Air Canada bans pets from flying in baggage compartment until September

By Melissa Nakhavoly and John Marchesan

It has been a stressful experience for Trevor Amundrud trying to book a new flight for him and his dog.

When his flight from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland was rescheduled, the booking for his pet was left in limbo. After four days of trying to get in touch with someone, Amundrud opted not to fly with his dog because he says there were no options available to get her home.

“Our dog has been part of our family so when we have an option to go on an extended holiday we take her with us,” he tells CityNews. “And that’s how we’ve always done things and when we booked our flights we booked accordingly.”

“From our perspective it is not worth it to take our dog.”

Amundrud’s difficult decision came after Air Canada announced they would not be allowing animals to travel in the baggage compartment until mid-September due to the issues being experienced at airports across the country.

“Due to current airport delays, for the safety and comfort of pets, we will not be accepting new requests for pets travelling in the baggage compartment,” the airline said in a statement to CityNews.

Air Canada says that the change will not impact current pet bookings and will not affect trained service animals nor smaller pets travelling in the cabin.

The airline says there are several safe solutions available for anyone who wants to travel with their pet that cannot be in the cabin with them.

That is of little comfort to Amundrud.

“I guess at the end of the day it’s probably the right decision because it is for their safety, but its unfortunate because people make plans based on their animals,” he said.

“It would be like saying you can’t take a baby on your flight. For a lot of people pets are their family.”

WestJet says it is continuing accepting animals but they strongly recommend requesting space for your pet as soon as you have completed your booking.


Last month, Air Canada said it was making “meaningful reductions” to its schedule, chopping an average of 77 round trips per day in July and August.

Airlines and the federal government have been scrambling to respond to scenes of endless lines, flight disruptions, lost luggage and daily turmoil at airports, particularly at Pearson, a problem the aviation industry has blamed on a shortage of federal security and customs officers.

According to the flight tracking service FlightAware, Air Canada remained atop the list of major airlines worldwide with the most flight delays and/or cancellations while more than half of all delayed departures occurred at Pearson Airport.

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