Copa Airlines is a large international airline based out of Panama. It flies to North, Central and South America, as well as to the Caribbean.
View the 2018 Copa Airlines Baggage Policies page for information about carry-on, checked, and excess baggage fees.
Conditions for accepting pets as baggage
Copa Airlines permits the transport of pets as checked or carry-on baggage (see restrictions below). Make sure you reserve through our Reservations Center at least 48 hours before the flight's departure to ensure room for the transportation of your pet. Dogs, cats and rabbits are considered pets/domestic animals. Small birds are considered pets on flights inside Colombia. All pets that do not fall within these parameters will not be accepted as checked or carry-on luggage.
In response to the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) epidemic, customs authorities in some countries have established strict control measures, including, in some cases, the sacrifice of birds. Therefore, we have ceased to allow the transport of birds and will not accept them as either cargo or carry-on baggage on international flights until further notice.
General terms and conditions
Pets accepted as baggage are subject to the following terms and conditions:
For flights inside Colombia, pets are transported at no additional charge, insofar as they are inside the baggage weight limit.
On connecting flights that include flights inside Colombia and international flights, the international flights' conditions and surcharges will apply.
All pets transported as checked baggage (in cargo hold) or carry-on baggage (in the main cabin) will be charged a fee, based on excess baggage rates.
Animals less than 8 weeks old will not be accepted for transport if they are to travel alone in a cage.
Minors traveling alone are not authorized to travel with pets.
On international flights, the customer must provide a health certificate for their pet, emitted by the appropriate authority, as well as all necessary documents for entry at their next destination(s). For domestic flights within Colombia, only a current vaccination certificate is needed.
The health certificate of pets on flights originating in Colombia that are traveling to the United States must indicate that they are free of screw worms.
Passengers must travel on the same flight as their pet and use a cage that is appropriate for its transport. Passengers are responsible for enclosing their pet in its cage, as well as for removing it.
Only one animal is permitted in each container.
Given the restrictions on transporting birds imposed by customs authorities in several countries, Copa Airlines will not accept birds for transport, either as checked or carry-on baggage, until further notice.
In case of emergency, oxygen will not be administered to pets.
For more information on requirements for traveling with your pet, please call our Reservation Center.
Containers or cages
The containers or cages in which pets travel as checked or carry-on baggage must meet the following requirements:
They must be made of wood, metal or plastic.
They must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around or lie down in a natural manner.
They must be durable enough to prevent the animal from escaping during handling and transporting.
The doors must have safety latches that allow for the door to be opened without the use of special tools.
They must have holes that allow for ventilation.
They must have a system for storing waste produced during the flight. The use of shredded paper or a tray placed on the floor of the cage is recommended.
Pets inside the passenger cabin (as carry-on baggage)
Only one pet allowed per passenger.
Containers that are transported inside the main cabin as carry-on baggage must fit easily under the seat in front of the passenger. They cannot exceed the following dimensions:
Only one animal is permitted in each container. The animals must not be offensive or smell, must be well secured in their container and must not require attention during the flight.
The pet, together with its crate, must not weigh more than 20 lbs.
The passenger may feed his/her pet, but only if it remains inside its container.
The container must be clean, well-ventilated, leak-proof and must not allow any part of the animal to escape or stick out.
The pet must remain inside the container at all times during the flight.
Seats in the first row, those facing a bulkhead or those in an emergency exit row cannot be assigned to passengers traveling with pets.
The total number of containers permitted inside the main cabin is limited to three per flight:
The cost is USD 75 per cage or container.
In case of an emergency, no oxygen will be administered to the pet.
Pets traveling in the cargo hold (as checked baggage)
Beginning March 15, 2012, Copa Airlines will transport animals as baggage in the cargo hold only from Monday through Thursday. In this manner, it will be possible to prevent the travel of these passengers during the weekend, a time when most of the Divisions of Quarantine at the airport where our airline operates are closed.
Furthermore, Copa Airlines limits the acceptance of animals of the breed affected by upper airway obstruction syndrome and its mixes as registered baggage in all the flights.
The animals of breed affected by upper airway obstruction syndrome or "with flat nose" tend to have congenital type respiratory difficulties, rendering them susceptible to suffer heat stress and respiratory disorders when they are exposed to extreme heat or tense situations. Pets included in this group are:
You must notify the Reservations Center or one of our Sales Offices that you will be traveling with a pet in the cargo hold at least 48 hours before your flight date.
A maximum of three containers are permitted in the cargo hold on each flight.
Dogs and cats traveling alone in a cage must not weigh less than 20 lbs.
