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The Traveller's Magazine
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Flying First Class comes with a lot of perks: airport lounges, priority boarding, free drinks, better in-flight catering… Have you ever heard of animals flying First Class? They certainly get First Class treatment when stopping over in Frankfurt, thanks to Lufthansa’s Animal Lounge.

Germany’s leading airline company, Lufthansa,  offers our furry friends a relaxing place to rest while we are connecting flights at Frankfurt Airport. Dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, horses and even polar bears are just some of the 15,000 animals that  fly Lufthansa every year.

This state-of-the-art space is 3750m² and attends to the every need of each animal that has a layover of 2 or more hours at Frankfurt Airport. They are taken care of by a team trained veterinarians. Everything is prepared in advance so they have just to arrive and settle in, arriving at their final destination stress-free.

There are 39 rooms for small pets: dogs, cats and other small creatures. There are also special rooms that can be acclimatized to suit other mammals needs, black lighting for certain species of exotic fish, tropical rooms for reptiles and insects…

The animal lounge has come in very handy in more than a few situations. Most recently a passenger was travelling with a pregnant dog who, “About thirty minutes before the plane landed, started giving birth to several puppies. A veterinarian from the animal lounge was called to the aircraft upon landing and the little puppies were safely delivered.”

Although Lufthansa runs and operates the animal lounge, it may be used by animals travelling on any airline carrier with layovers in Frankfurt.

Take a look for yourself at Lufthansa’s Animal Lounge! When travelling we want the best possible care for ourselves and even more so when we travel with our four-legged friends. Travelling, especially by plane, can be traumatic for them, here are just a few simple ways to prepare your pet for the trip.

How to travel with your pet:

  • Tell the airline you will be travelling with an animal when you book your tickets, ask about rules and restrictions which can vary between airline companies.
  • When travelling abroad, research quarantine periods at the local embassy. If your animal must go into quarantine, visit them every day to reduce stress and loneliness.
  • Use an escape-proof kennel, test it and consider a small padlock to put on the cage as well. Many animals escape and become lost because their carrier wasn’t closed properly.
  • Several days before the trip, put your animal’s toys and blanket inside, let them get used to it as a cosy place rather than a carrier. Never put a leash inside the carrier, it could strangle your pet while travelling.
  • Do not feed your pet 6-8 hours before the flight to avoid upsetting their stomach. Give them water right before boarding.
  • Make sure your animal has both a collar and ID tags attached in case they are lost or mis-transferred. Put your address, phone number and name on the carrier as well.
  • Before getting on the plane, make sure your animal has been boarded on the same plane as you. Either watch the loading or ask the flight stewardess to phone cargo to double check.

Have you ever travelled with a pet? How was the experience? What would you recommend to other pet-owners who want to fly with their Fido’s and felines?

Img: someToast / flickr cc

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4 responses to “Travelling animals are given first-class service with Lufthansa

  1. Wow Barbara, I'm so sorry to hear about that, it's surprising! Did you get in touch with the pet facility in Frankfurt about it?

  2. My puppy contracted parvovirus coming through this facility in Frankfurt and died after arriving in Canada. Beware.

  3. so your answer is – let's be cruel to animals instead? you can't fight for progress with a regressive inhumane comment like that

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