United halts pet shipments after animal mishaps
United Airlines is hitting the pause button on letting customers pay to ship pets as cargo.
The carrier's decision on Tuesday comes a week after United inadvertently flew a German shepherd to Japan instead of Kansas, compellingjet to carry the canine back to his human family.
Two days later, another United flight traveling from Newark to St. Louisafter crew members realized a dog meant to do to Akron had been mistakenly been loaded onto the craft's cargo.
United said its suspension of the PetSafe reservations will continue as it reviews the service, which charges fees of up to several hundred dollars for a medium-size or big dog. It expects to finish the review May 1.
United spokesman Charles Hobart said the airline is looking to improve the program, not get rid of it.
The carrier's move does not impact customers bringing pets in the cabin like theafter a flight attendant ordered its owner to store a carrier holding the 10-month puppy in the overhead bin.
Hobart said the airline also will give airport crews more advance warning about the number and type of animals flying in cargo, and a ramp supervisor will oversee the loading and unloading of all animals.
United last week said it would put brightly colored tags on carriers containing pets in plane cabins, saying the flight attendant who ordered the carrier be put in the overhead bin didn't understand that there was a dog inside. The family and other passengers dispute that account.
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