My Mum’s cat got his first experience with air travel yesterday. He got checked in an hour and a half before the flight for a quick one hour flight to the Gold Coast. But an odd thing happened when my Mum checked him in.

Apparently there are two tiers of fares for animals on Virgin Blue/Australia flights. The top tier boasts exquisite luxuries, like water. While the bottom tier, well, who knows? They probably get made to run on treadmills to power the lights (pure conjecture. No basis in reality. Virgin Blue/Australia Lawyers please leave me alone).

That it is possible for an animal to be in the care of an airline for multiple hours (let alone the travel time to and from the airport), without water, seems utterly cruel. Let alone that airlines are using the provision of water as another instrument to milk their passengers (it’s bad enough they make the humans pay for water). Furthermore, the flight was delayed by almost two hours, so by the time he was picked up, Benny had spent more than five hours in the airlines custody. Would he have gotten water then?

Why isn’t this more of an issue? It seems to me that the provision of water is a basic staple that should be extended to every animal, whoever is looking after them. It seems that social inequality is present even in the animal kingdom. This isn’t ethical at all.


Full disclosure:  I am a Qantas shareholder. A company equally guilty of shenanigans like this.