Pet lovers are calling on the government to get in line with other countries and allow dogs and cats to be carried in the cabin on domestic flights.

A change.org petition, titled 'Domestic Carry on Travel with Pets in Australia' and aimed at the Federal Government and all domestic airlines, has already garnered more than 15,900 signatures out of a goal of 25,000 within a week.

In Australia, the only dogs permitted to fly in an aeroplane's passenger cabin are certified service dogs, according to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), web site.

All other live animals are only allowed on domestic flights if they meet certain conditions and are in a suitable container, or crate.

Those animals must travel in the temperature-controlled cargo hold.

Certified assistance dogs, such as Putu the guide dog, are permitted to fly in the passenger cabins on flights in Australia. Putu, pictured with his owner, James Bennett and Narida Sirapanichart from Virgin Australia, received his own named boarding pass in recognition of his record 250 flights back in 2012. Picture: Lloyd Justin
Certified assistance dogs, such as Putu the guide dog, are permitted to fly in the passenger cabins on flights in Australia. Putu, pictured with his owner, James Bennett and Narida Sirapanichart from Virgin Australia, received his own named boarding pass in recognition of his record 250 flights back in 2012. Picture: Lloyd Justin

The petition, started by Alyssa Logiudice, points out that pets are allowed to fly in the cabin in some other countries and calls for Australia to change the laws for interstate pet travel.

"Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world," Ms Logiudice wrote on the petition.

"For a country that is supposed to be one of the most pet friendly in the world, why are we compromising on one of the most important parts of life - interstate travel with our pets?

"Pets are allowed to be carried on board aircraft with their owners all across Europe, UK, Canada and the US and it is time for a progressive country like Australia to change the laws and jump on board to allow carry-on pet interstate travel!"

Alyssa Logiudice with Daisy. Picture: Supplied
Alyssa Logiudice with Daisy. Picture: Supplied


Ms Logiudice, 20, told News Corp her family had recently travelled to Byron Bay from Melbourne and were disappointed to discover they could not take their eight-year-old bichon-poodle cross, Daisy, in the plane's passenger cabin.

"It was a five-day trip to Byron. We didn't want to put her in the cargo hold, as it would make her anxious and it would make us anxious," she said.

"We weren't going to put her through all that stress.

"I've been to America and Europe and there are dogs everywhere. Even Byron Bay was so pet friendly, she would have loved it there."

A dog in an airline-approved crate, heads to the cargo hold to board her flight in Brisbane. Picture: Jodie O'Brien
A dog in an airline-approved crate, heads to the cargo hold to board her flight in Brisbane. Picture: Jodie O'Brien


Ms Logiudice, who co-founded a social media app for pets called Petbar with her father, Adrian, said she hopes the petition helps lead to changes in the Australian laws when it came to flying with pets.

"Hopefully, we could figure out a way to allow them on board without being a disturbance to other passengers, the same as the US does," she said.

In the US, small dogs and cats are permitted to fly in an aircraft cabin in an airline-approved crate if it fits under a seat.

The change.org petition goes on to suggest a certification program be put in place.

"By putting in place a certification program to ensure safety measures when bringing your pet with your carry on, following in the footsteps of other countries that embrace on board pet travel; it would make sure travel is safe and seamless!," it states.

A border collie in an airline-approved crate about to be placed in the temperature-controlled cargo hold of a plane in Brisbane. Picture: Jodie O'Brien
A border collie in an airline-approved crate about to be placed in the temperature-controlled cargo hold of a plane in Brisbane. Picture: Jodie O'Brien


Ms Logiudice said she was calling on the government, airlines and airports to "catch up to the rest of the world".

"I am calling on all sides of Government, Airlines and Airports throughout Australia to get involved to help make history and change the laws to allow pets to travel on board with their owners - let's catch up to the rest of the world! (sic)," she wrote.

"Australia has experienced a surge in pet friendly accommodation due to increased demand with availability catering for the budget conscious through to those wanting to travel and stay in five star accommodation.

"Either way not everyone wants to endure the drive to destinations where driving could take days against the simplicity and ease of a possible few hour flight."

Daisy the bichon-poodle cross. Picture: Alyssa Logiudice
Daisy the bichon-poodle cross. Picture: Alyssa Logiudice


Several supporters, including Kate Kenner who signed the petition, said they had to drive if they wanted to take their pets with them on holidays.

"I would not fly if I had to put my dog or cat in cargo," Ms Kenner wrote on the petition.

"They are not baggage but living and feeling beings who are vulnerable to the atmosphere in such an environment."

Liz Moreno wrote the petition was a great idea.

"I drive 2700km - one way, to take my pooch with me where it would only be a three hour flight," she wrote.

"I hate the thought of putting my little one in the cargo hold so I either drive or don't go.

It's not practical to drive these lengths of time, as it eats into my annual leave significantly."

RSPCA Australia has also called for the rules to be changed, following the separate deaths of two pet dogs on domestic flights in December 2019.

Originally published as Thousands call for pets to fly in cabins on planes


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