Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
15 Apr 2021
3:41 pm

Now you can fly with your dog…but it has to be small

Citizen Reporter

Lift airlines, South Africa’s newest airline, is allowing pet owners with small dogs to fly with their furry best friends.

Yay, I'm coming with you to the beach! Picture: Istock


Lift airlines, South Africa’s newest airline launched on 10 December 2020 to interesting reviews, has added some  firsts in the passenger aviation business in South Africa.

The airline is allowing pet owners with small dogs to fly with their furry best friends on selected flights and restrictions permitting.  The small dogs will need to be placed in a carrier bag directly under the seat in front of the pet owner.

It announced on its social media pages: “Your doggo will now be able to travel in a pet-friendly carry bag placed under the seat in front of you. As a customer-focused airline, Lift is flexible to the changing needs of our travelers.

“We regularly engage with our customers to understand what new service offerings and other enhancements can be made to improve their experience with us and a prominent call has been for their pets to travel with them during their flights,” says Lift co-founder Jonathan Ayache.

“Many loving ‘paw-rents’ can’t always make use of pet hotels, family or friends to look after their pets. Moreover, they want these four-legged family members to be included when they travel, and this has up until now not been possible when travelling by plane.”

Only a limited number of dogs will be able to travel on selected flights and customers travelling with their dogs will need to purchase an additional seat in a specific area of the cabin.

The window seat will be blocked for the pet and the accompanying pet owner will need to be seated in the adjacent (middle) seat.

LIFT airlines

Lift airline passengers can now fly with their dogs.

How does a dog qualify to fly?

  • The dog needs to be smal,l measuring approximately 28cm x 20cm x 45cm. This size fits comfortably into the pet friendly carrier under the seat.
  • The pet must be 10 weeks old or more.
  • Larger dogs are not open to the offer.
  • Puppy training pads/absorbent sheets must be placed in the dog carrier bag.
  • Only one dog is allowed in a carrier bag and the dog must be able to stand up‚ lie-down and turn around comfortably.
  • A dog will not be permitted to occupy a seat and the dog carrier bag must fit completely under the seat in front of the window seat reserved and remain there at all times.
  • Dogs must travel on the same flights as the traveler responsible for them.
  • Dogs can’t travel with unaccompanied minors
  •  Pregnant dogs will not be allowed to travel.
  • Your dog must be well fed and hydrated
  • Feed your dog no more than 4 hours before departure to avoid nausea or soiling the carrier bag.

These rules exclude the rules service animals‚ including emotional support dogs and psychiatric dogs‚ as these pets are allowed to accompany qualifying travelers with disabilities in the cabin.


LIFT seating plan

Flight seating plan depicting booked dog seats. 

What is the cost?

The cost of the dog-friendly booking will equal the cost of a fair paid by an adult. The seat next to the passenger will be blocked off.

What about other passengers with allergies?

Only a limited number of pets are allowed to travel on selected flights and seats. The airline also has a digital full seating plan for booking that shows exactly where the furry friends will be placed.

A full dog-flight friendly schedule is available online.

Pet carrier

Pet approved carrier bag.

How do you book for your pet to join you?

  • Fill out the airline’s Special Request Form.
  • Select the “Travel with Your Small Dog” option and complete all required information.
  • The support desk will be in contact within 24 hours to confirm availability.
  • Booking confirmation will be emailed once the customer Support Desk has processed the booking.
  • Arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure.

Owners must also understand that travelling with their pets is entirely their responsibility. Cats and other types of pets have not been included in the upfront flight plans yet.