We could soon be allowed to have our pets sit with us on commercial flights in Australia.

Australians can only transport their pets in the cargo hold of planes, but the rules will be relaxed later this year, leaving it up to airlines to decide whether cats and dogs can sit with their owners in the cabin.

Australia’s main carriers, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Rex, are expected to make their own announcements before the changes come into effect on December 2.

“When giving permission, you may need to consider the type of animal and how it is carried, contained and restrained; its reaction to noise and being out of its natural environment; nuisance to other passengers; distraction to flight crew; and how excrement or fluids will be contained,” the new rules by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority state.

“A large animal should always be secured so as not to damage or affect the balance of the aircraft in flight. A small or medium-sized animal carried in the cabin would normally need as a minimum to be restrained during takeoff and landing and in turbulence.”

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