Delta Airlines has announced that, as of March 1, 2016, it will no longer offer checked baggage service for live animals. (not including service, emotional support or animals traveling with military personnel on active transfer orders) Additionally, all pets traveling internationally as air cargo will need to be booked through a licensed pet transporter.
This is a blow to many pet owners who use Delta for traveling with their pets. When traveling with Delta within the US, pet owners will now be faced with added inconvenience and expense as they will need to transport pets who cannot travel in the cabin as air cargo. This will entail dropping off and picking up at Delta cargo facilities as opposed to baggage claim.
Additionally, when pets fly as air cargo, they are subject to the demands on the cargo hold, so they may not fly on the same flight as their owners. And they cannot be booked prior than 14 days before the departure date.
Schedule changes can be very inconvenient when families are traveling and the assistance of a pet transporter will be needed for assistance with pets arriving outside of their owner’s schedules as well as for international flights.
Pets will still be permitted to fly in the cabin under Delta Airline’s airline pet policies.