Canadian Transportation Agency Suspends Air Canada’s No Pet Policy


Last month, Air Canada announced that it would be banning all pets from their passenger planes effective July 15. They decided to stop transporting pets in the cargo hold because of limited luggage space. Last September, the airline discontinued pets from being in the cabin due to passengers’ allergies. The airline said that they would continue to transport pets on separate cargo planes.

Now, the Canadian Transportation Agency has suspended Air Canada’s application to stop transporting pets as checked baggage on international flights. They will hold hearings to decide whether the policy will actually be approved. The agency will be determining if the policy is just, reasonable and not unduly discriminatory.

The agency has no jurisdiction over domestic flights. This means that Air Canada’s ban on pets will be effective on domestic flights beginning July 15.

This suspension follows after a complaint from a man that said that policy would cause considerable inconvenience to those traveling with pets. He also stated that the change in policy would increase his costs.

“The fee I would be charged would more than double from the current $105 to $220 each way for my 6 kg. dog,” wrote Peter T. Griffiths. “It is very clear the sole purpose of this decision is the financial gain in the very lucrative air cargo market.”


Under provisions of the Air Transportation Regulations, the agency can suspend carrier policy for international and transborder flights into the United States, while it investigates the complaint. It has no jurisdiction on domestic flight policy, so Air Canada is free to ban pets from its Canadian flights, beginning July 15.

“We understand (the policy) may be an inconvenience,” said Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur. “But (passengers) do still have the ability to use our cargo services.”

Air Canada has 30 days to submit evidence to support its policy proposal and the complainant will have 10 days to respond.

The agency has 120 days from the time of the complaint to determine whether the policy is just, reasonable and not unduly discriminatory.

4 Responses to “Canadian Transportation Agency Suspends Air Canada’s No Pet Policy”

  1. Nancy says:

    Most chronic allergy sufferers are extremely sensitive to strong odors such as colognes and perfumes. Perhaps Air Canada should also ban men and women from wearing such things on their passenger flights? The point being, when allergy sufferers go out in public it is with the understanding that they face the risk of being exposed to allergens. Dogs are just one of hundreds of things people can be sensitive to, and for the airline to single them out is simply discrininatory. Ban dogs, and it becomes a slippery slope for the airline to ban other things as well.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I once took my dog on a flight that was delayed on the tarmac. A woman was sitting across the aisle from me, and we struck up a conversation. She obviously didn’t know I had a dog with me because after half an hour, when I bent down to check on him, she was like “oh you have a dog! I have to move, I’m so allergic to dogs!”

    I know some people have allergies bad enough that they can’t sit next to a dog on a plane for a few hours, but this woman was completely fine until she learned I had the dog. I agree with Nancy. Sometimes you just have to suck it up. The whole world can’t be sanitized for everyone’s protection.

  3. Sandra says:

    I brought my dog with me to the carribbean to be with family during a very difficult time with a dying parent. On arranging my return flight Air Canada informed me that they could no longer willing to take my dog. Air Canada Cargo does not service this island. Air Canada is the only direct flight to Toronto @ 1500.00, the other Canadian airlines (charter flights only $499.00) to Toronto will not take dogs. There are no other airlines flying direct into Toronto. This puts undo hardship on my dog and myself having to arrange for 3 flights to get back home to Toronto, not to mention the additional financial cost (now $2050.00) and increases the risk of my dog being left behind on a tarmac in hot tropical country.

    I think this decision was poorly thought out.

  4. Fabianna Lares says:

    I used to Live between two contries, Venezuela and Toronto, last june I travel to Toronto with my dog, in my way back air canada told me ” you can not bring your dog back with you”, after I call every operator the insist I couldn’t bring my dog with me, , When I went to the air canadas counter to check out, the lady at the desk ask me , Where is my dog, I was in shock, I explained to her that I had to left my dog behind with my best friensd for couple months, because what they told me througth the phone, She apologize and told me I could bring my dog back with me, at that point was to late… I couldn’t go back for my dog.
    Today I going back to Toronto and I make the arregments to bring my dog back with me…. Sorprise my dog with the kennel is over the 70 lbs. and either the air canada and air canada cargo say to me that I CAN NOT BRING MY DOG with then…. i have the tickets all ready in my hands… is incredible how they change the rules every months

    I am totally agree with Sandra

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