Dog flight ban lifted on aircraft by UK airline regulator

Image copyright BBC

The main disciplinary body of the airlines has removed a blanket ban on flying with dogs in over-sized carrier cases.

UK and European airlines are already required to let certain dogs fly in these cases under certain circumstances.

The Department for Transport ordered airlines to have tighter rules about them earlier this year.

But the regulator has now said the “safe operational level of risk” to passengers in these cases has been met.

It has also ruled the order is no longer needed, saying the airlines will continue to consult customers on the issue.

However, airlines will still have to give passengers with small dogs an opportunity to have them transported in a smaller case.

‘Better protection’

Earlier this year, the DfT published guidelines saying that any airline flying passenger pets over 10kg must, by law, have a method for transporting smaller pets in small cases.

The DfT’s decision on dog travel in oversized cases came after research showed that two-thirds of travellers had been incorrectly warned about the way some carriers can spin out of control.

Companies offering larger-sized carriers for dogs have said there are many different reasons why dogs can become difficult to handle in these cases.

Research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Pet Management found that 25% of pet owners have still not received any warning.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Airline fliers have previously had to fork out for pricey pet travel insurance

The DfT said “leading airlines” such as British Airways, Jet2, Wizz Air and easyJet have sufficient medical, cabin and passenger safety standards for over-sized carriers.

Gavin Hayes, chief executive of the pressure group Vets4Pets, told the BBC that airlines “need to be far more clear on what their policies are about size and capacity on board”.

He added: “The last thing we want to see is people being penalised and banned from travelling on airlines for the less than most people pay for air travel themselves.”

Dog travel on the EU is already banned unless that dog is a service animal that assists disabled people or has a veterinary licence.

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