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Delta Airlines To Launch Pet Safety Initiative

In an attempt to curry more favor with animal lovers, Delta announced on Tuesday, October 2nd, it will partner with Singapore-based pet technology startup CarePod to foster a more advanced way to keep those precious quadrupeds safer while flying.

The joint effort between CarePod and the cargo division of Delta will create a more detailed monitoring system — including GPS and video surveillance — and better temperature control in various holding and storage areas where pets are kept when the airline's fleet is in transit. Customers with pets will also get real-time updates on the well-being of their animals and ground crews will also be on hand to ensure care extends to arrival and departure stages of flights. As well, Delta will bring on veterinarians as part of the company team to examine the animals, review policies, and check procedures involving pet transport.

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The day before, Delta announced it would raise fees affecting animal care on flights, although specific details were not made available. What is known is that the criteria for fees will be based on kennel size instead of weight, which was used in the past. The company will allow some pets to be treated as carry-ons while others will be transported via Delta Cargo, charging anywhere from $195 to $1,485 for that service.

The initiative is an upgrade of a 2016 policy that didn't allow pets to be considered checked baggage in response to a number of deaths of pets that were admitted onto flights in that fashion.

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Currently, for carry-ons, Delta will allow small dogs and cats as well as domesticated birds for a one-way fee, ranging from $75 to $200 depending on destination. All animals must be able to fit into a small, ventilated carrier that's compact enough to fit underneath a passenger's seat in front of the pet owner.

Passengers with emotion-support animals must fill out and submit required documentation at least 48 hours before departure. Those with service dogs are exempt from the requirement, although Delta still encourages similar paperwork to be submitted. As of July 10th, the number of animals is limited to one per passenger, while pit bull-type breeds are no longer allowed on Delta flights.

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