Goodness knows that emotional support animals are controversial. There are people who ‘fake it’ although at the same time I certainly understanding needing to travel with an animal and not wanting to trust an airline with one that’s too big to fit underneath your seat.
I’ve traveled with my dog, though not in many years because he’s quite old. I always paid the pet in cabin fee.
My dog would rather be on the couch at home than under an airplane seat
Those fees are expensive, now often more than the cost of a ticket for a person and of course the pet is your full-sized carry on so you may also wind up having to pay checked bag fees. United charges $125 each way (and if you have a connection over 4 hours domestically, they charge an extra $125). No wonder a Congressman used campaign funds to pay pet in cabin fees for the family rabbit.
Here’s my little guy is using an airport pet relief station during a connection.
I’m fortunate he’s just 10 pounds and fits under the seat, because this story of a pet having to be shipped underneath the plane is just heartbreaking.
I am absolutely disgusted with the way UNITED AIRLINES is responding to my best friend, Jacob’s, death this past week.
Jacob was supposed to fly from Detroit to Portland with a 1 hour layover in Chicago. At 80 pounds, Jacob needed a giant crate for his journey and there was question as to whether or not it would fit on the plane. The airline agent in Detroit confirmed Jacob would fit on his first and second flight, no question.
Jacob went for a MANDATORY physical less than 24 hours before his flight, where he was cleared for airline travel with no previous health concerns.
When Jacob landed in Chicago, it was found that the airline agent LIED and he did not fit on the plane to Portland. He was then sent to a kennel over night, 20 HOURS, until the next flight out he could fit on.
The airline DID NOT ALLOW my mother to send food with Jacob, due to the intended short duration of his journey, even though it is mandated that the crates have a food bowl and their website states they may have a zip lock bag less than 1 pound of food attached to the top of their crate.
When Jacob finally arrived in Portland, he was disoriented and non-responsive. The United agent said the airline may have given him medication, but he didn’t know. The airline DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to give medication, especially without telling us what, when, or why.
After his three hour journey to central Oregon, Jacob was still non-responsive, and getting worse. My very best friend who I was expecting to trample me with kisses barely even acknowledged my existence. There was clearly something wrong when he landed in Portland. He was not the same dog he was when he was in Detroit.
After rushing Jacob to the emergency vet when his breathing became scarce, he was pronounced dead after 8 min of CPR. His stomach flipped due to the stress of his journey that was 20 hours longer than expected, and suffocated his organs.
My heart just breaks reading this.
It’s not clear from the story, though, exactly what happened in Chicago.
It seems unlikely that the type of plane was at issue, both United Chicago – Portland flights are operated by Boeing 737s and while one is a 737-800 and the other a -900 United’s dog and cat checklist suggests the same kennel dimensions are accepted on all 737s (and a 20 hour overnight would suggest taking the same flight the next day — not the next flight in the morning).
I understand the desire for answers from United, but there’s nothing at all that will bring Jacob back.