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10 Most Pet-Friendly Airlines in the UK (2023 Update)

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 17, 2023
dog inside a carrier sitting beside a child traveller

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dog inside a carrier sitting beside a child traveller

Traveling with your pet shouldn’t be a stressful experience. Unfortunately, many airlines today don’t make it easy for passengers to fly with their furry friends. Fortunately, there are several major airlines in the UK that allow you to bring your pet on board.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the 10 most pet-friendly airlines in the UK and what policies they have when it comes to traveling with pets. From British Airways to American Airlines, these airlines provide the best in customer service and pet-friendly travel policies. Keep reading to find out more!

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A Quick Look at the Best Pet-Friendly Airlines (2023 Update)

Airline Animals Allowed  Price (One-way) Size Restrictions
British Airways Cabin: Service dog
Cargo: Cats, dogs, horses, fowl, and more
$196 N/A
Emirates Cabin: Service dog
Cargo: Cats, dogs, birds, and falcons
$500 to $800 N/A
Air New Zealand Cabin: Service dog
Cargo: Cats, dogs, and small birds
$75 to $100 N/A
Lufthansa Cabin: 2 pets in kennels
Cargo: Dogs, cats, and rabbits
$72 to $132 Up to 17 lbs
KLM Cabin: 1 pet in kennel
Cargo: Dogs and cats
$80 to $426 Pet must in kennel sized 46 x 28 x 24 cm
South African Airways Cabin: Service dog
Cargo: Dogs and cats
$17.63 N/A
United Cabin: 2 pet
Cargo: Cats, dogs, and rabbits
$125 Pet must in kennel sized 19 x 44 x 30 cm
American Airlines Cabin: 1 pet in kennel
Cargo: Cats and dogs
$125 Pet must in kennel sized 48 x 33 x 22 cm
Air Canada Cabin: 1 pet in kennel
Cargo: Dogs and cats
$100 Pet must in kennel sized 27 x 40 x 55 cm
Kenya Airways Cabin: Service dog
Cargo: Cats, dogs, others
$1,205 to $4,218 N/A

The 10 Most Pet-Friendly Airlines

1. British Airways

British Airways logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Cats, dogs, horses, fowl, and more
💲 Price (One-way): $196
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: Service dog only

British Airways is one of the leading pet-friendly airlines in the UK, offering a range of services and facilities for passengers traveling with their furry friends. Pets are allowed to fly in cargo and baggage holds but must be accompanied by an approved pet passport.

Pet owners should also ensure that their pet is in a suitable travel crate and are required to pay excess baggage fees. So while you can’t have any pets in the cabin (unless it’s a service dog), pets can be transported in the aircraft’s hold with British Airways.

  • Service dogs allowed in cabin at no charge
  • Excellent customer service
  • Lots of pets accepted
  • No standard pets in cabin

2. Emirates

emirates logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Cats, dogs, birds, and falcons
💲 Price (One-way): $500 to $800
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: Service dog only

Emirates is a great choice for pet owners who want to travel with their furry friends. Pets are allowed to travel in the aircraft’s cargo hold and must be accompanied by an approved pet passport.

The airline also offers special services for pet owners, such as pre-flight check-in and post-arrival assistance. Pets must be in a suitable travel crate in order to fly with Emirates and pet owners should also make sure to pay the excess baggage fees.

  • Unique pets allowed
  • Friendly customer service

3. Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Cats, dogs, and small birds
💲 Price (One-way): $75 to $100
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: Service dog only

Air New Zealand is another pet-friendly airline offering a range of services and facilities for passengers traveling with furry friends. Pets are allowed in the cargo and baggage holds. The only exception for pets being in the cabin is if it’s a service dog.

Pet owners should ensure that their pet is in an approved travel crate and should pay excess baggage fees. Fortunately, Air New Zealand’s rates are affordable and reasonable, making it a great option for pet-loving passengers looking to travel with their pets.

  • Affordable excess baggage fees
  • Service animals allowed in cabin
  • No pets in cabin (except service animals)

4. Lufthansa

Lufthansa logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Cats, dogs, and rabbits
💲 Price (One-way): $72 to $132
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: 2

Lufthansa is well known for its pet-friendly services and facilities, offering an array of options for passengers traveling with their furry friends. You have the option to either place your pet in cargo or in the cabin.

If you choose to place your pet in the cabin, however, it must not weigh more than 17 pounds; otherwise, it will need to be placed in the cargo hold.

Pet owners should make sure that their pet is in an approved travel crate and may also be required to pay excess baggage fees.

