Delta announced on it’s website that effective March 1, 2016, pets will no longer be accepted as checked baggage, but they can, if they meet the specific requirements, travel in the cabin for a fee or be transported via Delta Cargo. Service animals will have certain allowances and passengers are encouraged to check the Delta website for details on restrictions.
This move was seemingly prompted, according to MarketWatch due to the death of 74 pets over the course of ten years attributed upwards of 25% of airline pet deaths that have been recorded in the United States. There are also 14 pets that were reported missing. In comparison, for the thousands of pets that travel every year, that is a relatively small number, but the fact still remains that the animals that are within the statistics were someone’s pet.
So now pets are welcomed in the cabin, but passengers traveling with animals need to be fully aware of the status of their pets. The cat that was captured below on the following video via mobile phone apparently slipped out past his owner’s observations while she was sleeping. This not only presents inherent safety and health risks for the animal, but can could passengers and crew in danger, as well, should the animal become scared and result to a fight or flight instinct. This is also not taking into account anyone who may have allergies and in a closed environment with recirculated air, an animal rubbing against or in a close enough proximity to create a reaction can be serious. Pets are to remain in a locked carrier throughout the duration of the flight. Apparently, no one bothered to tell the cat that.
There is some humor to be found in this, of course, particularly when the airline crew member snaps her fingers and tells the cat to stay there. Best guess is that she is not a cat owner.
We all love our pets, but it is important that we, as their caretakers, when taking any type of public transportation, heighten our awareness as to our surroundings and how our pet is behaving. Being in an enclosed airline cabin may seem safe, but there can still be challenges. At the very least, this serves as a good cautionary tale for anyone traveling with pets.