Barack Obama’s Secret Service Dog Given VIP Treatment By British Airways

British Airways literally rolled out the red carpet for a service dog flying to the United Kingdom. The dog, named Hurricane, was flown to the UK by British Airways in order to receive an award for protecting Barack Obama, the previous President of the United States of America.

British Airways, Secret Service Dog, Barack Obama
British Airways gave former secret service dog VIP treatment on a recent flight to London. Photo: British Airways

Britsh Airways is no stranger to carrying VIPs. Typically VIP stands for Very Important Person, however, in this case, it stood for Very Important Pet. The British flag carrier stepped in to carry the black Belgian Malinois to the United Kingdom to receive a prestigious award reserved for animals.

Rolling out the red carpet

Not everybody gets the red carpet treatment when flying. The honour is usually reserved for heads of state and the most important VIPs. However, recently British Airways gave the special treatment to an ex-Secret Service dog flying to the United Kingdon.

The dog, called Hurricane, stopped an intruder in the White House grounds five years ago, when Barack Obama was in office as the US President. The attacker attempted to infiltrate the White House when Hurricane brought him to a halt. As a result of the incident, Hurricane sustained injuries which led to his retirement in September 2019.

British Airways, Secret Service Dog, Barack Obama
British Airways operates a Boeing 747 between Washington Dulles and London Heathrow. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Now, the former secret service dog has received an award for his bravery in London. The animal received the PDSA Order of Merit. This is an award to celebrate the most incredible animal achievements. In fact, only 30 animals have achieved the award, with Hurricane being the first outside of the United Kingdom.


This year British Airways celebrated its 100th anniversary. The airline’s centenary fell back in August. However, as part of the celebrations, the airline is pulling off 100 acts of surprise. This has so far seen everything from the airline facilitating proposals to offering select passengers upgrades.

While travelling to the United Kingdom, British Airways decided to upgrade both Hurricane and his handler to Club World. While dogs are usually confined to cargo class, Hurricane was able to sit with his handler in adjacent business class seats.

British Airways, Secret Service Dog, Barack Obama
Hurricane arrived safely in the United Kingdom. Photo: British Airways

While Do&Co may not fill a canine’s prefered tastes, British Airways also arranged for the animal to have a dog bowl onboard in addition to a personalized bed to catch some shut-eye on the flight.

Speaking of the bizarrely eccentric upgrade, Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer, said,

“When we heard that Hurricane and his owner Marshall needed help getting to the UK to collect an award, we knew we had to step in. We were delighted to be able to fly them over in style and add a touch of magic to their special journey. We’ve never had a more photographed celebrity on board!”

What do you make of British Airways upgrading a dog to business class? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.