© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Air Canada plane taxi at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
By Allison Lampert
MONTREAL (Reuters) – Air Canada on Wednesday said it would not allow animals in checked baggage until September 12 due to “longer than usual” delays at airports, as carriers Transport and airports struggle with claims of lost baggage and long lines.
Airlines in Europe, the United States and Canada are canceling and delaying flights due to staff shortages while traffic is growing faster than expected after a slump during the pandemic.
Passengers at airports from Toronto to Frankfurt have been sharing on social media photos of their luggage piled up near their belts.
Air Canada said in an emailed statement: “Due to longer airport delays than usual and for the safety and comfort of pets, we will not be accepting new requests for pets traveling in luggage compartment until September 12, 2022,” Air Canada said in an emailed statement. It says:
Earlier this month, Canadian television network CTV News reported that a dog carried by another carrier was left at Toronto Pearson International Airport with luggage for about 21 hours.
Air Canada’s smaller rival WestJet said it will continue to accept the animals.
On Wednesday, the Canadian government said it was working with the industry to reduce congestion. The Minister of Transport of this country recently had a meeting with the heads of Canada’s two largest airlines and airports.
Air Canada recently said it would cut flights by 15% for July and August, with changes on most domestic routes going into effect on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Pearson, Canada’s busiest airport, said it was “still assessing the impact of these cuts.”
According to data from FlightAware, about 70% of Air Canada’s US flights are delayed during the long holiday weekend, the highest rate of any airline. Air Canada is the largest foreign airline in the United States.
The CEO of Air Canada and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:) both recently apologized for the flight disruption.
Earlier, on Wednesday, a senior United Airlines executive said the US airline system is expected to “remain challenging this summer and beyond.”