United Airlines recently announced a reversal on their suspension of flying pets in cargo.
Instead of outlawing all animals from flying in the cargo area, United stated that they will now ban 21 dog breeds and four cat breeds from flying cargo on their flights. The list of banned breeds includes dogs considered either brachycephalic or short-snouted, or considered to have strong jaws. These breeds include the Boston Terrier, Chow Chow, Mastiff, Belgian Malinois, and Lhasa Apso. A full list of barred breeds can be viewed here. United is joining a handful of other airlines who have already banned these breeds from their airlines or restrict travel during the warmer months.
United Airlines is also establishing a new requirement for pets traveling in-cabin. According to the United website: “All customers traveling with in-cabin pets must check in with a United customer service representative in the airport lobby to receive a brightly colored yellow bag tag to attach to their pet’s kennel.”
“We are doing this to further minimize risk and ensure the comfort of pets we fly,” Charles Hobart, a spokesman for United Airlines, told People. United Airlines’ site notes that they will not accept these breeds “out of concern for higher adverse health risks.” The airline will also be halting pet cargo travel between May 1 and September 30 for destinations to and from Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix, and Tucson because of the extreme heat in those destinations.
This announcement comes after a comprehensive review of the airline’s policy following a recent string of dog-related issues on United flights, including the death of a French Bulldog and sending several animals to the wrong destination.
The new ban does not affect service animals, animals from traveling under the seat in the cabin, and members of the military and their spouses, State Department Foreign Service personnel and their spouses, or those who wish to travel with or ship their pets out of Guam.