flying with pets

Pet-free planes?

Here’s an issue just beginning to bare its teeth:

In this article in the New York Times, Roni Caryn Rabin points out that a group of Canadian doctors is raising concerns about pets in airline passenger cabins.

Allowing pets on planes, say the doctors, means more pet dander and more chance of setting off asthma attacks, and worse, for people who have pet allergies.

The preferences of pet owners should not supersede the well-being of their fellow passengers. Pets can be accommodated comfortably and safely in airplane cargo holds, which is where they belong. Airlines must choose to put the needs of their human passengers first, or be forced to do so.

The physicians’ concerns are outlined in an editorial in The Canadian Medical Association Journal.   The editorial points out that in January, 2010 the Canadian Transportation Agency ruled that people with allergies to nuts would be considered to have a disability and, under the Canadian Transportation Act, could request special accommodations.  Now the CTA is  also looking at whether or not those with allergies to pets should  be considered to have a disability as well.

What do you think? Should people with pet allergies be guaranteed the right to fly on an airplane with no pets – and no pet dander?