Airline Pet Travel: Delta Cargo Announces New Summer Live Animal Program

cat in cargo crateUPDATE: Note that, as of October 1, 2016, Delta Cargo will no longer accept snub-nosed pets of any kind (see list in step 6). Delta will also discontinue their Summer Live Animal Program and temperature restrictions (10 F/-12 C and 85F/29 C) will be imposed for all cities that Delta flies. Additionally, Delta will no longer accept pets traveling as cargo on flights with an average duration of over 12 hours.

Find Delta Airlines current pet policies.


Airline Pet Travel: Delta Cargo Announces New Summer Live Animal Program — 371 Comments

  1. Elain – there are restrictions on the number of live animals that can fly on any given aircraft. That said, there are 2 ways that live animals can fly in the cargo hold: accompanied checked baggage and air cargo. The former class of service requires that an adult passenger be flying with the animal. The latter class of service provides transport for very large animals and also animals that are flying unaccompanied. So, in your case, your cats would fly as accompanied checked baggage. With this class of service, animals are given priority over those flying as air cargo because the airlines want to keep the animal with the owner and they don’t get paid to care for them should they not be able to make the flight. Know that agencies will quote your cats flying as air cargo which is more expensive; you can book them as checked baggage which is less expensive.

    Before boarding your flight, ask the gate attendant whether they can verify that your cats will be flying on the same flight as you.

  2. I have a question, I am travelling to Germany from Chicago with 3 of my cats. The airlines are telling me that i can only put 2 in cargo hold and would have to have 1 in the cabin. Do they restrict how many can go in cargo on one flight? Flying them fully cargo and myself on another day is not attractive to me, as I believe they will be much more relaxed if I am there as well. Especially when they get to their new home in Germany.
    SHould I have them fly Cargo, then jump on another plane so I will be at their destination when they get there? I am concerned that if I do that and they cannot fly, I will be half way around the world and noone will be here to pick them up and put them on another flight.
    I am working with pet travel agencies, but seriously that adds a hefty charge to opposed to do it myself.

  3. Robyn – acclimating your dog to its crate is the best thing you can do to help him ease stress when traveling. Get it a good pet pad that won’t bunch up in the corner (like these (scroll down): as well as puppy’s bladders are not fully grown. More tips on flying a dog in the cargo hold here: Is there no more direct flight that you can send him on when temperatures cool down? Are there any flights at night? Can you daughter drive to SFO and pick her puppy up to avoid a layover? Remember that the temperature restrictions are for the safety of your daughter’s dog.

  4. Good Job?!! I read your blog. This blog very informative for the customers. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Been trying for 3 times now to fly a puppy to my daughter. From michigan to California. 3 times now I been turned down for temps going to be to high by te time he gets to California. I’m going to try a 4th time and hopefully it will be ok. He has to go cargo because hes 32 pounds with the crate. Hes never flown before. Hes 14 weeks old now. Mini bernadoodle. This week in detroit on thursday I want to try again first thing in morning from detroit the temp will be 76 when he flies out at 9am and i will send him to san fransisco the coolest area in california in high 70s . Hopefully it goes ok. I’m nervous about him being alone scared and stressed since nobody will be with him for 10 hrs. Holding 3 hr then 5 hrflight then holding 2 hr again . Any tips to ease my nerves or help for him . I appreciate it

  6. Bindiya – we do not know for sure; however, we would surmise it would be the right side of the plane. Best to contact your airline about that. We will mention that, although the airline will do everything possible for your pet to fly on the same flight as you, they cannot guarantee it. What you can do is to ask the Captain to check the manifest to be sure that your pet is included on it when you board.

  7. I have a unique question to ask. I am flying in the same flight with my pet. he will be in manifest cargo. I am flying with qantas qf36 (Airbus 380) from singapore to melbourne. I want to know which side the cargo hold door will be, because i can book my seat towards that side and i may be lucky to see my pets crate coming out from the planes window.It sounds silly but that is the only way out to know if he has reached safe. I wont be allowed to meet him at the airport as he will be taken directly to the biosecurity office from there he will go to qaurantine. The fastest way to knwo he is safe and sound is through the window. Or anyone can suggest something better.? can i request the pilot to let me know about his welfare as i am sure he could access the hotline from the cockpit, he can talk to the baggage area staff. please help.. i am flying very soon.hope to get some information. do not tell me to call the airlines. i have tried my best but no one picks up the phone or reply to my emails.

