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These are the best airlines for travelling with pets

PUBLISHED: 12:41 09 October 2018

A small dog is carried in a travel bag on board a plane (c) Getty Images

A small dog is carried in a travel bag on board a plane (c) Getty Images

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If you're heading off on holiday to France and don't want to leave your beloved pet at home, make sure to book your flight with one of these airlines and you won't have to

With winter on its way, many people start thinking about going in search of a festive Christmas market or heading for a cosy chalet on the slopes.

But it’s not time well spent if you are fretting about leaving your furry friends at home.

New research commissioned by Compare the Market has revealed the most pet-friendly airlines around the globe, which make it easy for their passengers to take their dog or cat along with them. While getting your pet to your chosen location might seem daunting, most airlines have a policy in place to allow pets to accompany their owners on board.

The Jet Set Pets research found that Air France were leaders in the pet transport field, allowing its passengers to bring up to three pets along for the cost of an extra suitcase. Pets of up to 75kg (including carrier) can travel with you in the cabin. There are also freight options for heavier pets, which will be made welcome in their own holding area.

Air France are leaders in the pet transport field (c) Getty ImagesAir France are leaders in the pet transport field (c) Getty Images

Other companies which made the list of the Top 10 pet-friendly airlines included British Airways, Lufthansa, TUI, Thomas Cook, Turkish Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot Russian Airlines and Spanish-based Air Europa and Veuling.

While animals are now often a common sight on most airlines, Compare the Market warns there are some which aren’t pet-friendly - EasyJet, Emirates, FlyBe and Ryanair won’t let you on board with a pet at all.

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When looking into travelling with pets, Compare the Market suggests it is always advisable to get them their own passport, as a third of destinations will require one.

A cat flying in a plane (c) Getty ImagesA cat flying in a plane (c) Getty Images

As an EU national, you can freely travel with your cat, dog or ferret if it has a European pet passport, available from an authorised vet. Microchips are also required in 90% of countries, while almost all countries will require your pet to be vaccinated against rabies.

Animal lovers are waiting anxiously to find out what impact Brexit will have on the Pet Travel Scheme which allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets to enter the UK without quarantine, as long as they comply with the regulations. Pet passports are also issued by non-EU countries including Greenland, Iceland and Switzerland.

In France, pets from non-EU countries must be declared and presented to customs for document and identity checks. There is also a ban on importing certain dogs into France including Category 1 dogs without a pedigree recognised by the French Ministry of Agriculture belonging to the following breeds: Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Mastiff and Tosa. For health and safety reasons, bringing domestic carnivores less than three months old and not vaccinated for rabies into France is also banned.

When returning to Britain, travellers can bring their pet cat or dog if it has been microchipped, has a pet passport and has been vaccinated against rabies. Dogs must also usually have a tapeworm treatment. Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to four months if you don’t follow the rules.

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