Assistance and service dogs (SVAN)

A trained assistance dog for a blind or other PRM passenger may be carried in the cabin when accompanying a passenger who is dependent upon it. Assistance dogs are accepted if they have been trained to do work or perform tasks for a disabled or handicapped person. The service dog must be officially trained and the training must be approved by an audited organization, e.g. Assistance Dogs Europe. If the assistance dog is other than guide dog for blind or deaf passenger please ask customer to fill out the Special assistance request form online and send the dog's training document.  

The assistance and service dogs are always carried free of charge. The dog shall be properly harnessed. Bookings allowed in all cabins. The passenger and the dog will normally be seated where sufficient floor space for the dog is available, excluding emergency exits. If a service dog is disruptive or too large to fit under the seat/at the passenger's feet or is protruding into other passengers´ space or the aisle, it will need to travel in a kennel (provided by the passenger) in the cargo hold. Customer can also book an additional seat (EXST) to get more legroom for the dog.


Assistance and service dogs allowed to travel in the cabin on our flights

Assistance dogs accepted in cabin Required documents Other restrictions 
Guide dogs and hearing dogs who aid people with sight or hearing disabilities 


Certificate of training 

Diabetic alert dogs and seizure alert dogs Certificate of training -
Dogs trained to assist physically impaired people in daily life Certificate of training -
Psychiatric service dogs * US Department of Transportation forms  Permitted only on direct flights to/from the United States 

* On our direct flights to or from the United States, passengers are permitted to travel with a psychiatric service dog that is individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability. Please note that you need to fill in the U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form. In addition, please fill in the U.S. DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form if the animal will be on a flight that takes 8 hours or more.  The dogs need to be booked as SVAN.
Please note that emotional support animals (ESAN) are no longer classified as service animals under the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, and Finnair will no longer accept or accommodate the emotional support animal classification. 

Service dogs accepted in cabin * Required documents Other restrictions 
Narcotic detection dogs Certificate of training and explanation of the mission Permitted in cabin only on official search or rescue missions 
Search and rescue dogs Certificate of training and explanation of the mission Permitted in cabin only on official search or rescue missions 

* Service dogs that are not travelling on an official search or rescue mission need to travel in the hold of the aircraft as AVIH. 

SVAN is not included in the PETC count. In international traffic entry regulations for live animals shall be verified. There is no limitation set for the number of assistance dogs. 

The request shall be done by using SVAN as follows. Confirmation is manual so send requests preferably 48h prior to travel. 

Booking instructions for NDC

For the time being, SVAN can be added to the booking only by Finnair, please fill in the special assistance form latest 48 hours before departure, or contact Agent Help Desk for further assistance.    

Booking instructions via EDIFACT

SVANService/Assistance dog trained to service disabled customerInformation needed in request: What is the type of assistance the
dog provides for customer

Please note that the following information about requirements must be sent to the customer. The OSI element needs to be inserted into the reservation as follows: 

Legal obligations on community air carriers

Community air carriers have a legal obligation under EU law to accept disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility on their flights and should not refuse transport on the grounds of disability or lack of mobility except for reasons that are justified on the grounds of safety and prescribed by law. This obligation extends to the carriage of Recognized Assistance Dogs.

The legal obligations are set out in full in Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

What is required at the time of booking?

The customer needs to be informed of the below requirements (point 1) set by the LHR Animal Reception Centre, the authority performing the arrival check of the assistance dog.

It has to be marked in the reservation that the customer has been notified of the requirements before confirming the booking. The customer shall also be informed that without a Preapproval Notice the customer may not be accepted on board the flight. Normal SVAN/ESAN booking in association with the relevant PRM-code (e.g. BLND, WCHC) shall be made.

The customer needs to contact the Animal Reception Centre prior to travel in order to receive a Preapproval Notice. To obtain the Preapproval the customer needs to send the following information to the Animal Reception Centre, fax +44 20 8759 3477.

a) Copy of the Pet Passport/Import License from Non-EU countries

b) Copy of the assistance dog's training certificate

c) Contact information: customer's name, e-mail and/or phone number

d) Flight details

Specific information can be found in the AVHLA guide via the following link

What is required at the airport prior to travel?

In order to accept the customer and the registered assistance dog on a Finnair flight, the customer needs to present the Preapproval Notice to the ground handling staff. According to the Animal Reception Centre instructions, a customer without a Preapproval Notice may not be accepted on a flight. In ad hoc cases, always contact the LHR Animal Reception Centre if a customer is not in possession of the Preapproval Notice.

What is required upon arrival at the destination?

All required documents for the assistance dog will be checked upon arrival at the destination, before the customer exits the aircraft. Crew/ground staff may not let customer leave the aircraft until the representative from the Animal Reception Centre has arrived and performed the arrival check.

Whom to contact in case of inquiries?

In case you have any questions regarding the transportation of registered assistance dogs to the UK please call the LHR Animal Reception Centre at +44 20 8745 7894.