Travelling with a service dog

Flying with a Service Dog

Service dogs that are trained to assist passengers with special needs are permitted to fly in the cabin for free, provided they meet all requirements and regulations of the individual country.

Air India defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Please note that service animals, emotional support animals, and comfort animals that are in training may travel as pets but not as service animals. All requirements and applicable fees will apply for pet travel.

Travel requirements for service dogs

Services dogs must:

  • Be harnessed, leashed, or always tethered and must be in control
  • Be clean and well-behaved
  • Fit at your feet, under your seat, or in your lap (lap animals must be smaller than a two year old child)

Service dogs must not: 

  • Be seated in an exit row
  • Protrude into or block aisles
  • Occupy a seat


  • Final approval for travel will be confirmed at the airport only after direct verification that your service animal will safely fit at your feet. 
  • For flights on partner airlines, travellers are required to contact the partner airline directly and complete all the necessary forms and documents for travelling with a service animal. 
  • If your animal is too large or too heavy to be safely accommodated in the cabin, you may need to:
    • Rebook a flight with more open seats.
    • Buy extra seats for the animal to ensure it is well accommodated on the aircraft. However, the service animal cannot occupy a passenger seat.
    • Transport the animal as a checked pet, free of charge.

Animal behaviour guidelines

Service dogs must undergo proper training to ensure they behave appropriately at the airport or in the air. They won’t be permitted in the cabin if they display any form of disruptive behaviour that can’t be successfully corrected or controlled, including but not limited to: 

  • Running freely
  • Barking or growling repeatedly
  • Biting or attempting to bite
  • Jumping on or lunging at people
  • Urinating or defecating

If this behaviour is observed at any point during your journey and isn't corrected or controlled, the animal will be considered a pet and not a service dog. Under these circumstances, all requirements and applicable fees will apply.

Flying with a service animal on US-bound flights

As per the US Department of Transportation, Air India recognises a dog as a service animal that is allowed to assist a qualified passenger with special needs on flights to or from the United States.

Psychiatric service animal

Air India permits a fully trained psychiatric service dog to assist a qualified individual with a disability on direct flights to or from the US. As per the regulations of the US Department of Transportation, only a dog is recognised as a psychiatric service animal.

Please note that a passenger is limited to two psychiatric service dogs on US-bound flights.

Required paperwork for flights to and from the US

For flights to and from the US, passengers travelling with a service dog must provide completed forms required by the US Department of Transportation.

We request that passengers submit completed forms up to 48 hours before their flight. If you purchased your ticket less than 48 hours before your departure time, you may complete the forms at the airport. 

  • Service Animal Air Transportation Form (PDF)
    Complete this form from the US Department of Transportation to attest to your animal’s health, training, and behaviour.
  • Service Animal Relief Attestation Form (PDF)
    For flights over 8 hours long, complete this additional form from the US Department of Transportation stating your animal doesn’t need to relieve itself or can do so in a way that doesn’t create a health or sanitation issue. If required, please bring enough absorbent mats for the service animal to relieve itself.

US CDC suspension for high-risk countries

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a temporary suspension of dog imports, including service dogs, travelling to the US from countries considered high-risk countries.

Documentation required 

To enter the US along with your service dog, in addition to the two standard DOT forms on service animals, which are:

You will have to provide documentation to comply with the requirements regarding the transport of animals by a Federal agency, US territory, or a foreign jurisdiction. 

Refusal of carriage of a service dog for non-compliance
  • Air India may refuse to transport service animals if it violates any applicable health and safety regulations of the US, a US state or territory, or a foreign government.
  • The current CDC suspension on the transportation of dogs from India allows Air India to refuse to carry service dogs that the suspension would bar.