Virgin Australia Is Going To Allow Pets On Planes So You Can Take Your Furry Friend On Holiday

Virgin Australia has announced it is throwing customers a bone and will soon be letting pets on planes.

Tha airline announced today that it will soon allow small cats and dogs on some domestic routes, with animals limited to a certain number of rows. Under current rules, all pets except service dogs are required to be checked into cargo.

But don’t expect cats and dogs to be roaming the cabin freely and stealing your food, as all animals must remain in an approved pet carrier with their owner for the duration of the flight. As for what happens when/if they are sick or decide to take a bathroom break, details are yet to be revealed.

The change would make Virgin the first Aussie airline to allow pets alongside people. Image: Getty.

Virgin Australia group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said it was a change that Aussies had been calling for.

“Our love for animals has always been in the Virgin Australia DNA and we are excited at the prospect of taking off with Australia’s first-ever pets in cabin flights,” she said.

“Overwhelmingly, our guests tell us they want to travel with their pets, and we are now on a journey to make that a reality.”

Small cats and dogs will no longer have to be checked into cargo. Image: Virgin Australia.

New safety laws passed in 2022 by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority allowed for passengers to bring animals on planes, but it was up to individual airlines to decide whether to allow it.

Until now, none have adopted the policy.

Hrdlicka said almost 70 per cent of households in Australia have a pet, so it’s an announcement that could prove significant for a large portion of the country.

“It’s also a great thing for pet-friendly accommodation providers who will benefit greatly from increased connectivity and the ease for travellers to fly with their pets,” she said.

The policy is expected to come into play next year. Image: Virgin Australia.

Allowing dogs and cats in cabins is already widespread in Europe and the United States, and Hrdlicka says it worked well overseas.

As for those with larger pets, or snakes, checking them in to cargo will still be required for now.

The move is subject to regulatory approval, but if it gets through, Virgin says it will launch the pet flights within the next 12 months.