Woof Woof! Virgin Australia Explores Bringing Pets Onboard Flights

Play, Sydney, Travel / 7 March 2024

It’s time to hit the skies with Fido!

For pet owners, the annual family vacation often comes with a difficult decision – what to do with the furry member of the family? Virgin Australia is hoping to take the stress out of pet travel with a new initiative – allowing cats and small dogs to fly in the cabin alongside their humans.

While the plan is still awaiting regulatory approval, it has the potential to be a game changer for pet owners in Australia. Currently, most airlines restrict pets to cargo holds an option that can be unsettling for both pets and owners.

Virgin Australia pets dressed in cabin gear

Virgin Australia isn’t proposing a free-for-all fur fest in the cabin. There will be strict guidelines. Only small cats and dogs will be permitted, and they’ll need to travel in a designated carrier that fits comfortably under the seat in front of their owner. Lap snuggles will be off-limits, and specific designated rows will be allocated for pet-carrying passengers.
So why the change? Virgin Australia isn’t the first airline to explore in-cabin pet travel – it’s a concept that’s already taken off in North America. Results from Virgin Australia’s research suggest a strong appetite for this option among Australian pet owners. With nearly 70% of households having a furry friend, the ability to travel together could be a welcome change.

There are, of course, some logistical considerations. The airline will need to ensure clear guidelines and proper training for staff to manage the new furry additions onboard. For fellow passengers with allergies or concerns, Virgin Australia will likely need to implement a clear communication strategy to ensure everyone has a comfortable flight.

If all goes according to plan, Virgin Australia could be welcoming pets onboard within the next year. For pet owners dreaming of adventures with their furry companions, this news is a reason to wag their tails!

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