Generally it’s pretty easy to keep tabs on your loved ones when traveling, that is unless they have four legs and can’t fit under the airline seat in front of you. In that case, you’re left to worry about whether or not they made it from the drop-off area at the airport to the plane’s cargo hold before the flight. In an attempt to ease some of the worries passengers face when traveling with their beloved pets, Delta Air Lines has introduced a GPS pet-tracking device.
Bloomberg reports that starting tomorrow, Delta passengers at 10 U.S. airports will be able to purchase the gadget for $50 per flight to monitor their pets in real-time.
The device, which was developed by Sendum Wireless Corp., is placed on the animal’s crate and provides the pet owner – via a dedicated website – with information such as the room temperature around the animal and how they are positioned in the cargo hold.
If the tracker detects that temperatures in the cargo area reach above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, an alert is sent to Delta’s call center, an adviser for developer Sendum tells Bloomberg.
While the device might provide some piece of mind for animal owners, it has a very limited use, as cellular communication restrictions prevent it from sending alerts during flights.
Additionally, a spokesperson for Delta tells Bloomberg the device isn’t specifically meant to address the airline’s past issues transporting animals, although it could help to ensure animals actually make it to the plane’s cargo hold.
Over the past several years, Delta has been at the center of numerous tragic stories regarding pet transports.
Just last November, a Tampa man said the airline of lost his six-year-old dog at Los Angeles airport.
The man says he was in his seat when an airline employee told him they couldn’t find the dog.
The attendant initially told the man the dog allegedly bit through his kennel, but then changed her story saying the airline simply couldn’t find the dog and that he had been missing for an hour.
Before that in 2011, Delta recorded 19 animal deaths during or shortly after flights. And the year before, the airline counted 16 pets deaths on or after flights in its cargo hold.