West Kelowna travelers pushing for airline to improve its pet policies

A frequent West Kelowna, BC, flyer is pushing for Air Canada to change its pet policy after the airline told him he couldn’t fly with his small dog, even with the proper carrier.

The traveler says Air Canada is inconsistent with its policy, as he was able to get on other flights with no hassle and the same carrier.

Devyn Plett now travels with three different-sized pet carriers when flying with his Pomeranian/chihuahua mix, after two run-ins with Air Canada during which he was almost denied boarding.

“Two times I traveled with Air Canada they told me she was too big and the carrier wasn’t humane treatment for her,” said Plett.

Plett frequently flies with his dog, Nancy, which he says fits comfortably in her carrier. Still, Air Canada staff have told him he couldn’t board with her.

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“I had to spend about 20 to 30 minutes in both cases just begging to be able to get on my flight,” said Plett.

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According to Air Canada’s policies, in addition to the carrier size requirements, the animal has to be able to stand up, turn around and lay down safely and comfortably, but Plett says that’s unrealistic.

“Air Canada has a specific picture on their website that they show me that says her head has to be below the height of the carrier. There’s almost no dog that would fit that requirement,” said Plett.

Plett called the airline inconsistent with its policies, as other times he boarded with the same carrier and no hassle.

“Twice they smiled and said, ‘Cute dog,’ and twice I was pretty positive I wasn’t going to get on the plane. With Air Canada it’s like playing Russian roulette; we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Plett.

Traveling with a pet can lead to unexpected issues, which is why a travel expert recommends getting the proper insurance.

“Making sure that you have Return of Pet in your coverage; “not every single policy does, so God forbid something happens and you need your pet to be returned home,” said travel expert Omar Kaywan.

Plett is now pushing for Air Canada to improve its policies.

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“They need to make their policies based on the real size of dogs,” said Plett.

In a statement, Air Canada told Global News the policy can vary depending on factors including seating, destination and aircraft type.

“It is laid out in some detail. One thing you will see is that it is by necessity complex, and the policy can vary due to a number of factors including the aircraft type, where a customer is seated on the aircraft (some seats and cabins do not accommodate pets in the cabin for safety reasons), and routing, as some countries do not allow entry of pets in the cabin,” read the statement.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

By hadem