Most airlines allow passengers to bring registered service animals aboard flights, but Turkish Airlines goes a step further. On most flights, emotional support animals are also allowed to ride in the cabin. Service dogs are always permitted in the cabin free of charge in addition to other carry-on luggage. For more information about traveling with pets on this airline, visit our main page for Turkish Airlines Pet Policies.
Service animals must be clean and seated in front of the passenger’s feet for the duration of the flight. When applicable, the extension of the dog’s leash or harness must be attached to the passenger’s belt for the duration of the flight
Service Animal Documentation
When traveling on Turkish Airlines with a service dog, you will need to bring your dog’s training certificate, vaccination certificate, identification, and all documents required by the destination country. If any of these documents are absent, the dog may not be allowed aboard the flight. Keep these documents in a safe but accessible location, as you will need to present them frequently before boarding.
Where Your Service Animal Can Ride
All service dogs must be seated in front of the passenger’s feet during the flight. As an added security measure, an extension the dog’s leash or harness should be attached to the passenger’s belt. Service animals must be wearing a vest or identifying harness. Turkish Airlines also recommends bringing a mouthpiece as a precaution in case of barking or bared teeth. Remember that if a service dog behaves aggressively or is not well-maintained, it may not be allowed onto a flight.
Emotional Support Dogs and Psychiatric Service Animals
Turkish Airlines accepts emotional support dogs free of charge only on flights from Istanbul to the United States or from the United States to Istanbul. That said, passengers who have transfer flights will be required to pay a transport fee and bring an appropriately sized cage.
To travel with an emotional support dog, passengers must submit official documentation on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional signed and dated within one year from the date of the scheduled flight. Keep this, as well as the following pet documents, on-hand while checking into the flight.
- Valid certificate of vaccination
- Identification card
- Any documents required by the destination country.
If any of these documents are missing, the dog may not be accepted onto the flight.
If an emotional support dog behaves aggressively during check-in or boarding, or if it is not well-maintained, dirty, very large, or causes a safety hazard, they may not be accepted into the cabin. However, they may be allowed to ride in the cargo hold. In some cases, seats may be changed for security reasons.
If your flight is scheduled to take 8 hours or more, Turkish Airlines asks all passengers traveling with service or emotional support animals to provide documentation regarding the animal’s need to relieve itself. Specifically, they must state that the dog will not need to relieve itself or articulate the strategy for how they plan to assist the animal. This should include the following.
- A written statement issued by a veterinarian
- A written statement regarding the procedures the passenger will use to prevent the dog from relieving itself during the flight
- A signed statement, with photographs or illustrations, of the dog’s ability to relieve itself without posing a health or sanitation problem
- A letter stating that in case of accidental relief, the owner will clean the contaminated area
For more information about flying with an assistance animal on Turkish Airlines, see their website.