Flying Vueling Airlines with a Dog: Our Experience

One of my favourite airlines to fly with my small dog in Europe is Vueling. This low-cost airlines based in Barcelona is one of the most dog-friendly airlines in Europe, when it comes to small dogs flying in the cabin, with its high weight limit, low fees and easy booking process.

During 2017 and 2018, I flew with my dog on Vueling flights six times. Find out more about what it’s like to fly with Vueling with a small dog in the cabin…

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Flying Vueling with a dog

Can My Dog Fly with Vueling?

Whether or not your dog can fly with Vueling largely depends on size. Vueling cannot handle the flying of larger dogs in the hold. Only small pets can fly in the cabin on Vueling flights, as long as they meet the following criteria.

As well as dogs, Vueling also permits cats, birds (excluding birds of prey) and turtles/tortoises to fly in the cabin.

Maximum Weight and Carrier Dimensions

For pets flying in the cabin with Vueling, there is a maximum weight limit of your pet plus their carrier of 10kg, although a lower limit of 8kg applies on Iberia flights. Your pet needs to fly in an approved, non-rigid pet carrier that doesn’t exceed 45 x 39 x 21cm in size.

In reality, the soft pet carrier bag that we have usually used for flying our dog, Schnitzel, is slightly taller than the maximum height specified, 21cm. (And you’ll find most pet bags are.) However, generally the check-in staff have barely looked at his carrier, let along measured its size.

Find out more about buying a pet carrier for your pet to fly in the cabin

Vueling pet policy
Our dog, Schnitzel, ready to fly with Vueling in his carrier bag

Other Requirements

It’s also a requirement of the Vueling pet policy for pets to travel with a passport issued by a veterinary surgeon, which records that they were vaccinated for rabies between 21 days and 12 months before the flights.

Again in reality, in our experience this wasn’t always checked. It’s probably more likely to be checked if you are flying in or out of the EU. Additionally, it’s surprising that three-year rabies vaccinations are not recognised.

The Cost to Fly a Pet with Vueling

The ticket prices for pets to travel with Vueling are quite low and straight-forward. On domestic flights, a single flight per pet costs €40. On international flights, as well as flights to and from the Canary Islands, a pet costs €50.

How to Book Your Pet to Fly with Vueling

One of my favourite things about flying Vueling with my dog is how easy it is to book his flight. Unlike most airlines, there is no need to call up the call centre to book your pet’s flight. Instead, you can book their flight online, although there’s also the option to call up if you’d prefer.

Make Sure You Select a Basic Fare

One important note while booking your Vueling flight, is you have to book a Basic fare (the cheapest fare). This is probably because with an Optima fare (the next most expensive one), seat selection if included.

When flying with a pet on Vueling, you cannot select your seat in advance or check-in online: you have to check-in at the airport in person, with an appropriate seat selected by check-in staff.

Adding Your Pet to Your Booking

To book your pet on your Vueling flight, start your booking like normal. Then at the “Customise your flight” step, where you can also select to add insurance or special luggage, select to add your pet to your booking.

At the bottom of the page there is the option to add pets, with the applicable price listed. Just click the button to add a pet and select the passenger for them to fly with. Only a single pet is able to be added per passenger.

Booking a pet on the Vueling website

Click here to start booking a Vueling flight for you and your dog

Maximum Number of Pets per Flight

Note that only three pets are allowed per flight, or two on Iberia flights. Luckily I haven’t come up against this limit when flying my dog, but I recommend booking in advance or being prepared to be flexible about the exact flight.

Booking an Extra Seat

When booking with Vueling, you have the option to book an Extra Seat, such as for greater comfort. So, you could book an extra seat so your dog can travel underneath the seat next to you, rather than taking up your leg room.

Arriving at the Airport for Your Flight

As noted above, when flying with your dog on Vueling, you’ll need to check-in in person at the airport. Because of this, make sure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time before your flight.

At the check-in counter, appropriate seats will be allocated. Your dog in its carrier may also be weighed and their pet passport checked. However, I have not always had this happen when flying with Vueling.

When passing through the security check, you will need to take your pet out of their carrier bag and either carry or walk them through security. Their carrier bag needs to go through the screening machine. You may also be asked to remove your dog’s leash and collar, depending on the airport.

