Air Canada Informative - Air Canada Pet Embargo
Sometime in 2007 Air Canada decided it would only be allowing pets in cargo.
Consumer outrage prompted the Canadian Transportation Agency to acknowledge this policy in unfair, in no way benefiting customers and only benefiting Air Canada. The CTA also said the pets in cargo policy ranked the importance of live animals behind baggage and mail, so they decided Air Canada could not implement this policy.
After the ruling Air Canada had until May 5, 2008 to appeal the decision; they did not. Instead, on May 4 Air Canada launched a Pet Embargo forcing passengers to ship their pets in cargo from June 20 until September, and banning pets completely during the winter months.
It is now costing over $1000.00 CAD to fly our cat from Shanghai for something that previously cost less than $300.00, my ticket was around $800.00, we booked the tickets April 28, before this embargo.
On top of this outrageous pricing I have been informed that it could take up to 4 hours for the cat to clear customs in Toronto, I am traveling with 15 month old.
I have been given a list of excuses by Air Canada's wonderfully condescending customer service: It's too hot, it's too cold, that's always been our policy, we need more baggage space. The truth is they don't want any more lawsuits after the Continental - Air Canada fiasco when they destroyed a crate and lost 4 cats.
Anyway, I will never fly Air Canada again, and will strongly suggest the same to anyone else who might be considering flying this third-rate airline.
To other pet owners I would say watch out for additional embargoes, April can be pretty wet and October sure has a lot of colorfully distracting leaves.
I just want to sign off by saying, this is not the first time we have been taken advantage of by Air Canada, it will not happen again.