Air Canada to begin limiting feline flights to respond to allergic passengers
June 18, 2012
With summer finally here, many cat parents will be taking to the skies and they may just decide to bring their felines with them. Whether moving across the country or going on vacation, pet parents will have to make extra preparations to ensure cat wellness, but one airline may have just made the process exceedingly difficult for summer travelers. According to Canada.com, customers with severe cat allergies will have priority over cat caretakers who are traveling with their pets on Dash 8-100/300 aircraft.
This certainly creates a sticky situation for cat parents who show up to the airport with their felines in tow. In the past, Air Canada decided to go with a first-come first-serve system where a pet parent was forced to give 48 hours notice, and if a person reported severe cat allergies, he or she would be transferred to another flight. Unfortunately, this system became untenable and now it looks that people, not cats, will be given priority as passengers, reports The Toronto Star.
"We try to accommodate people because the comfort, health and safety of all our customers is always our top concern," Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told the news source.
One of the biggest problems for allergy sufferers is the abundance of re-circulated air on-board each plane, which can move dander and other material that could trigger allergy symptoms. Additionally, some pet parents decide to take their felines in a carry-on carrier, so airlines were forced to experiment with a system that separates the allergy sufferer from the feline by five or more rows. Finally, realizing that this accommodation wouldn't work, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) stepped in and made the new policy on this specific aircraft, so pet parents may have a bit more difficulty when venturing to Canada this summer.
Before getting on a flight this summer, make sure to check with your airline for instructions and make an appointment at a Bideawee Animal Hospital if you're in the New York area. This will give you a chance to get a copy of any of your feline's relevant health information and ensure that he or she is in good enough shape for a trip on a plane.