Google+ PetsVentura® : Airline Animal Incident Reports

Airline Animal Incident Reports

Please note that the data for each airline does not necessarily indicate the quality of service that it provides, because the number of animals transported by each airline varies widely.  For example, Continental Airlines, which transports numerous pets, has emphasized that incident reports are filed for less than 0.05% of the pets that it transports.  Further, Southwest Airlines until recently did not transport pets (in contrast to service animals, as required by law), and no reports have been filed by Southwest to date.

The reports essentially give pet owners information they can use to decide how to and whether to travel with animals.

Such statistics to someone who has lost a beloved pet is like quoting similar data on the safe transport of unaccompanied minors to the caregiver of a child who is lost en route.

Consider all the options before you decide to put your pet on an airplane. Here are some general guidelines:

Ask your veterinarian if your pet is healthy enough to fly safely, as well as what precautions you should take. Compile specific questions about feeding.

Experts advise that puppies and kittens, sick animals, animals in heat, and frail or pregnant animals should not travel by air, and that "pug-nosed" animals should not fly in an aircraft's cargo area.
The American Humane Association recommends that pet owners do not sedate animals prior to air travel: "Whether flying in the cabin or with cargo, animals are exposed to increased altitude pressures of approximately 8,000 feet. Increased altitude ... can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats who are sedated or tranquilized."

Despite marketing claims to the contrary, the Agriculture Department states there are no USDA-approved transport kennels. USDA suggests you select a container that is "put together securely" (e.g., with locking bolts); contains metal doors rather than plastic, especially those fastened by four metal rods; and offers a "strong and effective" door lock mechanism.

Make sure the container is the proper size. Also, note that many airlines will not accept a container with wheels. There are many other considerations concerning containers, so visit the sites linked at left to learn more. ( i.e  Pet Travel Agency )

Properly label all containers and make sure your pet has identification, such as a collar, ID tag, and/or microchip. Affix a photo to the container in case the animal escapes.
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Acclimate the animal to the container prior to the day of travel.

International air travel can be quite complex. As the USDA states: "Each country has their own set of rules, some simple, some complex, and some require quarantine."

For an extensive list of nations, 
visit the USDA's Regulations and Assessments page.

Book as early as possible, since some airlines limit the number of animals onboard each flight. Reconfirm prior to departure.

Always choose non-stops over connecting flights whenever possible. 
Consider the time of year and the time of day, particularly midday flights in the summer and late night flights in the winter, and how extreme temperatures might affect your pet. Some airlines impose embargoes at certain destinations and/or during certain times, or when ground temperatures exceed specified limitations.

The bottom line: There are dozens of restrictions and caveats about transporting pets by air, and all sorts of embargoes on specific destinations as well as certain times of the year. In addition, space is limited and usually subject to a first-come reservation basis. So never make a booking until you're clear what the rules are for that airline.
For more information :

Pet Relocation