  • Pets can fly in cabin and cargo
  • Reasonable excess baggage fees
  • Heavier pets must go in cargo hold

5. KLM

KLM logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Dogs and cats
💲 Price (One-way): $80 to $426
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: 1

If you want to fly with a pet-friendly airline, you should definitely check out KLM. This Dutch airline is one of the top pet-friendly airlines in the UK for 2023, and for good reason.

They offer a wide variety of services to ensure that your furry travel companion has a comfortable journey. Whether you’re traveling with your dog or cat, KLM can accommodate them—while also ensuring their safety and security.

What’s more, you may have your pet with you in the cabin (limit 1), but there is a caveat—it must fit in a 46 x 28 x 24 cm carrier, as it will have to fit underneath your seat while flying. Other than that, you can count on KLM to take excellent care of you and your pet.

  • Ideal for single-pet owners
  • Allows pets in the cabin (with restrictions)
  • Carrier size requirement restricts some pets from traveling

6. South African Airways

South African Airways logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Dogs and cats
💲 Price (One-way): $17.63
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: Service dog only

South African Airways is a great choice if you’re flying with your service dog or cat. This pet-friendly airline ensures that you and your furry travel companion have a safe and comfortable journey—all for an affordable price. And as long as your cat or dog can comfortably fit in a carrier, it can fly in cargo.

So while riding in the cabin isn’t permitted, the low cost of flying your cat or dog in the cargo hold makes South African Airways a great option for pet owners who want to stay within budget.

  • Low price for pets traveling in cargo
  • Ideal for service animals

7. United

United logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Cats, dogs, and rabbits
💲 Price (One-way): $125
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: 2

United is another great pet-friendly airline in the UK for 2023. This American carrier offers a few options when it comes to flying with your four-legged friend. You can either bring them in the cabin (up to 2 pets) or check them as baggage in the cargo hold.

However, please note that certain breeds and sizes of cats and dogs are restricted from flying in the cabin, so make sure to check the United website before booking.

The fee to fly your pet in the cabin is reasonable when compared to other airlines, and United also has a great pet transport service that can help you with the process.

  • Flexible pet travel options
  • Reasonable fee for cabin travel
  • Certain breeds/sizes not allowed in cabin

8. American Airlines

American Airlines

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Cats and dogs
💲 Price (One-way): $125
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: 1

If you wish to fly with your cat or dog with you in the cabin, American Airlines is a good choice. This US-based carrier allows one pet per passenger, although they have to be small enough to fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you.

American Airlines also offers a great pet travel service that can help with all the details of flying with your furry friend. They even provide assistance with vaccinations and health certificates for international flights.

American Airlines’ fee is on par with other airlines for cabin travel, and the experience is bound to be comfortable for your pet.

  • Allows one pet in the cabin
  • Great pet transport service
  • Restricted size/weight for cabin pets

9. Air Canada

Air Canada logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Dogs and cats
💲 Price (One-way): $100
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: 1

Air Canada is yet another top pet-friendly airline in the UK for 2023. This Canadian carrier allows you to bring one cat or dog with you in the cabin as long as they fit comfortably in a carrier (maximum size of 27 x 40 x 55 cm). And if your pet doesn’t meet that criterion, then it can travel in the cargo hold.

The fee to fly your pet in the cabin is fairly reasonable, and the airline also has a wide range of services to ensure that your furry friend has a safe journey.

  • Perfect for owners with one small cat or dog
  • Allows pets in the cabin (with restrictions)
  • Not all pets can fly in cabin due to size

10. Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways logo

🐶🐱 Animals Allowed: Cats, dogs, and more
💲 Price (One-way): $1,205 to $4,218
✈️ Max. number of pets in cabin: Service dog only

Kenya Airways makes the list because it allows you to book your pet in cargo. And if you require a service dog or emotional support dog, it can fly free of charge. It’s also allowed to be with you in the cabin.

For all other pet owners, however, the fee to fly your pet in cargo is quite high. But if you can afford it, Kenya Airways offers a great experience for you and your furry travel companion—complete with in-flight entertainment, comfortable seating, and delicious meals.

  • Great service for service animals
  • Cargo transport available
  • Pricey to fly pets in cargo hold

Flying Safely With Your Pets

If you’re flying with an emotional support or service dog, it’s important to make sure that your pet is comfortable and secure during the flight. Most reputable airlines will require you to provide documentation that certifies your animal is fit for air travel before boarding a plane with it.

It’s also important to note that some countries have additional entry requirements for pets, so it’s a good idea to check these requirements in advance.

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Conclusion

When it comes to flying with your beloved pet, the UK offers a range of pet-friendly airlines. It’s important to check all applicable fees and restrictions before booking your flight to ensure that your pet is able to travel with you safely and comfortably. With careful planning, you can find the airline that best meets the needs of both you and your pet.


Featured Image Credit: Svitlana Hulko, Shutterstock

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