If one is to measure the ability of an airline to transport pets safely, the number of pet deaths during travel on that airline's aircraft is a good place to start. United could be deemed the safest airline in that regard since, during the period of May 2005 through December 2009, it had only 17 deaths, injuries or losses of pets that it transported. By contrast, U.S. Airways lost, injured or killed 224 dogs during the same time span, according to ABC News.
United Airlines posts pet guidelines for safe travel on its website that include minimum age, size and weight restrictions, kennel measurements, weather-related restrictions, breed restrictions and distance restrictions. Pets are transported through United Cargo, and fees are determined based on distance, number and weight of dog(s) being transported.
The PetSafe program has the following features:
Pets travel within United's specially designed plane compartments that are pressurized in the same way as passenger cabins.
A dedicated 24-hour PetSafe desk is available for help at any time (1-800-575-3335 or 1-832-235-1541).
Each pet receives a confirmed booking prior to departure.
On the ground, both plane and warehouse facilities are climate-controlled for the safety of your pet. To ensure comfort in any weather conditions, pets will be the last cargo loaded and the first cargo unloaded from the plane.
Pets receive personal handling in climate-controlled vehicles for connections in United's hubs if the animal will be exposed to temperatures greater than 85°F (29.5°C) for more than 45 minutes.
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