Virgin Atlantic offers you to travel with your pet internationally, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey. They do not accept pets in the cabin, rather pets are bound to be in the cargo hold area in order to fly.

Only cats and dogs aging over 15 weeks are allowed to fly through Virgin Atlantic. There are also some breed restrictions in place, so make sure to go through that section before booking your flight.

But the fun part is, that they are ready to accept quite large dogs as well, as their minimum container dimensions are 71 cm / 52 cm / 54 cm.

Virgin Atlantic currently is not taking any new pet bookings, until further notice.

Virgin Atlantic Pet Travel Options

  1. Pets in the cabin ❌
  2. Pets in the hold ✔️

Pets in the cabin

Virgin Atlantic does not allow any kinds of pets inside of their cabins unless they are service dogs.

Pets in the hold

Virgin Atlantic allows pets to travel only via their cargo compartments as checked baggage only.

Pets that are allowed in the cargo hold :

  • Virgin Atlantic airlines are able to handle pets traveling alone, so customers wouldn’t have to go with their pets.

Age restrictions

Virgin Atlantic will not transport any pets under the age of 15 weeks.

Container requirements

  • You must get a transportation container that conforms with IATA live animal requirements in order to transport your pet on Virgin Atlantic flights.
  • The container must be sufficient to allow your companion to lie on the floor, turn round, and stand up, with at least 5 centimeters between the tip of the pet’s head and the container’s ceiling.
  • A robust sealing mechanism is required for the container.
  • It should be constructed of strong plastic or wood.
  • Be stiff on all edges (non-collapsible) and do not have a roof with an opening grill.
  • Attach a suitable sized water bowl inside the container entrance.
  • All sides must be vented. Nevertheless, the sidewalls must not be vented at the top and bottom, as it will compromise the container’s stability.
  • Have a waterproof foundation.
  • Have an absorbent pad on the bottom for your pet’s comfort.
  • Have a hinged or sliding door on one side of the box.
  • If the crate seems to be broken, both your companion and the container may be denied travel.
  • Kindly confirm that a hole is cut into the crate frame in addition to the locking system. This will allow their teams to apply a travel safety seal. Please remember that the opening can be located at either the top or bottom of the vessel, but it has to be on the part of the entrance but not on the foldable side. If you’re utilizing a wooden container, make sure there are grommets on the lid and frame for sealing. If the vessel cannot be sealed, it will not be approved for transportation.
  • If you would use a plastic container with holes on the four corners, please ensure that they are cable tied for added security.
  • Pets should not be drugged before flying, and Virgin retains the right to deny transport if this provision is not met.
  • Irrespective of age or weight, Virgin will only allow one pet per traveling cage. Pets traveling in a twin hardwood cage with either a mesh split, on the other hand, will be accepted.

Minimum dimensions for containers :

71 cm52 cm54 cm

The preceding IATA method must be used to help calculate the magnitude of the travel container. The computed measurements are internal dimensions that apply to a standing animal in its natural position :

Length: Diameter from the top of the snout to the distal tip plus length from the ground to the shoulder joint.

Width: Twice the size of its shoulders are twice as wide as they are long.

Height: As from the top of its skull or the front of its ear to the bottom.

Documents required

The documentation required for your pet to fly varies on your location. Make absolutely sure you have everything prepared in enough time because they won’t be willing to accept your companion for transportation if you don’t have the proper documents for your location.

For flights to the United Kingdom

  • Your companion ought to have completed the Pet Travel Certification in the United Kingdom.

For flights to the United States

  • No later than 10 days in advance, you must get an Export Medical Certificate from the veterinarian. Your trip day should be counted as a day. This is essentially a ‘fit for fly’ letter that must be written on the vet’s paper.
  • If you’ve a UK pet passport, you may get it certified by the veterinarian and use it as the Export Medical Certificate.
  • Some states may need documentation of your dog’s rabies vaccinations. If you do not have the same information, you may be required to provide it upon arrival.

For trips to South Africa

  • You will require a Pretoria Import License as well as a DEFRA Export Medical Certification.

For trips to Barbados

  • You’ll need an Import License from the Barbados Agriculture department and an Export Medical Certificate by DEFRA.

For trips to Hong Kong

  • You’ll require an Import License from the Hong Kong Agricultural, Fishery, and Conservation Department and a DEFRA Export Health Certificate.
  • A written declaration from the exporter indicating that the pet has lived in the United Kingdom from infancy or for the previous six months.

For trips to Antigua

  • You’ll need an import license from Antigua’s Veterinary & Livestock Division and an Export Medical Certificate of DEFRA.

For trips to Saint Lucia

  • You’ll need an import license from Saint Lucia’s Veterinary and Livestock Division and an Export Medical Certificate from DEFRA.