A maximum of two animals will be accepted per cage, assuming they can move comfortably within the cage and fit in one of the following categories:
Two puppies or kittens between 8 weeks and 6 months old, weighing no more than 20 lbs each.
Puppies or kittens less than 8 weeks old, accompanied by their mother.
Pets must be checked through to your destination at the airport check-in counter. When the trip involves connections with one or more transport companies, the customer must pick up the pet at customs and check it back in with the next transport company. Otherwise, they will be transported as cargo.Customers must travel on the same flight as their pet and guarantee that the pet is traveling in a container that is appropriate for their pet.
Customers are responsible for enclosing their pet in its cage, as well as for removing it.
Pets that weigh between 11 and 32 kg and are transported in the cargo hold will incur a charge of USD 125.
Pets that weigh between 33 and 45 kg and are transported in the cargo hold will incur a charge of USD 200.
Pets that weigh more than 45 kg must be transported as cargo.
During the months of July, August, December, and January, the transport of live animals in the baggage compartment is prohibited. For details on the transport restrictions on overweight or oversized baggage, additional items, boxes, and live animals, go to our section Baggage policy.
Note: We regret to inform customers with connections on United wishing to check a pet that United does not accept pets as baggage. They only accept pets that are transported as cargo.
Transportation of live animals in cargo to/from the following countries is not allowed during the restricted periods. In addition, transportation of live animals in cargo is not allowed from any city during the months of January, July, August, and December. Transportation of pets in the cabin is allowed during the restriction period, however they must be in compliance with all the established travel provisions.
Traveling with pets from Ecuador
Passengers traveling from Ecuador with pets must procure a permit from AGROCALIDAD, an office of the Ecuador Ministry of Agriculture and Cattle Farming, prior to the date of their flight. This permit can be obtained by showing the pet's vaccination certificate, medical certificate of good health, and animal health permit. Said permit must be obtained even if the pet entered Ecuador with a similar document issued in its city of origin. Such a permit must be validated by the authority indicated by the Ministry in Ecuador.
We remind you that pets less than eight weeks of age will not be able to obtain an exit permit, since the vaccination schedule is not complete before that time.
Traveling with pets to Nassau, Bahamas
All pets must have a permit to enter the Bahamas prior to their flight. It is the passenger's responsibility to contact the corresponding authorities to acquire this permit prior to their trip.
Traveling with pets to Panama
Passengers that travel with pets to Panama must comply with the following requirements:
Have a small species export certificate issued by the health department of the country of origin, confirming anti-rabies vaccination.
Certificate of good health for the pet, authenticated by the Panama Consulate in the country of origin.
Certificate of anti-rabies vaccination for the pet.
Notify the arrival of the pet(s) 3 days in advance by filling out the form Request for Home Quarantine (available only in Spanish). For more information, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The person responsible for the pet(s) must provide these documents to the doctor of veterinary medicine at the Department of Zoonosis Control in the Tocumen International Airport, who verifies the corresponding documentation.
Upon complying with the requirements, the pet(s) is given to the responsible person. If the requirements are not met, the pet(s) is (are) returned to the country of origin via the services of the airline in which it (they) arrived to the country.
The cost of the quarantine process is USD 130 per pet, in cash.
Note: The schedule for service at the airport is from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Pets that arrive outside this schedule or on holidays will remain in airport kennels.
Traveling with pets to/from Venezuela
According to Venezuelan Aviation Regulation 113 (Regulación Aeronáutica Venezolana, RAV 113), transporting domestic animals in the cabin is prohibited with the exception of service animals, which are allowed onboard the passenger cabin with proper documentation accrediting them as such. Service dogs must wear a muzzle during the entire flight.
Service animals accompanying disabled persons are permitted in the airplane cabin free of charge. Copa Airlines only allows trained and certified guide dogs and monkeys on board to assist customers. All guide animals, either dogs or monkeys, must have the appropriate permits (e.g., country entry permits and vaccination certificates). On international flights, the customer must provide health certificates for their animal, emitted by the appropriate authority, as well as all the necessary documents for entry into the destination country.
For domestic flights within Colombia, only a current vaccination certificate is needed. In addition, you must carry with you the relevant permits for the city to which you are traveling. These documents must be identified with official seals. Also, we recommend that animals travel with muzzles.
To comply with security regulations, a service animal must be able to sit at the customer's feet and not take up room in the aisle. In the case of a monkey, it should be small enough to sit on the customer's lap. Emergency exit seats cannot be assigned to persons with service animals.
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