Summer is finally here, and with that comes family vacations, weekend getaways, and trips to the lake.
For those who are pet owners, you know the complications of traveling with a pet, as well as the stress of leaving them behind.
Flying with your four-legged family member leaves much to consider and prepare, such as carriers, extra cost, and strain on all parties.
With some of the recent pet deaths on major airlines highlighted by the media, one now has to consider if your beloved Fido would even survive the journey.
In April, a giant rabbit died on a United Airlines flight according to BBC. Simon was a 90-cm-long bunny that was being delivered from London to an unknown celebrity in Chicago.
United Airlines is investigating the death, but the owner refused to have an autopsy, so the exact cause of death will likely go unsolved.
Just earlier this month, a small dog named Alejandro left Detroit on a Delta carrier alive, and then was discovered dead upon reboarding after a layover, according to CNN.
The dog was found with vomit and fluids in his cage. Evan Oshan, the owner’s attorney is working the case to find where liability needs to be placed.
And another case is just now being settled for the death of a 10-month-old dog on board a United flight from Houston to Newark.
The dog, named Kokito, was said to be in a TSA compliant pet carrier, but was still forced to go into an overhead bin by an attendant, according to USA Today.
Upon arrival in Newark, the owners took the carrier down and found that their beloved Kokito had passed away.
These upsetting stories make pet owners reconsider the safety and standards of airlines who are dealing with the transportation of your valued furry friends.
While United Airlines has made headlines for having the highest amount of animal fatalities, it is notable to mention however that United also flies the most amount of animals, and the most varied number of species.
Brachycephalic breeds account for most of the deaths on United Airlines, according to Time, which almost all other airlines completely restrict.
These are the breeds with the “smooshed” faces, making them more prone to breathing difficulties.
The Humane Society actually recommends that you never put brachycephalic breeds in the cargo area of planes, but, if absolutely necessary, bring them in the cabin with you.
In the U.S. Department of Transportation’s February 2018 Air Travel Consumer Report, United had 31 animal incidents (loss, injury, death) in 2017 out of 138,178 animals that had traveled that year on their airline.
The next three airlines with the most negative animal incidents, according to the report, was Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, and American Airlines; all with three incidents each.
Every animal death is tragic, but overall, pet travel is still considered safe.
Many airlines are reviewing and modifying their pet policies to meet safety concerns as well.
So let’s review the leading airlines’ policies on carrying pets aboard flights to find which one fits the needs of your travels this summer.