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Air Canada still refuses pets as checked baggage

Air Canada still refuses pets as checked baggage

Aug 14th, 2008, 12:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1
Air Canada still refuses pets as checked baggage

Air Canada still refuses pets as checked baggage
Poor Service: Air Canada ignores Canadian Transport Agency ruling and proves that refusing pets as checked baggage causes significant disadvantages to consumers.

I had booked my summer holiday itinerary with Air Canada, to be accompanied by my dog some six to eight weeks before my June 30 departure. At that time, there was no issue expressed by Air Canada ticketing agent about not being able to bring my dog with me as checked baggage, only that there would be an approximately $90 extra fee.

More or less concurrently I read several reports and heard on CBC radio that the Canadian Transport Agency on April 4, 2008 had disallowed Air Canada’s proposal to terminate the carriage of pets as checked baggage. In its decision, the Agency found that the proposal “was unreasonable since an imbalance existed between the interests of Air Canada and consumers by giving only advantages to the carrier while exposing pet owners to many significant disadvantages.” Given my experience as related below, I couldn’t agree more, and Air Canada couldn't care less.

For my return flight on July 23 however, three months after the CTA ruling, my dog was refused at Pearson terminal, I missed my flight, I had to schlep my bags into paid storage, get a special taxi at special extra cost to travel to Air Canada Cargo, be threatened with having to purchase a larger box for my pet, which was the box Air Canada had accepted on my flight to Toronto three weeks earlier, was informed that I had no "cargo" booking, and that after several excruciating phone calls was informed that there would be no relationship between my travel itinerary and my pet's, I was billed $290 rather than the $90 I had expected.

I then observed my dog suffering very rough handling on loading by the AC Cargo pet “specialists”. The flight arrived late into Vancouver. AC had no way of providing me any information information on my dog's status there.

My bags did not show up in Victoria until two flights later. AC Cargo Victoria (separate terminal) had no information on the dog's status. She serendipitously arrived four flights after me, after spending 9hrs in her crate instead of 6!

All the above only briefly describes the poor service and problems I and my dog had. To download my PDF letter and official complaint to Canadian Transport Agency detailing all the excruciating details and absurdities go to this address:

kgreen is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
"I then observed my dog suffering very rough handling on loading by the AC Cargo pet “specialists”."

As a dog owner I honestly cannot imagine you putting your pet onto a plane, especially after you witnessed this sort of behavior.

IMO it is probably just as well that this airline does NOT accept pets...given what you witnessed.
Dukey is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 603
I'm afraid I just don't understand why people feel the need to take dogs on holidays with them, especially when flying. Unless you are a breeder going to a dog show, leave your dog at home in the care of a good pet hotel. You and, more importantly, your dog will have a much more enjoyable time. However, if you have to take your dog, try WestJet next time.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 689
I know someone who works for AC Cargo and gets to see the other side of things. Customers will wait hours, sometimes even overnight, before picking up their pets. Without the compassion of AC employees, a lot of animals would sit in their own feces and vomit without any food or water or opportunity to go to outside while their owners use AC like a kennel service.

loru100 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,190
With all the problems you incurred having transported your dog as baggage, why would you be upset that AirCanada refused to transport your dog as baggage??

Seems to me that by AirCanada's refusing to transport animals in the baggage compartment, they are reducing the number of horrible things happening to those animals.

Unless there is no other viable option, then flying a pet that can't fit IN the cabin with you is the worst choice. Driving from Vancouver to Toronto and back would have been the most appropriate option if you ABSOLUTELY HAD to take the dog with you. Boarding the dog or having a pet sitter would have been the best option.

All of the dog breeders and show folk I know (and I know a lot) drive the dogs to the shows regardless of how long it takes them to get there. They would never trust an airline for the safety of their champion (or soon to be champion) dog.
toedtoes is offline  

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