United's decision left her scrambling for options.
A Coast Guard member is scrambling for options to get her English mastiff home from Japan following United Airlines' recent suspension of PetSafe, its program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment.
Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer McKay is trying to get to Texas to pick up an automobile before going to Washington, DC, to begin her next assignment, Stars and Stripes reported. She originally brought the 220-pound dog to the Tokyo area via United for a cost of about $3,200.
McKay isn't finding many workable choices.
The other airline that flies directly from Tokyo to Houston, McKay explained, is All Nippon Airways. But ANA will charge approximately $31,000 to ship her dog, named George Jefferson. She told Stars and Stripes that's because "his carrier was too big and would take up more than one pallet space."
Some other airlines won't carry English mastiffs, and others only offer routes with "multiple transfers and long flight times that McKay said she can’t consider," Stars and Stripes reported.
McKay said other people are facing similar problems.
United announced that it was "conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets." It said it expected to complete the review by May 1.
The company said it would honor any existing PetSafe reservations confirmed as of March 20.
The suspension does not affect pets that travel with us in the aircraft's cabin, the airline said, noting: "We are also reviewing this service and have already announced that beginning in April we will issue bright colored bag tags to help better identify pets who are traveling in-cabin."
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