What is an assistance dog?
An assistance dog is a dog that has been trained to help people with physical disabilities to gain more personal independence. These include guide, hearing, service, emotional support, and psychiatric service dogs, and are permitted to fly with their owner in the aircraft cabin. Any other dogs not meeting this definition must be boarded as pets.
Please note that an assistance dog can only fly on a Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flight if the dog has been accredited by either Assistance Dogs International, Link opens in a new window operated by external parties and may not conform to the same accessibility policies as Cathay Pacific or Assistance Dogs Europe, Link opens in a new window operated by external parties and may not conform to the same accessibility policies as Cathay Pacific.
Along with the correct assistance dog accreditation and AFCD permit, a passenger who wishes to travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service dog must also provide us with the current documentation (no older than one year prior to the scheduled flight) on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, or medical doctor specifically treating the passenger’s mental or emotional disability) stating the following:
- The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders;
- The passenger needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger's destination;
- The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional, and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and
- The date and type of the mental health professional's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.
The passenger should submit the permit and medical letter to our reservations office immediately after booking their flight. We will then review everything, and confirm the assistance dog is able to fly in the cabin with the passenger.
Please note where there is reasonable doubt that a passenger can complete the flight safely without requiring special medical assistance we may ask for further information before clearing the passenger for flight.
- Contact our local reservations office as far in advance of your travel date as possible to let us know you’d like to bring your assistance dog on board. We’ll start making the necessary arrangements.
Your day of travel
- Bring original copies of all documentation that allows your assistance dog to travel with you to the airport. You’ll need to present the relevant documents when you check in and when you arrive at your destination.
- During the flight itself, if you have a larger dog, it should sit at your feet, while a smaller dog can sit on your lap. It should be properly leashed or harnessed throughout, and you should be responsible for the health and sanitation of the flight in case your dog needs to relieve itself.