Virgin Atlantic Pet Policy

Virgin Atlantic is a prominent airline that offers world-class services along with customer-friendly policies. To assist customers in taking their animals, it considers freight to be the best option. If you are planning to take your animal with you on the next trip, then you will not be able to do so in the cabin. It is because there is no cabin-specific Virgin Atlantic pet policy. However, you can bring your pet with you through the cargo facilities offered. In addition to this service, animals are also allowed.

Rules for Carrying Pets in Cargo

As mentioned above, passengers are allowed to transport their animals through freight facilities. So, it is mandatory to know some important aspects of Virgin Atlantic’s pet cargo policy. 

Some points have been listed here:

  • Only dogs and cats can be transported through the cargo.
  • Due to safety reasons, not all dog and cat breeds are allowed.
  • The transportation also depends on the country and day you are traveling to and from. 
  • For example, no pet transportation will be provided to or from the United Kingdom on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • No animals will be allowed in the passenger cabin except for assistance/service/guide animals.
  • To transport your dog/cat, you will need to do the booking at least 7 days before the expected time of the flight. 
  • Just remember – booking earlier is better while traveling with animals because of the limited space availability.
  • Always buy airline/authorities-approved cages for the pet.
  • Never ignore security rules and policies.
  • Keep the necessary documents (health certificates and vaccine papers) of the pet.
  • Always train your companion to travel in the cargo department. 

Countries Where You Cannot Travel with Your Pet

Due to different reasons, the airline does not provide any transportation facility (or offer some days in a week) to some countries. Hence, you are advised to read the Virgin Atlantic animal/pet travel rules, especially for the following: 

ManchesterLos Angeles
Washington DCSeattle
AntiguaSt. Lucia
Hong KongJohannesburg

 Also, check with the nearest airport or ticketing office of this carrier to know everything in detail.

What Will be Needed to Travel to Countries with Rules?

The places mentioned above will require a certain set of documents if you want to transport your pet. Look at the following for more details: 

United Kingdom

  • The Pet Travel Scheme should be passed.
  • Where to call: +44 (0) 870 241 1710 

United States

  • Acquire the Export Health Certificate.
  • Documents to clarify that your dog or cat is vaccinated against rabies are important. 

South Africa

  • The Import Permit from Pretoria will be needed.
  • You should carry the Export Health Certificate from DEFRA. 


  • Get an Export Health Certificate from DEFRA.
  • You can bring an Import Permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Barbados.

Hong Kong

  • Import Permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conversation Department, Hong Kong, is vital.
  • Carry an Export Health Certificate from DEFRA. 


  • Import permit from the Veterinary and Livestock department/division, Antigua, is recommended.
  • Bring the Export Health Certificate from DEFRA. 

St. Lucia

  • You should have the import permit issued by the Veterinary and Livestock department/division, St. Lucia.
  • Also, keep the Export Health Certificate from DEFRA.

How to Prepare the Pet for Cargo Shipment on Air Canada?

Traveling can be stressful for anyone, including animals. Hence, as per this carrier, there are a few things that can actually make the trip easier for your furry baby:

  • An IPATA agent will check your dog/cat and you around 4 hours before the flight’s time to see if they are ‘fit to fly’.
  • A high-quality and secured travel container should be purchased for your pet.
  • As per the rules of Virgin Atlantic for flying with pets, no animals will be accepted if they are ‘under’ sedation. It is because of the dog or cat’s well-being.
  • Passengers are advised not to give food or water to their animals at least 5 hours before check-in. 

Pet Carrier Requirements and Rules

It is completely the owner’s responsibility to understand and follow the rules related to the animal’s carrier. If you fail to do so, then the transportation of your dog or cat will be refused. 

The crate of your companion should:

  • Have dimensions of 71 cm x 52 cm x 54 cm.
  • Be spacious enough so that your pet does not struggle to stand up, sit, turn around, and remain in the natural pose.
  • Have at least a gap of 5 cm from all sides.
  • Be tightly and securely locked.
  • Have a base that is leak-proof with additional absorbent material.
  • Be escape-proof and properly locked.
  • Have non-collapsible sides.
  • Be properly ventilated and comfortable enough. 
  • Not be damaged or have any tears as the airline will not accept it. 

Restricted Breeds on Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Keeping the safety of the pet as well as other passengers, the airline does not accept:

  • Persian cats
  • Pit bull terriers
  • English bulldogs
  • Pug/snub nose dogs 

Rules for Service Animals

Since dogs are not allowed in the cabin, service animals can travel with the accompanied passenger with special needs. However, you will need to abide by the policy of Virgin Atlantic for pets in the cabin. 

