Preparation Phase

Flight / Cruise Considerations

Time to read: Approximately 2 minutes

Choosing the right airline/cruise ship for you and your Assistance Dog is critical. There are a few considerations to help you decide.

Preparations phase
  • Confirm that the Animal Quarantine Authorities at your destination(s) can meet at your arrival and departure time
  • If you are travelling internationally on a foreign airline/cruise line, contact the airline/cruise line to establish what their regulations and procedures are (e.g. do I need to fill out specific paperwork, bring a crate etc)
  • Does your flight/cruise transit through another country and if so are there any regulations you need to comply with?
  • Does the airline/cruise line allow Assistance Dogs in the cabin? (please note that some airlines and specific flight routes require your dog to travel as manifested cargo)
  • What are the allowances for your dog in the cabin regarding seating? -will you be given an extra free seat, window side, or bulkhead allocation? Some airlines allow pets in the cabin

Further Tips

  • The earlier you book the better chance to have you and your dog allocated the best seating options
  • Establish the seating dimensions for you and your dog in advance and perhaps rehearse what this feels like before you book
  • Consider whether you would prefer your dog to move slightly under a seat in front or beside you rather than in a bulk head seat if you are given the chance (staff can assume that bulk head seat is preferable when it may not be)
  • Always discuss any of your own food preferences when you book. Staff may not be aware that you have considerable options outside of standard non-allergenic foods
  • Consider your flight routes. Can you take a direct flight? If not, decide which transit country will be the best choice
  • If you have unassigned seating, discuss your preferences with other Handlers in our Facebook group. Everyone has a different opinion
  • Take extra food and requirements for your dog in case of an emergency (e.g. quarantining due to disease and outbreaks)

These are the steps of the Preparation Phase: