Flying with your beloved pooch could soon become a reality for Aussies, with strict rules banning pets in the cabin of planes set to be relaxed later this year.
It’s understood that from December, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will allow pilots-in-command to decide whether or not cats and dogs can sit with their owners on flights.
Currently in Australia, pets are only allowed to travel in the cargo hold of planes, excluding service dogs.
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“When giving permission, you may need to consider the type of animal and how it is carried, contained and restrained; its reaction to noise and being out of its natural environment; nuisance to other passengers; distraction to flight crew; and how excrement or fluids will be contained,” CASA said.
“A large animal should always be secured so as not to damage or affect the balance of the aircraft in flight. A small or medium-sized animal carried in the cabin would normally need as a minimum to be restrained during takeoff and landing and in turbulence.”
While Qantas and Jetstar have already ruled out the move, Virgin Australia is yet to make a decision.
“We’ll consider the regulatory changes as part of a wider pet travel review we’re currently undertaking,” a Virgin Australia spokesperson told The Australian.
“Regardless of the outcome, designated service dogs will still be able to travel in the cabin.”
The airline took to Facebook this morning, launching a snap poll to gauge how Australians feel about pets on planes.
“Cat’s out of the bag… The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority are making changes to regulations regarding the carriage of pets on planes. Meaning cabin over cargo,” the airline wrote.
“New leash on flight? Have your say”
The post has been flooded with people voicing their opinion, with more than 2000 votes and over 600 comments.
“We are so backward in this country when it comes to incorporating our animals into everyday life,” one person wrote in support of animals on planes.
“A lot of other countries allow animals in the cabin of planes and have done for years, as well as on public transport and in hotels etc… Give me an animal on a flight over kids any day of the week”.
“Yes! Surely we can look at how carriers in Europe have managed to do this successfully for years? Commented another.
“Given how many beloved pets die or get loose or injured during cargo handling, I’m sure many pet owners would welcome this change to legislation. Hopefully a smart Australian carrier will be introducing pet-friendly services”.
However, some people were opposed to allowing animals to fly alongside their owners.
“Definitely no animals on flights, especially on long flights. It’s already unhygienic enough packed in like sardines without adding animals to the equation,” one person wrote.
What are your thoughts – Are you for or against allowing pets on planes? Let us know in the comment section below!