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

Airline pet travel in cargo during the summer was difficult until Delta announced their new Summer Live Animal ProgramNeed to fly with your pet this summer to Phoenix or Miami? Is your pet too small to travel in the cabin of the aircraft? Up until now, you have been out of luck for pet cargo travel unless you want to fly a pets only airline or charter a private jet.

Delta Cargo has just announced the launch of the 2010 Summer Live Animal Program. The program, which is in effect from May 31 through October 3, 2010, allows for the shipment of live, warm blooded animals, in select cities, during the hotter months of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Delta Cargo is now accepting pets all year round; they have eliminated the Summer Heat Embargo restrictions! (NOTE: Snub-nosed breeds are exempt from this program and can only be transported at temperatures up to 75F/24C.)

As Delta advertises: “Delta Cargo has climate controlled van service for the transport of live, warm blooded animals during our normal operations. This service is handled by specially trained Delta Cargo agents who work closely with a variety of internal partners to ensure safe, seamless, and comfortable movement of your animals.

Drivers are responsible for pick up and delivery of all warm-blooded, animals to or from the aircraft, animal holding areas, and cargo facilities. Because safety is our number one priority, live warm-blooded animals shipped as cargo are loaded or unloaded following specific time requirements in all cities.”

There are a few restricted routes. Pet cargo travelers should contact Delta Cargo at Pet First Call Center – 1-888 SENDPET (1-888-736-3738). All applicable pet fees and rules apply. Terminal fees, veterinarian fees, or overnight fees may apply when applicable. Visit or call for additional details.

Because of long wait times in the loading area and on the tarmac, most United State based airlines will not ship pets in the cargo hold of the aircraft during the summer due to heat exposure to the pet. The absence of appropriate handling procedures has been a tremendous inconvenience to owners traveling with a pet to hot climates in the summertime. We are thrilled that Delta has taken the lead on providing the safety measures that will accommodate summertime pet cargo travel. Hopefully, other carriers will follow their lead.

NOTE: Here is the list of cities that are NOT participating in Delta’s Summer Live Animal Program: Ajuba, Acapulco, Albany (NY), Antigua, Barcelona, Beijing, Belize City, Boise, Bonaire, Bozeman, Bridgetown, Calgary, Charleston, Cozumel, Curacao, Dakar, Denver, Detroit, Duzzledorf, Edmonton, Fortaleza, Georgetown, Grand Bahama, Grenada, Guayaquil, houston (Intercontinental), Huntsville, Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo, Kansas City, Kingston, Lima, Madrid, Malaga, Managua, Mazatlan, Mexico City, Milan – Malpensa, Minneapolis/St Paul, Monterey, Munich, Nagoya, Newark, Nice, Osaka, Paris, Philadelphia, Pisa, Port au Prince, Port of Spain, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Quito, Rio de Janerio, Roatan, Rochester (NY), Rome, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose Del Cabo (Cabo San Lucas), Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Shannon, St. Croix, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Syracuse, Tokyo, Toronto, Tucson, Valencia, Vancouver, Washington DC (National).


Airline Pet Travel: Delta Cargo Announces New Summer Live Animal Program — 306 Comments

  1. Hi Clair – we are not aware of an airline that publish regulations to fly guinea pigs in the cabin, but they may allow it if you contact them and ask. As for the dogs, they will likely fly in the hold if you are traveling alone. Be careful about the temperatures in Atlanta in July. You may want to start with Delta as Atlanta is their hub and they have facilities to deal with the summer heat.

  2. I’m wanting to take two terrier dogs and two Guinea pigs from Manchester UK to Atlanta in June 2017. Would the dogs go in the hold and could the pigs come n the cabin?

  3. Caymannmom – we don’t blame you for being confused. Delta no longer offers pet owners the option to fly their pets as checked baggage. If you travel with Delta, your pet must travel either in the cabin or as air cargo and you must have your travel arranged by a member of IPATA, which is a worldwide association of pet transporters of which we are a member. As for United, they offer cargo services through their PetSafe Program which is not the same as checked baggage. It is more of an air cargo program. Pets can still travel in the cabin on some international flights.

    To answer your question, if the destination country does not require pets to arrive as air cargo, it is up to the airline which class of service they will provide on a given route. That said, if your dogs are too big to travel in the cabin, you should contact either Delta Cargo or PetSafe.

  4. I want to fly with my two dogs from Georgetown, Grand Cayman to Atlanta, GA on Nov 1, 2016. Delta said that they would accept the pets as baggage on that flight. United will not. Is it up to the individual airlines to make these rules? I just wonder if I got the correct information from Delta since United said their reason was “due to federal regulations”. I would think that “federal regulations” would be the same with Delta as with United. I am confused!

  5. Rita – Delta will not transport your puppy out of San Antonio if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees. You are correct that they do not serve the airport in their Summer Live Animal Program. Your options are to fly out of DFW on Delta (which is included in their program) or United out of Austin (maybe) or Houston.

    The cargo hold is temperature and pressure controlled. Other than holding and loading, the amount of time spent on the taxiways is a concern for live animals in the hold. Once in the air, the risk is not as great because the aircraft’s air handling is efficient.

  6. I keep hearing about these “holding” areas and vans that are air conditioned, but what about the actual cargo part of the plane? Is it AC? I want to ship a 8-10 week puppy from Austin to Ontario, Canada, but do not want to put a pup on an un-airconditioned flight out of Texas. Delta is the only direct flight out of San Antonio, but I see they are not on the list of airports that do this special summer program. Thanks for your help.

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