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British Airways will carry a recognised assistance dog free of charge in the cabin on all international flights to/from London Heathrow or Gatwick and on all UK Domestic flights.
An assistance dog is one which has been specifically trained to assist a disabled person and has been qualified by one of the charitable organisations, meeting the full membership criteria of Assistance Dogs International (ADI), the accrediting body for assistance dog' organisations worldwide
The purpose of ADI is to improve the areas of training, placement, and utilisation of assistance dog, staff and volunteer education, as well as educating the public about assistance dog, and advocating for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dog.
ADI has a comprehensive accreditation system and members have to be regularly assessed to ensure they meet the high standards expected of assistance dog programs.
Guide dogs assist blind and visually impaired people by avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps, and negotiating traffic.
Here are some of the standards the guide dog and their handler are expected to achieve, full details can be found at ADI website with Training Standards for Guide Dogs.
Hearing dogs assist deaf or hearing impaired individuals by alerting them to a variety of household sounds such as a door knock, telephone, baby cry, name call or smoke alarm. Dogs are trained to make physical contact and lead their deaf partners to the source of the sound.
Here are some of the standards the hearing dog and their handler are expected to achieve, full details can be found at ADI website with Training Standards for Hearing Dogs.
Service dogs assist people with disabilities other than vision or hearing impairment. With special training these dogs can help mitigate many different types of disabilities. They can be trained to work with people who use power or manual wheelchairs, have balance issues, have various types of autism, need seizure alert or response, need to be alerted to other medical issues like low blood sugar, or have psychiatric disabilities.
Here are some of the standards the service dog and their handler are expected to achieve, full details can be found at ADI website with Training Standards for Service Dogs.
Dogs providing any other service, such as emotional support, will not have been trained to meet the criteria set by ADI and are not recognised as assistance dogs by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and therefore be booked as a domestic pet and travel in the hold.
Any restrictions travelling out of the UK are dependent on the requirements of the destination country.
If you are travelling to the UK your dog must meet the requirements of the UK Pet Travel Scheme.
We have to limit the number of assistance dogs we can carry in the cabin, so let us know about your dog when you make your booking, and at least 7 days before your flight departs.
If your flight is operated by our airline alliance or franchise partners please contact them as they may have their own restrictions.
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