Dogs, cats, whatever pet you may have, leaving them to go on holiday is always a sad moment. The look in their eyes as you drop them off at the kennels, or leave them with a family member to look after is heartbreaking. So why not just bring them with you? You’re probably thinking “can I really take my pet on a plane?” The answer is yes, well almost yes. TravelUp provided everything you need to know so you can start taking your pets on an adventure with you.  It’s safe to say you’ll frantically want to start booking flights after you’ve realised the endless opportunities to go with your pets.

First things first: ID Please

When you’re travelling to or returning to the UK from another EU or non-listed EU country, your pet must have a microchip, a rabies vaccination (this must happen after your pet is micro chipped) and a pet passport which you can get here.

If you’re planning on flying with your dog, they will need to be treated for Tapeworm (however this isn’t necessary if you are travelling from Finland, Ireland, Norway or Malta).

Travelling from an unlisted country outside of the EU you will need to sure your pet is micro chipped, vaccinated against rabies, have an official vet certificate and a blood test. After the blood test, you must have at least 3 calendar months since the blood sample was taken before you travel. This doesn’t apply if you are travelling from Finland, Ireland or Malta.

Finally, if you’re travelling to the UK from an unlisted non-EU country via an EU or non-EU listed country, your pets may enter the UK without quarantine so long as they meet the EU entry regulations.

Which airlines allow pets?

Whichever airline you decide to fly with, some airlines will not allow your pets in the cabin and there are administrative charges for transport of animals and these vary by airline. We recommend checking with the airlines what these charges are before deciding who you wish to fly with. So here the international airlines that fly pets:

British Airways allow you to carry pets however they must travel in the hold as part of the cargo if the pet isn’t registered as an assistance dog. This is managed by their sister company IAG World Cargo. Find some pet travel carriers here.

Virgin Atlantic allows cats and dogs to fly on selected flight routes to and from the UK. These include Antigua, Barbados, Boston, Chicago, Cape Town, Dubai, Hong Kong, JFK, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, St Lucia and Washington. It will cost you and this cost is dependent on the size of the travel carrier so you will need to call the airline for a direct quote.

KLM allow small cats and dogs that weigh a total of 8kg with the carrier in Economy Class on most KLM flights and in Business Class on most European flights. Larger dogs up to 75kg can fly as check-in baggage. Costs vary dependent on the destination so please contact the airline for exact pricing.

Lufthansa allow small cats and dogs to travel in the cabin with a max weight of 8kg. Larger pets will need to be transported in the hold and again costs vary dependent on size and destination.

The UK-based low-cost carriers do not allow pets to travel in the cabin.

Flybe will only let assistance dogs travel in the cabin and the rest must travel in the hold. However, you may fly with your dog on domestic routes & international routes from the following airports: Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton.

EasyJet, Ryanair and won’t carry animals and only offer a transport service from selected airports.

Monarch’s flying with pets policy is more precise. Click here for the exact policy.

Thomson do allow to carry pets in the cargo hold but you must contact the Cargo department on 0203 432 7828.

Germanwings carry only cats and dogs in the cabin. They must be in a suitable bag that isn’t a hard carrier & must have combined weight of up to 8kg. However, they do not fly pets to or from the UK and Ireland.

Before travelling, please ensure you contact your airline directly for further details on weights and limitations.