Easiest Way to get your Pet into or out of the UK


If you want to get your pet into or out of the UK you might think the obvious thing to do is to fly them?  You might be surprised to hear that regardless of Brexit, that’s not the case.

If you do want to get your pet into or out of the UK, there are other options that are cheaper and much easier than going via a UK airport, including flying them into/out of an airport in Europe such as Brussels, Amsterdam or France or using the Channel Tunnel between Folkestone and Calais.

Flying into/out of the UK

The main reason that flying into/out of the UK is more expensive is that is nearly always necessary to transport your pet (regardless of size) on a separate plane to the one you will travel on yourself (if you’re flying with them).  This is often a cargo plane that departs generally from a different terminal, at a different time – and sometimes on a different day from your own flight.  This means having to take a seperate journey to deliver your pet to the airport.  It also means that you’ll be parted from your pet for a not inconsiderable length of time.  UK regulations mean that even once your pet has arrived in the UK, you may not be able to collect them for up to 24 hours afterwards.  You will also need to purchase a specialist crate for air travel.

Flying into Europe

An alternative to flying your pet directly into/out of the UK is to first travel to one of the airports in Europe such as Charles De Gaulle in Paris, France, Schiphol in Amsterdam or Brussel-Nationaal in Brussels.  You can then use the channel tunnel across from Calais, France to Folkestone.  If you’re already in Europe then using the channel tunnel is probably your easiest route.

This may seem a longer journey however there are numerous benefits.

  • If your pet weighs under 8kg they can travel in the cabin with you.
  • They will be able to travel on the same plane as you (if over 8kg they will travel in the cargo section)  – they can often travel as excess luggage which is cheaper.
  • You will be able to collect your pet immediately after deplaning so they will be with you throughout the journey with no delay to your onward journey.
  •  If you are already in Europe, travelling via Eurotunnel will be cheaper, easier and mean you are not separated from your pet at any time.

How might Brexit affect this?

In all probability, the only effect Brexit will have is the amount of documentation and tests that will be required – and the time it will take to get your pet ready.  At the moment, travel from many countries only requires your pet to be up to date with their vaccinations and to have a pet passport – and it’s a fairly speedy process to get those all in order.  Depending on what happens with Brexit, your pet may need additional tests and vaccinations such as blood tests and the rabies vaccination and it will be necessary to wait at least 3 months after they have been vaccinated against rabies before the blood test can be done so it will be necessary to start preparing your pet for travel around 3 months in advance.