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Don’t Come Fly With Me

August 24th, 2011

The Canadian Medical Association has voted in favour of banning pets from commercial airline flights, for the safety of passengers who suffer from allergies, the Toronto Star reports.

Does the presence of a dog or cat on an airplane really pose a serious concern? Representatives from Air Canada and WestJet — both of which allow small animals on their flights — have downplayed the issue. Here’s what a spokesperson from WestJet told the Star:

“Actual experience with this issue indicates that the call for an outright ban on pets in the cabin may overstate the reality of the incidence of serious allergic reactions that may be attributed to the presence of pets in airline cabins … In the past 18 months, we have flown roughly 25 million guests on over 243,000 separate flights, with 58,000 pets in the cabins of our aircraft. During that period, our flight crews have been made aware of only a handful of allergy-related incidents where pets were present in the cabin.”

Read the whole article here.

We appreciate the importance of respecting those among us who have reason not to share our love of pets. But an outright ban seems excessive, to say the least. Isn’t this the sort of issue that can be dealt with through common sense and a spirit of reasonable accommodation? The airlines, for example, stress the need for owners traveling with pets to give advance warning — and they make it a practice to re-seat passengers who have problems sitting near an animal. That seems a much more sensible way of  handling things.

Here’s what Air Canada and Westjet tell passengers about traveling with pets.

Incidentally, we also learned from this article that the Canadian Transportation Agency last year ruled that several people who are allergic to cats “should be considered disabled.” Really?

When the fur flies

April 12th, 2011

Pet Airways, a U.S. carrier dedicated to ”the safe and comfortable transportation of pets,” launched two years, and has just announced the addition of several new destinations to its network. No word yet on whether the airline might start flying to any Canadian cities, but we can hope.

Here’s an excerpt from the news release:

PET AIRWAYS® ANNOUNCES FLIGHT EXPANSION TO HOUSTON, AUSTIN AND DALLAS

Flights are coming to Texas beginning this summer

DELRAY BEACH, Fla., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Pet Airways, Inc. (OTCQB: PAWS) the only airline designed specifically for the comfortable and safe transportation of pets today announced it is coming to the Lone Star State with plans to add Houston, Austin and Dallas to its fast-growing network of destinations.

Texas is the second-largest and fastest-growing U.S. state with a population of 25 million. Texas holds 3 of the top 10 largest cities in the U.S.  Combine Texas hospitality with an abundance of pet-friendly amenities and Texas is one of the most pet-friendly states in the U.S.

“Pet Airways is thrilled to be coming to the Lone Star State with its rich history and independent spirit,” said Dan Wiesel, Chairman and CEO of Pet Airways.  ”We look forward to serving Texas with our mission of safe and comfortable pet transportation.  In considering our next phase of expansion, we recognized that Texas was home to three very robust and pet-friendly cities. We are excited to answer the call from our Texan pet parents for Pet Airways and can’t wait to start flights this summer to these pet-friendly communities,” said Wiesel.

Pawsenger™ flights to Houston, Austin and Dallas will begin this summer to all destinations in the Pet Airways network bringing the total number of cities to 13.  Pet Airways will open reservations in Spring 2011.

About Pet Airways
Pet Airways, Inc. is the only airline specifically designed for the safe and comfortable transportation of pets.  Pet Airways’ Pawsengers™ always travel in the main cabin, not cargo. Pets are continuously monitored by an In-Flight Pet Attendant in climate-controlled cabin with lots of fresh, cool air for maximum comfort.  With Pet Airways Inc., Pet Parents can be assured their pets will be treated with tender, loving care throughout the journey.  The airline launched flight operations in 2009 and currently serves destinations across the U.S., including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale.  Orlando was recently announced as a tenth destination with flights beginning in the summer.

To learn more about us visit www.petairways.com.  For the latest news visit www.facebook.com/petairways.

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