After two pet blunders forced United Airlines to reconsider pet policies, the carrier is once again flying four-legged friends – but with some conditions. Flyers will only be able to bring dogs and cats aboard the aircraft, with restrictions on breeds, destinations and crate sizes.
United Airlines will once again allow pets to fly the friendly skies but is tightening the leash on who can travel and under what conditions. In a press release, the Chicago-based carrier announced they will resume their PetSafe travel program under a with a partnership with American Humane.
Not to be confused with the Humane Society of the United States, American Humane oversees the use of animals in film and television productions. United’s goal in working with the 140-year-old organization is to “improve the well-being of all pets that travel on United.”
However, not all pets will be able to travel when the program resumes in June. Cats and dogs will be the only animals allowed under PetSafe – United will no longer accept others for transportation, including rabbits. The carrier is also prohibiting “snub-nosed” dogs and cats, like Burmese cats and pugs aboard. Any animals that require a crate larger than 30-inches high, or have no crate at all, will also be turned away.
Animals will also face restrictions on where they can go. The carrier will deny animal reservations to four airports between May 1 and September 30 due to extreme summer temperatures: McCarren Las Vegas International Airport (LAS), Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Tucson International Airport (TUS). Globally, all animals will be prohibited from travelling to Australia and India.
“As we continue our review process to ensure that we are always doing what’s right, we are committed to making significant improvements in our program,” Jan Krems, United vice president of cargo, said in a statement. And adhering to the best practices of animal comfort, well-being and travel on behalf of our customers and their pets.”
The new restrictions come after United suffered two high-profile incidents involving animals aboard their aircraft. In March 2018, a French Bulldog puppy died after a flight attendant demanded its carrier go in the overhead bin. Later that month, the airline misdirected a German Shepherd flying as cargo, sending it to Japan instead. Both psychiatrists and veterinarians speaking to FlyerTalk have called on the airlines to make changes to their animal policies.