Ottawa Citizen, February 25, 2010: Small pets may be excluded from airline cabins
Small pets could soon be banished from passenger cabins in Canada after the government agency overseeing consumer complaints ruled Thursday that some customers suffering from a cat allergy are disabled and must be accommodated.
The Canadian Transportation Agency ruled that three complainants are in effect persons with disabilities because the pet policies at Air Canada and WestJet allowing cats in aircraft cabins impact on their ability to travel by air.
That’s right, it’s all fun and games for the dogs until the cats ruin the party.
I’m allergic to cats. Extremely allergic to cats. But that doesn’t stop me from being owned by one. My mother is even more allergic to cats. She has to dose up on antihistamines whenever I visit because I bring the cat hair fiesta with me, however much I try to remove it before visiting. Banishing cats from the cabins of airplanes really isn’t going to be all that helpful. How many planes have you been on where someone brought an animal on board with them? How about where someone who had a cat (or five) at home came on board? You don’t know (unless you’re really hyper vigilant) but I’d be willing to bet that it is significantly more. Are the airlines to ban cat owners from just being on flights? It’s the only way to guarantee an allergy-free flight for the allergic.
What I want to know is when they’re going to make the flights scent-free. Environmental allergies are an issue, too. Can you picture the mandatory sniff inspection as you’re coming through security? Now, that I’d like to see.