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What is a Service Dog?

A Service Dog is trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. Service Dogs include Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Assistance Dogs.

Guide and Hearing Dogs on Domestic and International Flights

Certified and Registered Guide / Hearing Dogs are welcome on board Virgin Australia flights when accompanying a guest who has a vision or hearing impairment, provided that they have the credentials listed below:

- Guide / Hearing Dogs must wear their coat, and/or have their ID medallion on their collar
- The handler must have their Handler ID

Assistance Dogs on Domestic and International Flights

Virgin Australia accepts Assistance Dogs that:

  • Have been trained to assist with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability; and
  • Meet the standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.

To make it easier for your request to travel with an Assistance Dog to be processed, we have a list of pre-approved training organisations. If your dog has been trained by one of these organisations, all you need to provide is a document that confirms the dog was trained by that organisation:

If your Assistance Dog has not been trained by a pre-approved organisation, we require further information from you to determine whether we can carry it. You will need to provide:

  • Documents that confirm the dog has been trained to alleviate the effects of a disability; and
  • Documents that confirm the dog meets the standards and hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place - this is most often and easily confirmed by providing a Public Access Test.

If you have any questions about travelling with an Assistance Dog, please call our Specific Assistance Team on 1300 139 303 (in Australia) or +617 3295 3941 (if overseas).

Important Information for the Carriage of Service Dogs in the Cabin:

  • The dog must be harnessed, wearing an identifying coat and accompanied by its handler.
  • 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.
  • 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 Service Dogs travelling with you, please contact Virgin Australia at least 10 days before departure so that we can ensure your needs are met on board.
  • Generally, Virgin Australia can only accept up to two Service Dogs per flight on our domestic and international short haul services. This number may, however, be higher or lower depending on the operational and safety requirements of the particular flight.

Service Dogs are carried free of charge on Virgin Australia* flights.

*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: Service Dogs travelling on international flights may be subject to specific Quarantine requirements. Guests are responsible for ensuring all requirements are met prior to travel, and Virgin Australia will not accept liability if your Service Dog is not approved for Quarantine clearance at your destination, or when entering Australia.

Flights to and from the USA: Emotional Support and Psychiatric Assist Dogs are welcome on board Virgin Australia flights as Service Dogs to and from the United States when accompanying a guest with a disability, if certain documentation requirements are met.

Therapy Dogs, which are pets that have been trained and registered by a therapy organisation in order to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other facilities, are not considered to be Service Dogs. See information on travelling with pets on Virgin Australia flights.

To request to travel with your Emotional Support and Psychiatric Assist Dogs on a Virgin Australia operated flight* to or from the United States, please call our Guest Contact Centre.

How to Book

If you intend to fly with a Service Dog you must make your booking through our website or by contacting our Guest Contact Centre (internet fare will be honoured).

Service Dogs are carried free of charge on Virgin Australia* flights.