Air Canada

Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest Canadian airline. Pets are allowed to travel in the cabin and as checked baggage in the hold with Air Canada. Visit Website

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Pets in the Cabin

Air Canada allows 2-4 pets in the cabin per flight. Small cats and dogs are welcome to travel in the cabin if the combined weight of pet and carrier is under 22 lbs (10 kg). Pets count towards passenger's carry-on allowance and must be stowed under the seat for the duration of the flight. The pet fee for travel in the cabin is $50 USD on domestic flights and $100 USD on international flights.

Pets in Checked Baggage

Air Canada allows cats and dogs over 12 weeks old to travel as checked baggage if the combined weight with carrier does not exceed 100 lbs (45 kg). Each passenger is permitted to travel with up to 2 pets, charged separately. Pet fees for 1-way travel within Canada range between $105-120.75; and 1-way international flights range between $270-318.60. Air Canada may refuse animals travel in the hold if temperatures are too high.

Pets in Cargo

Air Canada Cargo can arrange safe transport of your pet as cargo if your pet does not meet requirements to travel in the cabin or as checked baggage.

Carrier Guidelines

For pets traveling in the cabin, hard-sided carriers must not exceed 9" x 15.5" x 21.5" (23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm) and soft-sided carriers must not exceed 10.5" x 15.5" x 21.5" (27 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm). For pets traveling in the hold, carriers must not exceed 115" (292 cm) and must be hard-sided, leak-proof, and big enough to allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.


BringFido Guest Rating

Air Canada has received a rating of 2.5 out of 5 bones by 26 canine critics on BringFido.

Travelers generally found Air Canada to be pet-friendly, though some experienced issues with strict interpretation of cabin pet policies by certain staff members. They report mixed experiences, with some positive flights but also incidents of denied boarding and poor customer service.

AI-generated from the text of reviews

  • Cristian
    May 21, 2024
    Horrible experience

    I flew a small rescue dog from Europe in the cabin. The stewardesses we're rude, and wouldn't let my dog poke his head out of the holder, despite the fact that it's clearly written in the rules that you are allowed to. When I pointed that out and they actually checked the rules they all of a sudden became very friendly and finally allowed it.... at the end of the flight. I am to blame for flying Air Canada.

  • Maverick
    Mar 25, 2024
    The worst.

    If I can give negative rating I would. If you're planning on bringing pet in cabin avoid AC at all cost. Take Westjet.
    They are NOT pet friendly. I never had any issue with Alaska airline by far my favourite airline. AC counts pet carrier as your CARRYON LUGGAGE. It is absolutely absurd. How would one tiny dog be equal to a CARRYON LUGGAGE. NOT EVEN THE SAME SIZE NOR DO THEY GO OVERHEAD BIN.
    PLEASE TAKE WESTJET if flying Canada domestic.

  • Pham
    Nov 30, 2023

    If I can give them a minus rating, I for sure would. I arrived at the airport 3 hours prior to my flight and was waiting in line for myself and my small dog to get check in. One staff came at the line and checked for my flight info. While we were waiting, one of the staff suddenly said the check-in is done, its closed now, and started to blame the rest of us for coming too late. At this time 2 hours remaining before departure. 15 minutes later, one of the staff suddenly came back and said just to hold on and we can continued on check-in. We were then moved to another check in counter while the guy line up behind us was okay to move forward and got check-in already. I was served by one of the old lady of Air canada and she said we came too late and said quote on quote “THERE IS NO WAY I WILL LET YOU IN”. Even though I was told by one of her younger colleagues that I can still check in at this time, but then the old lady insisted on that she didn’t want to do it, while looking at my poor dog whining inside the crate. There was some talkings back and forth between herself, the manager and other young staffs. And I guessed they couldn’t persuade the old lady to let us in, so we had to re-book another flight.
    So a lesson is learned from this horrible experience: NEVER BOOK AIR CANADA if you plan to travel with your pet. If you ever come 2 hours before or 3 hours before, that is too late for them. From the manager who is heavily influenced by the senior strict staff, to the confusing young staffs, all creates a wonderful picture of a horrible airline.
    Minus rating for them and I don’t think they even deserve it!

  • Kaitlin
    Sep 4, 2023
    Frequent Doggy Flyer almost denied boarding.

