Special assistance

Assistance dogs

Thomas Cook Airlines allow one assistance dog per customer, there is no limit to the number allowed on the flight as long as the number of customers requiring assistance doesn’t exceed the number that don’t.  Policies for other airlines may vary.

An assistance dog will be carried by Thomas Cook Airlines from any UK airport to any European airport to which the airline operates.  The service is also available on selected flights from Manchester to the USA - please ask for details.

When you request carriage of an assistance dog we’ll need you to provide a letter from your Doctor with a diagnosis of your requirement of an assistance dog and in order for it to fly with Thomas Cook Airlines. Please note that the letter must be on letter headed paper and no older than one year from the date of your flight.

All service animals will require:

  1. Evidence that the assistance dog is an Assistance dog and is trained by, what is known as, a recognised training organisation. Thomas Cook Airlines can accept a Certificate or ID book as pre-flight booking documentary evidence that the dog is trained by a recognised training organisation, with the ID tag on the dog’s collar, harness or jacket, helping to confirm the dog’s status as being trained by a recognised organisation.

  2. Pet Passport. A Pet Passport must contain the following:
  • Date of birth/age, breed and coat colour, microchip number, date of insertion and location on animal
  • The vaccine manufacturer, product name and batch number.
  • The date by which the rabies booster vaccination must be given. (We will need to see evidence of this so you could send it or take it into our local travel agency for them to fax/scan to us - whichever is easiest for you. Once we have this we can proceed with your requirements. There are no restrictions travelling out of UK Airports with the correct documentation).
  • On a flight scheduled to take 8 hours or more you will need to provide documentation that your animal can relieve itself in a way that does not create a health or sanitation issue on the flight
  • It is your responsibility as the dog owner/handler to ensure all necessary paperwork is in order including import regulations for the country of destination and that the dogs welfare is not compromised during your journey
  • Further Information and guidelines for passengers who wish to bring along an Assistance/Service Dog can be found on the DEFRA website or Pet Travel Scheme Helpline: www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk/ 
  • You must provide a suitable harness to ensure the safety of the animal during take-off and landing and at any time during the flight when the seat belt sign is illuminated.
  • Working harness should be attached to the owner/customer’s seat belt in a similar fashion to infant belts.
  • Customers will be allocated a window seat with service dog expected to sit at their feet.
  • Customers can pay in advance for an additional seat giving more floor space for the animal.
  • You must have sufficient food/snacks for your dog and a non-tipping water container.
  • We also advise that you bring equipment with you for any doggy accidents!



  • All assistance/Service Dogs must be registered and trained with a legitimate association i.e. International Guide Dog federation, Hearing Dogs for Deaf people/Medical Detection Dogs
  • Maximum flight duration 10 hours
  • The customer must be in possession of the required documents
  • Tick and tapeworm treatment administered between 24-48hrs prior to check-in
  • Microchip fitted
  • Dog must be vaccinated against rabies and details entered in to the Pets Passport including blood test
  • No sedation should be used
  • Dog should be well groomed and bathed if necessary to reduce shedding
  • In the event of an unscheduled diversion into the UK airport, the authorities must be contacted at the earliest opportunity as normal quarantine may apply. On diverted arrival points into the UK, if customers are to be transported onwards to their original final destination, the service dog can travel with them and be cleared on arrival at the final approved base

Requesting assistance

Thomas Cook Airlines are able to carry guide dogs free of charge on many routes, please contact us for full details. For more information on Pet Travel Scheme you can call or make contact in the following ways:

If you or any member of your party require special assistance, please contact us at least 48 hours before departure free on: 0800 107 3409. Our opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 08:00 – 20:00.
We would recommend that if you are travelling within the next 5 days that you contact our Special Assistance team by way of telephone to discuss your requirements.
We can’t be held responsible if you don’t tell us about special requirements that will affect your holiday experience. If you don’t tell us then we won’t compensate you.

For flights from / to UK on Thomas Cook Airlines UK flights you can only transport your pets as cargo in the cargo hold. For more information on booking deadlines, available routes and prices please contact our specialized pet travel agent on: North Office: +44 845 1801851 / uknorth@airbornepets.com, South Office: +44 1784 425303 / uksouth@airbornepets.com