Travel with Pet
It has been found that pet transport by South Korean airlines is on the increase. This is likely to continue as Korean Air and Asiana Airlines raised the upper limit of the weight of pet dogs they transport to 45 kg last month. At present, Jeju Air, T'way Airlines and Eastar Jet are providing their pet transport services only for domestic flight customers unlike Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Air Busan, Jin Air and Air Seoul.
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines transported pets 24,741 and 12,595 times last year, respectively. The combined number increased 19.2% from a year ago to reach an all-time high. It has continued to go up since records began in 2010, when the number totaled 19,057. Exactly the same trend is being witnessed in the low-cost carriers, too.
Customers wishing to use the service can do so by purchasing cages. It costs 2,000 won (US$1.8) to 3,000 won (US$2.7) per kilogram for domestic flight customers, approximately 100,000 won (US$90) for those traveling to Japan, China and the other nearby countries and about 200,000 won (US$180) for those using long-haul flights. In general, pets with a weight of 5 kg or less can enter the cabin if they are in the cages while those with a weight of over 5 kg and up to 45 kg are transported in cargo holds. The number of pets that can be transported varies depending on models. For example, the Airbus A380 is capable of transporting up to eight pets at the same time whereas the Boeing 737, which provides no temperature control in its cargo hold, can transport no pet in the case of long-haul routes.
Pet transport by the airlines is on a first come, first served basis and reservation is required along with a health certificate, a rabies vaccination certificate and the like. Quarantine stations at the Gimpo and Incheon International Airports are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Those traveling to Japan are required to notify its quarantine authority of the date of arrival at least 40 days ahead and obtain a written approval in advance. Also required are microchip transplantation and vaccination for inactivation of rabies. In the case of Europe, a health certificate issued by a certified vet is required. When it comes to Hawaii, a blood test sample has to reach a local lab within 120 days to 36 months from the date of arrival for a rabies test. No pets are allowed in Britain, Hong Kong and New Zealand.