Australia is taking a page out of North America’s book by allowing you to fly with cats, dogs, and maybe even other pets. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has revealed plans to relax its ban on animals other than service dogs from chilling in the cabin during domestic flights – though it certainly won’t be without certain conditions.
For one, as per the new CASA regulation, here are the factors which need to be considered:
“When giving permission, you may need to consider the type of animal and how it is carried, contained, and restrained; its reaction to noise and being out of its natural environment; nuisance to other passengers; distraction to flight crew; and how excrement or fluids will be contained.”
“A large animal should always be secured so as not to damage or affect the balance of the aircraft in flight. A small or medium-sized animal carried in the cabin would normally need as a minimum to be restrained during takeoff and landing and in turbulence.”
Furthermore – and perhaps we should have opened with this particular detail first – each airline’s pet travel policy and associated costs will be dictated entirely by their own discretion. Qantas, Jetstar, REX, and Virgin Australia already allow service dogs to travel with their owners free of charge, while every other kind of furry companion is relegated to the cargo hold.
According to Executive Traveller, Qantas and Jetstar have both indicated they have no current plans to change said policies requiring animals other than service dogs to be transported in the cargo hold. Virgin Australia, on the other hand, is reportedly more open to embracing pet-friendly flying.
“We’ll consider the regulatory changes as part of a wider pet travel review we’re currently undertaking,” a spokesperson told the publication.
The new rules regarding whether you’ll be able to fly with dogs and so forth in Australia officially comes into effect starting from December 2nd of 2021. Actual changes to airlines policies for domestic flights will follow thereafter (if ever).