Copa Airlines Pet Policy

Copa Airlines allows small domestic pets like cats and dogs to travel in the cabin, and larger pets as air cargo. Copa Airlines pet policy does not accept pets as checked baggage and has a holiday embargo from mid to end-December.

Trained service animals and emotional service are allowed to travel in the cabin free of charge with their owners, subject to certain conditions. 

Update. Effective July 14, 2021, the CDC has temporarily suspended the entry of dogs into the United States from high-risk rabies countries and non-high-risk countries if the dogs have been to any high-risk country in the preceding 6 months. 
The suspension applies to all dogs:Traveling to the United States as in-cabin pets or as air cargo.Including service dogs and emotional support dogs.Returning to the United States after a temporary visit. 
For more information, check out CDC’s website.

Copa Airlines In-Cabin Pet Policy

Copa Airlines in-cabin policy requires pets to travel in airline-approved pet carriers with a waterproof bottom and enough space and ventilation for the pet.

  • Pets Allowed. Only small dogs and cats are accepted in the Main Cabin (not Business Class).
  • Pet Reservations. Must be made at least 48 hours before departure. 
  • Pet Weight.  The weight of the pet (incl. carrier) must not exceed 20lb/9kg.
  • Pet Age. Must be at least 8 weeks old to travel in the cabin. 
  • Forms Required
    • On international flights, a health certificate issued by a licensed vet, along with the necessary documentation required by the destination country. 
    • As many countries have additional restrictions, so always check the country-specific restrictions before traveling.  
    • On domestic flights within Colombia, only a current vaccination certificate is required. On flights within Panama, proof of current vaccination and health certificate are required.
  • Check-in
    • You must check in at the passenger counter and pay the fees.
    • Pet carriers will count as a piece of carry-on baggage.
  • Pet Fee
    • USD 125 on international flights, but may vary by country.
    • USD 25 plus taxes on domestic flights within Panama and Colombia.
    • Plus, surcharges on connecting flights. 
  • Restrictions
    • Route Restrictions. On international flights, pets can travel only from Mondays through Fridays. On domestic flights (Panama), pets can travel daily if the flight doesn’t include an international connection. 
    • Cabin Restrictions. Pets are not allowed to travel on Business Class.
    • Maximum pets per carrier. Only 1 pet carrier with 1 pet inside is permitted per passenger.
    • Seating Restrictions. Passengers traveling with pets cannot occupy seats in an emergency exit row, those facing a bulkhead, or in seats in the first row.
    • Other Restrictions
      • More than 3 pets are not allowed in the main cabin per flight.
      • Children below 11 years of age are not permitted to fly with pets.
      • Pets can be fed only if they remain inside their containers. 
      • The pet must stay inside its container throughout the flight.
      • The pet must not smell or behave offensively.
      • Pets will not be accepted on itineraries that include a connection with another airline or on interline segments.

Pet Container Requirements 

  • Max. weight (incl. pet) 20lb/9kg
  • Max. size Soft-sided carriers: 18in (L) x 11in (W) x 11in (H)
    Hard-sided carriers: 17in (L) x 13in (W) x 7.5in (H)
  • Must be large enough for the pet to turn around, lie down, and stand in a natural position.
  • The pet carrier must be adequately ventilated but no part of its body must stick out of the carrier.
  • The pet carrier must be leak-proof.


Copa Airlines pet policy also requires the following conditions to be met:

  • Must be made of plastic, metal, or wood, with soft or rigid sides.
  • Must be sturdy enough to prevent the pet from escaping. 
  • Must contain safety latches that enable the door to be opened or closed without special tools. 
  • Must be able to store waste produced in-flight.
  • Must easily fit under the front seat. 

Checked Baggage Pet Policy

Copa Airlines does not offer checked baggage services for pets.

Air Cargo Pet Policy

Cats and dogs that are too large or heavy to travel in the passenger cabin can travel as air cargo with Copa Mascotas. The air cargo service is available from Mondays to Thursdays on international flights. To travel as air cargo, pets must be between 2 months and 11 years old.

