Airlines May Refuse Pets Again this Summer Because of Extreme Heat

Jun 10, 1999, 01:00 ET from Best Friends Pet Care, Inc.

    NORWALK, Conn., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Planning to take your pet with you
 on vacation this summer?  If you're traveling by air during the peak summer
 vacation months, be prepared for Fido to be bumped!
     Many vacationers learned that the hard way last summer when several
 airlines refused to allow pets to be transported in the baggage areas of their
 planes.  Whether or not there is an embargo this year, major U.S. carriers
 reserve the right to turn away any pet if the temperature is "extreme" in your
 originating, connecting or destination airport.
     The reason is simple:  the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires
 airlines to ensure that animals traveling as baggage are not exposed to
 extremes of heat or cold for extended periods during travel.   The rules
 require that animals not be subjected to temperatures exceeding 85 degrees F.
 for more than 45 minutes in animal holding areas or on an aircraft awaiting
     For pug or snub-nosed dogs, such as the American Staffordshire, English
 Bulldog, or Boxer, which suffer in warm temperatures, the restrictions are
 even tighter.  Some airlines will not accept them if the temperature on any
 part of the trip exceeds 70 degrees.
     If you're lucky and you've booked your flight early, you might be assigned
 one of the few slots (as few as two on some flights) available for pets in the
 cabin.  However, note industry experts, most pets do end up in the baggage
 compartment.  Since it's likely temperatures will exceed 85 degrees in many
 parts of the country much of the summer, you should be prepared for airline to
 refuse your pet -- sometimes as late as the day of the flight.
     And don't expect to find a boarding kennel for your pet at the last
 minute.  "High quality kennels book up quickly for the summer," notes Dan
 Charleton of Best Friends Pet Care, the largest company in the boarding kennel
 industry in the U.S., with 34 facilities in 17 states.   "Last summer, we were
 actually turning people away during the peak July-August vacation periods."
     If you're considering traveling with your pet, be sure to ask your airline
 representative for specific details regarding its policy on pets and summer
 heat.  If you decide to play it safe and give your pet a vacation of its own
 at a quality pet resort, book early.  For information on locations near your
 city of departure, call 888-FOR-PETS.

SOURCE Best Friends Pet Care, Inc.