WestJet and WestJet Encore allow service, specialty and emotional support animals in the cabin of the aircraft, free of charge, when on duty. Please note that the policies for the acceptance of service and specialty animals of our partner airlines may be different from ours.
- Service and emotional support animals
Service and emotional support animals provide assistance to a person with a cognitive, physical or emotional disability. We strongly recommend that your service or emotional support animal be harnessed at all times while on the aircraft however WestJet does not require a harness in order to accept your animal for travel. We suggest that you travel with a harness as some service providers (the airport authority, transfer companies etc.) may require your animal to be harnessed.
WestJet accepts service and emotional support dogs, cats, miniature horses, pigs and monkeys on flights to most destinations (see our entrance and import regulations below for exclusions). Other "unusual animals" (with the exception of snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders which pose safety and/or public health concerns) may be accepted as a service or emotional support animal on a case-by-case basis.
One service or emotional support animal may be held on the lap of a guest with a disability, provided that the animal is no larger than a two-year old child. Animals which exceed a safe size and weight, pose any type of threat to health and safety, or have not been trained to behave properly in a public setting (and therefore may cause a significant disruption to cabin service) will be denied transport.
WestJet will accept dogs in training to become service animals, provided the following conditions are met:
- The animal must be a minimum of eight weeks old.
- The trainer should carry a letter from the assistance animal organization stating that they are a certified handler of the animal.
- The animal must wear their training vest at all times while on board the aircraft.
- Specialty dogs
Specialty dogs are dogs that are not providing a service to a person with a disability, but are trained to perform professional functions. Some examples of a specialty dog include search and rescue dogs and avalanche rescue dogs. A certificate may be required.
- Documentation requirements
WestJet follows the U.S. Department of Transportation guideline for Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel and will also accept the credible verbal assurance of the qualified individual with a disability using a service or emotional support animal on WestJet aircraft. WestJet may request documentation for emotional support animals; if you are not able to present documentation upon request, we may deny your request for your animal to travel as an emotional support animal.
Service animals: may require a Registered Certificate Identification card or other written documentation. The presence of harnesses or tags will be accepted as proof that the dog is a service animal. Please note: if you intend to travel with your service animal on your lap, you are required to fax a signed letter from your physician to WestJet at 1-855-648-8166 indicating that you require your service animal to be lap held. Letters must be received according to the advance notification requirements outlined below.
Emotional support animals: please fax a signed letter, dated no more than one year before travel, from your licensed mental health professional (for example, a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker) to WestJet at 1-855-648-8166 according to the advance notification requirements outlined below. This letter must be on your attending mental health professional's letterhead, and must state:
- You have a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM V).
- You require the emotional support animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for an activity at your intended destination.
- The type of license held by your mental health professional and the jurisdiction in which it was issued.
- If you require your emotional support animal to travel as a lap-held emotional support animal.
WestJet may deny applications which appear to be questionable, and as such your animal may be denied transport.
Specialty animals: may require a Registered Certificate Identification card.
- Advance notification requirements
To ensure adequate time to assign appropriate seating on the aircraft and, to arrange suitable accommodations in the case of a WestJet Vacation package booking, transfers, car rentals or other services please provide the following minimum* advance notifications.
Advance notification requirements Requirement Air only
Service or specialty animal travelling at your feet 48 hours1 Seven days Service animal that requires additional floor space3 481 buiness2 hours Seven days Emotional support animal3 481 buiness2 hours Seven days
1In cases where notification is not provided 48 hours before departure, we will make our best effort to accommodate your request. Guests connecting from one of our airline partners are not required to provide 48 hours’ notice.
2Business hours for the department that approves requests are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday MT, closed on statutory holidays.
3If you feel your service or emotional support animal requires additional floor space to ensure its comfort and safety on board, please contact us and be prepared to provide your animal’s weight, length, height and width so we can accommodate your animal. We will determine seating needs based on the size of your animal as defined in the Canadian Transportation Agency's Code of Practice and their Implementation Guide Regarding Space for Service Dogs Onboard Large Aircraft.
- Entrance and import regulations
Importing/exporting service or emotional support animals and specialty dogs:
All necessary travel documentation, including required health certificates, must be completed before your service or emotional support animal or specialty dog can travel with us. Proof of compliance is required for all regulations required by the country you are travelling to, from or through.
Failure to ensure that the required documentation is provided may result in:
- your animal being quarantined or delayed upon arrival;
- you being responsible for additional fees, costs associated with the quarantine, care and return of your animal to where its journey began.
Additionally, any charges related to the care of your animal while in quarantine or the potential cost of returning your animal to where its journey began are your responsibility.
If your flight stops in a number of countries, you must satisfy the entry requirements for each country. WestJet assumes no responsibility for inaccurate or incomplete documentation. For import and export regulations, vaccination and documentation requirements, contact the consulate or embassy of the countries you will be entering.
- Destination specific restrictions
Animals are not accepted on flights to or from:
- Bridgetown, Barbados
- Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica
Animals may be accepted with prior authorization.
In addition to WestJet's booking requirements for travel, the following destinations have very strict import regulations. Prior authorization must be arranged well in advance of travel for flights to or from:
- Antigua: contact The Veterinary and Live Stock Division.
- The Cayman Islands: contact the Department of Agriculture at 345-947-3090.
- Hawaii: contact The Department of Agriculture.
- Dublin, Ireland: Only recognized assistance dogs (guide dogs, assistive dogs, but not including emotional support dogs) are accepted. Contact the Animal Health Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) at +353-1-6072827 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- St. Lucia: contact The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
- Trinidad and Tobago: contact The Chief Veterinary Officer - Animal Production and Health Division - Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs.
- Glasgow, United Kingdom: Only recognized assistance dogs (guide dogs, assistive dogs, but not including emotional support dogs) which meet the extensive requirements of the EU pet travel scheme, which only permits animals to arrive on specific airlines at specific airports in the United Kingdom to ensure the assistance dog's health is checked upon arrival. For more information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/pet-travel-travelling-with-assistance-dogs