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. Hello i need to send my two dogs to Amsterdam, but no airline is accepting from Islamabad Pakistan to Amsterdam directly due to KLM Restrictions, and KLM itself not operating from ISB.
    could any body advise me the detail of any handling agent in Brussels who can get customs clear and then transport them to Amsterdam by road to my given address.

    my email is.

  2. Hello Lisa – most likely, the problem may be the summer heat embargo that is in effect between mid May and mid September. Delta will not transport dogs as checked baggage during that time.

  3. Can anyone answer my question.i have reservstions with delta i was told i can check my dog as checked baggage now im told no, anyone know how its done i have a week before my flight also i was told its 200.00

  4. There are three things you will need to do.

    1. You must call Delta Airlines reservations office to make a booking for the cats to travel with you as checked baggage in an IATA compliant pet crate.

    2. You must obtain an export permit from the Chinese government. If you need assistance with this send an email to and I will refer you to someone who can help you acquire it.

    3. You will need to visit a veterinarian in China and have him complete the US veterinary health certificate. Since your cats are too young to be vaccinated for rabies you must also sign the home quarantine agreement which just says that you will keep the pets inside your home until they have been vaccinated. You can find the firms and instructions for bringing the cats into the US here and they can be emailed to you:


  5. I have 3 small 2 month old kitties. I brought them from harbin, but we are leaving from Beijing airport. I’m riding delta, but Beijing airports don’t participate. We are leaving in 8 days to Detroit to Atlanta Georgia
    So are trip is from Beijing to Detroit to Atlanta. I really need the small cats to come with me. What are the requirements of bringing them on the plane. What should I do? Can you call them for me? If you can’t tell me what number to call the, from on a china phone. Thank you so much

  6. I am having a Scttish fold kitten shipped from Nashville, Tenn to me here in Sacramento on Delta. He will be arriving at 10:30 pm. Where do I pick.him up? Any help you could give me would be appreciated. Thank you.

  7. Oscar – you may want to contact United. They also serve the route. They do not offer checked baggage service, but they should fly your Corgi under their PetSafe program.

  8. I am flying from Austin, Texas to Vancouver, British Columbia later this month. I want to bring my corgi mix with me, he is very short but weighs about 18 lbs. I understand it will be too hot in Texas to check him in and I see that Delta Cargo doesn’t fly to Vancouver. That was of 2010, I was hoping maybe that has changed, or that someone could suggest another option? Thanks!

  9. Hi Connie – your Jack Russell will have to fit into an airline compliant pet carrier and fit under the seat in front of you. The airlines will also impose weight restrictions on international flights. Generally, if your pet is no larger than 11 pounds and 19 inches long, you will be able to accommodate the airline requirements.

  10. Hi

    I am planning to bring my JRT to Canada from Singapore. She is 11 years old. I need some advice on the best way to bring her on board the plane with the least hassle. If she could stay with me on the plane it would be best.

  11. There is no reason a pet cannot enter the Philippines if it has the proper paperwork including an import permit from the Philippine government.

    That assumes this is your personal pet. If this is a commercial transaction then the rules may be different.

    In order to make the arrangements you need to call the air cargo office of an airline that flies direct between the two cities. You must call air cargo and not reservations to make the arrangements. Or, if you prefer I can put you in touch with a pet transport agent who can handle these arrangements for you. You can find the detailed instructions and all of the necessary forms including the import permit application here:


  12. i bought a weimaraner mixbreed dog he is 4months and i would like t know if he can be shipped from califonira to manila philippines.pls advice.thanks is there anyway for him to be shipped asap before september?

  13. Hi, my husband and I are stationed in Honolulu, HI and since he is going on deployment, I want to return home with my two dogs. I’m having trouble getting them into Louisville, Ky and was wondering if y’all could get them there during either this month of June or even early July? If I can’t get my dogs back home, then I can’t return home and that would be extremely disappointing. My dogs are a 37 lb beagle and a 28 lb terrier mix. I’d even be willing to see if I could have someone pick them up from either Nashville or even Indianapolis if need be, but Louisville would be much better, however, I know that they can only get the smaller planes into that airport. We have flown our beagle from Louisville to Honolulu, but it had to be a different flight than ours. Any advice, or anything you can tell me would be much appreciated!

