July 2005 Airline Pet Travel Report

The July, 2005 Airline Pet Travel Report contains pet incidents for the month of May, 2005.

Alaska Airlines Death - A large bread dog escaped from it's kennel in the hold of an airplane and broke into a cat's kennel and killed it. Hard to place the blame with the airline on this one. In fact Alaska Airlines banned the dog for life and the dog owner for a year. Seems like a reasonable outcome from an unfortunate event. Alaska Airlines Injury - A 7 year old West Highland Terrier had a missing tooth and some blood in the kennel. No other information was available. Did the dog freak out or did the kennel move during the flight?

Comair Injury - A 2 year old female Sharpei apparently injured herself while trying to escape from the kennel

Continental Injury - A cat escaped from it's kennel and injured itself. Continental Death - Pet arrived deceased from a Honolulu to Newark flight. A necropsy was performed and the cause of death was determined to be unrelated to transport. Continental Death - A rat appeared to die of natural causes. Another rat in the same cage was fine.

Frontier Airlines - A cat was injured when it was placed on a conveyor belt instead of being carried to the customer. The Frontier employee was coached and disciplined regarding this injury.

Northwest Injury - A dog escaped from its kennel during transport by chewing a hole through its kennel. Northwest Loss - A cat escaped from its kennel while being transferred from the cargo warehouse to the passenger terminal. Northwest stated that the cause of this incident was poor kennel design and sent a letter to the kennel manufacture asking that the double-latch “vault” door found on some of its kennels be incorporated on all kennels throughout its product line.

US Airways - Upon arrival, one of two dogs shipped by the same individual did not look well. A veterinarian recommended that the dog be put to sleep and a necropsy determined that the dog ingested a toxic subsistence. The individual stated that the veterinarian stated that the poisoning most likely occurred during transport. US Airways staff reported nothing abnormal about the dogs when they were removed and maintained reported no spills in the cargo bins.

The Frontier Airlines incident was obviously caused by the airline, but they took action to prevent it from occurring again. The rest, with the exception of the US Airways death, seem more related to kennel issues or unrelated issues. The US Airways incident is a little tougher to figure out and seems to have conflicting stories from the involved parties.

It does seem that one could recommend making sure that kennels are secure. 4 of the 10 incidents involved pets getting out of their kennels.

Continental gets bonus points. They are the only airline that included the number of animals shipped for the reporting period. In this case 6,372.

Pet Travel Incidents by Airline during May, 2005.
Airline Losses Injuries Deaths
Alaska Airlines 0 1 1
Comair 0 1 0
Continental 0 1 2
Frontier Airlines 0 1 0
Northwest Airlines 1 1 0
US Airways 0 0 1
Total 1 5 4

See all incidents included in the July, 2005 report.

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Source: July 2005 Air Travel Consumer Report.