Snakes On A Plane? Virgin Australia Announces Pets-In-Cabin Flights
— 7 March 2024

Snakes On A Plane? Virgin Australia Announces Pets-In-Cabin Flights

— 7 March 2024

The thought of Mr Kibbles shivering in the cargo hold below deck strikes fear into the heart of many a pet owner, but things could be on the up for our furry friends. Today, Virgin Australia announced its plans to launch pets-in-cabin flights within the next year, an Australia first.

Following the lead of airlines like United Airlines and Air Canada, Virgin Australia’s pet-friendly initiative is sure to be one that will change the landscape of Australian air travel. According to Virgin’s research, a large majority (70%) of pet owners wanted to fly with their pets on board with them.

As almost 70% of Australian households have a pet, this initiative is projected to affect a large majority of flyers. Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka claims that “it’s something that commonly happens overseas and is proven to work well”.

RELATED: This Airline Is Establishing An Adults-Only Section

Pets in cabin Virgin
Virgin Australia announcement at Melbourne Airport. Image: Alex Coppel.

Whilst pet owners might rejoice at this news, the new accommodations will only be available for small cats and dogs, stowed in airline-approved containers under the seat in front of passengers in a limited number of rows, for specific routes only.

That means no pets on laps, no Snakes on a Plane, and that it “definitely won’t be a zoo”. The pets-in-cabin service from Virgin Australia won’t affect approved service animals, who can already travel in-cabin at no cost.

Melbourne Airport will support this initiative with already-existing wash bays and water taps, says Lorie Argus, Airport CEO.

Whilst we don’t yet know the cost or parameters of this decision, it looks like it’s going to be a game-changer for air travel within Australia. The big question that remains is how this decision will impact non-owners travelling alongside the furbabies.

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