    My bichon frise-shih tzu mix was almost denied boarding to and from our destination. Buddy has flown from Vancouver to San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose in cabin MANY TIMES in the past 4 years without any issues before September 2023. He even flew YVR to SFO at the beginning of August 2023 and had no issues. All of a sudden in late August we were checking in for another flight from YVR to SFO and the gate agent said he was too big because he couldn’t stand in his carrier. We said that he was a frequent flyer and that he has been a carry on many times with no issues. The agent said they were being more strict with the guidelines on the Air Canada website and that he should be denied boarding. This happened on the way back to YVR too. The guidelines on the website have always stated stricter rules in comparison to other airlines, but historically it has been up to the agent’s discretion and they have been more relaxed. All of a sudden they are being uptight and we will not be flying Air Canada with Buddy again.

  • Diana
    Aug 21, 2023
    Great service

    I recently traveled with my dog (west highland white terrier or westie) in cabin, the little one is around 9.5 kg and we had no issue at all. The staff were more than friendly with her and also found the way to help me with the extra weight of my luggage. My dog was travelling in a flexible backpack, but just in case I had the rigid box with me just in case because at the end the airline instructions are different regarding the weight of the dog, but it wasn’t necessary and they checked it in for free. I had a great flight from France to Canada and return, only the passport vaccine was requested bit nevertheless I had everything they require in the webpage. I saw some bad reviews so I was a bit worried but tuned out extremely well and I’m really happy with the treatment Air Canada provided to us! (And of course, Brandy is thrilled as well!)🇨🇦

  • Justin
    Jul 20, 2023
    Pets in Cabin - More Accurate Information

    Per their website, pets are allowed in the cabin at 10 weeks. Also, there is no stated weight limit for the pet and carrier. It just has to fit the specified carrier dimensions.

  • Vicki
    Apr 13, 2023
    Air Canada is the worst!!!

    I used points for a ticket to go see family (luckily only bought a 1 way ticket). After I booked I called to book my dog in cabin only to find out there’s only 9 INCHES of clearance below all the seats in the ENTIRE PLANE!!! At that height you’ll only be able to get a chihuahua or hamster under there. So unfortunately, I had to cancel my flight and rebook elsewhere. In doing so I had to pay $75 to get all the points back or forfeit all the points.

    I stopped flying AC 20 years ago after a previous bad experience with their front desk attendants rudeness and now this time paying to get points back for a flight that didn’t accommodate a small dog is absolutely the last draw. No more! Steer clear!!! Be forewarned!

  • Maru
    Mar 12, 2023
    Dog in cabin denied

    All of Agents in check-in at Pearson airport are very strict right now.
    They asked me to pull out dogs out of the carriers then they said the dogs are too big then we were denied boarding.
    If your dogs are above 9inch including head and ears, you should have backup for your trips.
    Remember they are now very strict.

  • Erica
    Jan 22, 2023
    Horrible customer service and not dog friendly

    I have flown with my toy Australian shepherd on both WestJet and American Airlines with no issue but when I got to the check in with air canada, staff told me he was too large for his carrier and could not fly in cabin. Despite the fact that my dog is comfortable in his carrier and jumps in immediately without me asking, I was told that it was inhumane for him to be under the seat and that he would need to fly under the plane. The customer service agent told me that it was more humane for my dog to be separated from his owner under the plane despite the fact he was in a soft sided carrier which is not permitted for dogs going in cargo. Another review also noted that this happened to them. I did not further question the agent about my dog being allowed to fly in cargo in a soft sided carrier because I would never have allowed that but he very much gave me the impression that he did not know that dogs in cargo cannot be in soft sided carriers. In addition, a week after we were supposed to fly it came out that air canada had misplaced a dog flying cargo and the dog was found in the corner of an airport unattended hours after the flight had landed so I’m not sure how this guy thought that my dog sitting at my feet for a one hour flight was inhumane when air canada losing a dog for hours was not but I guess air canada has different rules for logic than the rest of society. The customer service agent was rude and acted as though he knew more about my dog and what was best for him than I did. The only good thing that came from my experience was that I was able to get my money back however I will never be flying with air canada again with or with out my dog. The agents were rude and unhelpful to everyone. Several agents ignored questions from passengers waiting to check in which was extremely unprofessional and even had my dog been allowed I would never fly with them again.

