Size 7 – 50 kg (110 lbs)
Price
$70 – $160
Overall Rating
⭐⭐⭐
WebsiteTrixie.de
Trixie Gulliver Airline Transport Crate

2. Petmate® Sky Kennel®

Considered by many, and by Petmate® themselves, as the Gold Standard for pet travel, the Petmate® Sky Kennel® is designed to keep your cat or dog safe and comfortable during car and plane journeys.

This heavy-duty travel kennel features high strength construction made from eco-friendly plastic, a durable wire door with an easy-squeeze latch system that interlocks for added security. Together with fantastic 360-degree wire ventilation windows for plenty of healthy airflow, and plastic covered wing-nuts and bolts for durable assembly, it’s no surprise the Petmate Sky Kennel is a popular choice for flying cats and dogs in the hold.

Available in a variety of sizes, to make air travel as simple as possible, each Sky Kennel comes with:

  • Two Live Animal stickers
  • One dual food & water bowl, that attaches to the kennel door
  • One absorbent paper pad
  • Identification stickers

Advantages

  • IATA compliant
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Available in different sizes
  • Replacement parts available
  • Comes with IATA required stickers
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Eco-friendly plastic
  • Non-corrosive wing nuts
  • Pet visibility from all sides
  • Durable and pet safe design

Disadvantages

  • Some airlines set specific requirements regarding the locks on pet crates. So, check with your pet friendly airline if they will accept plastic covered fasteners before purchase. Or purchase your own metal screws and bolts.
  • Only sizes 21″ and 28″ come with a handle
  • Pet travel crate weight on its own is on the heavy side
  • Larger sizes are expensive in comparison to some other brands
IATA Compliant Design

Inner Dimensions (inches)
(L x W x H)

Size 21″ – 18.75″ x 13.5″ x 14.5″
Size 28″ – 24.25″ x 18.25″ x 19.5″
Size 32″ – 29.5″ x 19.75″ x 23.5″
Size 36″ – 32.5″ x 26″ x 26″
Size 40″ – 36.25″ x 24.75″ x 28.8″
Size 48″ – 44″ x 29″ x 32.5″
Exterior Dimensions (inches)
(L x W x H)

Size 21″ – 21″ x 16″ x 15″
Size 28″ – 28″ x 20.5″ x 21.5″
Size 32″ – 32″ x 22.5″ x 24″
Size 36″ – 36″ x 25″ x 27″
Size 40″ – 40″ x 27″ x 30″
Size 48″ – 48″ x 32″ x 35″
Carrier Weight
Size 21″ – 6.2 lbs
Size 28″ – 12.5 lbs
Size 32″ – 16 lbs
Size 36″ – 20.75 lbs
Size 40″ – 30.48 lbs
Size 48″ – 51.5 lbs
Maximum Pet Weight
Size 21″ – 15 lbs
Size 28″ – 30 lbs
Size 32″ – 50 lbs
Size 36″ – 70 lbs
Size 40″ – 90 lbs
Size 48″ – 125 lbs
Price
$63 – $365
Overall Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐
WebsitePetmate.com
Petmate Sky Kennel Airline in Hold Crate

3. Zinger IATA CR 82 Pet Crate for Potentially Dangerous Dogs

Nothing to do with CR 7, this one is for those of you flying with a dog breed classified as dangerous or fighting by your airline or destination country. Simply, CR 82 means the IATA Live Animal Regulations (LAR) Container Requirements (CR), number 82.

So, when purchasing an airline crate for a potentially dangerous dog to fly in the hold, the crate itself must be compliant with the IATA LAR CR 82!

The IATA deems that some rigid plastic containers may not be suitable for large dogs, or dogs that are aggressive. But, specially constructed containers of hardwood, metal, plywood or similar material, with two secure door fasteners on each side, are acceptable.

Dogs normally defined as dangerous by airlines are often:

  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pincher
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiros
  • German Shepherd
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Mastiffs
  • Tosa Inut
  • Pit Bull (all breeds)
  • Rottweiler

The Zinger CR 82 pet crate is highly regarded by those flying with potentially dangerous dogs in the aircraft hold. Made from aircraft grade aluminium, these pet crates are extremely sturdy, but lightweight.

