Air Canada Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and Psychiatric Service Dog Policy
Air Canada Main Takeaways:
- Air Canada no longer recognizes emotional support animals.
- Psychiatric service dogs can still travel with proper documentation.
- Required documents: Complete a U.S. DOT form, notify the Medical Assistance Desk 48 hours before the flight.
- A PSD letter is recommended for smooth check-in.
- Pet fees vary based on flight type.
- No breed restrictions for service dogs, but snub-nosed breeds have limitations.
- Pet carriers must meet size guidelines.
- Only one cat or small dog allowed, meeting age and health requirements.
Are you traveling with your emotional support animal on Air Canada? You’re golden if your ESA is a psychiatric service dog and has the proper documentation. Ensure you follow the new Air Canada service dog policy, not the former on emotional support animals. Keep in mind that the policies and procedures detailed here apply to Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation.
Air Canada’s Required Documentations
With the old Air Canada emotional support animal policy no longer applicable, you must now complete a U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form. You need to include important information on this form: vaccination details plus the names of the dog’s handler and trainer. You must also certify that your PSD is trained in specific assistive functions, will not relieve itself on the airplane, can behave appropriately in public, and will be leashed at all times. Finally, the form requires you to accept responsibility for any damages the animal may cause.
If your flight lasts eight hours or longer, you must complete the U.S. DOT’s Service Animal Relief Attestation Form. You certify that your service dog will either not urinate or defecate on the plane or can do so hygienically.
You should contact the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk about your psychiatric service dog at least 48 hours before your flight departs. You must notify the desk that you have a service dog and request additional floor space for the dog if needed. You can call the Medical Assistance Desk at 800-667-4732.
Air Canada PSD Letter Policies
Air Canada doesn’t explicitly require a PSD letter to fly with your psychiatric service dog. However, having a Pettable PSD letter and your required DOT forms can ensure smooth check-in and inspection at the airport.
Air Canada’s Pet Fees
Pet fees on Air Canada differ between domestic and international flights. Expect to pay between $50 and $59 on flights within the United States and Canada, excluding Hawaii. International pet fees range between $100 and $118. Air Canada flights to Hawaii do not permit pets in the cabin: They must travel in the baggage compartment via the Air Canada Cargo service.
Air Canada’s Breed Restrictions
Air Canada does not specify breed restrictions for service dogs or pets in the cabin. However, snub-nosed breeds cannot travel as checked baggage or through the Air Canada Cargo service. Brachycephalic cats and dogs have flatter and wider skulls, which reduce their breathing efficiency in extreme heat. This feature makes them prone to dangerous overheating, leading to severe illness or death. Prohibited breeds include Burmese, British Shorthair, and Persian cats, and Boxer, Pekinese, and Pug dog breeds. You can find the full list on its website.
Air Canada’s Pet Carrier Size Requirements
Air Canada has set size guidelines for small pet carriers. Because the airline mandates that pet carriers be placed underneath the seats, these requirements vary by aircraft type. Your pet carrier cannot exceed certain dimensions:
- Boeing 789: 20H x 40W x 43L centimeters
- Boeing 788: 20H x 40W x 35L centimeters
- Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR: 21H x 38W x 43L centimeters
Air Canada’s Travel Requirements
Pet carriers count toward the airline’s carry-on baggage allowance. You cannot take pets in the cabin if you are traveling in Premium Economy class, have a bulkhead or exit row seat, are an unaccompanied minor, or are flying in Business class of a Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane.
You may bring only one cat or small dog on your flight. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned and stay inside its pet carrier at all times. Because you’ll need to see an agent at check-in time, you should arrive at least 30 minutes early. You cannot check-in at airport self-service kiosks when traveling with your pet in the cabin.