This Airline Is Temporarily Banning Pets in Cargo to Alleviate Flight Delays, Baggage Issues

Air Canada has put the rule into effect until Sept. 12.

Air Canada will temporarily ban pets from traveling in a checked carrier case through the end of the summer, citing "longer than usual" delays at airports.

The Canadian carrier said it would block all new requests for checked pet bookings until Sept. 12. The new policy comes as airlines all around the world have been dealing with mass delays and cancellations in recent months, blaming the trend on a combination of air traffic control problems and staffing shortages.

“Due to longer than usual airport delays, and for the safety and comfort of your pet, we will not be accepting new requests for pets travelling in the baggage compartment until September 12, 2022,” Air Canada wrote on its website.

Typically, Air Canada allows pets to travel in the cargo compartment of its planes, but said it may limit the service when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The airline also does not allow “short/snub-nosed breeds” of cats and dogs to travel in the baggage compartment “because they are susceptible to increased risks of heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to extreme heat or stressful situations.”

A dog in a travel carrier sits on a chair Courtesy of Robert Mooney/ Getty

Air Canada does allow small dogs and cats to travel in the cabin with passengers if the pet can comfortably fit in a carrier under the seat. And the airline transports "a wide variety of animals, from cats and dogs to hatching eggs, insects and tropical fish" as part of its Air Canada Cargo service.

The carrier’s decision to ban animals from the baggage compartment follows a recent incident in which a dog flown by a different airline was left at Toronto Pearson International Airport with other baggage for about 21 hours, Reuters reported. It also comes as Air Canada made the decision to cut flights by 15% in July and August, putting it in line with other airlines that have preemptively canceled summer flight schedules to avoid more cancellations.

Overall, the rate of cancellations are up 59% in the United States over the last two weeks compared to the same period in 2019, The Associated Press reported this week.


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