New guidelines could not have come at a worse time

You’re thinking of getting a dog or cat. You start planning the trip that’s going to follow for your animal companion. Then you make a decision that may not be suitable for you, or…

New guidelines could not have come at a worse time

You’re thinking of getting a dog or cat. You start planning the trip that’s going to follow for your animal companion. Then you make a decision that may not be suitable for you, or for your pet, according to new guidelines from the International Air Transport Association.

Already fearful about flying with little ones? Here’s a how-to guide.

No more pet in a carrier

The Geneva-based global airline group has updated its animal travel policy to address safety and security. It now considers a dog to be traveling in an in-cabin crate, not a carrier, and it says that carriers must weigh between 17 and 45 pounds to qualify as in-cabin. The IATA suggests that harnesses, leashes, the usage of crates’ sliding doors to eliminate access to the flight deck, and the use of calm lighting are among the criteria to consider when breaking out of a carrier.

“Dogs and cats must be delivered on time, in the aircraft cargo hold, and secured against the elements to minimize risks, including with stowage harnesses or leashes, bags or dog carriers,” the new guideline says.

No boarding? Not now

There’s already been talk about whether humans should be allowed to bring their pets with them on flights. A recent piece by The Atlantic summed up the arguments that airlines can’t accommodate small pets. “Never has a sector of global commerce been driven by so few,” it says.

But it adds: “Finally, there are some who argue that passenger rules need to be updated for the technology we have at our disposal today. Aircraft are not designed to transport large animals with the requirements of an emergency landing. Airlines might not want to further inconvenience passengers, but the plight of the smaller, pet-bearing traveler cannot be ignored.”

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