The World's Best Pet-Friendly Airlines Revealed

  • 20/07/2020
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Animals and planes might not immediately seem like they should go together. Anyone who saw Snakes On A Plane could tell you that. But not all of us want to leave our pets at home when we travel and we want them to be happy and comfortable in the unfamiliar surroundings of a jet plane. But how do you know which airlines are going to be the best at catering for the needs of a travelling dog?

A new study has been done to find the top 50 pet-friendly airlines in the world, ranking them by factors such cost-per-pet, cabin allowance, and openness to welcoming ‘unusual’ animals. This is the kind of research that we need to do when we take our dogs into new situations, because while most of us would happily opt for a little discomfort for ourselves to save a few Euros on flight costs, that never applies to our four-legged copilots.

The big news from the study is that the most pet-friendly airline of them all is Dutch firm KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which scored an impressive 81.8 out of 100, scoring strongly across all of the categories and coming 5 points ahead of Air France. It turns out that Europe is the place to be for pups who’ve gotta fly, with five of the top ten airlines coming from there, while both Turkish Airlines and Aeroflot from Russia are both also in the top ten.

North America fares much less well, which is bad news if you want to take your pooch for a bite at the Big Apple. Air Canada is the third-placed pet-friendly airline, but there’s no others from the continent featured in the top 10, while Africa draws a complete blank and LATAM Airlines is the only representative of South America, coming in 14th place. Bottom of the pile in the list are Jetstar Airways, which admits that it “is not equipped to transport your pets.”

Whether you’d have wanted to fly all the way to Australia with a dog anyway remains to be seen, but if you are brave enough Virgin Australia and Qantas both get respectable scores. Quite a few big name brands come out poorly in the rankings, including Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Emirates and even Aer Lingus, which scores just 19.4 out of 100 and is one of many that wouldn’t let you take your dog into the cabin.

It comes down to personal preference whether you’d be happy having your dog travel in the hold of course. However, if you’re planning your first post-lockdown holiday and have grown too attached to your dog over the last few months to want to leave them behind, make sure you check out these rankings before you book your flights, because when it comes to being pet-friendly, the sky's the limit for the likes of KLM, Air France and the rest.

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