Delta, Air France, KLM & Most Airlines Won’t Allow Rabbits to Travel Internationally – You Suck

I found out disappointing news from my favorite airline, Delta. They no longer accept rabbits as checked baggage internationally. Only on *some* domestic flights will they allow rabbits in the cabin. Which ones? Call them and figure it out yourself.

This is very disappointing for me since I have in the past traveled with Delta on domestic and international routes with my pet rabbit. I hoped to have continued that service.

But when Northwest Airlines and Delta merged, the good old days were dead.

Of course, the other airline members in the Skyteam fare even worse:
Air France – Rabbits not permitted at all

KLM – Rabbits not permitted at all

Alitalia – Rabbits not permitted at all

Korean Air – Rabbits not permitted at all

China Airlines – Rabbits not permitted at all (ps your search box is broken!)

Delta Airlines – Rabbits allowed on some domestic flights in cabin and checked baggage. NEVER for international flights on cabin, checked, or cargo.

Aeroflot – Rabbits not permitted at all (ps your website was written in 1984).

Alaska Airlines – They allow bunnies in the cabin on domestic flights!

 
Star Alliance:
United Airlines – They say yes. Called them and received conflicting answers. Their email service took TWO MONTHS to respond and even then their service was moronic, “we hope you found your answer.”

Update: We’ve started calling United Airlines again but as usual after 30minutes on the phone, the operator said “no” to rabbits (their website says “yes”) and put us on the hold again for another 15 minutes. This time they said pets can travel in CARGO only on international flights.

UPDATE 2: Rabbits allowed in cabin on domestic flights (though it took speaking two supervisors up in the chain of command) and cargo on international flights.

Continental Airlines – They say yes but like United they too don’t know the rules.
Update: Now that Continental is merged, it doesn’t matter.

Finnair – Their website says they accept “cats, dogs, and rodents” in cabins. You can get a rabbit to as far as JFK and that’s it. UPDATE, October 10th – The rabbit MUST BE in a hard case of 35cm max length. That length is impossible to fit a bunny. There are no exceptions. DO NOT TRAVEL WITH FINNAIR FOR CABIN. I have just had the worst nightmare ever.

At least Finnair ALLOWS rabbits internationally even if to only JFK in the United States. What a miracle.

Luftansa – Rabbits NOT permitted at all.

SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) – Rabbits NOT permitted at all.

 
One World team:
British Airways – Rabbits not permitted at all
American Airlines – Rabbits not permitted at all
Iberia – cannot be clarified through the website; must call.
 
Other Airlines:

Virgin and the Richard Branson club – Rabbits NOT permitted at all

 
And on EVERY airline listed above, cats and dogs can travel in the cabin.

The Discrimination
It is well known that people discriminate against rabbits. Some people believe rabbits are only good for producing Easter eggs while some believe rabbits are relatives to the rodent family. They are not. Rabbits are part of the lagomorph family and don’t have much to do with rodents except for being furry and a mammal.

And the USDA considers rabbits to be chickens when it comes to meat processing.

I already emailed with several Delta representatives and the chance of ever taking a rabbit in cabin or via checked baggage internationally is the same as getting a ticket to the Moon.

Why rabbits are not considered equal pets in status to cats and dogs. Why are rabbits not awarded the same kind of travel opportunity?

Because the airlines hate cute, furry bunnies.

Rabbits are vegetarian, they make no noise, and few people are allergic to them.

Therefore, we can assume airlines do not like mammals that eat plants, are silent, and are allergy friends.

It must be better to have a screaming cat in front of you (e.g. my Air France flight from Mumbai to Paris) and have other passengers sneezing than let a rabbit on the plane. And the cat’s carrier had his own seat!

I contacted some House Rabbit Societies and rabbit organizations in the United States. Most did not know or didn’t bother answering. A couple HRS are looking into this to get more information. Perhaps we should start a massive campaign to “love thy flying bun?”

At the end, airlines must be so shocked to find pissed off passengers; stripping away benefits and hiking prices surprisingly does not make for happy customers. I fly out of necessity, not because I want to.

Is there any airline left in the world to have enough decency to let a bunny fly in the cabin? Or is all hope dead?

26 thoughts on “Delta, Air France, KLM & Most Airlines Won’t Allow Rabbits to Travel Internationally – You Suck”

  1. @janerowena – We keep thinking we’ll call him a cat. I mean, he’s a retarded cat but you can’t discriminate that. :)

    I thought about the myxamytosis thing too but not one airline would give a reason related to infectious diseases. The reason usually is “they’re not pets” or “they’re not mammals.” fail.

