Air India ‘refuses’ to allow pet on board: What are the rules to carry animals on flights?

A family from Bengaluru has accused Air India of not allowing its pet dog on board despite having a boarding pass. The family was travelling from Bengaluru to Delhi and then Amritsar on Saturday on AI-503.

Sachin Shenoy said that they followed all the rules and regulations. However, they were told that “the pilot, Captain Chopra, denied them entry” and the flight was overbooked. He further claimed that he suffered ‘major losses’ since he had already booked hotels.

Many Twitter users termed the airline ‘anti-pet’ and further called for a heavy fine on the pilot. Responding to the video, Air India issued a statement saying they “love furry friends” and the team “had extended all support to ensure Fluffy could fly with them on board.”

As per the rules, pets, service animals, sporting animals, agricultural animals, zoological animals and species can be flown.

Pets must be carried in soft ventilated bags/kennel not exceeding 18” x 18” x 12” dimensions. For carrying a pet in the cabin, the weight of the pet, including the container should not exceed five kg

Pets must be at least eight weeks of age to travel and pregnant animals are not allowed.

The airline’s website also states that the pets will be carried at an additional charge. However, if a dog is trained to lead a passenger with impaired vision or hearing, no additional charges will be applicable.