  8. Taylor – you can find step-by-step requirements to import your Shepherd to Poland here and there are links to further instructions and required forms if you need them: The need for the rabies titer test in step #3 depends on your origin country. No quarantine will be imposed as long as requirements are met. We prefer to look at routes to see which airline flies the route most efficiently and we can help you with that if we knew your route. You will not need to claim your pet and enter the Netherlands as long as you fly into and out of AMS on the same airline.

  9. Hi. I am moving to Krakow, Poland in the fall and need to transport my Australian Shepard. He will be 10 months old by the time we leave. He has all of his shots including rabies and is neutered. My questions were: 1) Does Poland have a quarantine on dogs? 2) What airlines are most pet friendly? 3) There is a connecting flight in Amsterdam will I have to recheck my pet? I appreciate any info you can give me!

  10. Such wonderful information about to travel, I really liked your blog. I?ve really enjoyed reading it throughout. Thanks for Sharing.

  11. Robin – we are not sure about the ESA policies of your airline. Many foreign-based airlines will only recognize ESAs on the leg of the flight originating from or terminating in the USA. If this is not permitted, then likely your cat will need to fly in the cargo hold and it will need a transit permit if it will change aircraft in HK. (you can tell that there is an aircraft change if the flight numbers change). You should absolutely discuss your cat’s transport with your airline. As all live animals must arrive in HK as air cargo, it may be required that your cat transit as air cargo. Your airline can give you additional details.

  12. I am planning to bring my cat from USA to Taiwan. I will have a layover in Hong Kong. A direct flight is unavailable. I have gotten the rabies titer results and they are acceptable. Can you help me with the next steps and tell me how soon I should notify the airline? I have flown with this cat before (on short flights) as a emotional support animal. Can I do this for an international flight with the same documentation?

  13. Miranda – it is our understanding that pets can enter China at the following cities with home quarantine: Checked Baggage or air cargo: Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Zian, Dalian and Shenyang. That said, we would suggest that you contact an agent in China to confirm as also to see if they can arrangen for the import of your pets to Beijing with home quarantine. An agent in China is helpful as they are familiar with local practice. (we are in the US). You can search for one at

  14. Hello! I have 2 large breed dogs to fly from the US to eventually end up in Tianjin, China. Can you please suggest a route and near destination that I’ll not have to quarantine them? Or at least mostly a home quarantine as we are planning to relocate our home there. Thank you in advance.

  15. Daniel – obviously, the dogs will need to clear customs at SEA and an agent (or broker) is required to clear them and put them on a flight to MSO. It is unclear why things have changed if you are using a US-based customs agent (or broker) who will clear them and check them on a flight to MSO. You may want to search for an agent who serves SEA and inquire. You can find one at

  16. Hi,
    I am in Missoula MT (MSO) and trying to import a couple pups and adult dogs from Frankfurt. I am being told I would have to ship to Seattle (9 hr. drive one way). Only 2 yrs ago I was able to do the same thing with a broker used at port of entry airport and the dogs were the flown right into Missoula.
    What I am not doing right this time?

  17. Lroi – we are sorry that your airline did not service you properly. We would note that if your pets were flying as air cargo, the airlines will not guarantee that your pets will fly on the same flight as you. We hope they got to your destination safely.

  18. I was traveling, booked my flight for my pets and the lady at the counter swore that I “wasn’t going to make the booked flight” she offered that if I increased the flight to the 1K $ more that the pets would for sure make it…. I said no ill wait for the flight after that and take the 500 flight. Then she said they could not fly on that flight it was too booked. I paid the 1K because I had no option, then left I got a call “AFTER” I dropped the pets off and went on to travel and I was told that the pets did not make the flight that was more expensive that the pets actually had to flight on the cheaper – later flight and I asked if I would get my money back and I received an 800 number and I have never heard from them to return my money…. FRAUD – BAD SERVICE – PROTECT YOUR PETS

  19. Melanie – the airlines will only transport pets in the cargo hold when the temperatures are below 85 degrees. Three options that may work. Select a flight that departs very late or very early in the AM. Also, check with United to see if they can fly the route as they offer additional protections for live animals during the summer in select airports. Fly out to Palm Springs to pick up the puppy and fly it back in the cabin.

  20. So If I was to have an Australian Shepherd puppy shipped from Ohio to Palm Springs this summer, would they still fly him out here? because it’s always over 85 here in the summer but we’re really wanting another dog from the lady we got our first dog from

  21. Ella – the main concern is the heat. The summer heat embargo starts in mid-May and most airlines will not fly a pet in the cargo hold after that date. (over 85 degrees F)

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