Copa Airlines Pet Policy

Copa Airlines

Pet Policy

Copa Airlines Pet Policy

Whenever it comes to pet transportation, invariably every airline has its policy. Similarly, Copa Airlines have theirs in place. Without mincing words, there are two major options for transporting pets on Copa Airlines – either as air cargo or in-cabin. Regardless of the option, the pet alongside its owner must be on board the same flight.

Copa Airlines recognizes only two animals – dogs and cats. Flying other animals, rabbits, for instance, is not acceptable. Concerning destination restrictions, passengers do not need to get bothered as Copa Airlines do not have such in place.

But they adhere to such measures as stipulated by the destination countries. Hence, it is often recommended that passengers reach out to the destination country’s embassy to know what the measures are and how to follow them through to avoid any form of complications.

To know what the pet policies are on Copa Airlines, you are in the right place. This comprehensive piece contains all the vital details you need to get yourself acquainted with before flying your pet on Copa Airlines.


1. What is Copa Airlines Pet Policy?

Copa Airlines offer one of the simplest pet policies. When flying a pet on their airlines, there are only two options, including:

  1. Carry-on pets, or as they are popularly called, pets in the cabin
  2. Pets transported as air cargo

In-cabin Pet Policy

This pet policy covers the transportation of pets in airline-certified pet carriers with enough ventilation, space, and waterproof bottom for the pet. Pets that suit this policy include cats and small dogs, with the exception of rabbits and other animals.

Transporting pets on transatlantic flights via Copa Airlines is only possible on Mondays through to Friday. However, domestic flights in Panama can convey pets any day of the week as long as passengers do not have international connecting flights. Also, not every individual can travel with pets on Copa Airlines. For instance, children below the age of 11 who do not have the right to move with animals cannot travel with pets.

Regulations for In-cabin Pets

  • Animals that are not up to eight weeks are not allowed to fly on Copa Airlines.
  • Pets have to be adequately secured in the vessel, denying them the freedom to cause complications on board.
  • They must be odorless and non-offensive.
  • Both pet and vessel should not measure more than 20 lbs.
  • They should remain in the cabin throughout the flight.
  • As long as the pet remains in the cabin, the traveler has the chance to nourish it.
  • Travelers with pets do not have access to all the seats on board. Such seats include first-line seats, seats in the exit row, and seats opposite a bulkhead.
  • The cabin should be well-ventilated, leak-proof, spotless, and spacious enough to house the pet such that none of its parts stick out.
  • No oxygen for pets during an emergency.

Air Cargo Pet Policy

Since not all pets can satisfy the size and weight requirements put in place by Copa Airlines, travelers have the chance to explore another alternative – travel as air cargo. This option is suitable for cats and dogs of relatively large sizes or that are too heavy to be conveyed in a cabin. In this case, such pets fly with Copa Mascotas as air cargo.

On international flights, the air cargo option runs from Monday to Thursday internationally. Pets above eleven years old or below two months are not allowed to fly as air cargo. It is worth mentioning that only dogs and cats can fly on international and domestic flights as air cargo.

Regulations for Pets as Air Cargo

  • There must be proper ventilation.
  • Pet must be able to turn around, lie down, and stand up without hindrances.
  • Preferably made of wood, metal, or plastic with rigid or flexible sides.
  • During the flight, storage of waste produced should be possible.
  • Safety latches should be available to open and close the door without using special tools.
  • Must not give in to leakage.

Emotional Support Dogs and Service Animals

In addition, the Copa Airlines pet policy also covers support animals and service pets. It is no new news that the airline recognizes the significance of psychological support pets and service animals. To complement this, travelers suffering from mental health issues and those who are physically challenged can travel with their therapy or assistance animals. Travelers should, however, note that Copa Airlines acknowledge only dogs.

Regulations for Emotional Support Pets and Service Animals

  • Dogs are preferably the best option for any route.
  • It is crucial that the emotional support dog meets the destination country’s pet policies.
  • Only flights to/from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Canada allow emotional support dogs.
  • The number of emotional support dogs on a single flight must not exceed two.
  • A traveler is only entitled to one emotional support dog.
  • Travelers with such pets cannot sit close to the exit door.
  • On Copa Airlines, travelers cannot travel with an emotional support dog and in-cabin pet together.
  • Animals must not attempt to attack other travelers onboard
  • They must be odorless.
  • They must not be less than 6 months old.
  • They must not portray unhealthy conduct, including snarling, yapping, etc.
  • Travelers should always be in the company of their pets throughout the flight duration.
  • Perhaps the support animal cannot fit at the traveler’s legs due to size, Copa Airlines can help with reassigning another position with extra space. Travelers can also pay for additional positions to accommodate the animal in a safe space.
  • For service dogs, they must have undergone adequate training to adhere to the individual’s directions.
  • A traveler is only entitled to one service dog.

