Virgin Atlantic is a British airline that operates worldwide, in many different regions. The company allows the transportation of pets on its flights. Unfortunately, only transportation of guide and assistance dogs is available at the moment. In this article, you will find general information on the airline’s pet policy and special requirements for the transportation of service animals.
The transportation of pets is only possible in the cargo hold on Virgin Atlantic flights. The exception is guide and assistance dogs which are allowed in the cabin.
When pet bookings are available, passengers may bring their pets on Virgin Atlantic flights subject to the following requirements:
· The company allows animals not on all flights so you should check if your pet can be transported to your destination. You will find the information here;
· Your pet mustn’t be on the airline’s list of prohibited breeds;
· Pets can be transported in secure transport containers;
· The owner of the pet must provide all the necessary documentation which includes a UK pet passport or an export health certificate. For most of the routes you need to obtain an import permit as well;
· It is important to book a place for your pet in advance, at least 7 days before the departure because the space in the hold is limited.
There are several requirements for the transport containers:
· The minimum size: 71 x 52 x 54 cm;
· The container must have a suitable size to allow your pet to lie down, turn around and stand up in its natural position;
· It must be firm and made of wood or plastic. Other materials are not accepted;
· One side of the container must be a hinged or sliding door;
· The crate must be locked safely so it won’t open during the flight;
· There must be absorbent material inside the container which prevents leaking;
· Containers must have sufficient ventilation on all 4 sides of it;
· Make sure that your crate is in a good condition. Damaged crates are not accepted by the airline sometimes.
Flying by plane can be stressful for your pet, so it’s important to prepare it for the journey. Make your pet familiar with the transport container in advance. It will reduce the pet’s stress during the flight.
If you want to take a guide or assistance dog with you on the Virgin Atlantic flight, make sure that your pet complies with these requirements:
· Guide and assistance dogs must be trained sufficiently before the flight. They must be able to assist a person with a disability;
· The owner must provide relevant documents confirming the training of the dog;
· The dog mustn’t be on the airline’s list of prohibited breeds. Otherwise, it will not be accepted on the flight.
There are several breeds of dogs and cats which are prohibited on Virgin Atlantic flights, even when you travel with an assistance animal. These are snub or pug-nose animals as well as some dangerous dog breeds. For example, Virgin Atlantic does not accept Pug breeds, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, and several cat breeds, such as Persians and Scottish Folds. You can find the full list of prohibited animals here.
Due to the current pet transportation restrictions of Virgin Atlantic, please visit the International Pets and Animals Transportation Association (IPATA) website. The association helps pet owners all around the world find suitable airlines to transport their pets.