While not usually something that comes up every time you travel, sometimes you need to fly with your furry friend to and from the United Kingdom. When you can’t leave your beloved pet at home, you’ll need to know which airlines allow pets in the cabin or as cargo. Can dogs fly on planes in the UK? Yes, and cats, too, but there are some overall rules and exceptions to consider.
As part of a more extensive study on the Top Overall UK Airlines for 2023, we determined which UK-based airlines allow pets on board. Unfortunately, the list is pretty short, so you’ll really only have three airlines to choose from. Wondering which ones they are? Read on…
TUI Airways is number one for the most pet-friendly airlines UK because it’s one of the only UK airlines that allows pets in the cabin. As long as you’re traveling with a cat or dog and it (and its carrier) weighs 8kg or less, you can take your pet on the plane. There is a maximum of three pets per flight in total, and you can’t have more than one pet per person. Luckily, the chances of having multiple pets on any given flight are slim.
The fee with TUI Airways to bring your pet on board is €50 each way, and you won’t have your pick of seats. TUI has a rule that when you travel with your pet, you must select a window seat. Another limit to pet travel with TUI is that pets are only permitted in the cabin on flights within Europe, not long-haul flights. But all is not lost; TUI also offers the option to fly with your pets as checked baggage.
When your dog or cat and its carrier exceed the 8kg limit, they must go in the cargo hold. The fee is slightly more for this at €80 each way, and only four pets in the cargo hold are permitted per flight.
To prepare for your pet-friendly TUI flight, here are a few things to do to prepare when travelling with your pet in the cabin:
When you need to know which airlines allow pets in the cabin, UK travellers should know that the answer is TUI Airways and TUI Airways alone. Aside from a few restrictions, including one that prohibits dogs with flat snouts, TUI offers the largest number of routes, and since you can also use the cargo hold for larger pets, check out TUI first.
The list of which airlines allow pets in the cabin in the UK ends with TUI, but luckily, there are a few other options. Aside from assistance dogs, all cats and dogs that want to travel on a Loganair flight must be checked as baggage, as harsh as that sounds.
Loganair is the UK’s largest regional airline based out of Glasgow Airport. The Scottish carrier recognizes how necessary it can be to travel with your pet on a plane in the UK, and as long as you don’t need to travel internationally (due to limited routes), Loganair is a good bet.
The cost to fly with your pet as cargo is £50 one way and must be booked well in advance. Like TUI, Loganair doesn’t allow any pugs, bulldogs, Pekinese, or crossbreeds of these dogs on board.
Important information to consider:
Toted as Guernsey’s Airline, Aurigny Air Services takes third place on our list of which airlines allow pets in the cabin or cargo hold in the UK. The airline’s policies are similar to Loganair's in that your pet won’t be permitted to sit with you in the cabin. Instead, your dog or cat will be put into a cage in the front hold.
Aurigny’s United Kingdom pet policy has another limit as well. The only route that welcomes cats or dogs is the one that travels from Guernsey to Southampton (and back). You can only have one pet per flight due to the space in the front hold cage, so always call ahead to book as soon as you know you need to travel.
The fee is fairly reasonable at £35 each way, although Aurigny is not as good an option as TUI or Loganair due to the limited routes and limited space. But, the good news is that they are one of the few pet-friendly airlines UK travellers can count on.
We would be amiss if we didn’t mention that as part of our more in-depth study on the overall top UK airlines, Aurigny Air Services scored the worst for reliability. This means your chances of encountering a flight disruption are high - not ideal when travelling with a pet. If you experience a disruption, we can help. Whether you need to claim compensation for a delayed flight or learn your rights related to a cancelled flight, we’re here to guide you.
Pets in Cabin?
Pets as Cargo?
Cost (one way)
Aurigny Air Services
If you don’t see the airline you’re looking for in this list, they don’t currently allow pet travel of any kind. But keep checking back with the airlines themselves. Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have previously offered the service, but it is currently suspended.
Perhaps the lack of choice in UK airlines that allow pets to travel on board is good. It saves travellers from endlessly searching for flights on dozens of airlines. And if the three carriers listed here don’t offer the routes you need, check with KLM, Air France, or Lufthansa, as they all allow pets in the cabin and as cargo and have many routes to and from the UK, even though they are not Britain-based.
The only United Kingdom-based airline that currently allows pets in the cabin is TUI Airways. The cat or dog must be under 8kg (including the carrier) and costs €50 each way.
Yes, but with a limited number of UK-based airlines. Depending on size, TUI Airways allows dogs in either the cabin or cargo hold and Aurigny Air Services and Loganair permit dogs to fly in the plane’s front hold or baggage compartment.
Branch out. Many Europe-based airlines have extensive routes to and from the United Kingdom. Look for flights from European airlines like KLM, Lufthansa, and Air France, as these all allow pets as cargo and as travel buddies in the cabin.
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