Flying to France with a Dog from the USA

One of the most popular destinations for Americans heading to Europe with their dogs is France. It’s no surprise, as in addition to the many attractions of this European country, it’s also one of the shortest and easiest flights from the US. That means it’s possible to fly to France with your dog in the cabin, as long as you choose the right airline. Find out more about travelling to France with your dog from the USA…

Flying to France with a Dog

Paperwork for Taking a Pet to France from the USA

The same rules apply for dogs heading to France as for dogs travelling to the rest of the EU. Before you make any other travel plans, make sure you have your dog microchipped and then vaccinated for rabies. The rabies vaccine needs to be done at least 21 days before you arrive in Europe. 

You’ll also need to have an EU health certificate completed, then endorsed by a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services office within 10 days of your arrival in Europe. For more information, check out my post on flying to Europe from the US with a dog.

USDA Office in Los Angeles
To fly to France with your dog, you’ll need a EU health certificate certified by the USDA

What Airlines Fly Dogs from the USA to France?

So, what airlines allow dogs to fly in the cabin from the USA to France? Choose from these pet-friendly airlines for direct flights when taking a dog to France.

Air France

Air France is one of the top recommended airlines for flying with your dog to France. Dogs up to a maximum weight of 8kg (17 lbs), including carrier, are permitted to fly in the cabin, plus larger dogs in the hold. Note though that pets are not permitted in business class on intercontinental flights with Air France.

It’s possible to buy a travel container directly off Air France for delivery to the USA. On flights from the USA to France, a fee of €200 is charged for pets in the cabin or €400 for pets in the hold. Read their full pet policy.

Delta Air Lines

One of the few American airlines that allow pets to fly in the cabin on flights to France is Delta. (American Airlines doesn’t permit pets in the cabin on Trans-Atlantic flights, and up until recently the same applied with United.)

Delta Check-In
Carry-on pets can fly with Delta to France

There is no maximum weight for pets flying in the cabin, just a maximum kennel size that depends on the flight (check at the time of booking). A charge of $200 applies, with a maximum of 4 pets in the cabin.

Note that Delta generally doesn’t fly pets in the hold, except for in limited circumstances such as active US military personnel. Read their full pet policy.

French Bee

The French budget airlines French Bee flies between France and a select list of international destinations, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Pets are permitted both in the cabin and hold on most flights, except for to and from Tahiti.

For pets flying in the cabin, there is a weight limit of 8kg including the carrier. A fee of $100 USD applies per trip for pets in the cabin, $195 USD for pets in the hold. Make sure to mention your pet at the time of booking, as quotas apply. 

An international certificate of good health from within a week of the flight is required for all pets. Read their full pet policy.

La Compagnie

An increasingly popular airline to fly between the USA and France with pets is La Compagnie, a French business-class only airline, thanks to its generous pet policy.

La Compagnie Interior
La Compagnie is a pet-friendly business-class only airline © La Compagnie

The airline permits dogs and cats (plus dwarf rabbits) up to 15kg (33 lbs) to fly with you in the cabin, far higher than is standard on European airlines. Just be warned the carrier still needs to be quite short – the maximum carrier size is 55 x 35 x 25 cm (21 ⅔ in x /13 ¾ in x / 9 ⅚ in).

Up to three pets are permitted on each flight, with a fee equivalent to 10% of your own business-class ticket. The airline flies up to twice daily between NYC and Paris, plus seasonally to Nice. Read their full pet policy.

United Airlines

It’s once again possible to fly pets in the cabin on Trans-Atlantic flights with United Airlines, including flights to France. However, like Delta, United no longer accepts bookings to fly pets in the hold except in limited circumstances (not a short European holiday!)

United Airlines Plane
United Airlines is another possible airline

Similar to Delta, there is also no maximum weight for flights flying in the cabin on United Airlines flights, just a maximum kennel size. A set charge of $125 USD applies for pets flying in the cabin. See their full pet policy for in-cabin pets.

Tips for Flying Your Dog to France

When flying between the USA and France, it’s a pretty long flight, especially if you have a dog flying with you in the cabin. The flight time even between NYC and Paris is 7 to 8 hours.

I recommend choosing an overnight flight to France, which departs late in the day then arrives in France during the early morning. That way your dog will likely spend most of the flight sleeping in their carrier. Dogs are also less likely to want to toilet overnight.

Preparing for our flight
Consider an overnight flight to France

Even if you are flying with a dog in the hold, it’s also a good idea to choose an overnight flight when flying during the summer. It can get quite hot in France, as well as in much of the USA, so it will hopefully be cooler at departure and arrival.

Dangerous Dog Rules in France

France has some of the strictest dangerous dog rules in Europe. Before flying to France with your dog, check whether their dangerous dog rules may apply to your dog. The affected breeds include American Staffordshire Terriers, Mastiff-type dogs, Tosa-type dogs and Rottweiler-type dogs.

Depending on the breed and whether you have a pedigree, dogs may be prohibited from being imported into France or stringent restrictions may apply (including flying these breeds). I recommend checking out my full guide to travelling with dog breeds classified as dangerous, particularly the section on France.

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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