After United Airlines merged with Continental, it adopted its new spouse’s PetSafe program, which includes perks like climate-controlled transport and cargo holds, and the ability to track your pets’ whereabouts. But it also meant that nine breeds of dog, including pit bulls, were no longer allowed to fly United. Following customer backlash in the form of nearly 46,000 signatures on a petition, the airline has changed its tune.
“As a result of feedback, United will now accept previously restricted breeds of dogs,” the airline says in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.
The previously banned breeds are:
* American Staffordshire Terriers
* Ca de Bou
* Cane Corso
* Dogo Argentino
* Fila Brasileiro
* Perro de Presa Canario
* Pit Bull Terriers
* Presa Canario
* Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
But before you book your pooch on United, know that these breeds all require a reinforced container that meets IATA Container Requirement #82:
the container or crate must be constructed of wood, metal, synthetic materials, weld mesh or wire mesh. Additional design principles regarding frame, sides, floor, roof and doors also apply. No portion of the crate may be plastic. The crate door must be made of heavy wire mesh, metal or reinforced wood and should have a secure means of fastening that cannot be opened accidentally.
“I am thrilled that United listened to their customers and over 45,000 petition signers and changed their pet restriction policy,” says the creator of the Change.org petition. “This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination. All dogs, regardless of breed, should be able to fly safely. The new requirement of reinforced crates improves the safety of the dogs and is something United should consider extending to all large dogs.”
For more info on which pets can and can’t fly United, go to United.com.