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June 2012

Delta bans pets from its Boeing 767 cargo holds

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767

ABOVE: When your Delta Air Lines 767 flight takes off, your pet may be left behind.

A reader called our attention to a new Delta Air Lines policy on pet travel: Effective June 9, 2012, Delta no longer accepts pets in the cargo hold--whether as cargo or as checked baggage--on its fleet of Boeing 767s. (See Delta's official statement.)

This is bad news for American pet owners who live or spend extensive periods overseas, including military families at the U.S. Army Garrison in Vicenza, which is served by the Delta route between New York's JFK International Airport and Marco Polo Airport in Venice.

To make matters worse, Delta is replacing Airbus A330s with Boeing 767s on some of its other internatinal routes, such as MSP-CDG, thereby making it even harder for military families, expats, and international travelers to fly to or from the Venice area with their pets.

Our reader tells us:

"I am just about sick with the red tape trying to figure out WHO will now fly our [dog] into Venice (at this point Delta, US Airways and Continental/United have said no).  Delta said their new policy is only non-stop flights and only to Rome. Continental/United said they only fly pets into Milan and as of May 6th if you are not military you must use a third party pet courier to take the animal to the plan even if you are on the same flight!  They won't accept pets from owners.  US Airways says no pets, period."

Note: Maggie is in the United States at the moment, and we're wondering how we can get her back to Venice without subjecting her--and us--to a roundabout, three-leg flight itinerary. (On our last transatlantic journey with Maggie, we were able to use a Delta flight into Paris Charles de Gaulle and connect to Venice on an Air France A320, but Delta's new 767 policy makes that routing impossible.)

Photo: Delta Air Lines.