Air Canada to Ban Cats from Cabins

Cats and other pets will only be allowed in cargo holds on domestic flights.

Posted: September 11, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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As of Sept. 18, Air Canada will institute a ban disallowing cats and other pets from traveling in passenger cabins on domestic flights.

According to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick, the airline made the decision to “protect the health and safety of its travelers.” The decision was partly prompted by complaints filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency from people who are allergic to animals, Fitzpatrick said.

Guide dogs are the sole exception to the ban and will continue to be allowed.

Humane Society of Canada executive director Michael O’Sullivan and other animal rights activists have called the airline’s ban unreasonable because allergic reactions to animals are unlikely unless a person has direct contact with an animal.

In Canada, like the United States, individual airlines are allowed to set their own policy regarding cats and pets traveling in airplane passenger cabins.

Although a cat and pet ban in cabins on domestic flights is just now being imposed, animals haven’t been allowed in cabins on Air Canada’s international flights for several years.

Air Canada’s biggest competitor, WestJet Airlines, continues to allow pets in airplane cabins on domestic flights. Travelers are allowed to bring cats, dogs, birds and rabbits in leak-proof kennels that fit under the seat.

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Reader Comments

Shirley    Tucson, AZ

3/11/2012 1:57:24 PM

This is wrong and "Alex" so are you.

Alex    Washington, DC

10/16/2009 9:33:34 AM

Bravo Air Canada, I will gladly fly with you. Allergy sufferers shouldn't have to deal with selfish cat owners that don't want to put their pets in a cabin like everyone else (if you're dissatisfied with the cabins below for pets, that is a seperate issue entirely to take up with an airline). You can bear to be seperated from your cat for a few hours if it means someone wont have to be miserable for the same amount of time you're stroking you cat. Its like being forced to sit next to someone smoking cigarettes for however many hours the flight takes. The guide dogs are a reasonable exemption; fewer people are allergic and they actually serve a necessary purpose. Also, direct contact with the animal isn't necessary to trigger major allergic reactions, anyone with a serious cat allergy could tell you that.

L.    Daly City, CA

4/2/2009 1:27:42 PM

I will boycott this Airline. There's no safe way to transport an animal except on board. This is a shame and shows their lack of knowledge.

Harriet    Houston, TX

4/1/2009 8:49:37 AM

Hogwash. As a card carrying cat lady, I have enough hair and dander on my clothes at any given time to trip off someone's allergies anyway. They gonna ban cat ladies next?

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