Pet Restrictions

Copa Airlines are cautious of the type of pets they allow on board. As a result, they do not allow certain dog and cat species on flights. In the subsequent paragraphs are some of the restricted breeds, species that demand bigger crates and should not fly when the temperature is high, temperature, aircraft, as well as destination restrictions.

Restricted Breeds

  • Cane Corso
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Canary Catch Dog
  • Argentine Dogo
  • English Bulldog
  • Tosa o Tosa Ken
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Burmese cat
  • Himalayan cat
  • Persian cat
  • Exotic Shorthair cat

Breeds That Demand Extra Care and Should Not Fly When The Temperature is High

  • Maltese
  • Bichon Principal
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chow Chow
  • Sharpei
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Griffon De Bruselas
  • Bull Terrier
  • Holland Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Carlino Mastiff
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • Lhasa Apso
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • French Bulldog
  • Japanese Chin
  • Pequines
  • Japanese Pug
  • Staffordshire Terrier

Temperature Restrictions

Among all the locations on a traveler’s itinerary, none should have a temperature that exceeds 85°F. If it does, pets will not be allowed on such flights.

Aircraft Restrictions

Certain restrictions are in place to prevent pets from discomforting other travelers while in transit. First off, aside from the passenger cabin, pets are not permitted in any other part of the aircraft.

For instance, both the business and executive categories are exceptions for pets. Thus, travelers who want to travel in these classes have to do so without their pets. The passenger cabin only has the capacity to house three pets. Anything beyond that is not allowed on Copa Airlines.

Also, for connecting flights that include other airlines, it is not possible flying with pets on such flights. There can also be instances where the travel plan includes code-sharing sections. Perhaps this is the case, pets cannot join in the travel.

Copa Airlines insist that travelers embark on their journey with their pets by their sides until they arrive at their destinations. Therefore, both the pet and its owner must be on the same aircraft, with the pet properly secured in its container.

Destination Restrictions

The restrictions placed on pets differ from one country to another. While some countries receive pets with both hands, giving travelers the full permission to travel with their pets, others frown at the act, not because they care less about them but because they sometimes pose huge health hazards to human life.

The US, for instance, does not permit travelers to come into their country with pets, particularly dogs. Since dogs have become increasingly prone to spreading rabies, the United States has placed a ban on them.

Even upon presentation of a health certificate, showing that the pet is free from rabies or any other infection, travelers can still be denied entry into the US if the dog had been in a risk country for six months or more before the departure day.

To travel on Copa Airlines with a pet, the following destination restriction measures apply.

  • Entrance into some countries is only possible when there’s a valid CDC permit.
  • If possible, travelers should ensure there’s a microchip attached to their pets.
  • To enter some countries, for instance, the United States, a valid anti-rabies immunization record must be presented alongside evidence of good health.
  • Some countries do not allow pets that are less than six months of age.
  • These measures apply to other pets, including emotional support pets and service animals flying to the United States.

2. Is it safe to ship my pet with Copa Airlines Cargo?

Safety remains a top priority to Copa Airlines. Hence, your pet has maximum safety and protection to enjoy while in transit. Whether it is an international or domestic flight, you can transport your pet from one place to another safely. However, your pet cannot travel alone. It must be in your company during the flight.

3. How much does it costs to reserve a pet?

Every traveler who intends to fly with a pet on Copa Airlines must prepare to foot additional charges. The fee depends on additional baggage rates and is charged each way. Below is the respective cost of flying a pet on both domestic and international flights. Note that these costs only apply to in-cabin pets.

  • Domestic Flights: Flying a pet on a local flight attracts a cost of 25 USD per container or cage. In addition to that are some extra taxes.
  • International Flights: For multinational travels, travelers have to pay 125 USD per container or cage. Depending on the country, travelers may need to pay some extra taxes.

