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).

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

  • Hi Gabriela – it should be very possible to fly with your pet in the cabin on Lufthansa or KLM from Orlando to Amsterdam as long as it can meet weight requirements and has an airline compliant carrier to travel in.

  • Gabriela

    Hello. I have a chihuahua/ pomeranian mix that I would like to travel in cabin with me. I am traveling from orlando to amsterdam. Will this be possible?

  • […] transport to and from the terminal to the plane. Look at what Delta is doing in certain markets: Airline Pet Cargo Travel in Summer Delta Live Animal Program | Pet Travel Blog – International Dog a… Because of long wait times in the loading area and on the tarmac, most United State based airlines […]

  • Ajiminez – you will have a difficult time finding an airline that will carry your English Bulldogs during any time of the year. Most US airlines have banned them including 3 that actively serve your route: American, Delta and United. You can try Air Canada Cargo (pets are not accepted as checked baggage in and out of Hawaii on Air Canada). Alaska Air will transport English Bulldogs, but the route has stops in Portland, LAX and ATL before arriving in Norfolk. That may be your only option, sorry to say.

  • Hello I will be moving to the Norfolk area mid September. I have 2 English Bulldogs that need to be flown with my family and I. Gotti: 59 lbs 2 1/2 years old. Capo: 25 lbs. 6 mths Will they fly them cargo or would I need to find another airline? I would like to go from Honolulu straight to Washington DC.

    Also would you know the date restrictions for English Bulldogs? And if 8 am is early enough for them to fly out?

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

  • Lynmarie – you will need to contact Delta cargo to transport your pet to PA. You will need proof of rabies vaccination at least 30 days prior to travel and a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel. You will pick your dog up at Delta’s cargo facility at your airport.

  • Lymarie Torres

    I just moved to Atlanta, and I wanted to bring my dog from PR. He weights 28 pounds. Delta cargo would be the best or just by regular check claim way?
    Thank you

  • DB – Delta will not transport your puppy to Mexico City if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees F. The only option would be a flight that arrives late at night or very early in the morning when temperatures are not as extreme. This may require that your puppy be held in ATL and you may need an agent to care for it. Additionally, you will need to arrange for after-hours customs clearance in Mexico City.

  • DB

    I have a friend who will be receiving a puppy this summer. Airline is Delta. It is being shipped out of Johannesburg, South Africa to Atlanta (16 hours) and then on to Mexico City (3 or 4 hours). It is not a short-snouted breed. I see that Mexico City is not listed as part of Delta’s summer cargo program. Any thoughts on this? Possibly this is okay based on timing of the flights, etc. Thank you for feedback.

  • Hi Summer – not sure where you are flying out of in Kansas, but your only viable options are Delta and United as they have programs to deal with the summer heat. Delta does include MCI on their list of participating cities if that airport is close to you. If you don’t live near a participating airport, you may need to drive to one. For the safety of your pet, you should fly very early in the morning or very late at night when temperatures are not extreme.

  • Hello – there are multiple airlines that fly between these two cities including Air Canada, Lufthansa, KLM and Delta. If summer temperatures are an issue, then the airlines may not transport your pet as accompanied checked baggage, but they may accept it as manifest cargo as long as temperatures along the route do not exceed 85 degrees. (Some require 75 degrees) See if there is a route that departs and lands either early in the AM or late at night when temps are not extreme. You can also contact cargo departments of these airlines and inquire. It will be more expensive, but might be the only alternative if you want to travel prior to mid September when the summer heat embargo winds down.

  • Summer

    Hi im needing to see how much it would cost to ship a 32pd jack russel from Kansas to San diego I tried to ship him via american airlines but was told it probably wouldn’t be possible bc of the heat

  • Brooklyn

    Hi there. We are moving from Vancouver to Barcelona at the end of August and having difficulties finding an airline that will fly my 2.5 year old Boston Terrier. I am getting quite frustrated and sad even trying to figure this out. Does anyone have any info or tips to share with me that will help us bring our dog to Barcelona with us?
    Thanks so much!!!


