Airlines pooh-pooh pets on planes

George Hobica, November 25, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Southwest Airlines has never allowed them. Frontier Airlines banned them as of June 9th this year and now charges up to $400 round-trip to fly them as baggage under the plane.

    And Delta and United recently raised their in-cabin pet fee to such absurdly high levels that they might as well have banned them.

    Are airlines sending a message to passengers and their pets? As in, leave 'em home?



    Although many pet owners disagree, most animal welfare experts insist that shipping pets as cargo (in the airplane's hold) isn't such a great idea, since a malfunction in pressurization or temperature could result in an animal's death, plus if an airline can lose your bag, they can also lose your pet. Frontier, on its site, clearly states, "No oxygen will be administered to a pet in the event of an emergency."  Well, duh, of course not, but kudos to them for being up front about it.

    But it seems like airlines have declared war on in-cabin pets. Delta now charges $300 round-trip for each in-cabin pet, as does American, both up from $200 earlier this year, and United upped its charge recently from $200 to an industry-leading $350 round-trip. Continental is a relative bargain at $250 round-trip and JetBlue is even better at $200 round-trip.

    But the winner is AirTran, which currently charges just $69 each way for in-cabin pet transport.

    Southwest Airlines doesn't even allow pets in the cargo compartment, let alone in the cabin.

    So should pets be allowed in the cabin at all? We're running a poll right now and welcome your opinion.

     

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