  • Sharon
    Jan 15, 2023
    If I can give 0 stars, I would.

    I will never be flying with Air Canada again with my dog. I do not take the time to write reviews but I am just so horrified by how cruel the flight attendants were to my dog in cabin. My dog was in distraught and panting extremely loud in flight, yet they threatened to not fly unless my dog’s bag had to be zip tied. My dog was freaking out and I was just in shock.

    Do not fly with Air Canada if you plan to have your dog in cabin. I could not imagine having them in cargo would be any better. I have been on many flights with my dog and never have I ever experience such cruel and horrific treatment.

  • Sue
    Nov 21, 2022
    Unbelievably negative service and customer care

    We have a 14 pound mini terrier that is 9 inches tall that has flown 14 times with us on Air Canada between Toronto and multiple locations We arrived at the airport on November 12 at 5:30 am and were immediately met with an agent corralling people into lines who approached us by saying “that dog cannot fly”. When we explained that the dog was a regular flyer she responded with “ they can deal with it… not me”. The customer service was quite shocking to us. We eventually got to an agent. The young agent immediately asked us to make the dog stand up in its cage which we did. Another agent walked over and said “ that dogs ears are too tall for the cage”. We explained the dog is a regular flyer but this second agent refused to let the dog fly. Once again we explained that this dog is quite comfie in her cage and is able to turn around, move around and sleep comfortably Honestly if it was up to the young agent we first had we would have been fine and able to fly but the second agent was rude, uncaring and officious. So disappointed with Air Canada. We have been flight pass customers for many years but we will never fly with Air Canada again. Customer service was absolutely terrible and no one had any interest in helping us out at 6:00 am. Their attitude was very much one of ‘we don’t care’ so disappointing after so many years

  • Sohela
    Nov 21, 2022
    Wonderful Service

    I took my dog on a 2 hour flight in late April, and he was treated so well. He went in baggage, and the gate agents were so kind. It was a bit of chaos to get him in Toronto because we didn’t know where he was coming in after customs, but the airport employees were very helpful, and he was there and perfectly fine!

  • Kovi
    Oct 24, 2022
    Follow up - Excellent

    I wanted to post a follow-up to a review I posted on Oct 14 because my negative experience, as I have learned now, was due to an over-zealous, joyless, miserable human being of a gate agent and not Air Canada as a company. After being denied boarding by the gate agent noted above, I showed up for my rebooked flight with a carrier appropriate for use under the plane as well as my normal in-cabin carrier. I explained everything that happened to the agent at the time, who was super nice and did not see an issue with my pet in the in-cabin carrier. She promptly checked me in with my little guy in cabin and even checked with her supervisor just to be sure who concluded that the carrier was fine (I just ended up checking the big kennel as a bag since I had brought it with me).

    On the way back, this original gate agent, the poor excuse for a human being, had put notes in the file and cancelled my pet in cabin ticket however once again, when checking in at the airport, I explained the whole situation and the extremely nice and accommodating gate agent checked me in with the pet in the cabin. This is the more consistent experience I had with Air Canada and I can say, while terrible at the time, the one bad experience I had was due to one gate agent who lacks the ability to think and takes joy in making people's lives miserable and not Air Canada as a whole. To paint the whole airline with one brush because of one person's actions would be wrong and misleading. One can only hope this person is called out enough times for her inability to be a decent human being and removed from that organization.

  • Marla
    May 10, 2022
    Terrible/Horrible/Will never fly again.

    I was recently denied boarding with my dog. She is a 14 lb shitzu / bichon cross and I've been flying with her for the past 10 years. I called to book her on the flight and paid $50 each way. I was asked, at the time , for her weight and the size of her case. I had flown with her in February and didn't have a problem. I was told when denied checking in that she was too big to fly in the cabin(!!!!) and that she had to be able to stand fully and turn around. She is able to turn around, is very happy in her case (I have to pull her out to go through security). I looked at new cases in Florida and it appears that they are measured by the top of a dog's back, not their head. Regardless, because she couldn't stand fully upright in the case, I was denied boarding. I ran to West Jet where there was no problem and in fact larger dogs than mine where allowed on the plane in their cases.

