Travelling With Pets in the Aircraft Cabin

We’re dedicated to all our passengers, even the four-legged ones.

Travelling with your small dog or cat can be a breeze when you are well prepared and informed. Here are some need-to-knows when travelling with your furry friend.

How to book

Pet travel is restricted to house cats and small dogs that weigh no more than 9 kilograms or 20 pounds including the pet carrier.

The cost for transporting your pet in the cabin is $50 to $56.50 ($50.00 Canadian dollars or United States dollars plus applicable taxes) per direction. Pet in cabin fees are non-refundable.

Pet travel is booked on a space-available basis. Porter allows up to two pets in the cabin on any given flight. To avoid disappointment, you should reserve space for your pet at the time of booking or contact the Porter Call Centre at 1-888-619-8622 as early as possible. A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required.

Pet travel restrictions

  • A maximum of one carrier per passenger is allowed. Only one pet is permitted in a carrier.
  • Pets must travel with an adult, fare-paying passenger.
  • Pets are not permitted to travel with:
    • Unaccompanied minors
    • Passengers travelling with infants
    • Passengers who require the use of a medical device that needs to be stowed underneath the seat.
    • Passengers assisting as a registered travel attendant.
    • Passengers seated in the emergency exit rows
  • Passengers travelling with pets will be unable to check-in online and must see a customer service agent upon arrival at the terminal.
  • Regulations require pets to remain in their carriers from the point at which they undergo security screening until arrival at final destination.
  • Please note that aggressive or distressed pets may be denied transport at Porter’s discretion.
  • Pets are not permitted in the baggage hold of any Porter flight.
  • Porter in-cabin pet policy applies to flights operated by Porter Airlines only.

Pet carriers count as cabin baggage

Your pet in its carrier will count as the one standard article of carry-on baggage permitted onboard. Passengers travelling with pets will only be allowed one additional personal item, not to exceed 33 by 43 by 16 centimeters or 13 by 17 by 6 inches and weighing less than 9 kilograms or 20 pounds. All other baggage must be checked. For additional information, visit our Carry-On Baggage section.

Pet carrier size and weight allowance

The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you and be safely stowed in accordance with Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Any carrier unable to fit will be denied travel.

Maximum size allowed

55 by 40 by 23 centimeters
or 22 by 16 by 9 inches

Maximum weight allowed

Total combined weight of pet and carrier = 9 kilograms or 20 pounds

Porter accepts soft-sided carriers only.

Pet carrier restrictions

  • Only one pet is permitted per carrier.
  • The pet carrier must be leak proof and well ventilated.
  • Your pet must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably.
  • Your pet must remain in their carrier at all times, from the point at which they undergo security screening until arrival at final destination.
  • No part of the pet may extend outside the pet carrier.

Going through security with your pet

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If your pet is travelling with you in the cabin of the plane, it will need to be screened at the airport security checkpoint before getting on a flight.

  • Pets do not get X-rayed or screened with advanced imaging technology.
  • The carrier, but never your dog or cat, will be put through the X-ray machine.
  • You will need to remove your pet from his carrier and hold him as you walk through the metal detector.
  • You should consider keeping your pet on a leash, as the security checkpoint is a noisy place that can cause your pet distress and make it flee at first opportunity.
  • A lot of people are anxious about passing through airport security because of their cat’s or dog’s uncanny ability to wriggle free from even the tightest grip. If you're one of them, you can ask to have your pet screened in a private room. Almost all airports have them.

Animal relief areas

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One of the most important rules to remember when flying with your pooch is that you won't be able to take him outside once you pass through security. That's why it's essential that your furry friend does his "business" before the flight. If at the airport, please use the designated animal relief areas.

The best approach is to cut off his food about two hours before heading to the airport. Once you're there, be sure to take your dog out to the pet relief area (most airports will have one) before going through the security checkpoint. Follow these simple rules, and it'll be a bon voyage for you and your furry friend.

If you need to leave the secure boarding area to take your pet to an outside relief area, you must go through the security screening process again.