    @Annica – Hahah! Yea, I love flying Delta Airlines. Just so mad that I can’t take my bunny from here!!! ERRRRRRR.

  2. @Brannigan – Thanks for the recommendation. AA and BA are no go. I will have to call Iberia and get information since their website was unspecific when it comes to rabbits.

  3. I HAVE BEEN LOOKING EVERYWHERE AS WELL! I’m travelling to Norway, i know how to get the permit and what to do, but the thing is the airlines aren’t straight forward with their answers like Finnair, i hate that it says “allowed ” but when i call them they say i can’t which is ridiculous. I’m planning to live in Norway for almost a year and i cannot leave my bunny around he’ll get so depressed!

    The only thing i’ve found was Icelandair but in check in baggage and it’s cheaper. I really wish there was a way for my rabbit to be in cabin with me, i need to watch over him, who knows how our bunnies will be in a cargo or checkin area, and it’s so loud and you’re huddle with luggage!

    The least they could do is show us where they’re going to keep them in check in.

    Anyways let me know if you found a way! Thanks for this article!

  4. Air Berlin allow rabbits. I know that for sure. Cause I am planing to bring my bunny back from the US to Germany. I will check with United Airline as well.

  5. Yep Air Berlin does allow rabbits as cargo because I just hung up the phone with them. The lady, at first, said no rabbits at all. I said can you please check to see if you mean just in the cabin or in cargo as well and then she checked. They are allowed for international flights for 200 USD. Wow! That’s a lot for a little bunny. I have 2 so it’s quite a bit. I wish there was an airline that would allow them in the cabin. They make noise unlike the barkers and the hissers.

  6. This is so annoying, rabbits are small and make no noise or smell. As house rabbits grow in popularity you think it would be easy to transport them the same as cats and dogs!

  7. @Kristen – Have you taken the Air Berlin flight yet?

    I have just had a total disaster with Finnair and bunnies…

  8. @Kristen – I just got off the phone with Air Berlin and they said they do NOT take bunnies in the cabin. Are you sure you can take your bun in the cabin??

  9. After trying all we could to getr our bunny in ncabin from Australia to USA we had to get him in te pressurized checked in compartmenton qanntas…He ,ade the 16 hour flight safe and sound.

  10. @Brooklyn – The same reasons people take cats and dogs on a plane. But I hope no snakes on a plane.

  11. Geeeees. Did anyone find a way to take rabbits by plane? I am moving from Sweden to Argentina, and I have already called all the airlines that go there, Lufthansa, KLM, Delta, Air France, British Airways, Finnair, United, Iberia, etc, etc, etc… they either don’t accept rabbits at all, or it’s in cargo, BUT… yeah, well, in order to do that you need a pet agency; from the country you are moving, so far I have only one option and I haven’t gotten clear answers from them. Or well, PetRelocation.com takes care, for 5000 USD from the place I am right now to my house in Argentina. Crazy.

    Oh, about Iberia. Their call center in English said yes in cabin. The call center in Spanish said no. At the end I booked tickets online just to check if it works. It turned out to be okay, it was possible. I told the girl I was talking to, to check again, just to not be in the situation of getting to the airport and not being able to take Limow with me… it turned out that rabbits cannot fly with Iberia cause they are “rodents”. Not even as cargo.
    -.-

    Please! If anyone found a way to do this, let me know!

  12. It’s a big mess!!! But finnair has changed their rules and do allow bunnies in the cabin (thanks to a bunch of folks on reddit). That flight would only get you part way though.

    Petrelocation.com is expensive but does come with peace of mind. I’ve spoken, though not hired, to them on several occasions and they give good vibes.

    United domestic takes bunnies as well but again will only get you part way.

    Keep us posted on your story!

  13. I find it sooooo stupid!! If anything bunnies are more better pets as carry on then dogs because they remain quiet. People hardly even know they’re there. I too would like to carry my bunny soon aswell From Holland to the US and it’s sad i can’t go onboard with my bunny with Delta…. I now have to book my bunny on Animals To Fly.com, some cargo site that works with Delta and Klm. Hope it’s a good service else i’ll be pissed!

