Air travel for Guide dogs

Air travel for Guide dogs

Guide dogs can now travel in the passenger cabin on some flights from Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airports. A change in the rules recommend a maximum flight time of ten hours.

Up until now guide dogs entering the UK on long-haul routes were kept apart from their in the aircraft's hold. This is excellent news for blind and partially sited passengers who are reliant on their service dogs. The new measures allow for more independence and far less distress for the dogs.

The new guidelines have been jointly planned by the Guide Dogs charity, BAA and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The change was effected on Monday 4th April.

The UK airlines which have signed up to take part are Britannia Airways, British Airways, EasyJet, First Choice Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Charlotte Atkins MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, comments:
"For many years, assistance dog users have been able to take their dogs into the passenger cabin for domestic flights. But for those who wanted to travel further the choice in many cases was to put the dog in the aircraft hold, or to leave it at home."

Published by: Barry Holloway
Article updated on: 16 March 2006

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