- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Low-Cost Carrier
- Belo Horizonte International Airport, Sao Paulo Viracopos International Airport, Recife/Guararapes International Airport
- Year Founded:
- John Rodgerson
The Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aéreas has announced a change in its policy to carry pets –specifically dogs and cats– in the cabin of its flights. Azul is increasing the allowed weight of the pet, meaning passengers will be able to carry larger animals onboard with them.
Increasing the allowed weight
Until now, Azul passengers are only allowed to transport dogs and cats weighing up to seven kilograms (including the container or kennel they are traveling in). But that’s set to change starting on February 1, the airline announced in a statement. Now, Azul Linhas Aéreas will allow the cabin transportation of dogs and cats up to ten kilograms.
This change in the allowed weight of the animals is in line with Azul’s main goal, which is to provide the best flight experience to its customers, it said.
Henrique Barone, manager of Products and Services at the Brazilian airline, said,
“We know that pets are our best and most loyal friends, and we understand that they are increasingly present in the families of Brazilians. Therefore, it is extremely important that we also consider them when people travel.”
Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock.
Barone added that allowing a pet to travel in the cabin instead of the belly of the aircraft is a factor that differentiates the company from other airlines. Nonetheless, these boarding rules are restricted only to Azul flights only, and the passenger is not allowed to transfer to services with other carriers. Azul has codeshare and interline agreements with many airlines, including JetBlue in the United States and TAP Air Portugal in Europe.
Every airline seems to have different policies in regard to carrying pets onboard. For instance, Avianca –the Colombian carrier– was recently forced to change its policies after a flight between São Paulo and Bogotá in which 25 service dogs of all sizes and types were onboard a cabin, causing issues for the cabin crew handling the flight.
Photo: Azul Linhas Aéreas.
The increase of pets flying in cabins
Flying with your pet onboard a cabin has quickly become a staple across the airline industry globally. Many airlines and countries have launched policies restricting the type of animals allowed in cabins after some people flew with miniature horses, peacocks, or pigs. As recently as last year, a woman in Tampa attempted to fly with a boa constrictor who, she said, was her emotional support pet. She was obviously denied by the airline from boarding the plane. Since 2000, there has been a 1,200% increase in owners obtaining emotional support animal certificates globally.
According to a survey conducted in 2021, Brazil ranked third in the world as the country with the most pets. This obviously leads to many Brazilian citizens flying with their furry companions. Azul, in particular, has established certain rules before a passenger can travel onboard with his or her pet. First, passengers must be aware of the documentation needed during boarding. Each customer is entitled to take only one animal on their trip. Only three animals are allowed onboard per flight on domestic flights and up to five on international flights (therefore avoiding a crazy incident like Avianca’s last year).
Finally, the pet in the cabin service is charged separately. Azul charges 250 reais (US$48) on domestic flights and 790 reais (US$150) on international trips.
What do you think about Azul’s recent policy changes? Let us know in the comments below.