As part of our continued dialogue with Air Canada, CKC recently contacted Air Canada officials regarding the reinstatement of the summer embargo, from June 20 until September 10, 2008. CKC requested special status for our members to allow them to travel with their pets (as checked baggage) during the “black out” period, but was informed by Robin Riedel, Director, Global Baggage Product, Air Canada, that due to extreme temperatures, Air Canada is unable to offer animals as checked baggage during this time. Riedel states that Air Canada Cargo is specially equipped for the transportation of animals during the summer months. To view Robin Riedel’s entire email response, please click here.
CKC, on behalf of the membership, has been in open dialogue with Air Canada, since September 2005, when Air Canada first announced plans to amend its pet travel regulations by increasing weight restrictions on checked baggage.
CKC contacted Air Canada officials on September 28, 2005, October 24, 2005 and March 1, 2006, regarding the new regulations and stressed how the new regulations would impact our members. This was further compounded when Air Canada banned all pets from the cabin (excluding service dogs) effective September 18, 2006. At that time, CKC suggested alternative pet travel options through WestJet.
On June 22, 2007, CKC reported that Air Canada was no longer accepting pets as checked baggage, effective July 15, 2007, (in addition to being banned from the passenger cabin). This decision was of grave concern for our membership. At the time, CKC took immediate action and contacted the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transportation, asking for a full investigation into the matter. CKC also encouraged members to voice their opinions by contacting the Minister of Transport and Air Canada media team.
In early July, 2007, CKC contacted Air Canada Cargo President, Claude Morin and, through a very cooperative series of discussions, was able to secure all bookings for CKC members for pet travel arrangements made prior to July 15, 2007. In addition, CKC also negotiated with Air Canada Cargo and was able to reduce, from four hours to two hours, the window for tender and retrieval times, plus a reduction in cargo rates.
Further talks with Air Canada Cargo provided some much needed answers surrounding pet travel guidelines via Air Canada Cargo, and a list of FAQs was posted to the CKC website on July 19, 2007, along with important links and contact information for members.
On April 4, 2008, CKC was pleased to announce that The Canadian Transport Agency (CTA) had “disallowed Air Canada’s proposed tariff revisions which would have terminated the carriage of animals and their kennels weighing less than 70lbs as checked baggage on both domestic and international flights.” Thanks to CKC intervention and tremendous member support, The CTA found Air Canada’s proposal to be unreasonable, resulting in the reinstatement of the carriage of animals as checked baggage, as of May 15, 2008.
Given that our membership relies heavily on air travel, in order to safely and efficiently transport dogs from show to show, CKC will continue to post web updates regarding air travel regulations as they occur.
For members who wish to transport their dogs during the summer, please note that WestJet continues to provide the animals as checked baggage option, without any summer “black out” periods. For more details about WestJet’s pet travel regulations, please click here.
For more information on Air Canada pet travel regulations, please click here.Details regarding Air Canada Cargo can be obtained directly from 1-866-615-1155 (North America) or by clicking here.