  • Ashlyn
    Dec 13, 2021
    Cargo + Carryon - great service+ amazing staff!!

    I've used both their cargo services and in-cabin for my cat between Toronto and Vancouver.

    Due to a medical emergency after I moved to BC I wasn't able to fly home to get my cat so I decided to use the cargo service. I was very nervous but Air Canada was so nice and all the staff I interacted with were absolutely the sweetest. I watched them handle her with care from the unload the truck, to when I picked her up. I thought it was a one-off, but travelling back to Toronto with her as cargo, everyone was just as sweet, very amazed by the service.

    The initial cargo service was delayed because it was a very hot day. I was warned about this beforehand, and was very happy they do not risk your pet's health in extreme heat or cold.

  • Douglas
    Nov 5, 2021
    Never Again

    A few years ago we used Air Canada to move our two dogs from Toronto to Edinburgh and we could not be more complimentary about that service . However , our recent experience with AC Vancouver was horrendous . Now that AC insist on using IPATA agents instead of simply self booking and that is where our saga began . We found 4 IPATA members listed for Vancouver and we started our organising in June for our flights in November . Two never replied , one in the US gave us a ridiculous price so we chose Worldwide Pet transport . We had an initial quote which we thought expensive but thought it was the going rate . We lived very remotely in BC and had several questions about how it would all work. Tried emailing , phoning and even left a message on their "Emergency" hotline ( which is an answerphone!!! ). We emailed several times and finally asked for proof that they actually existed ...we haven't been answered since August !!! We finally gave up and found a UK firm Paws who were very helpful and they put us onto a professional transport company Seaair who were easy to deal with and very reassuring . The price was reasonable and they organised the document procedures . Air Canada have a strange policy of not confirming the Pet flight until 10 days prior to flying !! At day 8 Seaair had to call AC to get that confirmation . On the flight date we met a Fedex driver who had all the stickers etc for the pet crate and to present to the Cargo desk. With our little dog locked in and sitting on the counter the Air Canada rep simply pushed the papers back and said they were not the correct documents even although the Air Canada Air waiver Bill was purchased from Air Canada , Dorval!!!! He said we just had to move as there was a queue forming . Uncaring , unsympathetic doesn't quite cut it. Fortunately for us Philip Beck ( the Fedex driver) was also a travel agent and we could never lavish him with enough praise as he negotiated the system for the 45minutes it took for the AC staff to eventually concede that they were wrong and we had to rush to board ourselves. We have never been so stressed and will never use Air Canada in Vancouver again as the staff were uninformed but more importantly showed zero empathy for our pet or our predicament that was caused solely by them.
    WE also lodged a complaint to IPATA in the summer and never had a response !!

  • Mike
    Jun 21, 2021
    The fee is a ripoff

    Air Canada charges a minimum of $50 to bring your small dog into the cabin AND this uses your normally free carry on baggage allowance... forcing you to pay for a checked bag (or higher fare to include a bag). Really this is a $81.50+ fee.

  • Natasha
    Apr 13, 2019
    Travel embargo dates and temperatures?

    I called Air Canada and Air Canada cargo several times as soon as we found out we were moving to Florida in June. I just found out- as I was about to book the flight for our dog and 2 cats, that there is a travel embargo from May 15 - Sept 30, and that there is a general embargo if temperatures are above 29 degrees celsius. First I heard of it. Does anyone know if there are other airlines that don't follow this embargo (flying from Toronto)? We are in a real bind now...

  • Luciole
    Mar 26, 2019
    Guaranteed on Board® with Air Canada

    I know that Sherpa offers a (free) guaranteed if your pet travels on Air-Canada, in one of their small or medium bags. If you are denied boarding due to their Sherpa carrier, the company will reimburse you for the cost of your flight. Has any one have any experience with this option? See:

  • Jackie
    Feb 17, 2019
    Not pet friendly

    I tried to take my small dog on an international flight to London but was told to contact Fedex to ship my dog. Ridiculous!

  • Natalie
    Dec 20, 2018
    Pets in the hold: hardly ever

    They do not take pets from May to September because it is "too hot." They have an embargo during the winter months because it is "too cold." Basically, they will find any reason they can to NOT let you book your dog.

