After a rash of deaths and animals gone missing, the airline will no longer accept companion animals as cargo.
Delta Airlines will join the ranks of other top airlines in 2016 by ending its policy of having companion animals fly as cargo. According to a press release, “Delta will no longer accept pets as checked baggage, but will continue to transport allowable pets in all cabins of service except Delta One.” Delta cabins still won’t be able to accommodate larger dogs, which will have to travel with the company’s separate Delta Cargo service with monitored temperature-controlled vans and GPS tracking. The decision comes after the reported deaths of 74 animals and 14 more that have gone missing while in Delta’s care during the past 10 years, figures that account for 25 percent of all airline animal deaths. “Many of us at Delta are pet lovers, and we know that they are important members of the family,” Bill Lentsch, senior vice president for airport customer service and cargo operations, said. “This change will ultimately ensure that we have a high-quality, consistent service for pets when their owners choose to ship them with Delta Cargo.”