Onboard a Vueling Flight with a Pet

While your dog may be allowed to walk around the airport on their leash, on Vueling flights they need to stay in their carrier bag at all times. If they aren’t already in their carrier bag, just before boarding put your pet in their bag and zip it up. Don’t unzip the bag until you have disembarked.

Onboard the flight, place your pet in their carrier bag on the floor. The carrier needs to be placed in between your legs or under the seat in front of you – the reason for the small maximum dimensions of pet carriers.

Vueling flight
Onboard a Vueling plane at Barcelona Airport

When flying with my dog on Vueling, we’ve been most comfortable when the flight hasn’t been full, and my husband and I have been able to take advantage of a spare seat, so neither of us loses our leg room. However, we’ve also flown on full flights and have made do, although it is a bit cramped.

If you’re concerned the flight will be full and you will be cramped, there’s the option now to book an extra seat, as I mentioned above.

Our Experiences Flying with Vueling

The first time we flew with Vueling, we were trying to get from Barcelona to Paris in 2017. Our first plan had been to take the train (about a 6 hour journey), but all the 2nd class seats were sold out, and the 1st class seats were quite expensive. It was a lot cheaper to fly with Vueling, and the flight was only two hours.

Vueling pets: Dog Catching Train to Airport
Catching the train in Barcelona, but just to the airport

It was the first time that we flew with our dog in the cabin, but the whole experience from booking the flight to onboard the flight went quite smoothly. Barely anyone even knew our dog was on the flight, as he only let out a single bark!

Since then, we flew with Vueling five more times in 2017 and 2018. We flew with our dog on Vueling flights from Malta to Barcelona, Barcelona to Canary Islands, Canary Islands to Malaga, Malaga to Marseille, and Paris to Copenhagen. As you can see, we enjoy flying with our dog on Vueling!

Want to fly with your dog on Vueling? Click here to book a flight

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16 thoughts on “Flying Vueling Airlines with a Dog: Our Experience”

  1. Thank you for this great article.
    We have Tilly. A 4.2 kg Schweenie ( Shitzu & mini Dach cross).
    At present we drive from Manchester UK to Alicante via the Tunnel ( great for pets ) but would love to fly with her. Does anyone know what the best route would be please ?
    Best wishes
    Peter

    Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Tilly sounds like a real sweetie! Unfortunately, dogs aren’t able to fly in the cabin in the UK, and I haven’t heard of any plans to change this rule. If you were okay with checking her into the hold, while Vueling doesn’t offer this service, other airlines such as British Airways do.

      If you didn’t want to this, another alternative would be to take a train to Newhaven via London (about 4hr), take the DFDS ferry across to Dieppe (about 4hr), then the train to Paris (about 2hr), then take the direct Vueling flight from Paris Orly to Alicante. I’ve written about the DFDS ferry in this post. It’d be a long day or two, but your best option if you wanted to leave your car behind.

      Hope this helps,
      Shandos

      Reply
      • Hi Shandos
        We have frequent traveller tickets for the Channel tunnel ( £40.00 per crossing + £18.00 per dog ). We want to leave our vehicle at an airport then fly from as near to Calais as possible. Then to Alicante or Murcia airport. It’s a great drive to the Costa Blanca but a 1500 mile round trip. Veuling could be a great alternative. Whatever happened to trains that you could put your car in ?
        Best wishes
        Pete

        Reply
  2. Came across this post as I’m sitting in Mallorca without my best friend Escobar, a Boston Terrier. Unfortunately he’s at the high end of the Boston Terrier size spectrum, and at 13kg he was rejected by Vueling at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. They actually weighed him and there was no arguing with them, even though he fits in a travel bag more or less within the required dimensions. Problem being that since he’s short snubbed, most airlines don’t accept him in the hold, and travelling in the cabin is in the majority of cases the only option. I’ve flown with him before in the cabin (Transavia – even though he’s over the 10kg weight limit, you can check in online and fortunately they don’t weigh him). Now doing a search for which airlines accept short snubbed dogs on flights from Amsterdam to Mallorca. Don’t want him to stay at home again!

