Virgin Australia is the first airline to allow pets onboard in-cabin flights in the next 12 months.

In a social media survey of the airline’s Facebook followers in 2021, 85 per cent of respondents voted in favour of the airline launching pets in cabin flights.

In more recent research conducted by Virgin Australia, nearly 70 per cent of respondents advised they would travel with their pet in the cabin. And 57 per cent saying they would fly more regularly if the service was a reality.

It’s a first for any Australian carrier. But major airlines in North America and Canada have long allowed pets onboard domestic flights.

Virgin Australia's new cabin additions
Virgin Australia’s new cabin additions

Virgin Australia Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, said Virgin Australia is thrilled to finally reveal its plans to be the first Australian airline to offer pets onboard flights.

“Our love for animals has always been in the Virgin Australia DNA. We are excited at the prospect of taking off with Australia’s first-ever pets in cabin flights,” said Ms Hrdlicka.

“Overwhelmingly, our guests tell us they want to travel with their pets. And we are now on a journey to make that a reality. It’s something that commonly happens overseas and is proven to work well.

More details on pets in cabin flights, including available routes. The cost for bringing a pet onboard, will be announced in due course.

Proposed pets in cabin Virgin Australia experience

  • The service will be limited to small cats and dogs on specific domestic routes;
  • Pets will be restricted to a limited number of designated rows. They will not be allowed to roam freely or sit on laps;
  • Pets must also be carried in a Virgin Australia-approved pet carrier under the seat in front of the owner for the duration of the flight.