United reviewing pet policy after string of mishaps

21 March, 2018, 08:18 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
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The suspension does not affect pets traveling with their owners in the cabin.

United is suspending its PetSafe reservation service, which lets customers ship their pets as cargo.

Last week, a United Airlines flight from Newark, N.J., to St. Louis was diverted when crew members realized a dog on the cargo should have been on a plane to Akron, Ohio. The first involved a small French bulldog that had been placed-in its approved on-board pet carrier-in an overhead bin at the insistence of a flight attendant, only to be found dead when the flight landed at New York LaGuardia airport.

United Airlines is making some major changes to its pet transportation policy.

A week earlier, a German Shepherd that was supposed to be flown to Kansas wound in up Japan and a Great Dane headed for Japan wound up in Kansas. The airline has already said it plans to issue brightly colored bag tags to better identify pets in carriers in the cabin starting in April.

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United spokesman Charles Hobart stressed that the airline is not ending the program as it consults independent experts in pet safety.

Under the current embargo, people who've made reservations through March 20 will still be able to transport their pets on United Airlines. This year, United and Delta Air Lines have added requirements that passengers traveling with emotional support animals sign paperwork asserting that the animal can behave on a flight.

United Airlines is pausing its pet-shipping business after mishaps that include the airline mistakenly sending a Kansas-bound dog to Japan. But because Andersen Air Force Base does not have those flights, pets can not be flown in and out of Guam by military transport, Andersen officials said in a statement posted to the Andersen Passenger Terminal Facebook page March 20.

United had the worst rate of pet deaths in 2017 of any USA airline, according to the Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report. Passengers traveling with their pets inside the cabin will not be impacted by the decision.

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