During a layover in Detroit, Michigan, a couple ‘s 8-year-old Pomeranian named Alejandro died while being held in a Delta cargo facility. The couple was in the process of relocating across the country when the incident happened.

When the flight arrived in Detroit from Phoenix Wednesday morning, Alejandro was alive and transported from the aircraft to the cargo holding facility. When the pet was checked “between 8am and 8:30am,” it was found deceased “with vomit and fluids in the cage.”

While these stories make the headlines, animal mishandling on an aircraft isn’t rare. In 2017, there were 40 incidents reported in Department of Transportation statistics, 24 of which were deaths — and 18 of those deaths occurred on United Airlines.

Compared to United’s statistics, Delta has had a solid record. In 2017, Delta only had two transported animal deaths and one other animal incident out of the 57,479 transported animals. One of those deaths was determined to be due to an advanced infection and the other was found to be due to a heart attack. The third incident involved a dog chewing through its metal cage and escaping temporarily before being caught.

Alejandro’s owners are being represented by Evan Oshan — the same lawyer that represented the family whose dog died on a United flight when the flight attendant instructed the family to put the carrier in the overhead bin. The necropsy showed that the French Bulldog puppy died from suffocation in-flight.

Delta has offered to pay for the necropsy on Alejandro to determine the cause of death as part of a “thorough review of the situation.” In a statement, a Delta spokesperson said:

We know pets are an important member of the family and we are focused on the well-being of all animals we transport. As part of that review, we want to find out more about why this may have occurred to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Whether relocating, bringing a new pet home or traveling with your pet, here are the tips to keep your animal safe when flying as well as how to select an on-board pet carrier.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.