Travelers with pets who due to one reason or the other intend to leave the airport for a couple of hours need to place their pets in quarantine, especially when transiting through Panama. This service comes with an extra charge of 9.5 USD for each pet.

In a situation where there are connecting flights, including international and local flights, the charges and conditions follow those of the international flights.

4. Does Copa Airlines allow pets in a cabin on international flights?

Travelers have the privilege of flying across countries and continents with their pets in the cabin when they fly on Copa Airlines. However, only cats and small dogs are allowed on board. Some other regulations travelers should pay attention to include:

  • Pets cannot fly in business class. They can only stay in the main cabin.
  • In total, the number of pets in the main cabin must not be more than three.
  • The pet alongside the carrier must not weigh more than 20 lbs.
  • When on international flights, pets can fly only from Mondays to Friday.

A traveler has the right to travel with only one pet, adequately secured in a carrier.

5. How do I reserve a pet on a Copa Airlines flight?

  • To reserve space for a pet, it is best that travelers contact Copa Airlines’ Bookings Facility or Customer Department some 48 hours before the flight departs. In the same vein, they can make a reservation when purchasing their tickets.

    Adding a pet to a flight is an easy thing for travelers to do, requiring little or no technical skill. Hence, travelers can do it themselves by simply following the step-by-step guides below.

    • Reach out to the destination country’s embassy to verify the status of your travel.
    • Reservation of space for a pet can take place some five or fifteen days before your intended day of departure. If it’s an emergency, reservations may still be possible two days before departure.
    • Fill out and complete all paperwork.
    • Travelers should endeavor to pay their vets a visit to know their pets’ health status.
    • Get your pet a sizable and suitable cage or container. Ensure it is familiar with the container.

    Have some extra cash at your disposal to foot some bills should it be international flights.

6. What methods of transport does Copa Airlines Air Lines provide for my pet?

There are two methods Copa Airlines employ in transporting pets. These methods include pets in-cabin and air cargo travel. While the former involves the placement of the pet in a carrier throughout the flight, the latter involves traveling as air cargo.

7. Does my pet qualify for travel in the passenger cabin?

Before making a reservation on Copa Airlines, having an in-depth knowledge of their pet policies is a crucial step. Copa Airlines only allow travelers to fly cats and small dogs. Apart from these two, other animals, including rabbits are not allowed.

Pets must also meet certain requirements including age, weight, health status, and several others. In addition to the carrier’s weight, a pet should not weigh more than 20 lbs. Concerning age, Copa Airlines only permits pets between two months and eleven years old to fly. There should also be a medical report certifying that the pet is healthy and poses no threat to human health and life in general.

8. Does Copa Airlines limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin per flight?

Yes, Copa Airlines limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin per flight. No cabin or container carries two or more pets. Throughout the flight, pets are to remain in the cabin, to prevent them from causing discomfort to other travelers.

Moreover, the main cabin on Copa Airlines cannot accommodate more than three pets on a single flight. Hence, for travelers that must travel with pets, it is ideal that they reserve space as early as possible.

9. What are the pet carrier requirments at Copa Airlines?

Copa Airlines have put some requirements in place in their pet policies. Every container or carrier must meet these requirements. Some of them include:

  • One pet per carrier.
  • No traveler can carry more than one pet.
  • The carrier must be spacious enough to house the pet such that it can stand, lie down, and turn around easily.
  • Either rigid or soft sides.
  • For carriers with soft sides, the measurement includes 18 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 11 inches high.
  • For carriers with rigid sides, they should be 17 inches long, 13 inches wide, and 7.5 inches high.
  • Manufacturing materials include polycarbonate, wood, or metal.
  • High durability to prevent the pet from escaping while in transit.
  • Proper ventilation aided by the presence of holes on the carrier.
  • Installation of safety latches to open and close doors without using special tools.
  • Availability of waste storage system such as shredded paper or placement of a tray beneath the carrier.
  • The carrier must fit perfectly well under the traveler’s front seat.

Only travelers can contain or remove pets from the cabin or carrier.

10. What health documentation is required?

A pet’s health status has a significant role to play. For quick and smooth departure and entry into any country, travelers must provide all health-related information about the pet.

When on a connecting flight, travelers should have with them the necessary documents to satisfy each country’s health measures. It could be a special/extra document or requirement stipulated by the laws of the destination, transit, and departure countries. To get the full details of what these requirements are, travelers should get in touch with each country’s sanitary authority.