    Reply
    • Joggie – that’s sad to hear. We’ve now flown with Vueling 5 times, and I think we’ve only had our dog weighed once. With Vueling, their weight limit for dogs is 8kg, so 13kg doesn’t come close if they check it. (Each airline’s weight limit differs slightly, but 10kg is probably the max.) I’m not aware of which airlines do or don’t allow snub-nosed dogs on flights, such as Amsterdam to Mallorca. Having a quick look online, KLM specifically doesn’t allow Boston Terriers in the hold or as cargo, while it seems Lufthansa recommends not to transport snub-nosed dogs as excess baggage but still allows it, with a larger size crate required.

      Reply
  3. Hello,

    This is super useful thank you. Can I ask what Schnitzel (beautiful pup btw) weighs? and how tall he is? I want to take my doxie with Vueling but they are super unhelpful and when I asked why its 8kg for a pet but 10kg for hand luggage the response I got was ‘because its our policy’!!! Great, not! I think I’ll look elsewhere even if I have to pay extra

    Reply
    • Schnitzel is about 5-6kg (he’s put on a little weight lately) and 27cm high (head upright). Last time we flew with him including his bag and blanket, the total weight was 7kg.

      In my view, the key constraint when flying a dog in the cabin is that their bag fits underneath the seat in front (I always recommend a soft bag, to give you wiggle room between different planes) and that the dog fits comfortably in the bag. I’ve never come across an airline measuring the bag, but I think they use a weight limit to approximate this instead.

      A lot of the airlines in Europe have an 8kg limit in the cabin. I’m not sure I’ve seen a higher limit, but I have come across a few lower ones (that I haven’t flown). With hand luggage I’ve come across some airlines with a limit as low as 5kg. A hand luggage limit of 10kg is about what people can comfortably lift up to the luggage bins (and the maximum weight in case something accidentally falls out!) Pets only fit under the seat, so their limit is worked out differently.

      When flying, the airline has probably weighed my dog in his carrier about half the time. So, it is possible that heavier pets can sometimes fly – you just don’t know if they’ll weigh. I have heard the airlines do give some leeway (e.g. if your dog is 100-200g over), but I was contacted by someone whose pet was not allowed on board (although it was a 12kg dog, with a limit of 8kg – I think it was with Vueling).

      Best of luck with your travels!

      Reply
    • Hi,
      Great post.ñ. I am considering flying Vueling for the first time with my dog. Not sure how strict they are with the dimensions of the bag. The bag is somewhat bigger 25cm than the 21cm limit. Wanted to know how many times have u been measured?

      Reply
      • I haven’t had my bag measured, whether flying with Vueling or other airlines, only sometimes weighed. My bag is slightly larger but as it’s soft it can squish down if required, and I’ve never had any issues.

        Reply
  4. Hey, this is my first time having a pet and I’m all new to this. I’ve got my pet in Spain for my birthday and I live in London, and now I have no clue on how to get it or take it wither me to london. Please help

    Reply
  5. Hi Shandos,

    Thanks for the very informative post. We are about to take our Jack Russell on his first trip from London to Malaga, catching a Vueling flight from Paris Orly airport.

    Our dog had a rabies booster that lasts 3 years, so would expire in 2024, and was administered over a year ago. I notice your post says 3 year rabies injections are not recognised, but I think this is for the primary vaccine not the booster. Although vueling doesn’t make any distinction on their website, they just say;

    “Passport (cats and dogs) issued by a vet certifying the vaccination record, including the rabies vaccination, between 21 days and 12 months before the flight.”

    Would you suggest I get my dog vaccinated again? I would prefer to not get my dog vaccinated again, but then I don’t want my dog to be refused on the flight.

    Reply
    • I was surprised to read this recently on their website – I don’t believe they previously stated this. I recommend calling up Vueling to check. When I’ve flown with Vueling, my dog had been vaccinated within the previous year, by pure coincidence, so I’m not certain.

      Reply
  6. Hi,
    thank you for sharing you experience with Vueling. We are flying with our dog for the first time with this company. I am a bit nervous, but have received medicine to calm her down if necessary. When it comes to the rabies vaccination it is mandatory when travelling to Spain with a dog has been vaccinated between 21 days and 12 months. I was told this by the veterinarian in Menorca. Maybe they will change this in the future since other countries accept within 3 years.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing! We were told the same thing by a German vet, but only about the Canary Islands. I haven’t been able to find anything about this on a government website, only the usual EU rules that you would expect to apply in Spain.

      Reply

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