To calculate the price of your reservation, you must first determine the size of your companion’s carrying case.

Destination restrictions

They do not take pet reservations individually in certain locations, such as Johannesburg, but rather through an IPATA pet representative. You may locate a pet representative for your departing port on their web page.

The points below outline who to approach to take a ticket from these airports and any exclusions to be aware of. Please verify with the shipping area regarding working days, since they do not take dogs on all of their trips on a daily basis.

Flights from Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow

  • Contact Virgin Cargo United Kingdom.
  • They do not take reservations for dogs arriving or departing the United Kingdom on a Sunday or Saturday.

Flights from Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Orlando, Newark, San Francisco, JFK, Seattle, Washington DC, Atlanta

  • Contact Virgin Cargo United States.
  • They do not allow pets to travel to the United States over the weekends.
  • They do not allow dogs departing Orlando nor Miami between June 1 to September 30.

Flights from St Lucia, Barbados, and Antigua

  • Contact Virgin Cargo Caribbean.

Flights from Johannesburg

  • All reservations made outside of South Africa should be done through an IPATA pet representative, who’d rather make the necessary preparations on your account.

Flights from Hong Kong

  • They do not allow pets traveling to the United Kingdom through Hong Kong, however they do welcome pets traveling from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong.

Breeds restrictions

The Aggressive Dogs Act of 1991 prohibits the transport of the following dog breeds, whether pure or cross-bred :

Japanese TosaAmerican Staffordshire TerrierPit Bull Terrier
Dogo ArgentinoAmerican Pit Bull TerrierFila Braziliero

Dogs of the preceding pure breeds are restricted and ineligible for shipment into Australia per Australian Immigration laws :

Perro de Presa Canario or Presa CanarioFila Brasileiro
Japanese TosaDogo Argentino,Pit Bull Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier

The following animal species have been classified as snub-nosed and would not be approved for transport by Virgin Atlantic :

Breeds of Dogs :

PekingeseShih TzuBoston Terrier
AffenpinscherAll PugsJapanese Spaniel (Chin)
English BulldogEnglish Toy Spaniel/King Charles SpanielFrench Bulldog
Brussels GriffonAmerican BullyAmerican Bulldog
Lhasa ApsoTibetan SpanielBoerboel
Bully Cutter (Kutta)

Breeds of Cats :

Exotic ShorthairHimalayan
PersiansScottish Fold
  • If the main snub traits are not in the nasal region, species mixed with snub-snouted species may be permitted for transport on Virgin. Before booking, you have to provide photographs, and they will make a local judgment on whether or not to accept the pet.

During the months of August and July, Virgin Atlantic would not accept breeds mixed with snub or pug-nosed breeds, as well as the following breeds :

SharpeiAny Mastiff
Dogue de BordeauxChow Chow
BoxerStaffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Savannah cats now are permitted to enter the United Kingdom via the UK Animal Travel Scheme. Please verify with DEFRA if they require a license to enter the United Kingdom.
  • Bengal cats are only allowed to fly under the United Kingdom Animal Travel Scheme if they have a pedigree certificate proving they are F5 or higher. Please contact DEFRA for additional details.
  • Sick or weak animals will not be accepted for transport.
  • To meet local restrictions in St Lucia, Virgin cannot take Staffordshire Bull Terriers or Bull Terriers for carriage.
  • Pets with collars or apparel, even soothing collars, will not be accepted by Virgin.

Service dogs and Emotional support dogs

Complete this protocol precisely to ensure that you meet all of the standards for traveling with an assistance dog. More information on each of these preparation procedures may be found below:

