The Adventures of Django and Arya

Aer Lingus

The Aer Lingus pet policy for 2023 includes options for flying with dogs or cats in the cargo hold, but not in the plane cabin. Pets must be at least 15 weeks old to be permitted to travel. On Aer Lingus flights, only qualified Assistance & Service Dogs are accepted to travel in the cabin of the plane. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not recognised as Assistance or Service Dogs by Aer Lingus. All other pets must travel in the Aer Lingus aircraft hold as cargo. The price varies for flying cats and dogs in the cargo hold, and depends on the route and size of your pet crate. Check out Aer Lingus pet travel reviews, or add your own review if you’ve flown your cat or dog in the cabin or hold with Aer Lingus! Read on for the full Aer Lingus pet travel policy for 2023.

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Dogs & Cats in the Cabin of the Plane
Dogs & Cats flying as Checked In Baggage
Pets flying in Cargo Hold
Assistance Dogs in Cabin
Psychiatric Service Dogs in Cabin
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in Cabin
Aer Lingus Pet Policy 2023

Flying Pets in the Cabin with Aer Lingus

Only trained and registered Assistance & Service Dogs are permitted to fly in the cabin with Aer Lingus.

If you’re looking for a pet friendly airline to and from Ireland that accepts small cats and dogs flying in the cabin, the airline list is similar to those for the United Kingdom (UK). In particular, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa and Iberia offer the option of flying pets in the cabin on routes to and from Ireland.

Dogs and Cats in the Aer Lingus Hold as Checked Baggage

Like all airlines based in Ireland and the UK, Aer Lingus doesn’t fly pets in the hold as checked baggage, all animals must be transported as cargo.

However, unlike the UK, pets are permitted to arrive in Ireland in the cabin of the aircraft.

Aer Lingus Pets in Cargo Hold

Aer Lingus uses IAG Cargo, an independent cargo courier, to manage pet flights to and from Ireland. IAG Cargo has decades of experience in flying pets around the globe. However, as with all pet friendly airlines, cargo transport is the most expensive method of flying a pet.

Be aware that your pet must be at least 15 weeks old to travel in the hold on an Aer Lingus flight. But, a puppy or kitten will naturally meet this minimum age due to the requirements of the Rabies Vaccination. When flying pets in the cargo hold, you can transport multiple animals on the same flight with IAG Cargo. However, be aware that when your pet is flying in the hold as cargo, it sometimes isn’t possible for them to travel on the same flight as you.

IAG Cargo transports pets of all species, shapes and sizes, but Aer Lingus may have maximum dimensions permitted for pet kennels in the hold. Always check with IAG Cargo at the time of booking.

IATA Requirements for Pets Flying in the Aircraft Hold

For the safety of your pet during air transport, the airline travel kennel must meet the legal requirements of the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Therefore, in addition to ensuring that your cat or dog in their travel crate adheres to the maximum weight and dimensions set by Aer Lingus, the minimum inner kennel dimensions defined by the IATA LAR must also be met.

You can calculate the minimum inner space permitted by the IATA LAR, in addition to learning about the required construction, design etc for the pet in cargo hold travel crate.

IATA dog crate calculator pet kennel dimensions formula airline approved cat dog carrier

Should you need a new travel kennel, check out 4 Popular IATA Compliant Pet in Hold Crates.

Cost of Flying a Pet in the Hold as Cargo with Aer Lingus

As Aer Lingus doesn’t itself handle the transport of dogs and cats in the aircraft hold, the prices vary greatly depending on the route, as well as the size and weight of your pet in their travel crate. IAG Cargo will provide a quote for flying your pet, based on your own specific requirements. Costs will be higher if your pet’s flight itinerary includes connections or layovers at any Airport Pet Reception Centres.

Aer Lingus Banned Dog Breeds & Pet Routes

Dogs considered to be potentially dangerous, may not be permitted for travel with Aer Lingus through IAG Cargo. Please check with IAG Cargo at the time of booking.

No live animals can be carried on the Aer Lingus A321 Neo LR aircraft as the cargo holds are not ventilated.

Snub-Nosed Cat & Dog Breeds with Aer Lingus

Snub-nosed (brachycephalic) animals, such as French Bulldogs, Pugs and Persian Cats, can have trouble breathing during the flight, due to high temperatures and stress. To ensure their well-being, most snub-nosed (brachycephalic) animals may not be transported in the hold. This means that these pets can only fly in the cabin, they aren’t allowed to travel as either checked baggage or cargo in the hold of the plane.

Since Aer Lingus doesn’t accept pets, other than Assistance & Service Dogs, to travel in the cabin, snub-nosed cat and dog breeds can’t fly with Aer Lingus, as they aren’t allowed in the hold.

