Disability assistance

Travelling with an assistance dog

We're able to carry an assistance dog free of charge in the cabin on all our flights. Here's more information about how to plan and book your flight with your assistance dog.

Requirements for an assistance dog

An assistance dog has been trained to provide support to a person with a visible or non-visible disability or medical condition. These dogs are able to travel safely in the aircraft cabin on a British Airways flight. For your assistance dog to travel with you, they must:

  • Be trained to assist with a disability or medical condition by way of specific tasks.
  • Have been assessed as suitable for those purposes by an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) to comply with the requirements of the UK Government, specifically the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). This does not apply to direct flights to and from the United States of America.
  • Have had behavioural training and show appropriate behaviour in public and on board an aircraft.
  • Remain under your control at all times.

Booking travel for your assistance dog

It’s not possible to book this service online as we need additional information  to confirm your assistance dog for travel. Please contact us to book your assistance dog at the same time you book your flight and at least 48 hours prior to your date of travel.

If you’ve already booked your flight and you wish to travel with your assistance dog, please contact us to add your assistance dog to your booking at least 48 hours prior to your travel date. You can contact our Accessibility Team using the details below.

Contact details

  • Speak to our accessibility team 08:00-18:00 (GMT) Monday – Saturday on 0800 408 1100.
  • Send us a message by selecting the ‘Email us’ tab and fill out the form provided ensuring you select ‘request to carry an assistance dog’ from the topic options.
  • If you are D/deaf or hard of hearing, or have a non-visible disability, you can contact us on 0845 700 7706 (Minicom), or you can send us a message by selecting the 'Email us' tab and filling out the form provided.
  • You may wish to contact us via our Video Relay Service provider SignLive.

Travelling to or from the US

If you are travelling to or from the United States of America you must complete a U.S. DoT Service Animal Air Travel Form detailing your dog’s health, training, and behaviour.

For flights over eight hours in duration, you must complete a U.S. DoT Relief Attestation Form confirming your dog will not need to relieve itself during the flight or detail how the dog will relieve itself in a sanitary way.

If your dog doesn’t meet the above criteria, or is an emotional support dog, it will need to travel as a domestic pet.

Travelling to the UK

Due to entry regulations into the UK, you must have contacted and received pre-approval from the UK Animal Reception Centre at least 72 hours before your flight. You’ll be asked to show your pre-approval letter before boarding your flight to the UK. Failure to comply with this requirement will mean we’re unable to accept you for travel to the UK.

  • All dogs arriving in the UK will need to meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme set out by the UK Government.
  • Customers and their dog will not be allowed to board their flight to the UK without a pre-approval letter for entry into the UK.
  • On arrival to the UK, an Animal Reception Centre officer will meet you and your dog at the aircraft and carry out the clearance checks to enter the UK.
  • The Animal Reception Centre officer will place a tag stating 'Pet Travel Scheme Entry Check Passed' on the dog's harness as proof that it’s been cleared for entering the country.
  • Once the clearance checks have been completed, a member of the British Airways team will be able to take your dog to a relief area and then accompany you through Customs and Immigration.
Airport Contact details
London Heathrow +44 (0) 208 745 7894/5
London Heathrow animal reception centre
London Gatwick +44 (0) 1293 555580
London Gatwick animal reception centre
London City +44 (0) 7867358938 / (0) 7867258949

Travelling on other airlines

If your flight is operated by one of our airline or franchise partners, they may have different processes for booking an assistance dog, so please contact them directly before you travel.

Preparing to travel

  • Many organisations recommend only accepting dogs on flights of maximum 10 hours duration. However, if you can confirm that your dog can manage a longer flight, we’ll accept it for travel.
  • You must provide a dog car safety harness or equivalent to secure your assistance dog during take-off and landing, and whenever the seat belt signs are switched on.
  • We recommend you take a fleece or vet-bed with you for your dog to lie on, as well as absorbent pads, which can be placed under the fleece.
  • It’s your responsibility to take care of your dog's needs. Cabin crew won't be able to offer any assistance to the dog during the flight.
  • Make sure your dog has all the necessary documentation, vaccinations, treatments and tests for each country you’re visiting. You’ll need to have these original documents with you for your flight.
  • You’ll need to check with the relevant embassy or consulate for requirements for entry with a dog, along with any regulations or restrictions.
  • When connecting to another flight, please allow extra time for clearance and relief of your dog.
  • A member of our team will accompany you and your dog to the appropriate area to wait for the departure of your next flight.

Find out more about flight connections