For the first time, blind and partially-sighted passengers are to be able to take guide dogs on board Thomas Cook Airlines holiday flights. New rules from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), have enabled Thomas Cook to allow guide dogs in the aircraft cabin.
The airline is piloting the scheme on short and mid-haul routes from Gatwick to Greece, Portugal, mainland Spain, the Balearics and the Canaries. Blind passengers will be seated in the aircraft bulkhead, where there is more space, and will have to purchase a seat for their guide dog.
Joanna Wild, Director of Customer Services for Thomas Cook Airlines said: We very much welcome this opportunity to help more blind and partially-sighted people enjoy flying as its part of our policy to open up air travel to as many disabled passengers as possible.
We know that many blind people are very dependent on their guide dogs and will find it a big advantage to have them there when they arrive at their destination.
Owners will have to abide by the rules of DEFRAs pet passport scheme. Thomas Cook will need a months notice of a guide dog travelling and will be able to accept only one per flight.