Aer Lingus Policy for Assistance & Service Dogs

You may travel with your Assistance or Service Dog in the cabin free of charge with Aer Lingus. It’s recommended that you make the request during booking, but no less than 24 hours prior to departure. All reservations for Assistance & Service Dogs must be made through the Aer Lingus Special Assistance Team.

Your Assistance or Service Dog must be fully trained and accredited by one of the following organisations:

  • Assistance Dogs International (ADI)
  • International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF)

At airport check in, you’ll be asked for the original documentation for your Assistance or Service Dog, and they must also wear their identifying harness and vest. During the flight, your dog will sit between your feet.

Aer Lingus Assistance & Service Dog Criteria

Aer Lingus stipulates the following criteria for all Assistance & Service Dogs flying in the cabin:

  • They must be harnessed, leashed or tethered at all times, be clean and well-behaved
  • Dog breeds classed as dangerous must be securely muzzled, with a strong chain or leash not exceeding two metres in length. A person over the age of 16 must be in control of the Service Dog. These rules apply to the following breeds – American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Mastiff, Doberman Pinscher, English Bull Terrier, German Shepherd and Japanese Akita.
  • Service dogs must be able to fit at your feet, under your seat or in your lap (more than one dog or a large dog may not be seated in your lap).
  • If you’re flying with your Assistance or Service Dog in Business Class, unfortunately, you’ll forfeit the lie-flat chair feature, in order to accommodate your dog on the floor space at your feet.
  • You may not be seated in an exit row, and your dog can’t protrude into, or block, any aisle.
  • Service Dogs fly free provided that they fit in the allotted space. If your Service Dog doesn’t fit into the allotted space, you may be required to:

    – pay for an additional seat if available or
    – rebook on another flight with more seat availability or
    – transport your Assistance or Service Dog as a pet
  • Final approval for travel only occurs at the airport, when it’s determined that your Assistance or Service Dog will safely fit within the allotted space.

Be aware that some international destinations don’t allow Assistance & Service Dogs to arrive in the aircraft cabin. However, this isn’t the case when flying in Europe or North America.

Aer Lingus Policy for Emotional Support Animals & Psychiatric Service Dogs

Aer Lingus no longer accepts Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) for travel, due to the 2021 ruling by the US Department of Transport (USDoT). Only registered and professionally trained Assistance & Service Dogs or Rescue Dogs are accepted to travel in the cabin free of charge.

Note that Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSVDs) differ from ESAs, as they have been professionally trained to perform a specific task, or tasks, for their owner, therefore they can travel with Aer Lingus on routes to and from the US. In this case, you must complete the USDoT Psychiatric Service Dog Application Form, then submit it to Aer Lingus.

All pets other than Assistance & Service Dogs, including Emotional Support Animals, must adhere to the standard Aer Lingus Cat & Dog Policy for 2023, and therefore comply with the size, weight and breed restrictions.

Pet Travel Documentation & Vaccines

Aer Lingus is an Irish international pet friendly airline, so for flights within the EU and Northern Ireland, your cat or dog has to meet the EU Pet Travel Scheme criteria. This means that you’ll need to arrange either a Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate, and ensure that your cat or dog is microchipped and vaccinated against Rabies.

You can check out the pet travel laws for entering Ireland, or other worldwide destinations in 2023.

Are Pets Safe on Planes?

If you’re worried about your furry travel companion’s wellbeing when flying, check out our comprehensive post regarding pet safety on planes. While in the USA, a monthly report is provided for airline pet incident rates, there isn’t an equivalent in Europe at the moment. So, there’s no data available for incidents when flying pets in the hold with Aer Lingus. Note that even the airline pet incident reports submitted in the USA are only for cats and dogs flying in the hold, and don’t include any in cabin events.

No doubt, at some point your trip will involve a car ride, so have a look at our 12 Essential Pet Car Safety Tips too. Should your cat or dog suffer from motion sickness, we’ve also compared some of the treatments, strategies and medications for pet travel nausea.

It’s important to be aware that you can’t sedate or tranquilize your cat or dog for their flight.

In addition, to protect your pet’s health and wellbeing in a new country, be sure to keep your cat or dog safe from vector-borne diseases. In particular, Heartworm from mosquitoes and Leishmaniasis from sandflies in Southern European destinations pose a serious threat.

Have a look at our Pets on Planes page to find out everything you need to know for flying with cats and dogs. If Aer Lingus doesn’t meet your travel requirements, you can find another pet friendly airline. You might also want to check out 10 Pet Friendly Airlines in the EU or Pets in Cabin from the UK and 6 Transatlantic Pet Friendly Airlines.

And don’t forget the all important Essential Pet Travel Accessories!

Prior to booking, always view the Aer Lingus pet travel policy on their website for any recent changes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some airlines are frequently amending their rules for pets on planes.

Have a safe and wonderful trip, and remember to leave an Aer Lingus pet travel review if you fly your cat or dog in the hold!

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