Information about travelling with assistance dogs
You can take your assistance dog with you on board Lufthansa flights free of charge.
We distinguish between:
- Assistance dogs on non-stop flights to/from the United States
- Assistance dogs on all flights outside the United States
When taking an assistance dog with you into the cabin, the general advice for transporting animals in an aircraft applies.
General requirements for taking an assistance dog into the cabin
To ensure the safe and undisturbed operation of the flight, your dog must be trained to be obedient to your commands and must behave appropriately in a public space (in other words, no barking, growling, or jumping up at people or other animals).
On no account may the dog relieve itself in the cabin or at the boarding gate, or may only be permitted to do so in such a way as to cause no health risk or hygiene problems.
If your dog does not behave in an appropriate manner, Lufthansa may transfer the dog to the cargo hold at an additional cost or refuse to transport the animal. You are liable for any damage and additional cost arising from the transport of your dog.
- Your dog must fit in the foot space of your seat and be attached to your seat belt with a pet harness provided by Lufthansa.
- The animal may on no account sit on a passenger seat.
- We recommend securing the dog with a harness rather than a collar.
- While it is not a requirement for travelling with an assistance dog, we strongly request that you also bring a muzzle with you for your dog as an added precaution and out of consideration for other passengers.
- Should a situation arise in which your dog poses a threat to the safety of other passengers, you will be required to muzzle your dog. Otherwise your dog will be denied travel on Lufthansa flights.
On direct flights to/from the USA, passengers are permitted to travel with an assistance dog, including a psychotherapeutic assistant dog. The dog must be individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including a visual, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, in the way and to the extent required and as defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Lufthansa will transport assistance dogs free of charge. Lufthansa limits the number of assistance dogs per passenger to a maximum of two (2) assistance dogs.
Definition of assistance animal and person with a disability (for purposes of compliance with 14 C.F.R. 382):
- A dog, regardless of type or breed
- That is individually trained to support a person with a disability
- Including a visual, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability
- Other animal species than dogs, emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals and assistance animals in training are not assistance animals.
Note: Pursuant to 14 C.F.R. Part 382, emotional support animals are no longer classified as assistance animals under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, and Lufthansa will no longer accept or allow this category.
Person with a disability
- A person with a physical or mental impairment that, on a permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits significant life activities
- Has proof of the impairment
- Or is accepted as a person with such an impairment pursuant to 14 C.F.R. § 382.3
- (a) who, as a passenger, with regard to the purchase (1) of a ticket for transportation by an airline, offers or endeavours in good faith to purchase such a ticket, to purchase or in an otherwise valid way to obtain such a ticket, or (2) air transportation or other services or accommodations required by 14 C.F.R. Part 382 (i) buys or otherwise validly obtains, or attempts in good faith to obtain a ticket for transportation with an airline and presents himself or herself at the airport for the purpose of using the flight to which the ticket pertains; and (ii) meets reasonable, nondiscriminatory contract of carriage requirements applicable to all passengers; or
- (b) uses the ground transport or facilities of a terminal to accompany or collect a person who is travelling, or seeks information about timetables, fare offers, reservations or guidelines, takes steps that are necessary for the use of facilities or services offered to the general public by an airline, and by appropriate means which are provided on demand by the airline.
To travel with an assistance dog, as a precondition of transportation, you are required to complete and submit the following forms to Lufthansa. This must be done on or after the date you purchase your ticket.
- If you are travelling with an assistance dog and have made a reservation more than 48 hours before the first scheduled departure time of your itinerary, you must transfer these forms to Lufthansa electronically or in hard copy at least 48 hours in advance of your date of travel.
- If you are travelling with an assistance dog and have made a reservation less than 48 hours before the first scheduled departure time of your itinerary, you must hand over these forms to Lufthansa at your departure gate on the day of travel."
Please complete the following forms and send them via email to the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org):
If you have a connecting flight/feeder flight outside the USA, we will additionally require a training certificate to book for an assistance dog. Please send us the certificate together with the above-mentioned forms via email.
