Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Thu September 17 2015

Pilot Diverts Plane to Save Dog From Freezing in Cargo Hold

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | September 17, 2015

Pilot Diverts Plane to Save Dog From Freezing in Cargo Hold

Photo via Twitter/CNN

The Internet almost exploded as the news spread of a pilot for Air Canada who chose to divert a flight to save the life of a dog who was riding in the cargo area when the plane’s heating system failed.

In a report from, Air Canada Flight 85 was flying from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Toronto, Canada, Sunday when the pilot noticed the heating system was malfunctioning in the aircraft’s cargo area, which held a small dog.

With the plane about to fly back to Toronto over the Atlantic Ocean at a high elevation, the pilot knew that the animal in the cargo hold would be in serious trouble as temperatures dipped drastically without heat.

After Flight 85 made its emergency landing in Frankfurt, Germany, the dog—a seven-year-old French bulldog named Simba—was transported to another plane (with heat in the cargo area) that was also heading to Toronto. The dog’s owners were reunited with their pet later that night.

The Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto landed just 75 minutes behind schedule, and the 232 passengers onboard were relatively accepting of the decision to divert the plane after they found out that a dog’s life could have been at risk.

CNN Travel shared an image on Twitter of the lucky dog:

Air Canada spokesman John Reber released a statement about the incident:

“After takeoff the pilot got an indicator that one of the cargo hold heaters had malfunctioned and that the temperature was falling, as it is very cold at the high altitude where our planes fly. While a heater is not normally a critical component, on this particular flight there was a live animal in the hold. Air Canada's pilots are professionals who are responsible for the entire flight. As soon as the crew became aware of the temperature issue, the Captain grew rightfully concerned for the dog's comfort and well-being. With the altitude it can become very uncomfortable, and possibly the situation could have been life threatening if the flight had continued.”

For more information on Canada

For more Impacting Travel News


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Treating Customers Special

Car Rental & Rail