Monday, April 07, 2008

Air Canada forced to allow pets to travel on passenger planes again

Air Canada has had to reverse course on its 2007 change in policy, which had banned shipping certain companion animals as luggage on passenger planes, forcing people to instead ship them as cargo at a higher cost and on completely different flights. The reason Air Canada had initially given for its change in policy was that the animals used up valuable baggage space (never mind that customers paid $105 CAD for each animal traveling within North America and $245 CAD for those on other international flights) and the ban applied solely to animals and their kennels weighing a total of more than 70 pounds. The Canadian Transportation Agency's ruling this past week gives Air Canada until May 5 to comply with its decision.

As a caregiver to four cats, I must admit that I'm not so sure I'd want to put any of them through the stress of a flight, whether in a passenger or a cargo plane. Plus, Air Canada's disclaimer absolving itself of liability for the ''loss, delay, injury, sickness or death'' of any animal travelling on its flights does absolutely nothing to make me feel anything but even more hesitant about ever doing so. To be honest, I think my aversion stems from a traumatic childhood experience involving furry critters and airports.

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