British Airways pet policy allows for in-cabin and cargo animal transport. Many of the pet-related restrictions vary depending on flight, route, and country of destination or origin—as is often the case with large, international airlines. Nevertheless, British Airways sets broader standards and regulations for all flights.  

The airline’s general pet policies are relatively strict and unforgiving. Only service animals are allowed to fly in-cabin, and emotional support animals are not considered to be service animals. Though British Airways has several rules that may seem foreign to American travelers, we are confident that—with the right preparation—your trip will run smoothly and efficiently.  

Here’s what you need to know about British Airways pet policies, regardless of your chosen travel plan.

  • Flying with Pets in the CabinOnly trained assistance dogs may ride with passengers in the cabin. To make sure you can successfully fly with your animal, read about the British Airways policies for pets in the cabin. 


  • Flying pets in cargoAnimals traveling as cargo must be certified by a veterinarian as safe to fly. Temperatures must stay within a safe range for that animal. To ensure you can successfully fly with your pet, read about IAG Cargo and the British Airways policies regarding cargo travel. 


  • Service Animal PoliciesOnly assistance dogs are service animals on British Airways flights. They may fly in the cabin and for free. Learn more about specific British Airways service animal policies before making final travel plans.


Other British Airways Pet Policies and Programs 

If you and your pet are heading to the United Kingdom, you must acquaint yourself with the Pet Travel Scheme. These requirements are set by the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and it allows cats and dogs to travel between some countries and UK airports avoiding quarantine. Though seemingly complex, the requirements are fairly standard—the DEFRA requires the animals to be microchipped, have a pet passport or veterinary certificate, and a rabies vaccination. For more information, see the DEFRA Pet Travel Scheme website 

Additionally, British Airways franchise partners may offer different pet-related policies. SUN-AIR, for example, allows all animals under 13.2 pounds to travel with passengers in the cabin. Additionally, cats and dogs under 13.2lbs on OpenSkies flights from New York to Paris (or from Paris to New York) may fly in the cabin. For more information about these franchise partners, see the British Airways pet travel website 

If you are flying via British Airways to or from the United States, we recommend using our Airport Travel Guide to find maps of pet relief areas and cargo facility locations for every U.S. airport you and your pet will be traveling through.