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 — 269 Comments

  1. Marlene – try Delta or United. Tampa is on Delta’s list of participating airports for the summer heat embargo. We have not seen information from United yet. Even with that, see if there is a flight that lands late at night when temperatures are cooler.

  2. I will be needing to ship 2 birds from Buffalo NY to Tampa Florida. Will this be possible if the temps are over 85 degrees in Tampa? Thanks!

  3. Sherry – we have not yet seen the 2015 Summer Heat Embargo list from Delta yet. We can confirm airports that were on last year’s list for you if that would help.

  4. Hi~
    Looking for a list of airports participating in the Delta Summer Pet program. When will this be available and where do you get a list? I like to know what airports participate when talking with my customer rather than have to call Delta and wait on hold forever to find out.
    Thank you in advance

  5. Delta has not published the airports included in its Summer Heat Program yet this year, however, in years past, neither SIN or NRT were included in the list of participating airports. Check to see if there are any airlines that fly at night when temperatures are a bit cooler.

  6. I need to get 2 cats from Singapore to Japan on July 15th. I am working on all the quarantine paperwork etc. however, I need help finding a way to fly them during the hot summer months. Can the Delta Summer program help in this situation?

  7. Nina – you may want to check to see if Delta covers Phoenix on its summer heat embargo list. Try to choose a flight that arrives in Phoenix late at night or very early in the morning when temperatures are lower.

  8. Hi,

    I am currently stationed overseas and I have a 4 year old black Labrador Retriever, we will be PCSing to Phoenix in July. I wanted to know how to go about getting a flight for my dog. I know certain airlines do not fly animals during summer months but I know delta has a special program. Please let me know any important information I should know about flying my dog during these months.

  9. Mitzi – your pup should be vaccinated for rabies at 12 weeks of age. The later your ship your pup, the hotter it will get in Phoenix, so we would recommend that you be sensitive to the temperatures in that airport. If they exceed 85 degrees F, conditions get more risky to ship a pet. You should contact the cargo department of an airline that serves your route for details if your pup is traveling unaccompanied. Try to pick an airline with the most direct route. Your pup will need a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel.

  10. Hello,
    I am wanting to ship a 16 week old puppy from Phoenix sky harbor to jfk in April or May 2015.

  11. Eva – not sure where you may be moving from and to, but Delta and United both have programs that deal with summer heat. You can try them if they serve your route. They also have price considerations for military personnel who are PSCing to another location.

  12. Hi,
    my husband and I will be moving back to the states in june and we want to take our two cats with us. Medically they have all the shots, EU passport and will be getting the health certificate done. But I’m scared that because of the summer embargo we’ll have to leave them here. Only one of them fits the weight requirements for in cabin but still I feel like the crate for in cabin will be too small.
    We don’t know where we will be moving to since my husband is in the military. But there’s no way I will be leaving them.
    What can we do?

  13. Hi Brandy – shipping late at night and early in the morning certainly helps, but Phoenix is one of the hardest places to transport pets during the summer. If Delta or United serve your route, you can discuss options with them, although their summer heat program may not involve Phoenix.

  14. Hi, I am wanting to ship a baby goat from Minnesota to Phx. Az. The baby will not be old enough to ship until the beginning to mid May, I understand the Vet health paperwork and crate, I am trying to figure out if I still need to make sure the heat doesn’t reach 85 degrees? Am I still able to ship in May if it is late at night or early morning? Thank You

  15. Try Philippine Airlines. China and Eva Airlines fly the route through Taiwan and you would have to confirm with them that they will transit your pet and there will be no quarantine involved. Cathay Pacific also flies the route through Hong Kong.

  16. Diana – Taiwan will allow the import of birds from areas where avian flu is not endemic. (the US is one) Your birds have to spend 21 days in quarantine prior to export. There are a bunch of other requirements. You can find them here: There is an approved facility at JFK as it is one of only 3 cities where birds can enter the US. You need to inquire to your airline about transiting NRT with your birds. No matter how your birds travel, you will need to stay on the same airline for the entire trip. Most airlines will not permit birds in the cabin on long international flights so your birds would most likely need to travel as accompanied checked baggage in the hold. Additionally, if you are returning to the US, then your birds cannot return as imports of birds from Taiwan are banned from re-entering the US. Sorry for all the negativity, but you are probably better off leaving them at home.

  17. Kelly – not sure where in Michigan your cats are located, but Delta or American Airlines may be able to help. As your cats will be traveling unaccompanied, you will need to contact Delta Cargo. They will need to travel in an IATA compliant pet crate like these: they will also need health certificates issued within 10 days of travel. Have your friend drop them off at Delta’s cargo facility and you can pick them up in Long Beach.

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