  1. Check to see if your airline route admits service dogs and if your dog’s species and temperament are suitable for flying.
  2. Check that your dog has all of the essential documents, vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics to enter or exit the United Kingdom or other country.
  3. Inform the special assistance division that you wish to travel along with your service dog.
  4. Purchase dog insurance.
  5. Fax photocopies of all of your assistance dog’s paperwork to the Pet Reception Center at the departing airport.
  6. Ensure that you have filed all of the necessary papers for you and your companion before traveling and that you have duplicates.
  7. Make absolutely sure you have such a safety belt and an absorbing pad for the dog to use while you prepare to fly.
  • All Virgin Atlantic flights allow passengers to bring their service dogs inside the cabin. Double-check your ticket since if you are flying with a partner airline, their acceptance requirements may differ from Virgin. If you intend to continue your travel with your service dog, you must buy your ticket directly with the carrier in question and follow their guidelines.
  • Customers traveling to or from the United States must submit the United States Department of Transportation Service Dog Air Transport Form for certification before their journey, attesting to the animal’s fitness, schooling, and behavior. Customers must additionally file a DOT Relief Certification Form for trips lasting more than 8 hours, certifying that the dog would not discharge itself in the flight or can do it in such a sanitary way.
  • Brachycephalic service dogs will not be accepted in the cabin.
  • To be permitted to accompany you in the aircraft cabin, your service dog must’ve been educated to a quality that has been found to be suitable for flight within an aircraft. You should have documentation proving that the dog has been trained. However, if you cannot provide them with proof of such training, you would have to make alternate arrangements for your service dog’s transportation.
  • Make certain that your dog has all of the appropriate documents, vaccines, medications, and testing to enter and leave the United Kingdom and any other country. Virgin Atlantic is not liable for any expenditures incurred as a result of an service dog being denied admission onto an airplane or location.
  • If you are transporting your service dog into the United Kingdom, then properly examine the rules in the United Kingdom Government’s PETS and their advice on admitting Guides and service dogs into the UK.
  • Check that you have the proper insurance that would cover your dog when you are away. Keep the paperwork with you at all times.
  • You must notify the Special Support team that you intend to move with your assistance dog prior at least three days of the flight.
  • You will need to provide :
    • A photocopy of your dog’s PETS passport or an official non-EU veterinarian clearance if your dog is commencing its journey outside of Europe.
    • A photocopy of the dog’s identity card from a recognized certified charity.
    • Information about the dog’s species and bodyweight.
  • There will be no extra charge for taking your service dog with you.


Before booking your own ticket, you will also have to approach the Virgin Freight division for your departing airport to see whether they have room for you on your selected aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic luggage division handles pet travel. So, you must notify their staff at the departure point before booking your own ticket. You must reserve at minimum seven days before your flight, and the sooner you reserve, the better, since they have low capacity.

As a thank you for choosing them, when you’re a Flying Member of the club and you travel with your companion with Virgin Atlantic, they will award you with additional points. When you reserve, ask for further details.

  • You will get 2000 miles for flying pets to Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Johannesburg.
  • You will get 1000 miles for flying pets to New York, Orlando, Miami, Newark, Barbados, Boston, Antigua, Washington, Saint Lucia, Atlanta.


4 hours before your flight’s departure time, you or your IPATA representative should check in your companion.

How to add a pet to my flight on Virgin Atlantic?

  1. Check if there are flights available to your desired location.
  2. Make sure Virgin Atlantic accepts your pet’s breed.
  3. Purchase a container that complies with their container regulations.
  4. Verify and see what documents you will require for your destination and make certain you have everything. They may decline to transport your pet if you do not have the proper documents.
  5. Visit the freight division at your departing airport as quickly as possible to acquire an estimate and book.
  6. Get your pet ready for vacation.


  • It’s advised not to serve your companion for at least five hours prior check-in, but make absolutely sure it has enough drinks in its cage. They will also make sure there’s adequate water prior they take off and when they land.
  • If you realize your pet is easily anxious, you should talk to your vet prior you leave about receiving anything to assist with the stress. Your veterinarian may believe that a modest tranquilizer or a tiny dosage of melatonin would suffice to relax them. Also, because many airlines need confirmation of your pet’s health, it’s good to get your pet examined by your veterinarian before traveling to ensure they’re in excellent condition.
  • You’re prepared to investigate flights after reviewing your holiday plans with your vet and confirming you have a strategy for your pet to satisfy your location’s criteria. You should select nonstop flights or trips with the fewest connections to your ultimate destination. Consider your arrivals and departures schedules, and travel during the less hot times of day for your pet’s comfort.
  • When it concerns cages, you’ll want to choose one that is robust and sturdy enough to withstand the hardships of flight travel. Metal fasteners are recommended. The cage should have adequate airflow on all sides and a strong, leak proof floor. Don’t forget to acclimate your pet to their crate at home when you go. Your pet’s vacation will be a lot more enjoyable if they feel that their crate is a secure and safe area all to themselves.


Does Virgin Atlantic allow emotional support pets?

Yes, Virgin Atlantic treats emotional support pets the same as service dogs. They are allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners without any additional charges.

Do Virgin Atlantic carry dogs?

Yes, the only pets that Virgin Atlantic accepts are cats and dogs.

How strict is Virgin Atlantic with pets?

The Virgin Atlantic pet policy is pet-friendly except for some destinations and breeds restrictions. If you plan to fly by Virgin Atlantic with your pet, make sure to read the breeds and destinations restrictions carefully.

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

4 hours before your flight’s departure time, you or your IPATA representative should check in your companion.

Virgin Atlantic Contact Details

Virgin Cargo United Kingdom+44 (0)344 873 800010am – 6pm | Monday – Friday
Virgin Cargo United States+1 800 828 6822 ext. 410am – 6pm (UK Time) | Monday – Friday
Virgin Cargo Caribbean+246 228 4737

Virgin Atlantic Short Profile

Company NameVirgin Atlantic International Limited
Social Media PagesFacebook



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