Taking your pet on a plane is a stressful prospect for most. But it's not impossible!
Conditions for travelling with animals vary according to the airline, whether it's the cost or a restriction on the size or weight. We're making your trip a little simpler this summer by putting together a list of the major airline companies, along with their policies on pets. All so that you can have a carefree holiday with your best pal!
1. British Airways
On OpenSkies flights, which operate between Paris and New York, your dog or cat can travel on board if he weighs less than 6kg, otherwise, he will have to travel in the hold. On all other flights all dogs, excluding guide dogs must travel in the hold. The pet carrier must be a maximum of 45cm x 30cm x 24cm to go on board. You will be charged 125 euros to take a pet either in the cabin or in the hold.
2. Virgin Atlantic
This might be the best policy for pet-lovers, with a special Flying Paws scheme offering Flying Club miles for pets! However, Virgin will not take snub-nosed dog breeds. The maximum accepted cage size is 53cm x 40cm x 38cm, and prices depend on the size of the carrier and your destination.
On Delta flights, your dog can go with you in the cabin as long as his cage fits under the seat in front of you, and is small enough that he can move around inside the cage without touching the sides. The maximum size of the cage depends on the destination. Get in touch with Delta to find out more.
4. Air France and KLM
For Air France and KLM flights, you can take your pet on board provided that he weighs less than 8kg, including the carrier. Alternatively, your dog can travel in the hold. Charges depend on the size and weight of the carrier.
Your dog should not weight more than 8kg if you want to take him with you in the cabin, including his transportation carrier. It will cost you 50 euros for short-haul flights and 70 euros for long-haul.
You can take dogs weighing less than 8kg into the cabin, again including the bag or crate. Other animals can travel in the hold, with a maximum of three per passenger. This will cost 25 euros for domestic flights and 40 euros for international flights. However, you cannot take dogs with you on flights going to and from the UK or Ireland. And be careful: snub-nosed dogs (pugs, boxers, Persian or Birman cats) are not allowed.
Your pet must be placed in a cage of maximum 40cm x 24cm x 20cm. Any larger than this and he will have to travel in the hold. The service will cost 40 euros for flights going to Italy, 75 euros to the rest of Europe and North Africa, and between 200 and 260 euros for other international destinations.
You can take your dog on board on Transavia flights if he weighs less than 10kg, and is in a cage of maximum 47cm x 30cm x 27cm. He can travel in the hold if necessary. He must be at least 3 months and 21 days old. It will cost you 40 euros for him to travel in the cabin for a one-way flight, and 60 euros to travel in the hold.
Your pet can accompany you in the cabin if he weighs less than 8kg, as long as his cage is maximum 45cm x 35cm x 25cm. Any larger and he will have to travel in the hold. This will cost between 25 and 120 euros for flights to Spain, between 50 and 120 to other destinations in Europe, Africa or the Middle East, or between 150 and 300 euros to America, Angola, Nigeria or Israel.
Be aware that only assistance dogs are permitted on flights with Ryanair and easyJet.
We strongly recommend that you call your airline of choice in advance, to make sure you understand all their rules and to avoid any nasty surprises at the airport!