Why you should choose The PetLounge

The PetLounge is a specialist travel facility dedicated to caring for the comfort and safety of pets traveling by air.

The relatively harsh cargo environment is not recommended for pets because of the noise, fumes and jostling. This aggravates any stress your pet maybe feeling while making an unaccustomed journey.

We have a dedicated PetLounge in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Lanseria and George away from general cargo, forklifts, pollution and noise. Additionally, there is a separate facility in East London and a BidAir Cargo branch in Durban where pets are handled with the utmost care to minimize the stress of travelling.

The PetLounge staff are highly trained AVI Specialists who genuinely care for the welfare and comfort of animals. In Johannesburg and Cape Town we transport pets to and from the aircraft in safe and secure air conditioned vehicles, which is an important consideration to be bear in mind when choosing a company to transport your pet safely and comfortably. With your support this feature will eventually be available in other branches too.

This makes BidAir Cargo’s PetLounge your best option for peace of mind!

What We Do

Thanks to the PetLounge, we animals now have access to first class travel. With fast-track check-in to an on-airport lounge where we feel comfortable, secure and relaxed while waiting to be personally escorted aboard our flight. The PetLounge flies all types of animals as long they have the correct paperwork. In past they have flown from insects to sharks…

Our Services

Talk about being pampered! The PetLounge team check on us constantly to see we’re happy and comfortable. They are thoroughly trained and qualified to international standards of pet travel and pet welfare in transit, they are especially selected for their love of animals. They even let us travel with our favourite blanket to keep us warm.


Every travelling pet and other animal in transit deserves to experience the stress-free environment of The PetLounge. It should be first choice for families relocating or going on holiday and breeders and associations. So let’s get the word out, Tiddles, Rover and Goldie. If you have fur, feathers or fins, The PetLounge is the best way to travel.

The Process

Phone the nearest PetLounge or Central Call Centre on 011 230 4600 to book animal air travel, to confirm documentation, or to find out which container is required and when to drop off your pet.
Container Requirements

AVI Specialist checks that the animal has sufficient water and places animal in a Secure Area in the Petlounge. AVI Specialist captures and produces manifest then pre-advises receiving branch.

AVI Specialist transports animal to the aircraft and hands the animal and documentation to the ramp handler, who loads the animal onto the aircraft and advises the Captain.

The recipient welcomes their animal and signs a copy of the AWB as proof of delivery(POD).

AVI Specialist checks that the container is correct and secure. Hands Vet book and any CITES / required documentation to the AVI Specialist, who checks and makes a copy

AVI Specialist contacts Sender and Recipient if there is any delay, and makes alternate arrangements if necessary. Your animal flies to destination.

Requirements for travel

For a comfortable and secure journey


Animals must have a water bowl, bedding for absorption, and should be able to stand up and turn around in their crate.


: Animals above the age of 3 months must be inoculated against Rabies, this should be done annually. There is a waiting period of 7 days (if they are older than 1 year) or 14 days (for 1st time inoculations or if they are between 3 & 12 months) after their rabies inoculation, prior to the pet travelling.

If your animal is younger than 3 months old, a clear, legible copy of the mothers VET BOOK must be provided.
Puppies and kittens under 3 months must have their own inoculation booklet with their first inoculations up to date.
All animals can only fly from the age of 8 weeks.
NOTE: Please enquire about the special requirements for the transportation of snub/pug nosed animals.

Paperwork to bring with you

All pets
Please bring the original official vaccination card with your pet, which we will make a copy of.

Pregnant Pets

If your pet is pregnant please bring a letter from your vet signed within the last week certifying that your pet is fit to fly.


Your puppy must be older than eight weeks.
If your puppy is under three months old, please bring a copy of the mother's rabies inoculation booklet, along with the puppy’s own inoculation booklet.

Booking and check-in

Please book your pet's flight 48 hours prior to the flight, contact us on 011 230 4600 or email us on info@petlounge.co.za


Domestic Check In – Please check your pet in 2 hours before their flight

Regional Check In
Please book your pet in 4 hours before their flight

Our Team


Natasha Willis

Product Manager

BidAir Cargo has appointed Natasha Willis as the PetLounge’s National Product Manager, based at Port Elizabeth Airport. Her brief is to continue to develop the quality PetLounge service which has proved so successful with owners and their pets.

Read more....

Natasha developed her service skills and knowledge as Key Accounts Manager in Port Elizabeth. Having proved herself with people, she now moves on to our most demanding customers – pets. “As an animal lover, I am looking forward to ensuring that the PetLounge continues to offer substantial value to our VIPs (Very Important Pets) and their owners”, says Natasha.

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Lenishia Naicker

Regional Manager

Lenishia assigns high priority to her PetLounge role at King Shaka International Airport. By showing hands-on concern for the comfort and safety of animals in her care, Lenishia ensures that the pet and owner are given peace of mind.


Shahiema Moos

AVI Specialist

To make sure she is qualified to deliver service to pets and
their owners, Shahiema completed her Live Animals Regulations Certificate. The secret to looking after pets in transit lies in treating them as if they were her own.


Zanele Nhlapo

AVI Reservations

Zanele cares so much about animal welfare that she gave up her spare time to gain a degree in environmental management and conservation through the University of South Africa (UNISA).