  14. Hi Edie – you may want to consider Delta Airlines as Panama City is on their list of airports that participate in their Summer Embargo Program. United is another option, but they may require that a pet transporter make the arrangements.

  15. I am traveling to Panama City Panama from Miami International with my Westie,a 20lb, 11yr old female dog. Anyway, I traveled with American Airlines direct with Bella in baggage, she did well, except we were nervous about the 85degree hi temp restriction. Now, we will be returning in late Oct and am wondering if there are suggestions on which avenues to take on getting a flight back with our dog.

  16. Hi Amber – Pets can and should be shipped on the same flight as you are when traveling as manifest cargo. That said, you should confirm that your pet has been boarded on the flight at the same time you board. Additionally, you will check your pet in at your airline’s cargo facility which will be located at the airport but not at the reservations desk.

    To address your second question, pets entering the US should be vaccinated at least 21 days prior to entering the country. If this is not possible, a home quarantine form can be filled out and your pet must be vaccinated within 4 days of entering the US and quarantined at home for 21 days. You will have to resubmit the forms once your pet is vaccinated. Also, depending on where your pet is entering from, there may be a screwworm requirement.

    It is true that the United States and Canada is on the no-quarantine list for entry to South Africa, but all requirements must be met and the original documents must accompany your pet. This involves an Import Certificate, proof of rabies vaccination as well as 5 other vaccinations, Blood Titer Test and veterinary certificate endorsed by the USDA. If you need help with this, you can find instructions and forms at

  17. Even though they need to be shipped as manifest cargo, they can be on the same flight as me or no?

    *Another question that I had was concerning quarantine coming back to the US. I had seen the following statement on a pet relocation site and wanted to confirm the accuracy of the statement?

    “With the exception of pets entering the state of Hawaii, there is no quarantine for pets arriving in the US from overseas at this time.”

    *At another time I was researching information, I had read that the USA is on a “Non-Quarantine” list for entering SA. Is this accurate as well??

    Thank you so much for your responses and help, much appreciated!

  18. Hi Amber – I understand about your concern for your pets and it is advisable that you start preparing them now for their trip. Get their crates and encourage them to spend time in them. Take them in the car in their crates to dog parks (or somewhere else fun) often. They need to think of their crates as a safe place for them. Lots of praise and rewards during the process. To address your questions:

    1. We do not recommend airlines unless they serve the route in the best possible way over other airlines. I would say that US based airlines like United and Delta have developed pet programs and put resources into these programs. This is not to say that other airlines do not transport live animals well either. What I would suggest is that you look at the best and most direct route to SA and look at the pet policies of the airline that serves it.
    2. Excess baggage is a service that is offered by many airlines when the owner is accompanying the pet. Manifest cargo is a service offered for unaccompanied pets and other pets not permitted to be shipped as excess baggage. In both cases, the pet is transported in the cargo hold of the airline. In your case, SA requires that your pets arrive as manifest cargo as they do not have veterinary services at their terminals.
    3. If you are considering breaking up your trip, just know that you will need to conform to the import regulations for pets in the intermediary country.
    4. You should ask your veterinarian about this. Many airlines will not take an animal that has been tranquilized and we do not recommend it. There are herbal remedies available, and they should help with the initial take off. You can find a good one, Happy Traveler, in our store, under Pet Calmers.
    5. I am not aware of any breed restrictions for SA.
    6. Once an animal has been boarded in the cargo hold, the flight crew has no way to access the hold. If you are referring to care given during the layover, the airline will care for your pet in a secure area and, depending on the length of the layover, will give your pet water and may walk them. The airlines may allow you to see your pets, but this is a question for your airlines.

    South Africa has very specific entry requirements including an Import Permit, evidence of rabies and 5 other vaccinations, Blood Titer Test as well as veterinary certificate. If you need help with this, your can find instructions and forms here and they can be emailed to you:

  19. I am looking to travel to South Africa from the United States come the end of this year. I am staying an extended period of time therefore I really would like to bring my dogs with me (I have 2).
    This would be both of their first time flying. It is a very long flight so I am extremely worried and skeptical about the care of my pets. My one has a fear of loud noises and is also 10 years old (though very healthy and young/active for her age).

