The carrier says that it is conducting a review of its cargo hold pet travel program, but will honor any reservations made up through March 20. The review, which is due to be completed by May 1, comes in the wake of several high-profile incidents involving pets being transported by the carrier.
In a temporary move, United Airlines has announced that it will not be accepting any new reservations for passengers who want their pets to travel in the cargo hold area of its aircraft as part of its PetSafe program, CNBC.com reports. The carrier’s pet transportation policies have been under intense public scrutiny since last week, when it was revealed that a puppy put into an overhead compartment had died during a flight.
Just a few days after this, the carrier also admitted that several dogs had been transported to the wrong destinations, with the most notable case being that of a German shepherd that was accidentally flown to Japan instead of Kansas City.
United is working to review its current pet transportation policy in the wake of these mishaps, but will honor any reservations made up through March 20. The carrier said that it expects the review to be completed by May 1. It has confirmed that the suspension of this policy will not have an impact on those pets transported in the main cabin, where the carrier has said it would now require bags containing pets or animals to be brightly tagged.
Commenting on the temporary suspension of pets traveling in the cargo hold, United spokesperson Charlie Hobart said, “We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets. To achieve this outcome, we will partner with independent experts in pet safety, comfort and travel.”