“Now Boarding All Dogs” – Delta To Allow Dogs In Main Cabin

Who wouldn’t want to travel with their dog? Nobody likes leaving them at kennels or with a house sitter, but do you really want to fly with them underneath the plane? It is bad enough when the airline loses your luggage, let alone your best friend.

Well, for Delta passengers, that concern is now a thing of the past. As of March 2016, Delta will no longer make passengers stow their pets as cargo, instead allowing them to bring their pet into the main cabin. This is a huge deal.


In the past 10 years, 14 stowed pets have gone “missing” on Delta flights, and a whopping 74 have turned up deceased. And that makes up only 25% of all airline canine fatalities.

Much of this is due to the fact that the cargo hold is not pressurized the same way as the passenger area of the plane. The air pressure drops substantially at such high altitudes, making it difficult for anything to breath down there. That is why brachycephalic (or snub-nosed like a boxer) dogs are not allowed to fly with most commercial airlines, as they are at greater risk for suffocation.

That said, Delta will still have certain restrictions on large dogs in the cabin. They will still be able to travel via Delta Cargo, which the airline assures is a safer alternative for both the dog and other passengers.

“Pets that are transported via Delta Cargo are monitored closely by customer service teams during their travel,” a representative at Delta said. “While at airports, pets are handled in temperature-controlled holding areas and vans. Also, Delta Cargo enlists professional kenneling services if overnight stays are required.”


Since the program has not started yet, any assessment of its effectiveness is purely speculation. However, one can rightly assume that this program will lead to a drop in canine fatalities on Delta flights, as well as an increase in dogs traveling with their families.

We hope that this program works as well in practice as we believe it will in theory, and becomes a general practice for airlines around the globe.

If you have an opinion on flying with dogs, please let us know in the comments below.

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  1. 1

    Some peoples (dogs) are fit to fly with the passengers, others are going to be a pain in the compartment for both passengers and crew. You KNOW the ones I’m talking about.

  2. 2

    This is NOT good news for the crew and passengers who might be allergic. The “comfort animal” allowance is already a big issue for those trying to manage. My daughter is a Delta pilot. She says they’ve had people bring on ferrets, lizards, dogs and cats. One couple brought two adult golden doodles in the First Class cabin. They were in the aisles for most of the flight. NOT okay.

  3. 3

    I applaud Delta for even looking at doing something like this. Most pets are better behaved than children…. just sayin’! I’ve been on flights with some very unruly children running up and down isles. I’ve also been living in Europe for the past 8 years where pets are welcome in most places and there are no issues at all. Not sure why Americans have such a bad attitude towards pets in public places. They allow pets in to hospitals as therapy for crying out loud and it is proven that dogs calm people down and are often involved in predicting bad situations. They can make sure that pets are muzzled. I have traveled on the ICE trains in Germany with 2 dogs (one Newfoundland) and had a muzzle with me that if asked by the train conductor, I had to put on my dog. Didn’t need to though. She slept for most of the 4 hour trip and turned out to be a good distraction for the children on board the train. If there is an allergy concern then they could section off an area of the plane for animals and if anyone is allergic then they don’t go in to that area. And if you want to fly with your dog, then you have to provide a certificate proving your animal is well behaved and has had obedience training. This might force more people to take their dogs through obedience training. Naysayers are so tiring!

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