Delta will fly your pet in a GPS-tracked luxury carrier — for $850 per flight
Traveling with animals is something that the commercial aviation industry just hasn't been able to get quite right. As more and more people travel with their pets, more problems have arisen -- from a dramatic increase in passengers securing fraudulent emotional support animal (ESA) credentials to accidental deaths of animals while inflight.
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Now, both the federal government and airlines are taking steps to address the problems that have arisen -- both for passengers and for pets -- with the increase in traveling with animals.
This week, the Department of Transportation introduced new restrictions on flying with ESAs, which would only allow trained dogs to fly in the cabin. However, for pet owners it's a stressful experience to travel with pets if they have to be in the cargo hold.
Introducing the CarePod
In an effort to put pet owners at ease, Delta has partnered with a pet-safety startup called CarePod. The startup has created "luxury" pet carriers that go by the same name. Each carrier is equipped with a GPS tracking system, a built-in water bowl, a triple-locking door and industrial-strength walls insulated to protects pets against weather changes.
Sounds nice, right? Well, all this luxury comes at a cost -- if you want to fly your pet in style you'll have to shell out a cool $850 per flight.
The CarePod is about two feet high and big enough for a dog up to 50 pounds. Legally, animals must be able sit and move around in their carriers. Otherwise, they will not be permitted to fly.
Currently, the CarePod can only be booked on Delta flights to/through/from select U.S. airports including Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK and LGA), San Francisco (SFO) and West Palm Beach (PBI).
Customers are required to arrive at least three hours before their flight with their pet on a leash or in a carrier and any important documents. Additionally, all reservations must be made 13 days prior to the date of travel. CarePod is not available on flights operated by Boeing 767s or Airbus A330-200s.
The CarePod is looking to become the solution to safe animal travel -- and it very well may ending up being exactly that. However, at $850 per flight, it's a steep cost, especially if you're someone who flies frequently with your pet.