Flying with animals

Assistance dogs are welcome aboard TAP

Dogs are the only assistance animals allowed on board TAP. They travel for free and are generally carried in the cabin.
Restarting animal carriage in the hold on flights with stopovers
The carriage of animals in the hold on TAP flights with stopovers restarted on 5 August.

The assistance dogs allowed on board our flights can be divided into:

Assistance dogs

These are Service Animals (SVAN) that have been trained to carry out tasks to help their owner/trainer such as:

  • Guide Dog: helps people who have visual disability.
  • Hearing dog: helps people who have hearing disability.
  • Service dog: search and rescue dogs or to help people with reduced mobility.
  • They always travel in the cabin at their owner/trainer’s feet not in a container but always on a lead.

Emotional assistance dogs 

These are Emotional Assistance Animals (ESAN), as they are dogs that are used for therapeutic purposes, to cure and handle psychological and psychiatric illnesses.They do not need to be a specific breed or have any training apart from the most basic. 
They travel in the cabin on most flights if they can fit into a malleable carrier up to 40x33x17cm / 15x12x16in (LxWxH) with a total weight (container and dog) of no more than 8 kg / 17lb.

What do you need to fly with your assistance dog?

If you want to travel with your assistance dog or emotional assistance dog on TAP you have to request this service at the counter or use this form at least 48 hours before your flight.

The conditions of carriage and the documents you must present vary depending on the kind of assistance dog you are taking, its weight and where the flight is from and to.

Carriage of assistance dogs

Assistance dogs, which include guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs (search and rescue or assistance dogs for people with reduced mobility), always travel in the cabin next to the owner. This requires that the dog:
  • Is properly identified as a Service Animal (SVAN) and has documents proving that it has official training and certification.
  • Has an animal passport, issued by a vet, certifying its identification and anti-rabies vaccination or, in countries that do not issue animal passports, an official veterinary health certificate.

Mandatory conditions for the carriage of assistance dogs

To ensure the safety and welfare of passengers and animals, service dogs must be transported under the following conditions: 

  • Without a container, at the owner’s feet.
  • Always on a lead.
  • Without occupying a passenger seat.
  • Without moving around in the cabin.

Carriage of assistance animals on flights with stopovers

If you are traveling with your emotional assistance dog on a flight with a layover, please note that:

  • Depending on the itinerary and the combined total weight (animal + transport bag), the animal may have to fly part of the route in the cabin and another part in the hold - this is the case for flights between the United States and Europe (for example, New York - Lisbon - Madrid).
  • If the animal is to be transported both in the cabin and in the hold, you must ensure that the connection time (time between two flights) is at least 3 hours, to ensure that all necessary processes and procedures are completed.
  • If the animal travels in the cabin and moves to the hold on the second route, you must provide the transport box for the animal at the point of origin.
Do you have any other questions about the carriage of assistance dogs?
    Please read our FAQ.

This information only concerns the non-commercial movements of dogs recognised as Service Animals (SVAN) and Emotional Service Animals (ESAN). If you need information regarding the import and export of animals, you should contact the respective embassies or consulates.

TAP complies with the following regulations in force:
- EU Regulation No. 1107/2006 of 5 July 2006 on the rights of passengers with reduced mobility;
- Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 382 of the US Department of Transportation, in force since 13 May 2009, applicable to passengers travelling to/from the US.