Black and white photo close up of a French bulldog.

PHOTO CAPTION Is the well being of a pet worth $10,000? An Air Canada pilot answers yes. Photo: Mark Wood | FlickrCC.

On an Air Canada flight earlier this week, an Air Canada pilot make the choice to divert a flight to save a French bulldog that was in the cargo bay and in danger.

 

The flight had a heating problem specifically in its cargo bay and while the temperature inside the main cabin was stabilized by the pressurized cabin the cargo hold is not always kept that way and can be affected by the outside temperatures.

 

Those outside temperatures, when the plane is 30,000 feet in the air, can drop to 22-76 minus Fahrenheit, which very easily could have taken the life of this dog.

 

The seven-year-old French bulldog named Simba was headed on his first flight ever from Tel Aviv to Canada with his owner. The pilot knew there was a dog aboard in cargo and decided to land the plan in Frankfurt, Germany where Simba was removed from the aircraft and placed on another flight home.

 

The owner was very grateful when the two were reunited and said, It’s my dog, it’s like my child. It’s everything to me.

 

The pilot made the right call despite the call costing Air Canada around $10,000 in fuel costs and delaying the flight 75 minutes additionally.

 

Aviation expert Phyl Durby said, “If you look at the outside temperature, if it’s minus 50 or 60, there is some insulation but it will probably still get down to below freezing (in the cargo area. The captain is responsible for all lives on board, whether it’s human or K-9.”

About 

Martin Ackerman is a freelance writer and current editor originally from Staten Island, NY. His university schooling focused on English education and Japanese. He has a (not so secret) passion for art history and political science. When he isn't writing or editing you can find him at sci-tech conventions, building the latest LEGO city or pampering his cat, Tea. You can follow him on Twitter @MarMackerman.