Recent experiences with PetSafe?

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Old Jul 9, 14, 11:41 pm
  #1  
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Recent experiences with PetSafe?

Flying between LAX and PVD on UA next month... We're considering bringing our beloved Golden Retriever (and won't be passing him off as a service dog).

Has anyone flown with their four-legged friend via PetSafe lately? I know this program has received absolutely terrible press over the past couple years due to some horrible experiences, but would like to see if it's turned the corner.

Also -- would love the PQMs so we're on UA, but if there are any airlines transporting pets better than UA is now, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Old Jul 10, 14, 12:12 am
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Originally Posted by 318i View Post
Flying between LAX and PVD on UA next month... We're considering bringing our beloved Golden Retriever (and won't be passing him off as a service dog).

Has anyone flown with their four-legged friend via PetSafe lately? I know this program has received absolutely terrible press over the past couple years due to some horrible experiences, but would like to see if it's turned the corner.

Also -- would love the PQMs so we're on UA, but if there are any airlines transporting pets better than UA is now, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks for your feedback!
Nicely-painted vans and increased charges aren't going to make transport of animals any more or less risky. In Rome Monday, dogs and dry ice (a potentially lethal combination) were loaded into the hold of the FCO-EWR 767. Someone must have noticed the problem (I'm guessing the co-pilot checking the manifest) after we had pushed back. At first they told us they had to be pulled back in to the gate to remove the dogs (!). Later, they decided to remove the dry ice instead. 2 hour delay incurred. The Pet Safe people have no idea of what is loaded in the hold and in this case, someone else noticed the problem (almost too late). The Rome baggage people weren't dedicated PetSafe people, but it wouldn't matter if they were.

I've been involved in moving a cat from IAH-OGG and 2 dogs and 3 cats from LAX to OGG. All with PetSafe, and all made it. A small percentage won't, but that number certainly isn't provided by UA.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 12:36 am
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The program receives terrible press but in all seriousness the incidence of awful things happening to pets is pretty on par with what you would see with any other airline. Its not like UA purposely brainstorms ways to kill pets.

I know a lot of servicemembers in Japan and none of them have ever lost any pets on long SFO-NRT flights.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 1:09 am
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Nicely-painted vans and increased charges aren't going to make transport of animals any more or less risky. In Rome Monday, dogs and dry ice (a potentially lethal combination) were loaded into the hold of the FCO-EWR 767. Someone must have noticed the problem (I'm guessing the co-pilot checking the manifest) after we had pushed back. At first they told us they had to be pulled back in to the gate to remove the dogs (!). Later, they decided to remove the dry ice instead. 2 hour delay incurred. The Pet Safe people have no idea of what is loaded in the hold and in this case, someone else noticed the problem (almost too late). The Rome baggage people weren't dedicated PetSafe people, but it wouldn't matter if they were.

I've been involved in moving a cat from IAH-OGG and 2 dogs and 3 cats from LAX to OGG. All with PetSafe, and all made it. A small percentage won't, but that number certainly isn't provided by UA.
Amazing that this was the second late-noticed pet and dry ice combo mentioned here in as many months.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 2:23 am
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Here is the link to UA.

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...aspx#embargoes

I know that DL has rules in severe weather conditions (heat/cold). Is this a vacation or are you moving? If you are only going to be gone a couple weeks, consider a pet sitter. How would you like to fly in a pitch dark hunk of metal at 30,000 feet for how long? Connections? Heat. How old is the dog? This flt has a connection. What are you looking at 8+ hours each way with check-in times and connections. UA will not let fido out to "to take a leak or take a poopie". The water you provide will splash around and get the carrier wet inside.

Drugging the dog is not recommend by most vets. I think I have read twice this month UA has loaded a dog with dry ice, but found the mistake at the last minute. PetSafe is used by UA to paint on their vans. Depending on which city you are flying, they still stick fido on a tug to cargo, depending on how long the flt is rolling around in his own feces.

