March 20, 2018
United Suspending Reservations for Pet Travel in Cargo Hold

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United received a lot of much deserved criticism for its treatment of animals last week. One of its flight attendants forced a passenger to put her dog in the overhead bin on a flight from Houston to LaGuardia. The dog ended up dying. United’s genius solution to this was to introduce “bright colored bag tags” to help its flight attendants identify dogs in the cabin. Since then, United accidentally flew a dog to Japan instead of Kansas and had to divert a domestic flight after putting a dog on the wrong plane.

The airline is now suspending new reservations for its PetSafe program while it investigates what’s going on. PetSafe is United’s program for shipping dogs as cargo. Customers with existing reservations can keep their reservations or cancel for a full refund. United expects to complete its review by May 1, 2018. This does not affect pets traveling with passengers in the cabin.

More animals die in the custody of United airlines than all other US airlines combined. It’s nice that United is reviewing its pet transportations policies and all, but this should have been done long before United’s mistreatment of animals made headlines. I definitely wouldn’t fly United if traveling with a pet.

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