Unfortunately Delta Airlines has changed it’s pet travel policy beginning March 1,2016. We strongly urge you against using Delta Airlines.
Their pet policy for Delta Airlines can be found here.
This was likely prompted after a picture of dogs sitting in traveling crates on a rainy Delta tarmac went viral, prompting a response to Delta Air Lines, new changes to their pet-handling policy could create future friction for passengers flying with pets.
Last week, a photo surfaced online of two dogs sitting in their crates in the rain. Passenger Matthew Hill, who was waiting on the tarmac because of a flight delay at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport snapped the picture and tagged Delta in a Facebook post asking them to bring the dogs out of the rain.
Delta responded asking him to provide the gate number so that the complaint could be “escalated immediately.”
Hill’s post was shared thousands of times and had hundreds of comments.
Delta said they responded to the problem and resolved it quickly but Facebook users were not letting the airline off easily.
The airline responded again on the post and said they “involved upper management and local leadership in Atlanta” to prevent this from happening in the future.
It was an isolated incident, but new changes to the way passengers travel with pets could see some friction between the airline and those pet owners.
Beginning March 1, 2016, gone are the days of checking in a pet at the ticket counter. After that date, if a passenger is traveling with a pet that won’t fit under the seat in the plane, they will have to take the pet all the way to Delta’s cargo area, near the International Terminal. That means passengers will definitely need to plan extra time to travel between the terminal and cargo.
Pets being transported will also need to have a valid health certificate from a vet that’s no more than 10 days old and a carrier with at least four metal bolts to ensure the carrier stays closed.
While the new changes might be an inconvenience for some, passenger Jim Hough, who travels with his hunting dogs, takes it all in stride.
“It doesn’t make any difference to me, as long as it’s safe,” he said. “That’s all I care about.”
Of course, service animals will remain the exception to the rules. For Brea Witt and her dog Stitch, that means she can keep flying as usual.
“He goes everywhere with me,” Witt siad.” He is there for me when nobody else is. He is my best friend.”
And the new rules won’t change the relationships for those best friends, but just make it more time consuming and complex to fly with them.
Below is some further detail on the latest news:
Delta Airlines will no longer permit pets to travel as checked baggage after March 1, 2016. All pets that are too large to travel in the cabin will be allowed to travel as air cargo.
If your pet is too large to fit under the seat, it is an animal other than a dog or cat, or if it is a very long flight, Delta may transport your pet in the cargo section of the aircraft according to its regulations. This section of the cargo department has the same temperature and pressure as the passenger cabin.
Cats, dogs, household birds*, guinea pigs*, rabbits*, hamsters* and marmots*. *Domestic flights only.
Pets are not permitted to fly as checked baggage to Hong Kong, South Africa or the United Kingdom. Pets can also not be accommodated on Boeing 767 aircraft. Pets cannot be accommodated as checked baggage on Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Must be made 48 hours in advance. Maximum of 2 pets per passenger per flight.
When flying as checked baggage, you will check in your pet at the passenger ticket counter in an IATA compliant pet crate at which time you will pay the fee for transport. In order to travel as checked baggage, the weight of your pet and its carrier should not exceed 75 pounds otherwise your pet will travel via Delta Cargo. More than one pet is permitted to travel in one crate if it is a mother with an unweaned litter or 2 pets weighing less than 20 pounds each and are between 10 weeks and 6 months of age.
Delta will not ship the following dog breeds as checked baggage:
Dangerous Dog Breeds: American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Bullmastiff, Dogo Argentino, Dogo de Burdeos, Fila Brasileiro, Mastin Napolitano, De Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Tosa Japones.
Snub Nosed (Brachycephalic) Breeds (Dogs): American Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffin, Bulldog, Chinese Pug, Chow Chow, Dutch Pug, English Bulldog, English Toy Spaniel, French Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Japanese Boxer, Japanese Pug, Japanese Spaniel (Chin), Mastiff (all breeds), Pekinese, Pit Bull, Pug, Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel
Snub Nosed Breeds (Cats): Bermese, Exotic, Himalayan, Persian
Delta Cargo will not accept English Bulldogs unless they are under 6 months of age. Other snub nosed breeds are accepted as long as they are in good health and temperatures do not exceed 75 degrees F anywhere on the route.
Delta will not transport pets as checked baggage between the period of May 15 through September 15. During that time, pets must fly under the policies of Delta Cargo unless the weather is extreme. If, at any point,(origination/transit/destination) during your pet’s transport, the temperature for the day is forecast to be less than 10 degrees F (-12 degrees C) or greater than 85 degreesF (29 degrees C), your pet will be refused transport as checked baggage. There are no exceptions to these temperature restrictions.
Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel.
Metal hardware should be used to fasten the top and bottom halves of your pet’ crate together. Click here for crate requirements.