The Adventures of Django and Arya

Which airlines allow pets in cabin UK?

which airlines allow pets in cabin uk to EU Spain France Germany Portugal Holland small dogs and cats flying in cabin

Are you planning a pet holiday from the United Kingdom (UK) or Ireland with your cat or dog? If so, you may be wondering which airlines allow pets in the cabin from the UK and Ireland. The good news is that there are a few pet friendly airlines that permit small cats and dogs to fly in the cabin from all UK countries (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland), as well as Ireland. So you can fly your furry friend from the UK or Ireland in the airline cabin to EU countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Holland and Germany. Of course, unless you’re relocating, you have to return at some point, and unfortunately due to government rules, you can’t return to the UK with your pet the same way you left! Yep, that’s right, you aren’t allowed to fly back into the UK with your pet in the cabin of a commercial aircraft, unless you’re one of the privileged few that have access to a private jet. However, UK rules do allow for dogs and cats to travel in the hold on limited routes from the EU. But, if you have small pets like us, this may not be something you want to do for both your pet’s welfare and your own peace of mind. In this case, the possibilities for returning to the UK with your pet are limited to one of the available ferry routes or the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle service. If you choose the latter, remember that you need a car to travel on Le Shuttle since only registered assistance dogs are permitted on the Eurostar train between Calais, France and Folkestone, England. And if you don’t have a car, since you arrived in the EU by plane and all, a taxi is your only shot at boarding Le Shuttle to return your four paws to UK soil.

With the complexities of returning your pet to the UK out of the way, let’s get to the airlines that welcome pets to fly in the cabin from the UK. Each of the airlines listed below accepts small dogs and cats to travel in the cabin with you from various UK airports. Click on the links to read our detailed pet travel policy for each airline:

Obviously, your favoured airline very much depends on your destination and the routes available from your closest departure airport. For example, if you’re travelling from Manchester to southern Spain or Portugal, your most viable airline choices from the UK with your dog or cat in the cabin will likely be with Tap Air Portugal or Lufthansa. Or if you want to fly your pet cat or dog in the cabin from Glasgow to Germany or France, it’s best to check out Air France, KLM or Lufthansa. Whichever airline you select, remember to make sure that you have a travel bag that’s in line with the airline’s specifications for pets flying in the cabin, and that your dog or cat adheres to the weight and height restrictions. It’s also vital that your canine or feline has all the necessary travel documentation for both leaving and entering the UK, and that you protect your pet from any dangerous diseases they may be susceptible to in a foreign country.

If you’d love to hear about the experiences of other pet travellers with any of the airlines that allow pets in the cabin from the UK, have a look at the pet travel review pages for Air France, KLM, Lufthansa and Tap Air Portugal. And remember to leave a review once you’ve travelled!

Happy holidays!

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