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Air Canada banning pets in passenger cabin


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Air Canada will become the first airline in Canada to ban pets from its cabins, CBC News has learned.


Complaints from allergy sufferer Joanne Silver led the Canadian Society of Allergy Immunologists to write the president of Air Canada last year, requesting the ban.




In September, Air Canada will join three American airlines in banning pets from the passenger cabin.


Silver and her children survived a terrifying flight, all because of a cat underneath the seat in front of her on a flight to Saskatoon two years ago.


"I started to sneeze and get itchy eyes and my throat seized up," Silver recalled.


A passenger across the aisle had his cat on his lap. "I said, 'Oh no, I'm going to die.'"


The airline has decided to enforce a permanent ban on pets in the passenger cabin starting Sept. 18. Guide dogs will be the only exception.


Dr. Donald Stark pushed for the changes after boarding a flight to Vancouver along side a pet he is allergic to.


"Usually when an attack starts - even if the cat or animal is moved elsewhere in the plane - we suspect the circulation will transfer that animal protein dander throughout the whole plane," the immunologist said. "So that's a problem and once the attack starts we know it will become more severe."


Three U.S. airlines have banned pets.


In Canada, Westjet advertises its pet-friendly policy of allowing pets in the passenger cabin, even though cats have been known to escape or even disappear in an aircraft.


Some pet owners say a long trip, even in a ventilated, temperature-controlled cargo hold, is traumatizing for their pets.


But allergy experts say that's nothing compared with the feeling of being unable to breathe during an asthma attack precipitated by someone else's pet in the cabin.


Fonte: CBC News

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