Some details have been given here:

  • Only dogs will be accepted as guides or service animals in the cabin.
  • They should be fully trained to help passengers with disabilities in several tasks. 
  • Keep the necessary vaccine and health certificates for your service companion.
  • Passengers will be responsible to pay the additional fee, fine, charges, liability, or loss that is done by the service dog.
  • The airline has the right to refuse the transportation of the service dog if they have any life-threatening or contagious disease.
  • In case the animal shows any signs of anger or does not behave appropriately, the airline will deny boarding.
  • You will only be allowed to sit on certain seats so that the comfort of other passengers does not get affected.
  • The airline will not take any responsibility if your service dog feels sick, gets injured, etc. 

What to Check before Traveling with a Guide Dog?

Before you decide to take your guide or service dog with you, it is important for you to know the things that should be checked. 

Some of these aspects include the following:

  • Service dogs are not accepted for all routes.
  • Passengers are advised to check separately if they have connecting flights with KLM or Delta Air.
  • For travel within, to, or from the US, you will need to submit the following forms online or offline:
  • DOT Service Animal Air Transportation
  • DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation 
  • To take the animals to the UK, you must follow the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme. 
  • Additionally, you must keep the vaccinations, tests, treatments, and such documents with you. 

Important: The airline will only accept a limited number of service dogs onboard. Hence, book a spot as soon as you decide to take them with you. Or, you must contact the airline for detailed information about availability. 

Permitted Breeds of Service Dogs

The airline is not able to accept all dog breeds as service dogs due to different reasons. This includes the following:

  • Pekingese
  • English toy Spaniel
  • Pug breeds
  • Boston Terrier
  • English Bulldog
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Japanese Spaniel
  • Shih Tzu
  • French Bulldog 

Note: Breeds that are listed as dangerous dogs will not be accepted too. Besides, a service dog that is not fully trained or sick/injured will not be allowed in the cabin. 

Related: Virgin Atlantic Pet Policy

How to Add Your Service Dog?

To add a guide dog, you should inform the airline at least 72 hours before the travel time. For this, you can fill out an online form that is available on the official website Virgin Atlantic

Besides, you can write down an email and send it to by mentioning the following:

  • Booking reference
  • Flight number
  • Flight’s date
  • Weight and breed of your service dog
  • Tasks that your service companion will perform
  • Certifications stating that the dog has completed the behavioral training 

In addition to this, below are country/location-specific contact details so that you can get special assistance while traveling with your service dog: 

Heathrow Airport

Mode of ContactingPhone Number/Email ID
Call+44 208 745 7894
Fax+44 208 759 3477

Manchester Airport

Mode of ContactingContact Number/Email ID
Call+44 161 209 7670
Fax+44 161 209 7672

Virgin Atlantic Pet Travel Cost

Since normal pets are currently not accepted by the airline, there is no fee. But yes, cargo transportation will come with a charge that will depend on the travel destination, type of animal, breed, size, etc. Traveling with guide dogs is free.

Before you decide to travel with your dog or cat on Virgin Atlantic, it is good to understand the associated rules. This will help you eliminate a lot of hassles and ensure a smooth journey for you as well as your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check the following frequently asked questions and answers to learn more about Virgin Atlantic’s pet policy: 

Does Virgin Atlantic allow all pets in the cabin?

 No animals will be allowed in the cabin. Only service dogs can travel with the passengers in this case. 

Does Virgin Atlantic let you fly with pets?

The airline is not accepting animals in the cabin. However, cats and dogs can be transported in the cargo compartment.

How much does Virgin Atlantic charge for pets in the USA?

The charges will depend on the pets’ size, weight, breed, and destination.

Are dogs allowed on Virgin Atlantic?

Yes dogs are allowed on this airline but they can travel either as service animals or simply in the cargo compartment.

 What size pets can fly in the cabin?

Only dogs and cats will be permitted in the cargo. You will not be allowed to bring them into the cabin as a pet. Hence, the size cannot be ascertained for the same.

Does Virgin Atlantic allow emotional support pets?

No, only emotional animals are not allowed by this carrier.

How strict is Virgin Atlantic with pets?

The airline is quite strict as it can deny boarding if the passenger or his/her animal fails to meet the travel requirements.

When should I check in with my pet on Virgin Atlantic?

You will need to reach the airport at least 5 hours before the check-in to complete other formalities.

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