British Airways Pet Policy


British Airways pet policy allows pets to travel only in the cargo hold section of the aircraft as cargo baggage. BA does not allow pets—incl. emotional support animals—to travel in the cabin, except recognized assistance dogs. Pets are also not allowed to travel in the checked baggage section.

Pet reservations on British Airways flights can be made as follows:

  • If you’re flying from the UK, contact PetAir UK at +44 (0)2039 266 622.
  • If you’re flying to the UK, contact IAG Cargo at +1-800-247-9297 or an IAG Cargo office at your airport.

British Airways Pet Policy—Pets in Cargo 

British Airways pet policy allows the transportation of pets into the United Kingdom as air cargo through IAG Cargo, a sister company of BA. IAG Cargo’s network covers 350+ destinations, including 8 airports within the United Kingdom. 

If you’re flying out of USA, you can call IAG Cargo’s JFK airport office at 718-233-6608 for more information on how to transport your pet.

  • Pets Allowed
    • Cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, birds, ferrets, monkeys, snakes, cold-blooded animals, tropical fish, fowl, and other animals.
    • Larger animals such as horses, cattle, etc. must be booked through an authorized agent. 
  • Forms Required
    • A valid health certificate issued at 10 days before the travel date by a licensed vet. 
    • Indemnity Form covering British Airways if the pet does not pass the PETS checks on arrival and goes into quarantine. 
    • All forms required by the country of destination must be attached to the pet’s crate.
  • Information Required
    The pet cargo company will require the following information from you:
    • Your (shipper) name, address, and phone number.
    • The consignee’s name, address, and phone number.
    • Travel information, such as departure and arrival airports, and desired flight date.
    • Pet information, such as name, species, sex, age, breed, weight, and crate size.
    • A photograph of your pet standing next to its crate to help assess whether the crate is of the correct size. 
  • Pet Fee. The cost of transporting your pet will depend on the country of origin and destination. 
  • Pet Age
    • Pups and kittens must be at least 10 weeks old. 
    • Pregnant dogs and cats will not be allowed to travel after 6 months of gestation.
  • Check-In
    • You must check in at an IAG Cargo facility with all the required documentation: 
      • 2 hours before departure for domestic flights. 
      • 4 hours before departure for international flights 
  • Restrictions
    • Route Restrictions. Pets will not be transported from Kuwait, Dallas/Fort Worth, or to/from Beijing or Shanghai due to high temperatures.
    • Temperature Restrictions. Pets will not be accepted on British Airways flights if the temperature in any city on the itinerary is likely to be below 45°F (7°C) or more than 85°F (30°C).
    • Banned Breeds
      • Dangerous dog breeds such as bulldogs and pugs will not be accepted. 
      • Snub-nosed pets are required to travel in at least 10% larger crates than required normally.
      • The following breeds are considered snub nosed by British Airways: 
        • Pekinese
        • Japanese Chin
        • English Toy
        • Chow Chow
        • Brussels Griffin
        • Boxer
        • Boston Terrier
      • Snub-nosed dogs must be transported in larger crates on any flight route where the temperature is less than 75°F. 
  • Pet Crate Requirements
    According to British Airways pet policy:
    • Pets must travel in IATA-compliant pet crates. 
    • The pet crate must have adequate ventilation on all 4 sides.
    • The pet crate must have food and water bowls secured inside and accessible from the outside. 
    • Pet crates must be appropriately sized. The length of the crate must equal the measurement of the pet from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail plus ½ the length from the ground to the elbow. When standing, there should be enough clearance from the top of the head/ear tips.
    • Series 100 crates will not be accepted except on flights to the United States and Canada. 

British Airways Pet Policy—In Cabin Pets

British Airways pet policy does not allow pets to travel in the passenger cabin section of its aircraft. 

British Airways Pet Policy—Pets in Checked Baggage

British Airways pet policy does not allow pets to travel in the checked baggage section of its aircraft. 

Travelling with an Assistance Dog


Photograph of an assistance dog on British Airways

According to British Airways pet policy, assistance dogs are allowed to travel for free with their owners in the passenger cabin. Assistance dogs are defined as dogs that have been trained to assist people with disabilities or medical conditions and are found to travel safely in the aircraft. To be eligible to travel in the passenger cabin, the assistance dog must meet the following conditions:

  • Must be trained to assist a person with a disability or a medical condition. 
  • Must have documentary proof of it being trained as an assistance dog. 
  • Must be harnessed and wearing a jacket identifying it as an assistance dog.
  • Must remain under the owner’s control at all times.

