While some airlines have blanket policies allowing dogs to travel in the cabin provided they’re secured properly, others have stricter requirements.
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Which airlines allow dogs to accompany their humans in the cabin? What are my rights if I don’t fancy spending hours sitting next to a dog?
I’m a huge lover of dogs, but even I can understand how one might not enjoy the presence of a yappy pup while you’re trying to get some shut-eye on a flight. The good news here is not all airlines allow “garden variety” dogs to travel in the cabin. To avoid sitting next to Buddy, Max or Jabba the Mutt (sorry), you’ll need to check each airline’s pet policy before you book your flight to ensure you’re booking one that welcomes pooches… in the hold.
As a heads-up, some of the most dog-friendly airlines you may wish to avoid include Air France, Air Canada, Lufthansa and United Airlines, all of which allow dogs in the cabin provided they’re secured safely within their carriers throughout the flight.
What you need to be mindful of, however, is that in most cases, airlines will allow service dogs to travel within the cabin (some airlines, such as Delta, allow up to two service dogs per passenger) and there’s no real way to avoid this.
Interestingly, although regulations implemented by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in 2021 allow Australian passengers to travel with their pets in the passenger cabin, our airlines are yet to follow through. Currently, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia allow only service dogs (in this case, guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs) to travel with their owner in the cabin. Will they eventually become more inclusive of our four-legged friends? It remains to be seen, but as demand for service animals grows, it’s likely you’ll have to find ways to coexist while in the air. I recommend packing an eye mask, an aromatic mist to mask doggie aromas, and the soothing sounds of Metallica on your headphones.
Is it safe to travel to the Middle East currently? I was looking at visiting Jordan and/or Turkey, but now with everything happening over there I’m not so sure.
As you can appreciate, this is a tough one to answer with any kind of confidence. As events unfold and travel warnings are updated, there’s every chance what I’m about to say will be out of date by the time we go to print.
As I write, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Smartraveller.gov.au, which has the latest authoritative travel advice, raised its advice for Lebanon on October 19 to “do not travel”, which is the same for Iraq, Iran and Syria. Australians in Lebanon should consider leaving now through the first available option.
Travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is currently “reconsider your need to travel”, but they’ve added “do not travel to Gaza, border areas with Gaza and border areas with Lebanon closed by Israeli authorities, or the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem)”.
Turkey and Jordan are currently down as “exercise a high degree of caution”, while Egypt is “reconsider your need to travel”. It’s thought to be safe to visit Oman, Qatar and the UAE.
So, are you okay to travel to Jordan or Turkey? A DFAT spokesperson says, “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade regularly and carefully assesses the risks to Australians overseas and keeps all Smartraveller travel advisories, including for countries in the Middle East, under close review.”
As the advice on Smartraveller for these destinations is “exercise a high degree of caution”, then the short answer is yes, you’re okay to travel, but you really need to ask yourself what you’re comfortable with and how flexible you can be if the situation escalates.
This is a good time to remind everyone that travel insurance will not cover those travelling to countries with a “do not travel” warning. Those who’ve already booked a trip to a country which has upgraded its travel warning should speak with their travel insurance provider about the state of play should they cancel the trip or delay travel.
Smartraveller recently updated general advice regarding safety risk with protests and demonstrations overseas, and DFAT recommends subscribing to Smartraveller for the latest updates.
Can we embark our NCL cruise in Cape Town without a visa for Ivory Coast and remain on board during the day the ship docks there?
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about whether or not you need a visa for certain destinations when you’re in transit with a cruise ship. Although it took a while to get official confirmation, I’ve spoken with the team for NCL regarding the issues surrounding your particular itinerary, and they assure me that passport holders from Australia and New Zealand will be granted visas on arrival at no cost to you.