    I am looking for some much needed advice on the following:

    1. What airline is best to travel to SA?
    2. What is the difference for cargo travel Vs. excess baggage?
    3. Would it be better to have a straight flight or interline travel?
    4. What steps can I take to calm my dog with fear of loud noises?
    5. Is there restrictions on travel for certain breeds (I have an Amstaff mix)?
    6. Aside from temperature and pressure control, is there any other steps taken by airline to check on state of pet during such a long flight?

  20. Hi Greg – you should ask Delta this question and it is a good one because Guam was not on their list of participating airports last year. If Delta cannot serve you, United may be able to. Both Delta and United will allow you to travel with your pets as checked baggage and not manifest cargo which is more expensive due to the fact that you are on military orders. There are additional checked bags allowed. Beyond that, I would suggest that you direct your inquiry directly to the airlines.

  21. I will be PCSing with the military in September from Washington DC to Guam with my mixed breed dog. I am aware that the weather in Guam this time of year can be warm and was wondering if the Delta Live Animal Program is something that we could do. In addition, are you aware of any military/state department exemptions since this travel is not flexible? Thank you!

  22. You can fly Delta the entire route with a transit in Beijing, but it looks like you will have a 13 hour layover in Detroit. If you have time, you may want to consider staying overnight in Detroit and flying into Phoenix the next day. It may make the long trip easier for both of you.

  23. I am returning to Phoenix from China on June 1st and have found minor roadblocks all along the way. First, my dog is a chihuahua/Dachshund mix and he is too big to take in the cabin with me so he will have to fly cargo. Then, I had problems getting my dog out of my city because most planes flying out are smaller and don’t have climate controlled cargo areas. I’ve managed to work around those two obsticles, only to find out that many airlines won’t fly animals into Phoenix in June because of the heat. Can someone tell me if I can arrange travel from Dalian, China to Phoenix on June 1st through Delta pet travel?

  24. Hello Francisco – you are correct that your puppy will be too large to travel in the cabin of any commercial aircraft. I am not sure what breed of bulldog your pet is, but if it is anything other than an English Bulldog, you may be able to fly United, but only if the temperatures in Boston and San Juan are below 85 degrees. All the other carriers I checked do not accept snub nosed pets in cargo. The other options would be a private charter. Sorry I could not be of more assistance.

  25. Hi:

    I am planning on traveling from Boston, MA to San Juan, PR with my bulldog puppy who right now is 18 pounds.

    She will probably be more than 25 pounds by the time we are planning on traveling (sometime in May, possibly by the end of May).

    What options do I have?

    They won’t allow her in the cabin on any airline right?

    Which airlines would allow her to go on the cargo? This worries me a lot because of her being a bulldog, even though she breathes perfectly.



  26. The Summer Heat Embargo works everywhere the temperature exceeds 85 degrees F. along the route. All of the major airlines comply with it. United and Delta have established programs in place to help mediate the heat and other airlines have facilities in several airports, but summer pet travel in cargo is a challenge when traveling to hot places. The time frame is generally from mid May to mid September. San Juan is one of Delta’s participating cities as is Dallas so you may want to check with them.

  27. Does the Summer Live Animal Program work for traveling between San Juan, Puerto Rico and Dallas, Texas ?

  28. Clayton – your options are American, LAN, United and Delta out of Quito. (TACA also will get you there but in more time.) Flying out of Guyaquill may be problematic due to the size of planes. You can reach United at and you can book online with them. (It will take a day or so to get a response.) You need to ask them if you need an agent to process your pet’s transport out of Quito because United does require that out of some Central and South American countries. You can contact Delta Cargo at You can contact LAN Cargo at

    Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

  29. hello I am trying to get home with my dog to california, she has all her vacanations and fits in a 700 series kennel. I need to get home asap and need to ask a few questions so that I may book a ticket. Please help, I can not get thu to any person by phone and am desperate for help asap.

    If possable you can call me at this number my girlfriends mother rosa phone is 0981486131
    or write by email.
    Email is much easyer because cell phones cost so much money here.. I just spent 20 minutes on hold with american airlines and then they hung up, it cost 5 dollars.

    1. I need to know if I have to have my dog and the kennel at the airline to book the ticket,
    2. I need to know what airline flys from Quito or Guyaquill to san fransico California
    3. I need to know who will fly a 700 series size kennel
    4. I need the documents to fly my dog there. I have all her vacanations and she is within her 1 year of her rabies shot. She weighs 45 kilos or 95 pounds. I have her agricaladad papers and understand 2 days before she flys I need new veternarian and agrocalidad papers.

    please may you help me, I can rent a car and drive my dog and kennel to quyaquill or quito on monday to book the ticket if needed. I want to fly her out from quito on the tuesday April 2nd or from guyaquill on friday febuary the 29th.
    Please please please help me I am desperate for help asap
    thank you and god bless.