  • Tammy – because you are flying in the summer out of a city known for its heat, your choices are limited to Delta or United as they have summer heat programs. Both of them also offer special pricing to those on military transfers. Just confirm that Delta does not fly a 767 on the route as that plane does not accommodate live animals.

  • Tammy – due to the summer heat, you are confined to either Delta or United as they offer summer heat programs. Make sure that Delta does not fly 767 aircraft on this route as those planes do not allow for the transport of live animals. Both airlines offer price considerations for military transfers.

  • We are a military family being transferred to Germany. Anyone know of the best airlines to ship an 80lb lab from Albuquerque to Frankfurt Germany in the months of July or August?

  • Norman – you will need to be concerned about temperatures if you are flying an unaccompanied pet into Houston during the summer. This is a long flight for a puppy. United has a summer heat program that may work on this route. Delta does as well, but if they are flying 767 aircraft on the route, they do not permit pets in the cargo hold.

  • Norman Epstein

    I’m trying to find out the most economical way to fly 10 week old 12 pound puppy from Frankfurt to Houston Texas

  • Hi Dana – Delta does not include Phoenix in their live animal summer program. Additionally, they may fly 767 aircraft on this route which does not accommodate live animals. See if Lufthansa or United has a flight that lands in Phoenix late at night or very early in the morning.

  • Dana

    Hi, We are a military family currently living in Germany and would like to fly our dog over to Frankfurt from Phoenix this summer. Is that possible? Does Delta in Phoenix have temperature control cargo holding areas? Thank you!

  • Hi Nancy – some airlines like British Airways, require that an agent arrange the transport, but not all do. Find an airline that serves the entire route and contact their cargo department to book your cat’s travel.

  • Nancy

    I am buying a cat from France; they can take him to CDG airport. Can I set up the transport myself, or must I use a professional shipper? The breeder has all the paperwork in order

  • Alan – it sure is and both cities are listed as participating in the program. That said, from a safety standpoint, try to fly early in the AM or late in the PM.

  • Alan

    I have a 1.5 yo australian shepherd. need to take her on a round trip to PIT from DFW in July. Is the summer live program still active at Delta for the aforementioned cities? Other airlines to consider if not?

  • Jennifer – United may be your best bet as they have climate controlled holding areas and vehicles. Cargo is climate controlled. Delta may also be a possibility, but they have not yet published the cities they will be serving this summer as far as transporting live animals.

  • Military being stationed in Hawaii with a report date in July. We have a 90lb shepherd mix…are there airlines with climate controlled cargo for her?
    Thank you

  • Sharon – I am not sure what country you are locating to Singapore from, so it is hard to advise. What I can say is that it may be more difficult to transport your pets during the height of the summer season. Airlines are concerned about ground temperatures exceeding 85 degrees and the effect it has on pets traveling in the hold. Flying in the spring or fall is the ultimate time to travel as temperatures are not as excessive. The Summer Heat Embargo starts in mid-May depending on the location, but the real deciding factor are temperatures along your route including the origination, destination and transiting airports.

  • Sharon

    we are a military family relocating to Singapore. We have a beagle and a small terrier mix. What would be the best option and months to transport our dogs. I have read various forums. all with different advice. We have a travelling window of June-August but could leave sooner if required.

    Thank you

  • Hello Karen – it is possible but not without 2 stops. You can try Air France as they route through CDG. British Airways routes through LHR which will cause additional paperwork with transit papers. You will need the services of an agent to clear customs at JFK if you do not have someone who can do that for you. Let me know if you need additional help. (

  • karen dunn


    we need to transport a dog from Malaga airport spain to hancock international airport Syracuse on a cargo flight unaccompanied, is this possible

  • Ana – Lufthansa has the most flights, but you can also try Air Canada and Austrian Airlines which also serve the route.

