Airlines are being unusually kind to pet owners for a special reason. A couple of airlines have allowed many to travel with their beloved animal companions in coach. The airlines haven’t even charged anything extra for the privilege of travelling with pets in the same cabin.
Airlines usually prohibit animal lovers to carry their pets with them when they travel. The animals have to be caged and transported. Some airlines do allow pets in coach but charge a hefty fee for the privilege. However, airlines have been bending rules lately for some pet owners. Quite a few animal owners, who are fleeing the Fort McMurray wildfire, have been allowed to carry their pets and travel with them in coach without any surcharge, reported The Huffington Post.
Two airlines have bent the rules to allow families to fly with their pets in the main cabins along with their owners, reported Dog Heirs. The airlines have been really accommodating to many families from Alberta, Canada. These families had to evacuate at a very short notice to escape the raging wildfire. In their haste, the families didn’t have any time to collect anything from their home, including food and other supplies for their pets.
Hence, Canadian North Air and West Jet decided to step in and help out the families who brought along their pets. In order to make the journey a lot less stressful, both the airlines announced they would allow pets on coach. The airlines confirmed they had relaxed their policy on pets on planes to enable animals to be evacuated and be saved from the wildfire. Some of the planes resembled animal shelters as the majority of the passengers had pets. The chaotic but happy scene was captured in photos and videos, which were being actively shared on the social media.
One passenger, Cas Courcelles tweeted, “Plane full of evacuated people, dogs, cats, bunnies and one tree front headed from #FortMacFire.”
Confirming the decision to allow pets in coach, a spokesperson from Canadian North said the following.
“It’s definitely unusual to carry pets in the cabin, but due to the unusual circumstances we were able to bend the rules to accommodate these animals.”
The kindhearted gesture and humanitarian approach taken by airlines has not only been appreciated by the grateful pet owners but also social media users who thanked the companies for their decision, which put aside additional revenue for a noble cause. Interestingly, the rules were bent for all types of pets including cats, dogs, birds and even reptiles.
All of the animals were flown right beside or in the presence of their owners, in the main cabin. Moreover, there was no limit on the number of pets that their owners could bring onboard, revealed Amanda Weger, who owned two dogs. She carried her beloved pets with her on a Sunjet flight, operated by WestJet and Suncor Energy, reported the Daily Mail. Speaking about the experience, WestJet pilot Keith Mann said the following.
“We’re all animal lovers here. We knew it was important for owners to re-connect with them.”
Mann was referring to those people who couldn’t get away with their pets. The airports in the region have been overwhelmed by throngs of about 80,000 people looking to escape the raging wildfire, which is currently burning over 400 square miles.
Apart from the airlines, which have been operating their flights from runways maintained by oil companies, even trains have opened their coaches to passengers and their pets. Anyone who can produce a valid ID that proves he or she is from the affected areas is being offered a free train ride, along with the pets, reported The Globe And Mail. Besides allowing pets to ride coach, the airlines have even waived off baggage fees.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]