Beige Labrador dog in profile, with a black harness, walking side by side with a person wearing black trousers of whom we see only the legs and the hand that holds the harness.
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.

Meet the assistance dogs allowed on board:

Assistance dogs allowed on board our flights must be at least 10 weeks old.
They are in the Assistance Animal category (SVAN) and receive training to perform owner/tutor assistance tasks such as:
Guide dog
Hearing dog
Service dog

Training assistance dogs are accepted if accompanied by their trainer or host family. Host families are considered to be those who receive assistance dogs during the animal's socialisation and adaptation phase to human coexistence and are accredited as such.

Bookings for carrying Emotional Support Animals (ESAN) - animals used for therapeutic purposes, without the need for any training beyond the basics - are not accepted by TAP.

What do you need to fly with your assistance dog?

First of all, we suggest that:
Request this service, at least 48 hours before the flight, using this form or at an airport service desk.
In addition, you must:
  • Ensure that the dog is properly identified as an Assistance Animal (SVAN).
  • Present a training certificate1 of the dog issued by a recognised institute when you book.2
  • Ensure that the dog has an animal passport, issued by a veterinarian, attesting to its identification and anti-rabies vaccination or, in countries which do not issue animal passports, an official veterinary health certificate.
  • Proof of compliance with legally required health requirements.
  • Proof of compliance with the obligations concerning liability insurance.
Before transporting your Assistance Animal (SVAN) to the UK, please contact the destination airport (for the contacts of to the airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester, see below).

It is the passenger's responsibility to have all the documents necessary for the transport of their animal. For more information, see the page: Guide and Assistance Dogs. After landing, you must wait for assistance at the destination, so that all documentation is confirmed before leaving the plane. 

Contacts for assistance services at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports:

Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Pet checker: ARC Heathrow
Phone: +44 (0) 208 745 7894
E-mail: [email protected] 

Gatwick Airport (LGW)
Pet checker: ARC Heathrow
Phone: + 44 (0) 129 355 5580
E-mail: [email protected] 

Manchester Airport (MAN)
Pet checker: ABM (Duty Manager)
Phone: + 44 (0) 758 447 6200

1The certification of the animal's training as an assistance dog is made through the issuing of a proper and distinctive card issued by the national or international assistance dog training establishment which issues an identification card to host families and assistance dogs in training. Here, you can find an example of an ID card (PDF, 1 MB, EN) as proof of certification.

In compliance with Decree-Law No. 74/2007, of March 27th, TAP Air Portugal recognizes the certification issued by the following entities or organizations recognized by them:


2On flights to/from the USA, it is not necessary to present this certificate.

How to transport your assistance dog

Assistance dogs always travel in the cabin.

Service dogs must be transported under the following conditions to ensure the safety and welfare of passengers and animals:

Beige labrador dog, with a black harness, descending an escalator with a person wearing black trousers of whom we see only the legs and the hand that holds the harness.
  • Without a container, at the owner’s feet.
  • Always on a leash.
  • Without occupying a passenger seat.
  • Without moving around in the cabin.
Illustration composed by several elements: on the left, a green identification document with the symbol of a white paw. To the center, a rigid white animal carrier with a red circle and a question mark in the center of the circle, located in the upper right corner of the carrier. On the right, a red feeding bowl with a white bone in the center.
Do you have any other questions about the carriage of assistance dogs?

Please read our frequently asked questions.

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

TAP Air Portugal reserves the right to refuse acceptance if the animal presents signs of disease, agression, lack of hygiene, or any other abnormal characteristic likely to impact flight safety.

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.