Delta Cargo Lead Product Manager Sara Bernhardt and her 5-month-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Peach, introduce the CarePod. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta launches new option for airline pet travel

Delta Air Lines is launching a new option for airline pet travel -- and it’s not cheap.

In Atlanta and seven other cities, Atlanta-based Delta now offers the option to transport your pet as cargo in a CarePod.

A CarePod is a specialized pet travel carrier that has GPS tracking, a built-in water bowl, industrial-strength walls and “specially angled blinds to help create a calming environment for pets.” Dog owners can bring their dog in on a leash instead of providing their own carrier.

The price for pet travel in a CarePod: $850 one-way, plus taxes. Delta said prices are subject to change.

Delta in 2018 announced its exclusive partnership with Singapore-based pet travel pod startup CarePod, and says it is launching the service after a successful two-month trial.

“With the Delta partnership, we aim to raise the benchmark for pet travel,” said CarePod founder and CEO Jenny Pan in a written statement.

The new service will be first offered in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York JFK and New York LaGuardia, San Francisco and West Palm Beach. Then it will be rolled out in phases across Delta’s U.S. network.

The launch of the CarePod option follows Delta’s decision in 2016 to stop accepting pets as checked baggage, after facing criticism for the death of pets in checked carriers.

Instead, some pets can travel on Delta as carry-ons in the cabin and others can be shipped via Delta Cargo, which can cost more and be less convenient. Instead of going to the terminal, pets shipped via cargo must be dropped off at a Delta Cargo location at least three hours before departure, and must be picked up at a cargo location.

Pet travel in a CarePod can be booked between 3 and 13 days before departure.

Snub-nosed dogs and cats, which are more prone to respiratory problems and can be at higher risk during flights, are still not permitted on Delta flights. And Delta warns that transporting pets can affect them physically and mentally.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.