HAWTHORNE, CA – JULY 16: A dog sits in its crate prior to the maiden voyage of Southern California … [+]
You and your pet may have survived the COVID-19 quarantine for a year and a half. But will Charlie survive his next flight on a commercial airline?
HonestPaws, which sells cannabidiol products like CBD oil for dogs, cats, and horses, just released a report referring to the so-called 5 Worst Pet-Friendly Airlines, based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT requires that every US airline submit a monthly report of animal death, loss, or injury in flight.
HonestPaws says that between 2010 and 2020, over 250 animal “passengers” died either during or immediately after air travel. Another 170 sustained injuries while 20 animals were actually lost from airlines.
While this may sound like many animal deaths, over 4,400 people died on airlines between 2010 and 2020. (It is unclear how many human passengers were “lost” from airlines.)
That said, HonestPaws listed its five most abusive airlines by reported incidents involving pets, including fatalities, injuries and casualties. United led the field with 138 pet incidents, followed by Delta with 119. Alaska followed with 83 animal incidents while American Airlines had 55, followed by Hawaiian with 21.
HonestPaws says more animals died on Delta than any other airline between 2010 and 2020, accounting for over 30% of all recorded airline pet deaths. During this period, United Airlines suffered more animal injuries than any other airline, with UA responsible for over 32% of all registered airline pet injuries.
But while animal injury or death is unfortunate, statistically it doesn’t happen that often.
According to DOT, airlines reported 11 animal deaths, injuries to eight other animals, and no lost animals in 2019, out of a total of 19 incidents. That was slightly more than the 17 total incident reports submitted for the 2018 calendar year. However, in 2019 a total of 404,556 animals were transported by airlines, which corresponds to a rate of 0.47 incidents per 10,000 animals transported. In 2018, 424,621 animals were transported, which corresponds to a rate of 0.40 incidents per 10,000 animals transported.
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 25, 2016: A United Airlines passenger traveling with their dog speaks to a … [+]
These are probably the most up-to-date statistics as the number of human and animal passengers plummeted in 2020 due to the pandemic. For example, United flew around 120,000 animals a year through PetSafe. But United has “parried” its PetSafe program in 2020 (sorry) and has not yet extended it. With many planes parked and flights canceled, United needed the remaining ventral cargo space for more important cargo, such as Pfizer’s aviation vaccines.
United’s decision to stop flying cargo pets is understandable, but PetSafe pet parents like Lewis Johnson have failed. Johnson is the CEO of Alelo, an LA-based company that uses AI and role-playing games to accelerate student learning. He and his wife Kim breed Golden Retrievers. Unfortunately, Kim was stranded on the couple’s Hawaiian estate during the pandemic, unable to get the animals back to the mainland.
“There is still no direct shipping service between Kona and Los Angeles,” says Johnson. “But we believe United has a safe pet operation and we look forward to the return of PetSafe.”
While HonestPaws says more animals have died at Delta than any other airline, Delta was actually voted the Best Animal Truck by readers of The Points Guy. One reader said she was “very happy” with Delta’s pet cargo. “It’s air conditioned and well regulated. We flew from Texas to Hawaii [during] in the summer and they were able to accommodate us despite the heat thanks to the air-conditioned transport between the terminal and the aircraft. ”Another reader said:“ The crew checked that our dog was on board before take off. ” The Points Guy concluded, “If you need to fly in cargo with your pet, Delta may be the best airline for you.”
BRUCE BISPING ¬ • [email protected] Bloomington, MN., Friday, May 28, 2010](left to right) … [+]
Star Tribune via Getty Images
HonestPaws identifies issues that can affect your “cargo pet” including separation anxiety and stress, physical harm, breathing problems, weather conditions, hearing loss, dehydration, temperature control, and pressurization. Although airlines must follow strict USDA guidelines for shipping animals, HonestPaws says, “Animals just don’t understand the purpose of air transport, let alone why they’re suddenly exposed to a dark and scary room for hours.”
So if your pet won’t fit under the seat, HonestPaws recommends hiring a pet sitter, driving (hard to do from Hawaii), flying privately, or taking the train or sea. (Pet Airways, an airline that specializes in flying pets, says it may return “after COVID” in mid-2022.)
HonestPaw says with optimism, “There are many options when it comes to pet-friendly private yachts and ferries, not to mention the popular pet cruise ship: Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. This luxury ocean liner sails between New York and Southampton, England and offers the four-legged passengers of the ship only the best service with white gloves, including daily walks, freshly baked cookies and playtime and exercise in a screened area on the open deck. “
If the Queen Mary isn’t in your budget or isn’t sailing to your pet’s destination, the rest of us will no doubt study airline websites like American’s Pets & Animals page on aacrago.com with their price calculator. Good thing my 65-pound lab mix Bodhi isn’t a big world traveler – it would cost $ 419 to ship from LA to NY.
Cunard Bellman offers a “doggy” white tea set to Wally, a Welsh corgi, at the Westminster Kennel … [+]
Invision for Cunard