Porter will not be responsible if you miss your flight due to the need to take your pet to an outside relief area. Flight departures will not be delayed or held in order for connecting passengers to take a pet to an animal relief area.

Flights with other airlines

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When connecting to or from any other airline, including interline flights; please contact them directly for their pet acceptance requirements and restrictions.

Porter in-cabin pet policy applies to flights operated by Porter Airlines only.

International flights

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Many countries have strict regulations regarding international pet travel. To ensure your pet’s safe and smooth international travel experience, please follow the steps below:

  • Contact the consulate or embassy of the country you plan to travel to in order to determine pet travel regulations and requirements.
  • Contact your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is in compliance with foreign pet health regulations.
  • Obtain all necessary paperwork for your pet’s travel (health certificate, vaccination certificates, etc.). These documentation requirements vary by destination.

If you are taking your pet out of the country or bringing your pet into Canada, you are responsible for meeting all customs and/or regulatory entrance/exit requirements. Pets in poor health may be denied entry. Pets travelling to the United States require a health certificate from their veterinarian as well as proof of a rabies vaccination in the past 12 months.

You should arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your flight with a pet. Your pet may require additional screening prior to proceeding to passenger screening.

Please note that some airports may require that pets remain in their carriers at all times. In addition, there are sometimes extenuating circumstances causing extensive flight delays, placing additional stress on the pet.

Pets in Porter lounges

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Pets are allowed in Porter Lounges only under the following conditions:

  • Pets are allowed in Porter lounges and must remain with the owner and kept in the pet carrier at all times.

Service animals

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Porter’s in-cabin pet policy does not apply to professionally-trained service animals. Please see Porter Service and Emotional Support Animal rules for additional information.

Passengers with pet allergies

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If you have an allergy to pets and prefer not to be seated adjacent to a pet during flight, please let us know prior to departure. Reasonable efforts will be made to move you or the pet and pet owner to seats which may provide some relief.

Visit our Allergies section for more information on what we can do to help and what we’ll ask you to do.

Limitation of liability

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Porter will not accept responsibility for any event of loss, delay, injury, sickness or death of any pet or service animal accepted for transportation.

Porter takes no responsibility for the care or feeding of your pet while in any Porter lounge facilities or in transit.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance should I book travel for my pet?

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We encourage you to register your pet within 24 hours of completing your booking. This will ensure that, if your pet cannot be accommodated on the flight(s) and date(s) you selected, your ticket can be changed without any change fees (difference in fare may apply) or refunded without charge. After 24 hours, any changes to your booking will be subject to applicable change and cancellation fees.

Why am I unable to book my pet on a flight that I see online?

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The ability to book your pet on a specific flight is dependent on spaces available for pets.

What if I need to change my reservation?

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If you’ve booked your reservation through Porter directly, you can change your reservation online or by contacting our Call Centre.

If your booking was made through a travel agency, you will need to make sure to contact our Call Centre immediately after changing your reservation in order to change your pet’s reservation. Ask your travel agent to first confirm pet in cabin service availability on the new flight before finalizing your reservation change.

Is a health certificate required for my pet to travel?

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If you are taking your pet out of the country or bringing your pet into Canada, you are responsible for meeting all customs and/or regulatory entrance/exit requirements. For international trips, passengers should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate in advance to ensure all country-specific entry procedures are followed.

A health certificate is not required for domestic travel, however it is a good idea to check the health of your pet before any long trip to make sure it is fit to travel.

Can more than one pet travel in a single pet carrier?

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Each carrier should contain no more than one cat or dog.

Are pets carried in the cabin affected by the Seasonal Baggage Policy?

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No, they are not.

What can I do to prepare my pet for the flight?

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Since it is important that your pet is as relaxed as possible during the flight, familiarization with the carrier is essential. Veterinarians recommend to purchase the pet carrier in advance, so that your pet may spend time near it and maybe venture inside.

In addition, you should exercise your dog before departure. Carry a leash with you so you’re able to also walk him before entering the airport.

Giving your pet tranquilizers and other medications is not recommended. We encourage you to consult your veterinarian first.