  14. DO NOT TAKE FINNAIR! I am relocating from Los Angeles to Paris (I’ll be going to school there for two years), and I have four rabbits and a cat (I know, I used to volunteer at a rabbit shelter and couldn’t say no.. several times, heh). I feel like I have called just about all of the airlines and thought that I found hope with Finnair because the first time I spoke with a representative there, she told me that I can take two rabbits in one carrier (as we all know, this is ideal since having them travel in pairs reduces their stress a little), but only two animals were allowed on the plane at maximum. I was planning on having two of my friends travel with my rabbits while I took my cat on another flight, so I called Finnair again yesterday to see if they could make an exception since my rabbits are 18 pounds TOTAL for all four of them. They got back to me to tell me that they JUST changed their policy and NO LONGER accept rabbits! I asked the representative why it’s listed on the website that they do, and he said that they just changed it recently. UGH.

    I do not want to take rabbits in the cargo or baggage area because I’ve read so many horror stories (including one about a rabbit who traveled with United’s PetSafe program) about dogs and cats dying on the flight, and I fear that since rabbits are more sensitive and smaller, they’re more at risk!

    I’ve told – begged, really – all of the airlines I’ve spoken to that I don’t mind paying extra (i.e. purchasing an extra seat) as long as they will allow them in the cabin, but I’ve had no luck. I honestly feel like I’m out of options at this point. :c

  15. Kathleen, Finnair does allow rabbits. I had a huge problem with them a couple months ago and they changed the rules that bunnies may travel in soft cases. The thing about how many pets in the cabin and how many per carrier remains the same. You should have a couple other friends fly with you (on different flights to be under the pet max / cabin).

    You can refer to this letter from Finnair:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/12xecx/thank_you_reddit_youve_changed_the_rules_for/
    “Dear (my name), Thank you for your feedback and also your e-mail to Arja Suominen and P√§ivyt Tallqvist regarding your travelling with your rabbit. We received information about this also via Twitter/Reddit.
    Please accept our apology for all the inconvenience that this caused to you. I understand that you felt very disappointed and sad when you end up travelling without your rabbit Bubbles.
    Thanks to your feedback about your unfortunate experience, the persons responsible for processes and rules concerning travelling with pets in cabin have reviewed this case and the whole process carefully and there will be changes for the rules concerning transporting rabbits in a cabin with Finnair operated flights. Like you wrote, rabbits are not actually rodents and Finnair will accept rabbits to be transported in cabin in a soft bag. The process for changing the rules and instructions for our agents at airports has started immediately.
    I would like to once again thank you for your very valuable feedback. Your comments about customer service have been forwarded also to persons responsible for our services at Gothenburg and Helsinki Airports.
    Have you been able to make alternative arrangements for Bubbles travel? We would like to offer you help and some kind of compensation for your unfortunate experience.
    Kind Regards
    Finnair Plc Customer Relations”*

  16. Hi,

    I would like to thank you to make Finnair change the rules because it may be my only option to move from Boston to Geneva. It’s crazy how hard it is. I called a lot of companies and it’s always know. They just afraid of what they don’t know a rabbit is so much easier than a dog or a cat.
    I also have the choice of put it with other animals in checked area but I’m afraid my rabbit would die. Does anyone have try to put a rabbit in check-in (like luggages) ? I ‘d rather prefer to give it to someone here than kill it during transportation.

    thanks,

  17. Sapphire, your message is kind of a hope to me. Now I live in the US and I really dream about having a bunny from 3 years, and finally want to have it.. But I plan to go back to live in Europe one day so I’m considering all pros and cons .. So there’s a hope :)

  18. Love your article.
    Unbelievable discrimination. You forgot to mention that unlike cats or dogs that can have a strong smell bunnies never do because of the foods they eat.
    Continental wanted to charge me US 4500 to take the bunny from Geneva to New York. Flying in cargo of couse not in Business class….incredible

  19. Hi Stefanie,
    I flew my bunny from Geneva to Caracas via Frankfurt with LH in cargo. Tough but he made it. Generally the vet will give you a tranquilizer you can give your pet. Copa airlines messed up my reservation for my connecting flight from Caracas to SJO, spend 24hrs in the airport, no food, no lodging, with the bunny. Finally got him in cabin with Copa to my final destination Costa Rica. The bunny was sick a few days but he survived and trust me he went through hell. Virtually 48 hrs in a cage because of Copa Airlines. We are actually sewing the airline (5 years already in process). I would hate to think of doing it again, but i might have to….back to Europe…but i dont even want to think about it. In the US they have special pet airlines…they should have these for international flights. Airlines say they dont take rodents in cabin because they are concerned they could bight cables in plane. Well if he is in a cage there isnt too much risk…..

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