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Assistance dogs

Things to know about travelling with assistance dogs

Heathrow and its airline partners welcome assistance dogs. Here is some helpful advice and guidance to ensure you and your animal have a smooth and comfortable journey through the airport.

Assistance dogs have been specially trained to assist a person with a disability or medical condition. They are officially recognised by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and must meet certain criteria before they can fly namely:

  • Be individually trained in specific tasks to assist you with your disability or medical condition.
  • Had behavioural training and show appropriate behaviour in public and onboard an aircraft.
  • Wear an identifying jacket/harness.
  • Always remain under your control.
  • Have all official documentation in place for leaving and entering the United Kingdom.

Here is a quick check list of some the official documentation required to travel in and out of the United Kingdom.

  • Check your airline is registered to transport assistance dogs to and from Heathrow. Airlines registered.
  • Read the UK Government guidelines on travelling with animals and ensure your dog has all the necessary documentation, vaccinations, treatments and tests for each country.
  • Ensure you have Heathrow Animal Reception Centre approval to enter the UK. This must be done at least 72 hours before your flight. You will be asked to show your acceptance letter before boarding your flight to the United Kingdom.

Most airlines will accept assistance dogs. Tell them about your assistance dog as soon as possible or at least 48 hours before your travel. Often you can provide these details when you book your ticket. Let your airline know about your return details too. 

Airline contacts

The airline will pass on your details to are dedicated Assistance team. When you get to the airport make your way to the Assistance area and they will ensure you have the correct documentation and help you on your way. If you are arriving or connecting at Heathrow, a member of the Assistance team will meet you at the aircraft.

Our Assistance areas are located in the following areas:

Map locations

Terminal 2

Terminal 3

Terminal 4

Terminal 5

We have a dedicated facility with hard and soft surfaces where animals can relieve themselves. Pet waste bags and bins are provided. Open for all flights they are situated as follows:

If your flight departs from Terminal 2 or Terminal 4, approach an airport colleague and they will escort you to the animal relief area.