The best news of the year? Perhaps. Ok, let’s face it, it definitely is.
No more shoving your pooch down in the nether regions of aeroplanes, because you might very well have your dog as your chair neighbour, high-fiving as you watch awesome in-flight movies.
That’s right, from December air flights are about to get pet-friendly. Christmas came early. You could say it’ll be a very furry Christmas, indeed.
At the moment in Australia, pets (except service pets) have to travel in the dark cargo hold, which we can’t imagine is much fun at all.
Our friends overseas have been able to fly with pets in the cabin for a good while now and it’s about time we here over in Australia caught up, after all, we believe pets are people too. They’re important members of our family and we need to treat them as such. We're not suggesting letting pets roam free in the cabin, but instead in designated areas in the cabin held in an appropriate dog or cat carrier. This could make both pets and parents much happier when travelling.
One of our expert members of the Advisory Board, Dr Michael Archinal said: “I think this is a really good thing, as there are benefits for both people and pets. There’s science behind having a pet in proximity, which proves that having pets nearby reduces anxiety, as well as blood pressure and heart rates. This is because the hormone Oxytocin (which is the hormone of connection) is released when you pat a dog or cat. So having them nearby on flights will be a very good thing.”
So, while this is paw-some news, not all major airlines are 100 per cent on board just yet. Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar and Rex - are expected to make announcements before the rules come into effect on December 2. It’ll come down to each airline, whether they grant permission. Let’s hope they make life a bit easier for our furry friends and say yes!
“When giving permission, you may need to consider the type of pet and how it is carried, contained and restrained; its reaction to noise and being out of its natural environment; nuisance to other passengers; a distraction to the flight crew; and how excrement or fluids will be contained,” the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said.
If you subscribe to The Australian, you can check out our CEO Simon Smith’s point of view here.