  • Pets Allowed. Only cats and dogs are accepted as air cargo on domestic and international flights.
  • Pet Age. Must be between 2 months and 11 years old. 
  • Forms Required
    • A health certificate issued within 10 days of departure date. 
    • Proof of vaccination.
    • All forms required by the destination country.
  • Pet Reservations. Call (800) 359-2672.
  • Pet Carrier Requirements
    • Must be IATA-compliant.
    • Can be between 40 x 38 x 53cm (16 x 15 x 21in) and
      68 x 76 x 101cm (27 x 30 x 40in)
  • Must be spacious enough for the pet to stand up, lie down, and turn around.
  • Must be properly ventilated but no part of its body must stick out.
  • Must be leak-proof. 
  • Must contain safety latches that enable the door to be opened or closed without special tools. 
  • Must be able to store waste produced in-flight.
  • Must be made of plastic, metal, or wood, with soft or rigid sides.
  • Pet Restrictions
    • Banned Breeds. The breeds listed below are not accepted as air cargo Copa Cargo: Brazilian Fila, Cane Corso, Argentina Dogo, Canary Catch Dog, English Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Pit Bull.
    • The following breeds require larger crates and should not travel during high temperature periods: Lhasa Apso, Dogue de Bordeaux, Carlino Mastiff, Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Sharpei, Chow Chow, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Principal, Maltese, Staffordshire Terrier, Japanese Pug, Pequines, Japanese Chin, French Bulldog, English Toy Spaniel, Holand Pug, Bull Terrier, Grifon de Bruselas, Boxer, and Boston Terrier. 
    • Temperature Restrictions. Your pet may not be accepted on flights if the temperature in any city on the itinerary exceeds 85°F.

Travelling with Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs on Copa 


A photograph showing a service dog and an emotional support dog on Copa Airlines

Copa Airlines pet policy allows only dogs as service and emotional support animals. Service dogs accompanying passengers with disabilities and emotional support dogs accompanying passengers with special needs are allowed to travel with their owners for free.

General Terms and Conditions 

  • The dog must remain seated on the floor in front of the passenger at all times, and must not occupy any aisle space. Alternatively, the dog can sit on the lap if it’s around the same size as a 2-year-old infant. 
  • For extra-large dogs, the passenger will either be assigned a seat with additional space or will have to purchase an extra seat to accommodate the dog in front of the seat. 
  • Emergency exit seats cannot be occupied by passengers travelling with a service or emotional support dog.
  • The dog will be denied permission if:
    • If it emits an unpleasant smell, or exhibits unacceptable behavior such as barking, growling, attacking passengers, etc. 
    • The documentation is not in compliance with that required by the origin/destination country. 

Service Dogs

Copa Airlines pet policy defines a service dog as an animal trained to assist a person with a disability, such as by guiding blind person, alerting the owner of a possible seizure or high/low blood sugar. 

  • Only 1 service dog is allowed per passenger.
  • Must be old enough and trained to respond to the owner’s directions.
  • Must have the following documentation:

Emotional Support Dogs

Copa Airlines pet policy defines an emotional support animal as a dog that is trained for a passenger’s well-being by providing comfort with its presence, reducing anxiety, depression or stress, or providing tranquility to its owner. 

  • Emotional support dogs are only allowed on flights to/from Canada, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.
  • Only 1 emotional support dog per passenger is permitted.
  • Only 2 emotional support dogs are permitted on a flight.
  • The emotional support dog must be at least 6 months old.
  • Must have the following documentation:
    • A certificate by a psychiatrist stating the need for the animal, subject to the following conditions:
      • Must be issued within 1 year from the travel date. 
      • Must be stamped and signed by a qualified medical professional.
    • The following documentation is also required:
      • Certificate of health and vaccination.
      • Valid proof of vaccination and a certificate of good health.
      • Valid destination-country documentation.
      • A completed terms and conditions form that you must carry with you to the airport. 

For more details and information regarding country-specific requirements, contact a Copa Airlines Reservation Center in your area.

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