We’ve all heard the horror stories of pets being lost, or worse, killed while being transported by an airline. The conditions in the cargo holds can sometimes be extremely unsafe for pups, but often that’s the only way they can travel.
Delta Airlines has recently decided that they’re not willing to risk the life of pups any longer. As stated on their website:
“Your pet is an important member of your family. Review the health, kennel and weather requirements listed below to help keep your pets safe and secure during travel…Effective March 1, 2016 Delta will no longer accept pets as checked baggage, but will continue to transport allowable pets in aircraft cabins. Delta will also accept shipment of pets for travel within the United States as freight through Delta Cargo.”
The exception to this are service members with military dogs that have active transfer orders, or those that require service animals. Additionally, a Delta spokesperson told MarketWatch that, “…[pets] can travel in the cargo hold of an aircraft after the policy takes effect when shipped as freight via its Delta Cargo service.”
Delta will still allow certain pets to travel in the cabin as well.
Delta has been plagued with a number of pet incidents in the past few years, including 74 pet deaths in the past decade, with 14 missing pets as well. They’ve recently made changes to up pet safety, including putting GPS trackers with all flown dogs. Considering the statistics of how many pets are flown per year, in retrospect this number may seem minimal. However, as any pup parent will tell you, when it’s your pup that’s involved in one of the incidents, it’s incredibly heartbreaking.
Whether other airlines will follow suit remains to be seen.