It is a criminal offence to make false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements knowingly and wilfully on the Service Animal Air Transportation Form or Service Animal Relief Attestation Form to utilise disability support provided under U.S. regulations.
Travel permission: in agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, Lufthansa may check whether an animal is approved as an assistance dog. To determine whether an animal is an assistance dog, Lufthansa may (1) observe the animal to determine whether it displays disruptive or aggressive behaviour that demonstrates that it has not been successfully trained to behave properly in a public setting, or (2) check for certain physical indicators.
Size of assistance dogs: all assistance dogs must fit in the foot space at the passenger’s seat unless transport would contradict the safety requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or German/European law or restrict the space of another passenger.
Tethering/restraining/leashing: Lufthansa requires that all assistance dogs be kept on a lead at all times by the assistance dog keeper or handler (if applicable) while onboard Lufthansa aircraft and in airport areas that are owned, leased, or controlled by Lufthansa.
Refusal to transport an assistance dog: Lufthansa may refuse to transport an assistance dog in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations in the following circumstances:
- The assistance dog represents a direct danger to the health or safety of another person.
- The assistance dog causes significant disruption in the cabin or in the gate area of the airport or its behaviour in the aircraft or in the gate area of the airport allows one to conclude that it has not been sufficiently trained for appropriate behaviour in public areas.
- The assistance dog’s carriage would violate applicable safety or health requirements of a U.S. federal authority, U.S. territory or a foreign government.
- The passenger with a disability who wishes to travel with an assistance dog in the cabin of the aircraft does not present the completed relevant forms required by Lufthansa.
Damage: Lufthansa reserves the right to take legal action against a passenger travelling with an assistance dog for any damage caused by the assistance dog in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations.
Approved assistance dogs (service animals [SVAN] – e.g. guide dogs, hearing dogs, diabetic alert dogs, seizure alert dogs) can be taken into the cabin free of charge on all flights operated by Lufthansa. Please register the animal for transport in the cabin up to 48 hours before departure if possible.
There are three ways to register your assistance dog:
a) An email to the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre
An email to the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre in the USA
b) Lufthansa Service Center
c) Through your travel agency
Requirements for registering recognised assistance dogs on flights outside the USA:
1. You must present a training certificate for your dog from a recognised training institute. You will receive confirmation from the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre once this has been checked.
2. For flights outside the USA, we also require your written confirmation that the dog fulfils the requirements for travelling as a recognised assistance dog. For this purpose, please present two printouts of this fully completed and signed form at check-in:
Checklist for taking an assistance dog with you into the cabin
To make your preparations easier, we have prepared a checklist for you with all the important points.
- You have made sure that taking your dog with you on your journey (outbound and return flight) as additional carry-on baggage in the cabin conforms to the current entry and exit regulations of all the countries concerned.
- Any necessary veterinary examinations or treatments (e.g. vaccinations, microchipping) have been completed in good time before your journey.
- The official and veterinary documents required for your pet (e.g. pet passport) are ready.
- You have made sure that you can also take your dog with you into the cabin of other airlines involved in your journey.
- You have booked your flight and registered your dog for carriage in the cabin with Lufthansa or at your travel agency and have received a corresponding booking confirmation.
- You have two fully completed and signed printouts of our form for transporting an animal in the passenger cabin
- If you are travelling with an approved assistance dog: you have a certificate proving your dog has been trained as an assistant dog (not required for flights to/from the USA).
- If you are travelling to/from the USA: you have filled out and sent the following forms to the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre:
- Please bring your dog in a suitable transport container (where appropriate) to the check-in counter no later than two hours before departure.
- Please present the following documents for your animal at the check-in counter:
- the official and veterinary documents for your dog (e.g. pet passport)
- if applicable, proof that the animal has been trained as an assistance dog (not for flights to/from the USA)
- two fully completed and signed printouts of our Form for the transportation of an animal in the passenger cabin
- You have your booking confirmation or passenger receipt in your carry-on baggage.
- You pay the costs for transporting your dog when checking in or at the Lufthansa service counter.
- Your dog is wearing a harness (recommended) or collar and, if possible, a muzzle.