Airport Info Disability Assistance Flying to Tenerife with a Guide Dog or Assistance Dog

Flying to Tenerife with a Guide Dog or Assistance Dog

There is a lot to consider when flying with an assistance dog. Below, we have summarised some tips and advice to make sure both you and your dog are well prepared.

Airlines commonly differentiate between specially trained assistance dogs and emotional support dogs. While assistance dogs are typically permitted in the aircraft cabin, emotional support dogs fall under the category of pets, subject to standard pet travel regulations.

What is an assistance dog?

Also referred to as service dogs, assistance dogs undergo specialised training to carry out specific tasks for people with disabilities. Following the successful completion of training, these canines are granted certain legal protections and public access rights.

For an assistance dog to be permitted for air travel, most airlines stipulate that:

  • The dog must have undergone training by an organisation accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF).
  • Documentation or certificates verifying the training must be provided.

It is very important to check your airline’s specific requirements well in advance of your travel date. Although airlines are typically obligated to accommodate service dogs in the cabin at no extra cost, some carriers may impose certain restrictions based on factors such as breed, maximum weight of the dog, and other considerations.

What do you need to consider before flying with an assistance dog?

Prepare your dog

The same as other pets travelling by air, your assistance dog must fulfil the standard requirements related to vaccinations, microchipping, and documentation. These may vary slightly, depending on the country of origin. More detailed information on this can be found on our page “Pets at Tenerife South Airport”.

Before embarking on air travel with your canine companion, it’s crucial to assess whether your assistant is adequately prepared for this undertaking. Your dog must stay calm, sit on the floor at your feet and remain under your control throughout the journey. If uncertain, consult with the training organisation for guidance.

To be allowed on the aircraft, your dog must:

  • Wear a standard identifying jacket or harness for the entire journey.
  • Possess a suitable harness that can be securely fastened to your seat belt, ensuring effective restraint when seat belt signs are illuminated.

If your dog requires any regular medication (e.g., if they are diabetic), make sure you take these with you when travelling. As with any personal medication, these should be carried in their original packaging in order to identify the same if you are asked. Ask your vet for the “unbranded” name of the drug, should you require more when you reach your destination.

Inform your airline

It is imperative to inform your airline about your intention to travel with an assistance dog. This notification is ideally made at the time of booking, as the number of assistance dogs that are allowed in the cabin at the same time is restricted. Depending on the airline you fly with, the minimum notification period is between 48 to 72 hours before departure.

Request assistance

When booking your flight, you should request the PRM service at the airport. You will then be accompanied and assisted on your journey through the airport and onto the aircraft. See here for more information on the Disability Assistance Service at Tenerife South Airport.

Travel Tips When Flying with a Guide or Assistance Dog

  • Check with your local vet for their advice when flying with your guide dog and ensure that your dog is healthy and fit to travel.
  • Ask your guide dog instructors advice when travelling with your dog.
  • Exercise your dog before going to the airport.
  • Arrive at the airport early so airport staff have enough time to check your dog’s documentation.
  • Take some treats or your dog’s favourite toy for take off and landing to calm them down and chew on to reduce pressure on their ears.
  • Take an absorbant mat for your dog to sit on during the flight in case of accidents.

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