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Air Canada to allow small pets to ride in cabin

June 22, 2009 |  9:57 pm

Air Canada

Traveling with pets just got a little bit easier: Air Canada has announced that it will, like Southwest Airlines, accept small pets in aircraft cabins beginning July 1.

The Calgary Herald explains that Canada's second-largest airline, WestJet, already allows small pets to travel inside its cabins.  Air Canada at one time also allowed pets to travel onboard -- a policy it discontinued, citing concerns over the comfort of human passengers with pet allergies.  (WestJet itself hasn't been immune to this concern; the Herald reports that the pet-friendly airline came under fire earlier this year when a passenger with a dog allergy complained that she'd suffered an allergic reaction when she was seated near a dog on a flight.)

To combat allergy issues, both Air Canada and WestJet ask that allergy sufferers identify themselves when making a flight reservation so they may be seated as far as possible from any pets that may be on the flight. 

Air Canada's new pet regulations allow a human passenger to bring one dog or cat aboard in a leak-proof, well-ventilated pet carrier that is large enough for the animal to comfortably sit upright and turn around.  The carrier may only be stowed under the passenger's seat and a fee ($50 for flights within Canada and the U.S.; $100 for international flights, with some countries excluded).  

Pre-registration is required for all pets traveling onboard, and limited space is available (each flight will accept only two to four pets, depending on the size of the aircraft).  For more information and additional regulations, check Air Canada's website.

New airline Pet Airways caters to cats (and dogs)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A passenger walks past Air Canada jets at Vancouver International Airport.  Credit: Andy Clark / Reuters

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