After coming scrutiny, Delta has decided it will no longer allow big dogs to travel in its cargo space on passenger flights beginning in 2016.
The airline stated on their website:
“Your pet is an important member of your family. Review the health, kennel and weather requirements listed below to help keep your pets safe and secure during travel…Effective March 1, 2016 Delta will no longer accept pets as checked baggage, but will continue to transport allowable pets in aircraft cabins. Delta will also accept shipment of pets for travel within the United States as freight through Delta Cargo.”
This move comes after Delta came under fire for its record of pet incidents. The airline has the highest number of pet deaths between May 2005 and September 2015, MarketWatch reports. The outlet states 74 pets have died on Delta flights, accounting for approximately 25 percent of all airline pet deaths in that 10-year period.
Earlier this year, the airline had tried to improve its pet safety record and ease the minds of owners by introducing a pet-tracking device. The device monitored a dog in real-time, including temperature in the compartment and positioning. The cost was $50 (on top of the minimum $200 fee owners must pay to travel with their four-legged companion) each way.
Related: Delta Debuts Its Pet-Tracker Device
Starting in March, large-breed dogs must travel using Delta Cargo, its freight service. (Therapy dogs and pets belonging to military personnel will still be allowed to be checked in on passenger flights.) Owners will be required to separately book their dogs and aren’t guaranteed their dog will be on the same flight or flight schedule. The dog must also be dropped off three hours prior to the flight at a Delta Cargo location and be picked up at a Delta Cargo area. MarketWatch reports the cost will be anywhere from $193 to $1,481.