Each Zinger IATA compliant pet kennel comes with:

  • Air travel rails
  • Plastic water and food bowls
  • ID Tags
  • Live Animal labels

This one is specifically for those of you flying with dogs on an airline or country’s dangerous list, and meets all IATA LAR CR 82 requirements.

Advantages

  • IATA LAR CR 82 compliant
  • Available in different sizes
  • Replacement parts available
  • Comes with IATA required stickers
  • Durable and pet safe design
  • Well ventilated

Disadvantages

  • Expensive, as with most CR 82 compliant crates
IATA Compliant Design

Inner Dimensions (inches)
(L x W x H)

Not Specified, so ensure your selected size allows your pet space of at least 3-4 inches each way
Exterior Dimensions (inches)
(L x W x H)

Size 3000 – 21″x 24″ x 30″
Size 3500 – 24″ x 28″ x 38″
Size 4000 – 24″ x 28″ x 36″
Size 4500 – 24″ x 30″ x 38″
Size 5000 – 28″ x 32″ x 40″
Size 5500 – 26″ x 34″ x 42″
Size 6000 – 28″ x 36″ x 44″
Carrier Weight
Size 3000 – 28 lbs
Size 3500 – 37 lbs
Size 4000 – 37 lbs
Size 4500 – 40 lbs
Size 5000 – 47 lbs
Size 5500 – 49 lbs
Size 6000 – 51 lbs
Maximum Pet Weight
Size 3000 – Small Dogs
Size 3500 – Small/Medium Dogs
Size 4000 – Medium Dogs
Size 4500 – Medium/Large Dogs
Size 5000 – Medium/Large Dogs
Size 5500 – Large Dogs
Size 6000 – Very Large Dogs
Price
$750 – $1249
Overall Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐
WebsiteZingerwinger.com
Zinger CR 82 IATA Dangerous Dog Crate

4. SportPet Designs Kennel

An Amazon bestseller, the SportPet Designs Kennel for cats and dogs flying in the aircraft hold is a great choice.

The sturdy, yet reasonably priced, SportPet Designs Kennel aims to keep your cat or dog comfortable and safe during air or car transport. Each crate comes with:

  • Two food/water bowls
  • 4 Live Animal stickers
  • Metal bolts & nuts

Durable construction makes the SportPet Designs Kennel easy to assemble, with the added bonus of metal bolts and nuts to ensure airline compliance.

Advantages

  • IATA compliant
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Available in different sizes
  • Replacement parts available
  • Comes with IATA required stickers
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Metal nuts and bolts
  • Double handles make it easy to manoeuvre
  • Wheels easily added and removed for aircraft

Disadvantages

  • Metal door may not be strong enough to contain your pet, as reported by some owners
  • Pet travellers recommend ordering one size up from the crate size you believe you require
IATA Compliant Design

Inner Dimensions (inches)
(L x W x H)

Not Specified, so ensure the kennel size gives your pet space of at least 3-4 inches each way
Exterior Dimensions (inches)
(L x W x H)

Small – 23.75″ x 15.75″ x 16″
Medium – 26.5″ x 20″ x 18.5″
Large – 31.5″ x 22″ x 23″
X-Large – 35.5″ x 23.75″ x 26.75″
2X-Large – 39.5″ x 26.5″ x 29.25″
3X-Large – 48″ x 32″ x 35″
Carrier Weight
Small – 6.5 lbs
Medium – 11 lbs
Large – 15.25 lbs
X-Large – 20 lbs
2X-Large – 26 lbs
3X-Large – 43.25 lbs
Maximum Pet Weight
Size Small- Small Dogs
Size Medium – Small/Medium Dogs
Size Large – Medium Dogs
Size X-Large – Large Dogs
Size 2X-Large – Large Dogs
Size 3X-Large – Very Large Dogs
Price
$43 – $150
Overall Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
WebsiteSportpet.com
Sportpet Designs Plastic Airline Pet Kennel

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