United’s New ‘Anti-Pet’ Policy Sparks Military Backlash
NAPA, Calif., Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — United Airlines has recently announced changes to its pet transport policy that will increase the cost for military service members transporting their pets up to a whopping 1,300 percent! According to an article published in Stars & Stripes, military personnel transferring from the Asian Pacific region back to the United States currently pay an average of $283 to fly their pet home. The military contracts with United to provide transportation for military members at a reduced rate, but the cost for transporting pets is the service member’s responsibility. Under the new policy due to go into effect on March 3, 2012, that cost will skyrocket to between $1,440 – $3,869.
“Service members and the flying public in general are outraged that the United-Continental merger is having such a negative impact on mans’ best friend,” said FlyersRights.org spokesman Kate Hanni. “They are literally forcing people to abandon their pets because they cannot afford to transport them. This specifically hurts our military servicemen and women serving overseas, who cannot afford this prohibitive new pricing.”
Comments posted on the UAL Facebook page have been overwhelmingly negative and many have contacted FlyersRights.org for assistance. Jessica Simmons, a servicewoman stationed in Okinawa, reached out to us about her dilemma in trying to transport her cocker spaniel home and her concern about other pets and their fate. “Military service members have so many costs during a move and to charge a minimum of $1400 per pet when moving overseas just adds to the cost. Unfortunately, this may lead to pet abandonment on the island for those who can’t afford their new prices.”
We attempted to contact United to seek clarification on their new policy, but the agent we spoke to stated that she knew nothing about the planned changes. The company web site also includes no information about it. We will continue to follow this story and keep our members informed about our efforts to oppose this unfair policy.
FlyersRights.org is the largest airline passengers rights non-profit organization in the world with 50k members. Our toll free hotline is 1-877-359-3776.