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Assistance animals

Take your dog.
Important information – transport in the hold on flights with layovers resumed
As of August 5, the transport of emotional assistance animals in the hold is resumed on TAP flights with a layover. If you are traveling with your emotional assistance dog on a flight with a layover, please note that:
  • Depending on the itinerary and the combined total weight (animal + transport bag), the animal may have to fly part of the route in the cabin and another part in the hold - this is the case for flights between the United States and Europe (for example, New York - Lisbon - Madrid).
  • f the animal is to be transported both in the cabin and in the hold, you must ensure that the connection time (time between two flights) is at least 3 hours, to ensure that all necessary processes and procedures are completed.
  • If the animal travels in the cabin and moves to the hold on the second route, you must provide the transport box for the animal at the point of origin.
Assistance animals (guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs) or emotional assistance animals may be carried in the cabin when they meet the requirements set out here.
  • ESAN: Emotional support animals (dogs);
  • SVAN: Service animals (guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, assistance dogs for people with reduced mobility, and search and rescue dogs).
Important information
Sedation of animals, except under certain conditions and carried out under veterinary supervision, is not recommended for transportation. Tranquilizers lower blood pressure, especially at high altitudes, which can be fatal for animals when traveling in an aircraft cargo hold.

Only dogs registered as service animals (SVAN) can be transported to the UK, and only in the cabin. Animals that are not service animals can only be transported out of the UK.
For information on transporting animals on flights from Brazil to the European Union, see here (PDF, 177 KB, EN).

If you need information on importing and exporting animals, you should contact the embassy or consulate of the country in question.

How to reserve?

Should you need to travel with an assistance animal (guide or emotional), you must inform us, using this form, or your travel agent, no later than 48 hours before departure. 

Travel with an emotional assistance dog will be authorised once the TAP doctor has approved it.

Conditions of Transport

Rules for transporting service dogs are as follows:

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs:
  • The dogs be properly identified as service animals with documentation proving they have been officially trained and certified; 
  • They can travel at the owner’s feet, without a transport box;
  • They cannot occupy a seat;
  • They must be on a leash;
  • They cannot move around the cabin.

Emotional support dogs:

  • May travel in the cabin inside a soft animal carry case weighing no more than 17lb (with the animal inside) and which is no larger than 15 x 12 x 6in;
  • If the permitted size and / or weight is exceeded, the dog has to travel in the hold, also for free;
  • Only one animal carry case is permitted per passenger;
  • On flights to and from the USA (only) emotional support dogs that weigh more than 8kg (17.5lb) are allowed on board;
    The maximum recommended weight and size is 40kg (88lb) and 62cm (24in) high (from floor to withers);
    Any weight or size over and above will need to be analyzed and duly authorized to ensure the flight can go ahead in safety and comfort;
    These dogs may travel in the cabin without a pet carrier cage or bag, though use of a lead is recommended;
  • Emotional assistance animals (ESAN) are not permitted in the executive class cabin of long-haul flights (except on flights to and from the USA);
  • The health requirements of the destination country must be complied with;
  • Authorization to travel with an emotional support dog will depend on the TAP doctor’s approval;
  • The carriage of short-nosed dogs and cats or cross-breeds of short-nosed dogs and cats is not allowed in the hold because of the climatic conditions they may be exposed to: 

Dog breeds

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Bully
  • American Pit Bull Terrier / Pit Bull
  • American Staffordshire Terrier / “Amstaff”
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog (all types)
  • Cavalier King Charles
  • Chow Chow
  • Shih-Tzu
  • English Toy Spaniel / Prince Charles Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin / Japanese Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (all types)
  • Pekingese
  • Shar Pei / Chinese Shar Pei
  • Pug (all types)
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier / “Staffies"
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Chihuahua
Passengers wishing to travel with emotional support animals must also have their personal physician fill out the TAP Medical Information Form for Air Travel - MEDIF (Part 2) (PDF, 0.1MB, EN).

This document must be sent to TAP Portugal’s medical department for review and approval by email or fax:

E-mail: medical.cases@tap.pt
Fax No. (+351) 218 416 540

NOTE: For passengers in transit/traveling to the United Kingdom, TAP is only permitted to transport dogs certified as guide dogs in the cabin. Transport of animals in the hold is not permitted on this route.

TAP complies with the following rules and regulations:

EU Regulation No. 1107/2006 of July 5, 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when traveling by air.

Passengers traveling to/from the USA are carried in accordance with the US Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations, Part 382, “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel”, in effect since May 13, 2009.