It will be available at eight airports in the U.S.

By Alison Fox
January 23, 2020
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Storing a beloved animal in a plane’s cargo section can make any pet parent nervous — but Delta is trying to fix that.

The airline this week introduced a new pet carrier that will offer pet parents real-time updates, features a built-in hydration system to replenish a spill-proof water bowl throughout the flight, and industrial-strength walls aimed at protecting pets against temperature fluctuations.

The pet carrier, which is named CarePod, has been in the works since 2018 and is compliant with International Air Transport Association standards. It will be available at eight airports in the U.S.: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, JFK and LaGuardia in New York, San Francisco and West Palm Beach.

Courtesy of Delta Air Lines 

“Continuous innovation is in Delta’s DNA and the launch of the CarePod pet travel carrier, an industry first, is an example of us seeking out innovative partnerships and looking at ways to improve the customer experience throughout all parts of their journey,” Shawn Cole, the vice president for Delta Cargo, said in a statement. “As the only airline to offer this premium pet travel solution, it represents a significant improvement for the millions of people who want to travel with their four-legged family members.”

To update travelers who also happen to be worried about their pets, the carrier includes a GPS tracking system and allows people to see “key travel updates throughout their entire journey.” And to calm down nervous four-legged flyers, the crate features multi-layered windows and doors with angled blinds that block out “visual stress from unfamiliar environments.”

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The new service comes after several pets have gone missing after being checked into the cargo hold on different airlines. In December, Milo the cat was reunited with his owner two months after he went missing when his human checked him into the cargo hold on a Lufthansa flight from Munich, Germany to Washington, D.C. And in 2019, a woman was eventually reunited with her 13-pound Poodle, Beast, after the pup was flown to the wrong destination on an American Airlines flight.

Jenny Pan, the founder and CEO of CarePod, said in a statement she hopes to “raise the benchmark for pet air travel to allow families and pets to stay connected and travel safely together.”

The CarePod can be booked three to 13 days before a flight on deltacargo.com or by calling the airline’s Cargo Customer Service Center.