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What Made British Airways Ban Dogs?

What Made British Airways Ban Dogs?
Jackie Reddy

British Airways has banned dogs for the time being. The decision came after a pet was shipped in the wrong-sized crate. While this is, specifically, a ban on dogs traveling in the cargo hold, British Airways does not allow dogs or any other pets to travel in the cabin as emotional support animals. 

What Happened?

We’re not really sure. All British Airways has said is that a dog was transported in the wrong-sized crate. They have made it clear that the dog was unharmed, but that’s as specific as their public statement gets. What they are clear about is the ban.  Speaking on the suspension, a BA spokesperson said, “We take the responsibility of transporting and caring for animals traveling with us extremely seriously. We have temporarily suspended bookings pending our investigation.”

You can read more about this on British Airways’ official page on Travelling With a Service Animal.

Image Source: British Airways

Seriously, What Happened?

When it comes to containers, British Airways gets very specific about size. While you can’t fly your pet with British Airways at the moment, you can read more about the guidelines on live animal transport here. But, we imagine that there would have to be a big discrepancy in approved size for British Airways to ban pets altogether. 

If we’re forced to assume, our best guess would be that the crate was much too small and that the dog who incited the incident was in danger. Or, maybe the crate was too large and the dog escaped. Whatever happened, we imagine that this ban will stay in place until British Airways gives some additional training to staff members who are in charge of approving animals for travel.

View Comments (6)


  1. JoeDTW

    January 9, 2020 at 6:27 am

    GOOD! Now, if only airlines in the USA would do likewise, and also ban all dogs except seeing eye dogs from the cabins of passenger aircraft.

  2. amanuensis


    January 9, 2020 at 8:42 am

    “If we’re forced to assume, our best guess would be that the crate was much too small …. Or, maybe the crate was too large …” Given that BA said that a dog was transported in a “wrong sized” cage, I think it safe to assume that cage was either too big or too small. So did the article really need to state the obvious?

  3. Fonsini

    January 11, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    This “emotional support” for the snowflakes has gotten way out of hand – vets with PTSD and seeing eye dogs only. Grandma can live without Mr.Squiggles for a few hours.

  4. MimiB22

    January 12, 2020 at 5:23 am

    I am sick and tired of people trying to pass off their pets as necessary for emotional support on flights. I was seated next to a woman and her ill behaved, excited dog. She took the dog out of it’s carrier immediately after take off, putting it in her lap, but allowed it to drool and jump on me, and at one point, it scratched and snagged my sweater. I asked the woman to please put her dog in it’s carrier, but she wouldn’t. The FA who seemed to think the dog was cute and also declined to make the woman put it in her carrier. Luckily the flight was only two hours. Ban them all, except genuine service animals who are well trained and don’t cause problems.

  5. FEasy

    January 14, 2020 at 6:17 am

    “…maybe the crate was too large and the dog escaped”. Hmm, I don’t think escaping is the concern here. After all, a plane is a flying crate too and the animal won’t escape from that easily. No, my bet is on the crate being too large and, rather than escaping, the dog was shaken around in it, maybe came out with a limp or something. It’s no coicidence that the requirements make it a relavively tight fit.

  6. flatlander

    January 26, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    BA are very careful about the crate being too small for the animal. They check cats, too, and if your cat is very fluffy then get them a bigger crate – or BA will refuse the animal and you have to find a crate at very short notice as happened to my partner some years ago. They’re clearly very concerned about the animal welfare – but then, you don’t hear about as many dead animals on BA as you do on United, do you?

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