September 2005 Airline Pet Travel Report

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

Details of the Incidents

Alaska Airlines, Injury - Small Cat: A small cat was loaded in a cargo hold along with dry ice. The cat was lethargic upon arrival. The pet was transported to an emergency veterinarian and airline employees were disciplined and given additional training. Alaska Airlines, Injury - Boxer: Kennel was dropped during loading. The dog was hurt and the kennel was damaged. Remedial training was given to those involved on kennel handling.

Continental Airlines, Death - Black Lab: Flight from Newark to Portland, Oregon. The dog was found dead in its kennel. The owner admitted that the dog was ill with heart problems and that the dog was sedated with an over-the-counter, human, allergy medicine. The shipper also falsely signed Continental's acceptance document which stated that the animal had not been sedated. The customer refused to allow Continental Airlines to perform a necropsy. Continental Airlines, Injury - Golden Retriever: Flight from New Orleans to Portland. Cable ties were added to the kennel. At a stopover in Houston (1 hour flight) the dog had escaped its kennel. The dog was transported to a local veterinarian where it was reported that the dog had a broken tooth and vomited plastic cheese wrappers. The owner noted that the dog got into the neighbors trash the night before. Continental paid the vet bill and forwarded the dog to Portland.

Delta Airlines, Death - Terrier Mix:Upon arrival in Atlanta from British West Indies the dog was found deceased. Results from the necropsy indicated that the dog died from a pre-existing condition.


We can start off with some good news this month. First, the numbers are down from the last two months. And Alaska Airlines reported that Tippy, the cat that was reported lost in the August report was found alive and returned to its owner. But the good news stops there for Alaska Airlines with both of the injury incidents being directly related to employee negligence.

The continental death seems to be directly the fault of the person shipping the pet, giving the dog over-the-counter, human, allergy medicine to sedate the dog. The Continental injury is another example of a dog injuring itself while trying to escape from its kennel.

The Delta death is listed as natural causes, but it is clear from the number of deaths from natural causes that flying can be traumatic for pets. I encourage everyone transporting a pet by air to make sure that their pet is comfortable in it's kennel and be sure to honestly evaluate your pets physical condition to make sure that you feel it can make the trip safely.

Pet Travel Incidents by Airline during July, 2005.
Airline Losses Injuries Deaths
Alaska Airlines 0 2 0
Continental 2 0 0
Delta 0 0 1
Total 2 2 1

See all incidents included in the September, 2005 report.

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Source: September 2005 Air Travel Consumer Report.