Encourage Air New Zealand to allow dogs to fly on board domestic flights
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New Zealand is finally catching up with the rest of the world! Wellington recently started allowing pets on public transport.
A Christchurch Mall now allows their customers to bring their dogs out for a day shopping.
And the rest of the country is starting to relax around dining out with your pets (although still reluctantly outdoors for majority of places)
We would LOVE if Air New Zealand could show how progressive they are and start allowing dogs on board domestic flights.
Airlines all across the world allow dogs to travel in cabin on domestic flights. It is much less stress for both the dog and the owner to know they are safe and calm during a flight. Check out @vincenzopepito on Instagram and his amazing travel stories.
We are lucky enough that NZ domestic flights are all relatively short. If a dog can handle a 6 hour journey from LAX to NYC, then even Kerikeri to Invercargill is a walk in the park.
Air New Zealand has the ball in their court on this, if they were the first to introduce it, they could literally state any conditions for carriage they like, such as:
Having to book a full fare seat for the pet, and making sure that their owner sat between them and another passenger.
Having to contain the pet in a carry case/bag (popular conditions stipulated by the NYC Subway system)
Have a national pet passport for each animal, that will allow the airlines to ban any animal that could not behave in flight. (if only we could do that with children!)
Restricting peak flight bookings.
Airlines already have conditions in place for service dogs, as it is required by law to do so, such as mats for them to be seated on and certain ways they handle bookings. There are easy ways to ensure all passengers are happy with their flight conditions. Luckily most domestic flights in NZ use small planes so would not have someone sitting by a dog that wasn't comfortable to do so.
We would pay a full fare (and more) to be able to travel with our boy more easily. We love to travel NZ and with more dog friendly accommodation available and even more places allowing pets, it seems a shame to ignore the huge potential tourism opportunity for pet travel within the country.
The stress and logistics of cargo carriage with a pet on flights around the country make it the kind of option you save for a necessary trip or a move. Not the kind of thing you do for a weekend away.
The last flight we took from Hamilton to Wellington was on a freezing cold winter morning, after being delayed while waiting for the fog to lift, we then spent the the whole flight listening to the cries of a puppy in the cargo hold. Although I trust that Air NZ do everything they can to ensure a comfortable flight for a pet, if the owner is flying too, please, please let us bring them on board.
We have been lucky enough to spend quite a few vacations around the North Island happily with our dog in tow, finding some great kiwi hospitality and showing our "Down the farm" attitude that dogs are a part of the family now. No longer resigned to spending their life in the back yard, or in the kennel. Dogs are complex emotional creatures who thrive on company and love nothing more than being included in a family outing.
New Zealand's general attitude towards dogs in public is incredibly behind the rest of the world. We have enjoyed Holidays all over the USA where we saw many happy dogs of all sizes dining out with their families and shopping, and riding the public transport. The main factor that we noticed is that the general public don't blink an eye towards a dog at a restaurant or in a shopping mall, and because these dogs have been allowed to do so their whole life, they are extraordinarily well behaved and know what is expected of them. New Zealand will never get to the stage of having a harmonious relationship with dogs in public unless we let them show us how well they can handle it.
We are constantly met with pleasantly surprised reactions to our dog when we travel with him, he has been on wine tours around Waiheke Island, Matakana wine country, Taupo and the Hawkes bay. He has been coming to cafe's with us since he was fully vaccinated and into any places that will let him. Because he has been constantly exposed to different environments, he is placid and happy to just be wherever we are. This is the case for every modern dog owner we know of in NZ, we just need to let them teach the rest of society that this is possible!
We would love to see some signatures of support to show Air New Zealand that there is backing behind this!
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