  • Ana

    I am looking for a way to transfer my 24 kg heavy dog in 12 kg heavy crib, unaccompanied from Zagreb to Toronto. She already has proof of rabies vaccination and passport.

  • You should contact Delta Cargo if you would like to transport a dog unaccompanied from MIA to Syracuse. Their number is 888-736-3738.
    Let me know if I can be of additional assistance.

  • Wendy

    Hi there, we need to get a dog from Miami to Syracuse or Plattsburg…we have someone who will drop her off at the airport and someone to pick her up..can you tell me the best number to call to arrange this?

  • Amanda – your pet will be unloaded first and you can pick it up at Delta’s cargo facility at MIA if it flew unaccompanied.

  • Amanda

    Hi, my dog is coming in today from Minnesota to Miami with a layover in Atlanta. He arrives at 7:30 but I was curious how long pets take to unload via delta and how the procedure for pick up goes?

  • Delta does fly this route through Atlanta. If you are not accompanying your dog, you need to contact Delta’s cargo department: Your pet will need a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination.

  • Blanca

    I need to fly my 70 pounds weimariner from san diego to buffalo, new york, do Delta fly that route? Can my dog fly this week (august 29)? Thank you

  • Lize – China Southern flies direct from Pu Dong to Detroit, however, they do not permit pets in the cabin. Their flight time is significantly less than the other carriers that serve this route with stops. Lufthansa and KLM also serve this route with stops in Frankfurt and Amsterdam respectively. You can check with them as well regarding taking your pet in the cabin.

  • Ilze

    Hi, we will be relocating to Michigan from Shanghai China and will be bringing our 2 cats and 2 small dogs with us. Will they be able to fly directly from Shanghai, Pudong airport to Detroit Airport? We plan to send the cats and one dog as cargo, and take the small one in cabin. I have been getting a lot of confusing answers from people and are running out of time. I will greatly appreciate your help.

  • Hello Deb – That is a long time for a little puppy to be in the cargo hold. It is also concerning that the temperature along the way may very well exceed 85 degrees in which case, KLM may refuse transport. I would speak with KLM and ask them if they will permit your pet in the cabin on any leg of your trip.

    To answer your question, it will depend on how long your leyovers are. If your pet is traveling as checked baggage, then KLM may not hold your pet more than 2 hours (this is an estimate). If you have to claim your pet and recheck it, you will have to clear customs and enter the layover country. You can find entry requirements for all countries at

    In the case of the US, your pet will need a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination. If your pet’s rabies vaccination is current, then you should be fine. If your pet’s rabies vaccination has expired, you will need to re-vaccinate at least 21 days prior to entering the US. If you need instructions and forms, you can find them at
    Hope this helps.

  • Deb Nanninga

    Hi, On Aug 18, I am flying from Dammam, SA to Amsterdam, to Atlanta to Ft. Myers, Fl on KLM and would like to bring my 4.2kg little dog home with with me in cargo. Will this be a problem? I will have all the proper vet papers with stamps from the Saudi Dept of Agriculture and Airport vet. Are there any other papers I will need for you?

  • Hello Nadezda – as long as you are traveling within the United States (not counting Hawaii), Canada, US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, Delta should permit your small bird to travel in the cabin in a compliant carrier if you fly on Delta. American Airlines does not allow birds to travel in the cabin or as checked baggage. Your turtle can travel as checked baggage in the cargo hold on the same flight as you on Delta. It is always good to travel with a health certificate, and American Airlines will require it while Delta should not.

  • Nadezda

    Hi ! I want to transport my small red ear turtle that is 1 year old and my parakeet that is 6 months old. It’s most likely I will transport them with me by US Airlines or Delta. Can I carry them with me? Will they let me transport my turtle? Do I need a health certificate? Because I don’t have one …. :( Please someone help !

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