  • Joanna
    Nov 18, 2018
    Dog In Cabin YVR via YUL to PTP & Return

    Brought my 10lb Min Pin on Air Canada flights from Vancouver to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Cost was $100 each way. I used a soft carrier.

    Staff at Air Canada check-in YVR just asked to see vaccination papers. Staff at PTP didn't ask for anything on arrival or departure.

    Customs/Agriculture charged $35 for inspection of vaccination papers upon re-entry to Canada at YUL.

    Aircraft staff all stated that you must keep dog in carrier at all times, but I managed to hold my dog discretely at some point during each of the 4 flights. Made sure passenger beside me didn't mind.

    My dog is great with all aspects of travel in car and at airports, but inside the plane, the moment the cabin is pressurized and engines on, she becomes tense and curls up. She wouldn't take food or water at all during each 5 hour flight and just slept for the most part, or so it seemed. The moment engines turned off and cabin depressurized, she was immediately happy.

    I was worried about her soiling the carrier, but no pee or poop during the whole journey of 12-14 hours each way.

    THANK YOU AIR CANADA for allowing pets on board! And for making the whole process easy and affordable!

  • Leslie
    Oct 27, 2018
    Horrible experience

    My 7lb toy poodle was refused on an Air Canada flight as the check-in agent said she was far too large for her Sherpa bag (size Large!!) and it was inhumane treatment. She said that the animal must be able to stand completely upright without her head touching the top of the bag and be able to turn around to be accepted by Air Canada. She explained that their pet policy is meant for puppies and miniature breeds. I told her that she is a TOY breed, which is smaller than a miniature. I explained that I have flown with my dog over 200 times on numerous airlines, included affiliated airlines and I have never once had an issue. She noted that other airlines don’t care about animals like they do and how I was trying to fly with my dog was detrimental to her health and safety. I was told that could she could fly with the luggage. When I questioned her small size and the fact that it’s a soft sided case, which are not allowed and completely inhumane, she had to look up the rules to find out I was correct. I asked to speak with a manager who stood there and said nothing. Needless to say, they blocked me from being about to fly, refused to help me find alternative travel arrangements, refused a refund and I missed a dear friends wedding. Never again! Do NOT take your chances with Air Canada - it is not worth the loss of expenses and stress.

  • Mary
    More than a year ago
    Excellent Service - Air Canada is very pet-friendly

    I had to travel from BC to Ontario (two flights) and Air Canada was absolutely wonderful taking care of my kittens on-board and in transit. The cats travelled in the same kennel and were handled with great care at YVR. While waiting at the gate, I approached the pilots and told them my two kittens would be travelling in the cargo section and that I, as an owner, was a little nervous. The co-pilot assured me they would adjust the temperature in the cargo hold to make sure the cats would travel comfortably and not to worry. During the flight, I asked for confirmation from the flight attendants that the cats had been loaded and they told me that they had, and they were fine. One of the flight attendants even came to me during the flight to assure me that the cats were doing ok down there (i.e. cargo).
    Not only that, when we landed in Toronto, the co-pilot personally went downstairs in the cargo section, made sure the kittens had been unloaded, were safe and well, and then came and found me at the gate where I was waiting for my next flight, just to assure me that the cats were ok! She had even left a note on the kennel, in case she wasn’t able to locate me in Pearson). I was very impressed and thankful!
    If I have to fly with my cats again, Air Canada is my one and only choice. Thank you Air Canada!

  • Constanza
    More than a year ago
    Air Canada doesn't apply own rules

    I traveled to South America via Air Canada last February 2017. Woman in seat in front was carrying a dog on her lap loose. Very dangerous both to the dog and rest of passengers. Neither Crew nor the passenger complied with rules. I was attacked by a dog in the past leaving a scar on my leg for ever and even-though I respect dogs I fear them. I believe owners and crew should comply with these rules in order not to interfere with other passengers. I am disappointed at the Airline and the crew. I did not complain during the flight to preserve the friendly atmosphere yet many passengers were annoyed at this risky action as the dog had its kennel and was not for mental aide. Air Canada should ask passengers traveling in front, behind and next to the dog if they are fine with this or otherwise they should be granted another similar seat.

  • Terrific
    More than a year ago
    Great airline

    Fantastic service.

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