  30. Hi Jennifer – you may want to consider United as they will ship a Pit Bull breed as many other carriers will not. However, your pet must travel in an IATA compliant CR82 crate. There are websites that sell this crate, and we can get you one as well. (Just email me at As for your Weimaraner, you will need to measure your pet from tip of nose to base of tail and from top of head to the ground. You will need a crate like those shown here: Get the crate as soon as you can so you can acclimate your pet to it prior to traveling.
    Let me know if you have further questions.

  31. Hi. I am needing advice on bringing my two dogs- 3 yr old pit bull and 6 year old weimaraner to Hawaii with me. I have all of the quarentine documents ready, just not sure which airline, restrictions on breed, type of crate ect. The other thing is that we will be traveling in June from Raleigh/Durham to Honolulu. Thanks!!!

  32. United does not accept pets in the cabin on international flights and I am not aware of any routes where they have made an exception to that rule.

  33. Thanks for getting back to me.
    No, United didn’t confirm that, but there is nothing on the website that indicates that they do not fly dogs in the first class cabin. Do they?

  34. I am traveling in June with my 90+ lbs Golden (needs a 700 series crate) and in cabin Coton from San Jose, Costa Rica to Atlanta. My understanding is that Delta (the only direct) does not fly dog in summer months other than as cargo, but that should work. It is also my understanding that Delta now restricts in cabin pets on all international flights, which is a bummer as these are all relocation flights, and my company will cover the cost of first class flights.
    More importantly, in August, we then travel from Atlanta to Buenos Aires with the dogs. I’m not sure how well Delta’s cargo service is working, so I was also looking at a way to get the dog to Houston so we could take the United flight to BA where the big dog could be checked in, and the little dog could be in first class. BUT getting the big dog from Atlanta to Houston seems to be a problem with Delta (does the cargo service go to Houston from Atlanta?) and the United planes are too small for a 700 series crate.
    Any advice? Thanks!

  35. Hello Chris – during summer transport in cargo, the times where your pet is most at risk are holding times at the airport, loading times and the time from the gate to takeoff. Delta has air conditioned holding areas and vans on all cities they include in the Pet First program. Once your pet is in the air, the temperature will cool.

    Aside from freezing water, there is little you can do. The airlines will not allow anything in the carrier other than something soft and a pet pad.

  36. We are moving back to the states from South Korea in July. I’m bringing my 6 year old docile Birman cat. He travels well and is normally in the cabin with us. We plan on stopping in Hawaii on our way back; paying to keep him in quarantine for a week. From everything I’ve read, the only American airline that will transport pets in cabin to Hawaii is Alaska Airlines. They have an airline representative take your pet to quarantine. On Delta pets must travel in cargo when entering Hawaii. I guess that is because Delta doesn’t have a rep to take the animal to quarantine.

    I’m really nervous about putting my cat in cargo. He’s not use to the heat, he’s a big bellied pampered boy. How does the Pet Safe program keep him safe during the summer heat? I’ve read I should freeze a bowl of water and attach it to the kennel door. Any more suggestions keeping pets safe in the summer heat?

  37. Hi Elizabeth – Delta does not fly out of Izmir. Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa do however, both airlines have long routes to Seattle. Turkish Airlines does not allow 2 cats in the same crate but they have the shortest route (22 hours) through Istanbul and O’Hare with relatively short layover times. (3 hours to clear your pets in Chicago). Lufthansa may help you with several cats in a crate, but you should contact them. This is a very long trip. If you are willing to layover for a night along the way, it would be helpful, but you will have to adhere to the intermediary country’s requirements. This would include Blood Titer Tests for stopping anywhere in the EU.

    The Summer Heat Embargo begins in the middle of May, however, the airlines may enforce it earlier for very warm cities.