Dogs that do not meet these criteria—as well as emotional support dogs—will have to travel as domestic pets per British Airways pet policy. 

How to Book an Assistance Dog

British Airways’ pet policy does not allow reservations for assistance dogs to be made online. After booking your flight, you must contact British Airways at least 3 days before your travel date so that your assistance dog’s reservation can be confirmed.

How to Travel with an Assistance Dog to the UK

If you’re travelling to the United Kingdom, you must receive a pre-approval letter from the UK Animal Reception Center at least 72 hours before your travel date. If you’re not carrying the letter, your assistance dog will not be allowed to travel.

How to Travel with an Assistance Dog from/to the United States

If you’re travelling with as assistance dog from or to the United States, you will be required to submit: 

  • The U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel Form that attests the assistance dog’s training, health, and behavior. 
  • A copy of the assistance dog’s training certificate. 
  • The DOT Relief Attestation Form for flights exceeding 8 hours, stating that the service dog will either not need to relieve itself on it the aircraft or if it does, it will do so without creating a health or sanitation issue. 
  • To download the latest versions of the forms, refer to the Contact Details section below.

How to Travel with an Assistance Dog on Other Airlines

If you’re travelling with an assistance dog on an airline operated by a British Airways’ franchise partner, you must contact them directly. 

Contact Details

If you’re travelling with an assistance dog on British Airways:

  • Speak with a British Airways agent on 0800-408-1100 (Mon–Sat, 9am–5pm, GMT).
  • Passengers with a speech or hearing impairment can call British Airways at 0845-700-7706 (Minicom) or send out an Email (see above). 

Tips

  • You must check in at the airport desk—you will not be able to check in online. 
  • You will be allocated a seat with more space, such as a seat in a bulkhead seat row. 
  • If you’re a frequent flyer member or have lounge access privileges, you’re allowed to take your assistance dog with you.
  • If you’re flying into the UK, you will be met at the aircraft by an officer of the Animal Reception Center who will help you with your clearance checks. 
  • The officer will place a tag on the assistance dog’s harness stating that it has been cleared for entry into the UK. The tag will state the following: Pet Travel Scheme Entry Check Passed.
  • After you’re through with the clearance checks, a BA staff member will take your assistance dog to a relief area and then escort your through Immigrations and Customs. 

Flight Connections

If you’re travelling with an assistance dog and your itinerary includes a connecting flight: 

  • You must ensure you have enough time between flights for security clearance, for your dog to relieve itself, etc. 
  • You will be accompanied by a British Airways staff member to the waiting area to help you catch your next flight. 

Travelling with Emotional Support Animals

British Airways no longer accepts emotional support dogs on its flights. However, your emotional support dog is allowed to travel as a normal pet under British Airways’ pet travel policy described above. 


Frequently Asked Questions on British Airways Pet Policy

British Airways does not allow pets to travel in the passenger cabin, with the exception of trained assistance dogs (subject to advance approval). Pets are only allowed to travel in the aircraft’s cargo section as cargo baggage.

British Airways does not allow pets in the cabin. Only trained assistance dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners (free of charge), subject to advance approval. 

The cost of transporting your dog on British Airways will depend on your pet’s size and weight and the route flown. The cost can range from USD 200–1,000 per pet. 

The following animals are allowed to fly on British Airways as air cargo:

Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, hamsters, ferrets, monkeys, snakes and other cold-blooded animals, tropical fish, fowl, and other animals.

All pet crates must IATA-approved and large enough for your pet. All crates must be:

  • Adequately ventilated on all 4 sides.
  • Must have a food and water bowl fixed inside, and the bowls must be accessible from outside.
  • Large enough for the pet. The crate’s length must not be less than the pet’s measurement from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail plus ½ the length from the ground to the elbow. When your pet stands upright, there should be enough clearance on top of the head and ear tips.
  • Series 100 crates will only be accepted on flights to the US and Canada, but not on other flights.

Your pet must have a valid health certificate issued by a licensed vet at least 10 days before your travel date. You will also be required to fill out an Indemnity Form covering British Airways in case your pet fails the PETS checks on arrival and goes into quarantine. You must attach all the required forms required to the pet’s crate.

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