Some time ago Air Canada announced that they would no longer accept pets as checked baggage. They weren't cost-effective to carry. They require special handling, cannot tolerate long delays, pose potential for messes, can die from things like cold, stress, heat, or asphyxiation and that brings a lot of negative publicity. Air Canada said, essentially, "We're not accepting pets as checked baggage any more. If you must transport a live animal, do it through our live animal cargo service."
Of course this made many pet owners unhappy, because it costs more in both money and inconvenience to have the pet shipped as cargo, and it probably won't be on the same airplane as the traveller. But if you really want to a) go by Air Canada and b) take your dog, that's the way it works. But apparently it isn't.
The Canadian Transportation Agency has just ruled that Air Canada must begin carrying pets again. I don't get it. If Air Canada declared it was going to stop carrying electric wheelchairs, guide dogs for the blind, or persons of Cree descent, then a regulatory authority should step in. But if Air Canada wants to stop carrying pineapples or charge extra for pink suitcases, aren't they their customers to annoy?
The Canadian charter of rights and freedoms does not provide protection against financial penalty and inconvenience for people who think it would be nice to take their cat to Europe. Service animals were specifically excepted from the ban, so I just don't understand how Air Canada can be forced to accept the risk of carrying a type of baggage that is so easily damaged. They should make smart pet owners continue to send pets via cargo by instituting a high special handling fee, and try to make checking in pets even more inconvenient than checking in regular luggage. Plus they can specify a very broad season for non-carriage due to weather, perhaps if seasonal temperatures at origin, destination or IFR alternate are below freezing, pets are not accepted in checked luggage.
As far as I can tell, Air Canada banned pets in checked luggage because they were not cost effective, considering the volume of normal checked luggage, and because the adverse publicity from pets dying en route is very bad. Why should Fido get more resources than my underwear and t-shirts, for the same price? Why would pet owners so devoted to their pet that they couldn't bear to be on a separate flight from it as they move across the country want to check it in as luggage with an airline that has said it can't look after it?
Go ahead and tell me that all cats are not interchangeable and it makes sense to take yours with you from Halifax to Vancouver, and not just get a new one when you get there. (I understand that cat people feel that way, even if the new one is a good colour match.) But also tell me why Air Canada should be forced to accept your cat as checked baggage.
Edit: In other, very similar news, Westjet has just announced that they will no longer carry unaccompanied minor children. They'll offer a half-priced fare to an adult escort, however. It's the same thing: the airline can't economically offer tge level of safety the service requires, so they aren't going to do it.