Virgin Atlantic welcomes service animals aboard most flights. The animals are allowed to travel within the cabin and for no additional charge. The airline adheres to the rules and regulations for service animals as set forth by the Pet Travel Scheme set out by the U.K. Government. However, regardless of your chosen airline, Dogs on Planes encourages all travelers with service animals to be familiar with their basic rights and responsibilities.
Within the parameters of U.K. regulations, Virgin Atlantic has its own set of service animal policies that passengers should be aware of.
Virgin Atlantic Service Animal Policy
Service animals are permitted on most Virgin Atlantic flights. The necessary documentation, vaccinations, treatments, and test vary by country, and the airline recommend getting insurance to cover your dog while traveling. It is essential to keep these insurance documents with you.
Passengers traveling with service animals must alert the Special Assistance team at least three days before the flight. They will need:
- A copy of the PETS passport or non-EU official veterinary certificate if your dog is starting its journey outside of Europe
- A copy of the dog’s identification card from the accredited recognized charity
- Details of the breed and weight of the dog in question
You will also need to fax copies of these documents to the Animal Reception Center at your departure airport. All owners should bring a safety harness to use during takeoff, landing, turbulence, and whenever the “fasten seat belt” sign is illuminated. Virgin Atlantic also recommends bringing an absorbent mat for assistance dogs while they are onboard.
Routes Accepting Assistance Dogs
The following destinations accept assistance dogs into the cabin of flights: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, JFK, Newark, Washington DC, Boston, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Antigua, Barbados, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Tobago. If you are traveling to a different destination, your assistance dog will need to travel as cargo.
Accepted Breeds and Temperament
The airline cannot accept snub or pug nose dog breeds, such as Pekingese or English Bulldogs, or any dog listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act. If you would like your animal to travel with you in the cabin, he must have been trained to a standard that is determined as being acceptable for travel. If you cannot provide evidence of such training, you will need to make alternative arrangements. Additionally, if your animal barks excessively, exhibits aggressive behavior, or jumps/lunges on or at guests and crew members, he may be refused transport.