Some of the health measures Copa Airlines include in their pet policy include the following.

  • Travelers must provide their pets’ current health certificates and vaccination records for local flights in Panama.
  • Provision of a health certificate, certifying the pet to be safe and healthy, especially on international flights. The certificate must have been issued by a relevant authority.
  • Provision of other important documents for entry into the next country.
  • Provision of immunization records, particularly anti-rabies vaccine.
  • The chances are that there are limitations to/from different countries. Ensure you keep this at heart.

Health Documents Required for Emotional Support Pets

When traveling with an emotional support pet, travelers must have some documents at their disposal. Apart from indicating that such pets are free from any health issues, the documents must also show that they can provide their owners with tranquility, ease them when stressed or depressed, reduce anxiety, and provide comfort in their time of need.

Some of the required documents include the following.

  • Healthcare report issued by a relevant psychiatrist indicating that the traveler has a mental impairment or some other emotional support needs, and for this reason requires the support of a dog while traveling.
  • The report must not exceed one year from the day of departure.
  • Recent and valid immunization records to show that the pet has good health.
  • Additional documents that the destination country requires for emotional support pets. You can always find out from the destination country’s embassy before scheduling your flight.
  • Travelers who fall under this category should complete the Terms of Service form. Before getting on board, go to the departure gate with two copies of this form. This way, you have validated your need for an emotional support pet.

Health Documents Required for Service Animals

To fly with a service dog on Copa Airlines, travelers must provide some vital documents. Before taking any service dog on a journey, it must have undergone proper training to adhere to the owner’s instructions. Also, the dog must be of the required age. Aside from meeting these requirements, travelers must provide the following health documents.

  • Certificate of immunization and health. It must be valid and recent.
  • Valid ID to indicate the purpose of the pet – whether it is a service animal or not.
  • Up-to-date and genuine destination country documentation.
  • Travelers flying to/from the US should ensure they complete the DOT Service Animal Form. They must present two copies of this form at the departure gate before getting onboard.

For those traveling to/from other countries, excluding the United States, the service animal form must be completed before the day of departure. When it’s eventually the day to travel, they are to present two copies of this form at the airport.

11. Do I need a new health certificate for my pet's return trip?

As long as the health certificate remains valid, travelers do not need a new one for a return trip. Unless indicated, travelers can still present their pets’ old yet valid health certificates on a return trip.

12. How old does my pet have to be to travel?

Copa Airlines pay keen attention to details. One such detail is the age of the pet. Any pet less than two months cannot fly on Copa Airlines. Similarly, any pet above 11 years old is not allowed.

Although travelers traveling with emotional support pets or service animals can do so without making payments, their pets should be at least six months old. At this age, the pet must have undergone the proper training to serve its purpose.

13. How many pets can fly in a single kennel?

The answer to this question is not too distant to infer. For a single kennel, Copa Airlines allows only one pet. Hence, each traveler carries a pet in a single carrier.

14. What Size will Pet Carrier Fit Under an Airline Seat Copa Airlines?

The standard size for a carrier with rigid sides includes 17 inches long, 13 inches wide, and 7.5 inches high. On the other hand, a carrier with soft sides should be18 inches long, 11 inches wide, 11 inches high. In a situation where the pet is bigger than the recommended size, it is best transported as air cargo.

15. Does Copa Airlines Have a Weight Limit for Pets?

To oversee the weight of each pet they get onboard, Copa Airlines have a weight limit in place. The pet, in addition to its carrier, must not carry a weight of more than 20 lbs. Should the reverse be the case, such a pet will travel as air cargo.

Since Copa Airlines’ pet policy doesn’t permit the transportation of pets as checked baggage, travelers must ensure that their pets meet their weight requirements to travel on their airlines.

16. How can I Confirm the Reservation For My Pet?

Confirmation of reservation should come in handy if you book as early as five to fifteen days before the departure date. Travelers can always confirm their reservations with the Bookings Facility or Customer Department. Alternatively, travelers can call (800) 359-2672 to make the process faster and easier.

Wrap Up

Every traveler looking forward to traveling on Copa Airlines with a pet should understand their pet policy. Interestingly, the airline only flies cats and small dogs but there are certain dog and cat breeds that are not allowed to fly. Travelers need to submit proof of their pets’ health status to ascertain that they are harmless to other passengers while ensuring that their carrier meets the diverse requirements put in place by the airline.