Megan van Vuuren

AVI Specialist

Megan combines her love of dogs and other pets with relevant operational experience to offer pet-friendly travel to and from the Eastern Cape. She has received intensive education on pet transport, focusing on the local and international rules,


regulations and practices that put pet welfare first. Among other responsibilities, Megan strictly applies the company requirement that only pets in approved travel crates are accepted for transport. “This is to ensure your pet has a secure and enjoyable journey and arrives at destination in tip-top condition, ready for a joyful reunion.”

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Chivonne Pretorius

Operations Manager

To boost the success and growth of our PetLounge service, Chivonne Pretorius has been appointed as our National Operations Manager.Animal-lover Chivonne was a pivotal part of the "Noah’s Ark” team which orchestrated a charter flight of wildlife to


the Far East in 2016. She has excellent skills in communication, teamwork, safety and customer relations. Now she is putting her experience to work to make sure that pets are safely and comfortably flown around South Africa. “Families can rest assured that their little darlings are in good hands.”

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Which routes does PetLounge serve?

Johannesburg(ORT or Lanseria airport), Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and George.

Can my animal travel to and from Lanseria?

Yes between Lanseria and Durban and Lanseria and Cape Town in both directions.

Does the PetLounge offer services into Africa?

We can accept your pets for travel to Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

What is the flight frequency?

There are many daily departures but the timetable varies from route to route. Please check with your local PetLounge

How do I go about making a reservation?

Please phone The PetLounge National Call Centre on 011 230 4600 or email us at info@petlounge.co.za. We recommend that you give us 48 hours notice, if you are able to, so we can make sure that your pet is expected and looked after throughout the journey. Once you let us know the date and time you are planning for your pet to travel, we will be able to advise your flight options.

Who does the PetLounge serve?

Our customers range from families taking their pet on holiday or re-locating to breeders, associations, vets, animal charities, to owners of racing pigeons and professional pet movers.

Which pets do you accommodate?

The PetLounge facilities are ideal for all household pets. While we mostly transport dogs, cats and cage birds we gladly accommodate rabbits, tropical fish and a variety of other pets.

Are large dogs accepted by The PetLounge?

We love large dogs as much as you and we go out of our way to welcome them to The PetLounge. Be aware, though, that your dog needs enough room to turn around inside the travel crate and stand upright without its head touching the roof. So please check dimensions with The PetLounge when making a booking. The passenger aircraft used for our daytime services can accommodate crates only to a maximum height of 85 cm. If your animal requires a bigger crate, we will accommodate it on our overnight service. We have kennels where large dogs can remain until a flight is able to carry them, even overnight if necessary.

What documentation must I complete?

When you make your reservation, our animal specialist will go through the procedures with you. We know saying goodbye at the airport is stressful. That's why we help by filling in all the necessary paperwork so you can spend more time saying goodbye to your little darlings before their flight.

Can you handle travel for exotic species?

The PetLounge can make arrangements to move exotic species provided we are advised of specialist handling and dietary requirements and the animals are accompanied by the regulatory documents mandatory for exotic species transportation.

How old must my puppy/kitten be to fly?

Eight weeks for domestic travel and 10 weeks on regional flights

Should I feed my pet before travel?

You should not feed your pet before flying. Travelling on an empty stomach will avoid nausea or soiling the crate. The PetLounge short hand-in and hand-out times means your pet won’t be out of your sight for long and will soon be back with you ready for food and water. Allow 45 to 60 minutes to be reunited once the flight lands.

How many pets may travel on a flight?

There is a maximum of six cats or dogs per domestic flight.

How many pets may travel in the same crate?

Unrelated pets are allowed only one to a crate. Up to 3 pets are permitted per crate, providing they are siblings from the same litter and they must be puppies or kittens not adult pets.

Do you supply crates?

If you do not have an approved crate for your pet to travel, we can put you in touch with the right people to supply one.

How big must a crate be?

Your pet needs to be able to stand up straight and turn around inside the crate without its head touching the roof – about the space of 4 fingers.

What paperwork do I need for my pet to travel on a domestic flight?

Pets under 8 weeks may not travel. Under 3 months (12 weeks) require their own inoculation booklet with the de-worming and the 1st inoculation and they need to be accompanied by a copy of the mother’s rabies certificate not older than 1 year. On the regional sector they will require import, export permits, mother’s rabies certificate and puppy’s or kitten’s inoculation booklet and health certificate. When you phone to make a reservation one of our animal specialists will guide you through the necessary documentation.

May I self inoculate pets before they travel?

Regulations require that the inoculation may be carried out only by a registered veterinarian or authorised person and certified with an official practice stamp showing where and when the inoculation took place.

Who cares for my pet en route?

A PetLounge pet-handling specialist will accompany your pet to the aircraft to ensure your pet is comfortably and safely loaded aboard. At destination, a PetLounge pet-handling specialist will meet the aircraft and escort your pet to the PetLounge for collection.

Where will my pet travel on-board the aircraft?

There is a special position beneath the cockpit, in the forward hold, beneath the passenger deck

What is the pressure in the hold where my pets are travelling?

Your pets travel in the same pressure to passengers in the cabin. The Captain is advised that pets are on-board and is sensitive to their comfort and safety.

How much will it cost for my pet to fly?

This varies according to size and weight of the crate. For a domestic cat, the rate would start around R 350.00. Please contact your local PetLounge for a quotation. Please note that the fee is calculated on freight tonnage – the volume the crate occupies or the weight, whichever is the greater.

Member of IPATA

We are proud memebers of IPATA. The International Pet and Animal Travel Association.

Breeders and associations

The PetLounge was founded in response to approaches from pet owners, breeders and associations as they identified the dire need for the correct and compassionate way of moving animals.