Either "fake" a service dog, which I think is being used way to much lately, or leave fido at home. If you are moving - that is a different story.

Last edited by kettle1; Jul 10, 14 at 2:33 am
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Old Jul 10, 14, 6:55 am
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Generally speaking, aren't most pet issues caused by delays and heat this time of year?

Given that, I'd avoid the less reliable airlines (e.g. UA), and try to book through the mildest weather hubs. Something like DL LAX-MSP-PVD would seem most prudent.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 9:43 am
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The majors do their best with pets but still have occasional problems, because at the end of the day all pets are treated as cargo.

You might want to consider taking a direct LAX-JFK flight and driving the rest of the way. 5 hours instead of 8 and no transfers: should significantly reduce the chance of bad things happening.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by sincx View Post
The majors do their best with pets but still have occasional problems, because at the end of the day all pets are treated as cargo.

You might want to consider taking a direct LAX-JFK flight and driving the rest of the way. 5 hours instead of 8 and no transfers: should significantly reduce the chance of bad things happening.
Agree with this. Also other U.S. airlines like AA and DL have a better track record with safely transporting pets. I wouldn't put a pet on a UA flight even if I hated it.

BTW, this just occurred to me: I find it really reprehensible that UA continues to market that Petsafe program. It makes it look like they have special handling for animals that the other airlines don't have, which isn't true. It also makes it seem like they take extra care with animals, which they don't. They shouldn't be marketing it like that.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by jcwoman View Post
...Also other U.S. airlines like AA and DL have a better track record with safely transporting pets...
Can you actually provide data, or is this just your guess? If it's just a guess, no need to present it as fact.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 3:24 pm
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I would not do this in a million years unless I was moving to another country permanently and literally had no other options. Please consider what's best for your dog. Driving is infinitely safer, less scary and more enjoyable for a dog, even if it's more inconvenient for you.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Can you actually provide data, or is this just your guess? If it's just a guess, no need to present it as fact.
I browsed over to DOT and you're right. My comments were anecdotal/opinion. I don't have time to look at all of the AA incidents in detail, but the few I looked at were regional partners like American Eagle. I wonder if they have a summary breakdown of incidents by regionals?
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Old Jul 10, 14, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Can you actually provide data, or is this just your guess? If it's just a guess, no need to present it as fact.
The DOT publishes reports.

In 2013, AA had 1 death and 0 injuries, DL had 2 deaths and 3 injuries, and UA had 9 deaths, 0 injuries, and 4 losses.

For 2014 through May, AA had 2 deaths and 0 injuries, DL had no incidents, and UA had 2 deaths and 1 injury.

US doesn't allow pets in cargo (in case you were wondering about a combined US/AA). The number of incidents, regardless, are exceptionally low. I still won't transport my dog by plane unless I'm forced to though ... it's just more stress than I'm willing to voluntarily put an animal through.

Source is here. I'm assuming that this is a good summary of the source data which is located here, but I haven't checked.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 4:27 pm
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Mrs PV_ (a veterinarian) drove our 60 pound mutt cross country from HPN to SMF when we moved here. That tells you her opinion of petsafe and other airline pet transport products. We flew the cats nonstop from PHL to SMF in cabin carriers.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by PV_Premier View Post
Mrs PV_ (a veterinarian) drove our 60 pound mutt cross country from HPN to SMF when we moved here. That tells you her opinion of petsafe and other airline pet transport products. We flew the cats nonstop from PHL to SMF in cabin carriers.
Our cats also did well in cabin carriers. Cats seem to just make the best of the situation, curl up, and take a nap until arrival.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 4:47 pm
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We sent our 1.5 year Corgi from IAH to SFO via Petsafe - she (gladly) got there just fine.

The person picking her up mentioned she was shivering a little bit, but recovered very quickly. Not sure if the shivering was abandonment fear or just being cold.

I imagine it's very similar to lost baggage - statistically acceptable, but you only hear the bad stories.
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