Today, United Airlines has announced that it’s temporarily suspending its PetSafe program that allows for pets that travel in cargo. This comes after a United flight attendant reportedly told a passenger to place their dog in the overhead bin, which resulted in the animal’s death.
The airlines is saying that they’re conducting a “thorough and systematic review” for pets that travel in cargo. Additionally, it’s partnering with independent experts in travel safety for pets. While United reviews everything, the airline will not be accepting any new reservations for pets traveling in cargo, but it will honor existing reservations. In United’s statement, they say that it will “assist any customer that wises to cancel their reservation,” but it’s not clear at this time if the company will issue refunds to those customers that want to go this route. United says they expect the review to be finished by May 1st.
It’s worth mentioning that this suspension does not mean pets can’t travel within the main cabin, but United added that this service is also under review. The company previously already announced that starting in April, it will issue brightly colored bag tags that will help better identify animals that are traveling in-cabin. Out of any major transport, United transports the most animals, but also sees the highest rate of animal deaths.