  38. I will be traveling from Izmir, Turkey to Seattle, WA. I plan to travel in the early part of May 2013. I will be traveling with 3 cats as checked baggage. Could you please let me know:
    – The best airline to use – A carrier that flies out of Izmir, Turkey
    – I’ve heard that Delta Airline is the best carrier to use to tranport pets – True?
    – What is the summer heat restriction/cut off date for travel with pets as checked baggage? I see temperature ranges on the airline websites, but no cut off date.
    – Can my 2 smaller cats (10 lbs each) travel together in one carrier

    I appreciate your help!!

  39. Tengo una Schnauzer miniatura y siempre viajo en vacaciones cuando hay restriccion de temperatura, sera posible que viaje con el programa de verano que ustedes ofrecen?

  40. Tengo una Schnauzer miniatura y siempre viajo en vacaciones cuando hay restriccion de temperatura, sera posible que viaje con el programa de verano que ustedes ofrecen?

  41. The answers to your questions will vary from airline to airline. Generally speaking, you will be able to fly with 4 animals and some airlines will allow up to 4 animals to fly as checked baggage. Usually, pets have to be under 20 pounds and under 6 months to travel in the same crate. In looking at your route, it appears that United has a flight through San Francisco that would work, so I would start with their PetSafe desk or

  42. My husband and I have been living in Thailand for a year and have 4 rescue cats we want to take back to the US (Boston). Unfortunately it will only be my husband that can make the trip. We haven’t yet settled on an airline but I just wanted the following questions answered:

    1. Are there usually limits as to how many pets one traveller can take?
    2. If there are, can 2 of the animals travel as excess baggage and 2 as cargo?
    3. Can 2 cats travel in the same crate? (I have read in some places they must be under 6 months to do this)
    4. Is there a 12hr restriction on flight times for animals? If so, does this just refer to each leg of the journey? (ie Bangkok to Tokyo, then Tokyo to Washington for eg) or to the entire journey?
    5. If ground temperatures in stopover cities and the destination of Boston are below the allowed limit, will I still be able to get an acclimation certificate if the cats are only used to hot temperatures?
    6. What airlines do you believe would be the best to do this journey from Bangkok to Boston?

    Thanks in advance for your answers. Your time is very much appreciated.

  43. i am flying fom costa rica to usa on jetblue and they do not take dogs as cargo. What do i do?

    Response: Hello Jay,

    You have a few options. You can either cancel your flight with JetBlue and find an airline that will take your dogs as excess baggage, or you can have them travel unaccompanied on a separate airline. Depending on where you are located you might have a few choices. If you are interested in hiring a pet transporter to help with the relocation, please check out our website: and click “get a quote”. Let us know if you have any more questions.

    Pet Travel Inc.

  44. I need to fly a full-grown doberman to Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean where I live. It is a rescue pet. I have friends that can escort the dog as luggage – rescue would meet them at the airport. I am trying to find a route via Delta/Atlanta as it is a direct non-stop flight on Saturday. Do you have any information regarding making the arrangements and figuring out costs?? Thank you
    RESPONSE: You will need to have someone in the states contact Delta cargo at 1-800-352-2746 (option 6) or 888-736-3738(Delta Pet First) to book your pet’s travel. Delta Cargo does not post costs to ship a pet to Bonaire on their website so you will need to ask them. One concern is how your pet will clear immigration on a Saturday. You will most likely have to make arrangements for the country veterinarian to come to the airport if Saturday is not a day normally served. Additionally, I am not sure what size crate the pet must travel in as Delta does not ship pets as checked baggage in giant crates, only as manifest cargo. Let me know if you have further questions.

  45. I have 3 cats (9, 7 & 1 yr old). Is there any restriction of number of cats can be travel as cargo? I’ve plan to travel around November with either Japan Airlines or Amer.

    What if it’s too cold, do I have to change a flight to fly same airplane with my cats? Or will they put my cats to another airplane?
    RESPONSE: there are 2 ways that pets can travel in the cargo hold. If you are accompanying your cats, then they may be able to travel as checked baggage. If they are not on the same flight as you are, they will travel as manifest cargo. There are restrictions as to the number of pets that can travel as checked baggage or cargo. American will only allow 2 pets per passenger to travel as checked baggage. Japan Airlines does not state a limit, so I would ask them when you call. Both airlines offer cargo services.

    The airlines will transfer your pets from one plane to another, however, airlines do not interline pets. Your cats must stay on the same airline for the entire trip.

    If temperature is a problem, then your pets will need acclimation certificates like these: which your veterinarian will complete stating that they are accustomed to lower temperatures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *