Sunday, 15 July, 2018

United stops shipments of pets in cargo holds

Aaron M. Sprecher  Bloomberg via Getty Images FILE Aaron M. Sprecher Bloomberg via Getty Images FILE
Scott Davis | 21 March, 2018, 08:20

On Tuesday, the spate of missteps prompted United to suspend PetSafe, its program for transporting animals in the cargo holds of planes, while the airline moves to prevent more problems.

The airline said it will stop accepting new reservations for its PetSafe program, though it will honor any reservations made through March 20, the airline said.

In the aftermath of the French bulldog's death, the flight attendant who ordered the dog's carrier into the overhead compartment told United officials she was not aware that there was a live animal inside the carrier.

United says it expects to complete its review by May 1, at which time reservations will likely once again be accepted.

The review follows three high profile incidents involving pets travelling on United flights. The Humane Society of the United States generally recommends against having your pet fly in the cargo compartment. Louis route to deliver a dog mistakenly loaded onboard to its Akron, Ohio destination.




The suspension will not affect pets that travel in an aircraft's cabin.

"It is to further minimize risk and further increase the comfort and well-being of the animals that we carry and finding the best way to do things". The dog was being transported as part of United's PetSafe program, designated for animals that can not be brought into the cabin inside a carrier, and must instead travel in the cargo hold.

United carried about 42 percent more animals in the cargo hold in 2017 than in 2015, and it accounted for about 27 percent of all animals U.S. airlines transported a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

United and other airlines have struggled to handle an onslaught of animals traveling with the airline.

The airline announced on Tuesday that it would temporarily halt its cargo pet-shipping program after a string of mishaps. A new app called Digi-Pet that debuted in Dallas, tracks key metrics like temperature and oxygen levels through sensors attached to the kennel.

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