Terrific news for pet owners! (And bad news for travelers with allergies).
Hainan Airlines (HNA) is now allowing travelers to bring their dogs and cats with them into the main cabin during domestic flights in China.
The new policy was announced on January 19 and is currently in a 12-month "pilot stage." HNA is now the first Mainland carrier to allow small pets in the cabin, according to Xinhua.
In a Weibo post, HNA announced a few restrictions to the new policy, which currently only covers nine domestic departure routes: Guangzhou, Qingdao, Changsha, Kashgar, Xiamen, Haikou, Jinan, Shenzhen and Hefei.
The combined weight of the pet and its box must be no larger than five kilograms, and a maximum of two pets are allowed in the cabin per flight (with each individual passenger limited to one animal). Pets that are under six months old, pregnant or have given birth within 48 hours are excluded. Cages must not exceed the following dimensions: 35cm (length) × 28cm (width) × 24cm (height). They should be placed underneath the front seat, like so:
Pets must stay in their cages during the entire journey so as not to disturb other passengers; owners are also not permitted to bring water or food to feed the animal onboard. The airline also recommends pets wear masks (to prevent noise) and diapers (to avoid accidents) during the flight.
Travelers who wish to bring their pet into the cabin need to apply directly with the HNA ticketing office at least 24 hours in advance, where they will need to pay a fee of RMB800 per pet. They'll also need to prepare some documents when applying, including an Animal Quarantine Certificate of Conformity (issued by Animal Health Supervision) and proof of vaccination. Other documentation may be required — we recommend contacting HNA for more details.
Additional details on HNA's pet services can be found in English here, though the document hasn't been updated to reflect the new pet carry-on policy.
In addition to bringing pets onboard, you can now also leave your smartphone on during flights. Score!