Video of Dog Being Loaded in Plane Cargo Hold Sparks Debate on Pet Travel

A video of an airline worker securing a dog carrier inside the cargo hold of a plane has gone viral on TikTok.

The video shared by Dj Sugue, which received 645,900 views and 66,900 likes, was captioned: "You ever wonder how dogs are handled at the airport?

"This is how dogs are loaded in the belly of the airplane [teary-eyed face, airplane, dog and white heart emojis]."

The video shows a man, who appears to work for Air Canada, placing a strap over a dog carrier to secure it in place.

The man says: "This is how you load your dog...I also strap myself as I'll be flying with the dog," as the clip zooms in on the dog inside the carrier. The worker places a strap over his body and sits down next to the carrier before the clip ends.


You ever wonder how dogs are handled at the airport 🥹🐶✈️ #travel #dog #airport #rampage #airportlife #fypシ

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The latest video caused a storm of debate over pet travel and the safety of dogs left in the cargo hold during flights. But how safe is it for dogs to travel this way?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says: "Despite all the fears about airline pet cargo travel, millions of animals are carried safely every year.

"Do not worry, cats and dogs actually travel better this way because it is quieter and they will rest in a darkened environment," the IATA explains.

Several TikTok users called for airlines to allow pets to occupy a passenger seat.

One user said: "They should just let you buy an extra seat for your dog," in a comment that got 10,000 likes.

Another agreed, stating: "I seriously think there should be pet safe Airlines where your furry friend can have the option to sit next to you on the plane," in a comment that got 307 likes.

In some cases, dogs and other pets may be able to travel with their owners in the plane cabin as baggage, but "this is not always possible, especially if your pet is over a certain size or if the airline does not allow pets in the cabin," in which case the only option is for the pet to travel in the cargo hold, says the IATA.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, "a pet may be transported as baggage if accompanied on the same flight to the same destination." Some airlines may charge a special fee or excess baggage fee for this service.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration allows each airline to establish their own policies for allowing pets in the cabin.

Airlines must meet several requirements under the Animal Welfare Act, such as cages and other shipping containers having to meet the minimum standard for size, ventilation, strength, sanitation, and design for safe handling, according to the Department of Transportation.

In the case of Air Canada, the airline featured in the latest TikTok video, passengers are welcome to bring a small dog or cat in the cabin "provided it is small enough to stand, turn around and lie down in its carrier under the seat in front of you." Charges and other terms and conditions apply.

The airline says: "Air Canada Cargo ships a wide variety of animals, from cats and dogs to hatching eggs, insects and tropical fish. You can be sure that your pet will travel safely and comfortably to its destination."

Several users on TikTok expressed their concerns over the safety of the dog in the latest video, with some saying they could "never" allow this to happen, while others questioned the conditions under which the pet would be traveling.

One said: "I could never be so heartless as to put a pet on a plane like that."

Another wrote: "Just strap me to the bottom of the plane so I can fly with my dog. He'd be so scared alone. [dog emoji]."

While a third asked: "How is there enough o2 [oxygen] for the dog"

The original poster explained the "pilot can control the [temperature] and they are notified if there's a dog" on the plane.

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A dog inside carrier at the airport.
A small dog seen inside a pet carrier being carried by a person at an airport. iStock/Getty Images Plus