It’s no secret that emotional support animals are crucial for their owners’ wellbeing. Being around them makes everything better. This is true of flights, too! Fortunately, you can fly with your furry best friend. But remember there are a lot of rules. Today, we’re breaking down the WestJet ESA policy. If you’re boarding a plane soon, keep reading!
**Please note, as of January 11, 2021, under new regulations passed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the allowance of Emotional Support Animals onboard flights may vary from airline to airline. Please contact your airline of choice for their most up-to-date policies on Emotional Support Animals.
WestJet Pet Guests! Which ESAs Can Fly In-Cabin?
Not all emotional support animals can fly with WestJet. Only cats, dogs, rabbits, and some birds are allowed aboard. Notice that sugar gliders, goats, and gerbils are on the no-fly list, according to the WestJet ESA policy.
Keep in mind that there are other restrictions on animals. For instance, some countries have embargoes on certain animals. If you’re traveling to one of these places, your companion may be denied boarding.
Pets In-Cabin on WestJet Flights?
Unlike many other airlines, WestJet allows pets to fly in-cabin. This is done at a fee ranging between $50 and $100 each way, depending on your destination.
Luckily, reserving space for your pet isn’t difficult. You will need to call WestJet and talk to a customer representative. Keep in mind that you can’t do this online.
Emotional Support Animals
Thankfully, the WestJet ESA policy is very generous. It lets those with a mental health or emotional disability fly with their companions.
Dogs, cats, some birds, and rabbits can all fly with you in the passenger cabin. They will need to be inside a carrier and will stay at your feet, on the floor. Thus, they’re known as “carry-on pets.”
The only exception is for emotional support dogs smaller than a two-year-old child. In that case, they can travel on your lap.
Emotional support animals aren’t charged a pet fee, either. You do need to contact WestJet in order to secure room for your ESA aboard. The cabin crew will make sure your furry friend has everything to feel comfortable.
As always, service animals enjoy special perks. Service dogs can fly with their owners on both international and domestic flights.
They do not need to be inside a carrier or kennel. However, it is wise to take physical restraints (such as a muzzle and a leash) with you.
Service animals can travel free of charge. Do keep in mind that you will need to give the airline a 48-hour warning that you’re traveling with a service animal.
Cargo Travel for Pets on a WestJet Flight?
WestJet allows for pets to fly in the cargo hold along with checked baggage. Even if you’re not aboard the plane, your pet will be allowed to fly with WestJet.
Cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs,, and rabbits are all welcome in the cargo. Keep in mind they have to be in a safe carrier, though!
The kennel your animal is traveling in counts toward your check-in baggage allowance. So, if you’re traveling with a checked bag with clothes, you will be charged extra.
WestJet’s pet kennel fees depend on where you’re traveling to. You’ll be charged between $100 and $200.
Number of Animals on a Flight?
There’s a reason why you need to inform the airline that you’re traveling with an animal. WestJet has quotas for the number of animals flying with them. This depends on the type of aircraft and on the time of year.
For instance, only four pet kennels are allowed in-cabin aboard a Boeing 737-600. During the holiday season (December and January), no kennels are accepted in the checked baggage compartment.
To avoid any mixups and surprises, call WestJet about traveling with a pet.
Note that this does not apply to service animals or to an emotional support animal. Although you still need to call in to inform the cabin crew, pet restrictions don’t apply.
Depending on where you’re traveling, you’ll face breed restrictions. This means that some dogs and cats may not be allowed aboard a WestJet flight.
What Does It Cost to Travel With My ESA?
Under the Air Carrier Access Act, ESAs and their owners can travel together. This is done free of charge. You won’t be charged any steep pet fees, don’t worry!
The only costs to flying with an ESA would be getting them a good carrier. Furthermore, you need a veterinary health certificate signed by a professional. Your local vet may charge you for this.
Which Cat and Dog Breeds Can Travel In-Cabin?
Any cat and dog breed can travel in-cabin. As long as they behave and can fit inside a carrier, WestJet is happy to have them on board!
Weight Restrictions and Size Restrictions for Carriers
There are some regulations with regard to your pet carrier. For starters, it must be under 16 inches long, 8.5 inches tall, and 10 inches wide. That is, 41 cm long, 21.5 cm tall, and 25.4 cm wide.
It must also be soft-sided and leak-proof. There must be a zipper or velcro straps along the opening to make it secure. Lastly, it also must be well-ventilated.
There are no weight limitations on pet kennels. However, you must ensure your pet or ESA has enough room to feel comfortable. They may also not stick their head out from the carrier.
Documentation: 3 Forms You Will Need Before Checking In
Before getting to the airport with your ESA, there are some forms you need to make sure that you have in hand:
- Emotional support animal letter, issued by a licensed mental health professional
- Confirmation of animal training form, signed by the animal’s trainer or owner
- Veterinary health bill, signed by a vet
Make sure you have all these on you. Otherwise, according to the WestJet ESA policy, your companion will be denied boarding!
You may be wondering what an emotional support animal letter is. It’s very simple. It’s a document signed by a mental health professional proving that you need an ESA.
This is due to the fact that you have a disability, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But don’t worry, your ESA letter won’t specify what disability you have.
Only with this letter will your ESA be allowed to travel free of charge. Pretty cool, right? Luckily for you, CertaPet offers a simple 5-minute pre-screening test you can take. It will tell you if you may qualify as an ESA owner. If you do, we’ll connect you to a licensed mental health professional who will issue it!
3 Safety Tips for Traveling with Your ESA
Vacations are always the best when Fido and Mittens are around. So, stay safe during your travels! Here are our top three safety tips for traveling with an ESA:
- Avoid connection flights as much as possible
- Talk to your vet about traveling with your ESA before booking a flight
- Make sure to have food and water on hand for your furry friend