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Flying Air Canada with Pets in the Cabin

September 22nd, 2009, 12:56 PM
As of this July Air Canada now allows pets in cabin.

While I would prefer to fly West Jet with Keiko - Air Canada seems to be a better option.

I am wondering if anyone here has RECENTLY flown Air Canada with their small pet in the cabin with them. And if so, how was your experience?

I am really nervous about Air Canada, only because this is such a new policy and even the people on the phone don't seem to know what is going on. My major concern is that the carrier I have is 2" taller then what AC allows; however, it easily will fold in to fit under the seat. It took 2 phones call to AC and a lot of time on hold before someone said that should not be an issue.

West Jet was much friendlier to me, and they seem more easy going. But Air Canada is a lot easier for us, because they fly out of home town - Getting to West Jet Air Port is at least an hour and a half, and in December it could be snowy.

Also, I know AC has the mini personal TV's - huge plus, and they allow for bigger size carriers under the seats.

And here she is, Keiko!

September 22nd, 2009, 05:50 PM
She's beautiful :)

We recently flew from BC to QC and back with Westjet and had Simba in the cargo. It was the most awful decision we ever made (he was SO upset and scared).

To be honest, with a new policy, I would be wary about a non-standard crate since the policies might still be mixed up for some staff. If you are close to the airport, is there a chance you could go there with the crate and show the staff - asking them if it is alright? I wouldn't want to have to board a flight and the crate not be accepted :eek:

September 22nd, 2009, 06:27 PM
Thanks for your reply! We are flying BC to ON. We ended up booking AC as it is just so much easier, especially in December and with Keiko.

We are going to take Keiko and her carrier out to the airport in the next couple weeks and get it checked. That way we have lots of time to order a new one if we need to.

When my boyfriend was booking the flights he said the lady was really nice, and told him the extra height would not matter because they fold down.

I'm nervous about flying with her, but at the same time I am totally excited to take her on a trip! haha

September 22nd, 2009, 06:55 PM
Just my :2cents:, but I would try to get some kind of sticker put on the carrier, saying that AC had approved it prior to the flight.
I think going in advance is a very good idea since this is so new, not everyone will know the ins and outs of the policy.

September 22nd, 2009, 06:56 PM
:flirt: and what a gorgeous puppers!

September 22nd, 2009, 09:04 PM
Lot of soft airline crates have tags on them these days saying they are approved by certain carriers. Lot of peopel are choosing not to remove those tags as extra insurance that it approved.

Lucky #11
September 24th, 2009, 12:00 AM
I think that's great news. I've been agonizing about how my son and I would go on vacation next year. Alberta to Ontario is a very long drive, and there was no way we could put Sally in the cargo hold; she's so small. Now, we'll actually be able to go and enjoy the trip. Thanks AC - You, me, my son and Sally, were meant to fly !! :thumbs up

September 24th, 2009, 10:18 PM
Courtnie!!! Small world! :laughing: I just noticed your post just now! Welcome to by the way! :)

September 24th, 2009, 10:24 PM
Oh, forgot to add, with Keiko's small size, you should have absolutely no problem with the sturdibag at all. The last time I flew with Belle to Maine, she was 24 pounds and I used the large sturdibag. We were on one of those really small planes, I forget the name, but the ones that only have two seats on one side of the aisle and one seat on the other side of the aisle and normally all luggage has to go overhead or be checked. The attendant didn't think I could fit Belle under the seat, but we did no problem! That plane has the smallest under seat space out of all of them and Belle is double Keiko's size. You will be just fine! :thumbs up The sturdibags are wonderful. They can fit in surprisingly small spaces and look just like a regular duffle bag. No one even knew I had a dog with me except the one attendant and she only knew because I told her I had a dog with me and had to put her under the seat when they wanted all carry-ons in the overhead! :)

September 25th, 2009, 08:57 AM
if you are worried on your first time get flight insurance so you can cancel your flight without loosing so much if you run into issues. I doubt you will though there are a lot of bags i see go into carry on that look pretty big, probably big enough to fit a dog more then 22 lbs

January 23rd, 2010, 12:29 AM
We flew air canada in Oct 2009 with our Papillion. We flew from Winnipeg to Toronto. We had a great experience. The only thing is we had a cheaper soft sided pet carrier. Our dog ripped the mesh on the sides. I will be purchasing a Sturdi Brand pet carrier for our next flight, which will be in March 2010. We are taking her down to Mexico with us. We are flying on West Jet, so I will see what the difference is.

January 23rd, 2010, 09:18 AM
That is one cute doggie !!!

My son recently flew with Raven in the cabin. I'm know it wasn't AirCanada but I don't know what airline he was flying. It was during a weekend of bad weather and he had a couple flights cancelled and I can't remember which one he ended up using to get home. He's in Switzerland right now so I can't get in touch with him easily but I will ask him when I talk to him.

He paid a hundred dollars and there was a little confusion when he first boarded, they almost made him pay again but then someone contacted the flight attendant and said that they had the paperwork so it was ok. He had her in a carrier but put the carrier on his lap with the flap open and no one was bothered by that.

January 23rd, 2010, 10:20 AM
For anyone interested, on my last flight from Saskatoon to Kelowna via WestJet there was a small dog in the cabin with a girl. I refuse to fly AirCanada. I called WestJet to see what their policies are to see if I can take Peewee on flights to meet some potential adoptable doggies. Here is what WestJet told me:

In Cabin: The carrier should be soft-sided and leak proof, fully enclosed, and have enough room for the pet to stand up, lay down, and move around comfortably. The carrier must remain closed, and be placed on the floor at your feet, not on your lap. The maximum weight of the carrier including the dog and bedding inside it is 22 lbs. The maximum size is 40 x 44 x 21.5 cm (l x w x h). The cost is $50 anywhere within Canada.

In Cargo: The carrier should be hard plastic (not wire) with wire door. The door must be fully securing at the top and the bottom. The cargo area has the same atmosphere as the cabin (temperature, oxygen level, etc). The maximum weight of the carrier including the dog and bedding is 100 lbs. The maximum size is 36 x 24 x 26" (l x w x h). The cost is also $50 anywhere within Canada. The dog has to fly on the same flight as it's owner/guardian. You cannot simply send them.

chula banana
April 16th, 2010, 01:51 PM
We are working on getting our daschund mix down to Mexico and we would be flying Westjet.

Faye, how did it go with Westjet last month?

September 18th, 2010, 07:12 PM
Air Canada could not accomidate me at all. I am flying home this fall up to Northern Labrador. They are allowing my 8lb papillion to fly under my seat for the first 3/4 of the way in a soft carrier. At that point, I am to recheck her into cargo, into a kennel for an additional ($100+). No one can guarentee its heated in cargo for one. Friends of mine who work at the air port say its not heated even when they say it is. Another friends cat got frost biten ears flying in cargo. My second issue was paying to fly her with me and paying again for cargo. Thirdly, this pet friendly policy was put in place because it was an issue flying them in cargo and pets dying. Apparently this last 1/4 of my trip is with Air Canada but thru a private something or other, who reserves the right to throw this wrench in my plans. The problem is AC is the ONLY flight option I have to fly to Labrador.
I have since changed my flight (at my expense) and arranged for other accomidations for my anxious little papillion... thank you AC for nothing!!

September 19th, 2010, 08:14 AM
100 lbs max weight? LOL, I guess Molly won't ever fly anywhere! (she's just weighed in at a whopping 197!)....