Planning

Travelling with an Assistance Dog

What is an Assistance Dog?

An Assistance Dog accompanies a person with a disability other than a vision or hearing impairment.

Assistance Dogs on Domestic and International Short Haul Flights

Virgin Australia will only accept Assistance Dogs that have been appropriately trained, sufficient to pass a public access test. The following organisations, trainers and/or individuals have been accepted:

  • Animal Assisted Therapy Australia Inc.
  • Assistance Dogs Australia
  • Association of Australian Assistance Dogs (NQ) Inc
  • Australian Support Dogs Incorporated
  • Canine Partners as a Member of Assistance Dogs International
  • Registered Service Dogs Washington State USA (Business Licence #600236600)
  • Disability Aid Dogs
  • West Australian Assistance Dogs Inc.
  • Craig A Murray
  • Paws for Diabetics
  • Righteous Pups Australia
  • Canine Helpers for the Disabled Inc.
  • Leko McCulloch (Toto)
  • Hans Van Heesbeen - Service Dog Training (SDT)
  • Christiane Bleich - Sasha
  • Lions Hearing Dogs Incorporated
  • Anthea Holmes
  • Carmel Kaczmar
  • Patricia McAlister - Smartpups for special needs children inc.
  • Tracey Murray

Organisations must meet or exceed the minimum standards set by:

  • Assistance Dogs International, or
  • Queensland Guide Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009

The owner of an Assistance Dog must carry a proof of identity card, showing the level of appropriate training attained, issued by one of the organisations listed above.

All other animals must travel in the hold of the aircraft.

Assistance Dogs on International Long Haul Flights

Assistance Dogs are accepted on international long haul flights provided they meet the requirements of the registered organisations below:

  • Animal Assisted Therapy Australia Inc.
  • Assistance Dogs Australia
  • Association of Australian Assistance Dogs (NQ) Inc.
  • Australia Support Dogs Incorporated
  • Canine Partners as a Member of Assistance Dogs International
  • Registered Service Dogs, Washington State Business License #600 236 600.

Guests who are accompanied by an Assistance Dog must carry documentary evidence of the Assistance Dog’s accreditation with one of the above organisations.

What is a Guide Dog?

A Guide Dog accompanies/assists a person who has a vision or hearing impairment.

Guide Dogs on Domestic and International Short Haul Flights

Guide Dogs are permitted by law to accompany their handler in all public places, provided that they have the proper credentials as listed below:

  • Guide Dogs must have a medallion on their collar with their Guide Dog registration number.
  • The handler must carry a laminated pass, showing their name, as well as their dog’s name.
  • Guide dog must have passed a public access test.

Guide Dogs are permitted in the cabins of all our aircraft when they are travelling with their owner and the owner is entirely dependent on the Guide Dog for mobility.

Note: Guide Dogs must be harnessed.

Guide Dogs on International Long Haul Flights

Virgin Australia international long haul flights accept all certified/registered Guide Dogs accompanying a guest who is visually or hearing impaired.

  • Guide Dogs must be trained and accredited by their applicable Guide Dog Association under the banner of Guide Dogs Australia or America.
  • Guide Dogs are permitted in the cabins of all our aircraft when they are travelling with their owner and the owner is entirely dependent on the Guide Dog for mobility.
  • Guide Dogs must have a medallion on their collar with their Guide Dog registration number.

Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs in Training

Virgin Australia permits Guide and Assistance Dogs in training onboard when accompanied by an accredited trainer who may not be visually or hearing impaired.

Virgin Australia accepts all registered Guide Dogs in training; and Assistance Dogs in training from the following registered organisations:

  • Animal Assisted Therapy Australia Inc
  • Assistance Dogs Australia
  • Association of Australian Assistance Dogs (NQ) Inc
  • Australia Support Dogs Incorporated
  • Canine Helpers for the Disabled Inc.
  • Canine Partners as a Member of Assistance Dogs International
  • Craig A Murray
  • Disability Aid Dogs
  • Hans Van Heesbeen - Service Dog Training (SDT)
  • Paws for Diabetics
  • Registered Service Dogs, Washington State Business License #600 236 600.
  • Righteous Pups Australia
  • West Australian Assistance Dogs Inc.

Guests who are accompanied by an Assistance Dog must carry documentary evidence of the Assistance Dog’s accreditation with one of the above registered organisations.

Important Information for the Carriage of Guide and Assistance Dogs in the Cabin

  • The dog must be fully trained, or if in training, it must be harnessed, wearing an identifying coat and accompanied by a trainer.
  • Handlers must supply a suitable restraint for the dog in-flight.
  • The dog must be seated on an absorbent mat for the duration of the flight, as supplied by the handler.
  • Please prepare your dog for the journey by exercising and limiting its fluid intake for several hours before boarding the aircraft. Note: Virgin Australia international long haul flights can be up to 14 hours duration.
  • If you are travelling on our international long haul services with a group and there are 10 or more Guide/Assistance Dogs travelling with you, please contact Virgin Australia at least 10 days before departure so that we can ensure your needs are met onboard.
  • Only two Guide/Assistance Dogs per flight are permitted to travel on our domestic and international short haul services.

How to Book

If you intend to fly with a Guide Dog or Assistance Dog you must make your booking through our Guest Contact Centre (Internet discount fare will be honoured).

Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs are carried free of charge.

Note: These guidelines are only applicable on flights operated by Virgin Australia. If you are travelling on a Codeshare flight with another carrier, you and your dog must meet that carrier’s requirements.

Important: Guide/Assistance Dogs travelling on international flights may be subject to specific Quarantine requirements. Guests are responsible for ensuring all requirements are met prior to travel.