United Airlines, in response to customer feedback that included an online petition, has changed its pet-restriction policy. It no longer bans nine breeds of dogs from being transported on United flights.
Chicago-based United, which merged with Continental Airlines, adopted Continental’s PetSafe program on March 3. It has a number of perks for flying dogs and cats.
But the program also used what critics called “canine profiling,” restricting dogs from flying on United flights based solely on their breed — a restriction the former United Airlines didn’t have. The nine restricted breeds were: Pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, ca de bou, cane corso, dogo Argentino, fila Brasileiro, perro de presa canario, presa canario and tosa (or tosa ken).
The policy prompted an online petition at Change.org that received nearly 46,000 signatures.
In response, United changed its policy, effective April 24. It no longer bans the nine breeds but requires them to be transported in reinforced crates.
“As a result feedback, United will now accept previously restricted breeds of dogs,” United said in a statement. However, the dogs must be in a non-plastic, reinforced crate that meets certain container requirements. Details are online at: tinyurl.com/united-pets
Hawaii resident Jessie Huart started the petition after her 10-year-old pit bull was denied travel due to his breed.
“I am thrilled that United listened to their customers,” Huart said in a news release. “This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination.”
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