WestJet changing its policy for emotional support dogs

WestJet
By WestJet | | 2 min read

Effective August 5, 2021, WestJet will no longer accept emotional support dogs in the cabin. Moving forward, WestJet will continue to accept service dogs who meet the outlined criteria for training and behaviour and who support those with disabilities.

Over the last few months, WestJet has been working to revise its policy for guests travelling with dogs to outline the changes and to best align with industry partners globally, including the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in interest of the safety and comfort of all guests. While these changes align us to the U.S. DOT requirements, we are still meeting the requirements for acceptance of service dogs under the Accessible Transportation for Disabled Persons Regulations (ATPDRs) issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency.

Emotional Support Dogs

Important updates to the policy:

  • Service dogs will continue to be allowed on board if they are verified to meet the outlined criteria as specially or individually trained to assist those with disabilities.
  • Pet acceptance in the cabin has not changed, which includes pet birds, cats, dogs and rabbits
  • If a dog is currently reserved to travel as an emotional support dog and does not meet the criteria for it to be considered a service dog, then the dog will fall under the category of a pet with the option to travel in the cargo compartment if they are too large for the cabin.

WestJet’s digital channels will be updated to reflect the new information and we will be proactively contacting guests with impacted bookings past August 5, via emailed letters, to explain the changes and to help them find the best alternative solution, which include determining if their dog qualifies as a service dog and what the requirements are, having their dog travel in a kennel under the seat or in the cargo compartment for no fee (subject to inventory lid and heat restrictions) or cancelling their reservation for no fee.

More information about travelling with pets, including service dogs, can be found online here: