|Purred: Wed Nov 9, '11 9:09pm PST |
|The cost of GPS tracking devices is definitely an issue. If the airlines are required to provide them, they will pass the expense back onto their customers, most likely in the form of higher pet fees. On Amazon.com, a GPS pet tracker runs about $300. Would it be more cost effective for travelers with pets to pay double or triple the pet fees to have the airline loan them a GPS tracker, or to just buy the trackers themselves so that they can then keep and use them in other situations?
Another issue would be that, if the airline is responsible for putting the GPS tracker on someone's cat or dog, it would mean that airline personnel would have to open the carrier and handle the pet--which seems like the last thing you'd want them doing if you don't want your pet to get lost.
Unfortunately, it is often necessary for pets to travel in the luggage compartment. There really isn't any way for large breed dogs to be secured safely in the cabin. (One of the things that really makes me angry about Jack's case is that the "weight limit" that AA invoked to force his mom to check him and his brother as luggage was never meant to be applied to cats, but to keep people from trying to stuff large dogs under the seats.)
As Harvey mentioned, too, there are different rules for international flights. Whether a pet can fly in the cabin or must be checked as luggage depends on the quarantine laws in the country you're flying to. If that country requires that pets be quarantined upon arrival, then they must fly in the luggage compartment.
Obviously, something needs to change to make air travel safer for pets. The airlines already have pretty strict rules about transporting pets, but it doesn't seem that they're doing enough to enforce their own existing rules. That might be a good place to start before giving them excuses to slap more and higher fees on pet guardians. Just a thought.
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