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United Airlines Reservations
United States: 800-864-8331
International: 1-832-235-1541
United Airlines Pet Policy

Carry-On Pet Policy:

United allows domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and birds (8 weeks and over) to travel accompanied in the aircraft cabin on most flights within the U.S. An in-cabin pet may be carried in addition to a carry-on bag and is subject to a $125 service charge each way. There is an additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside of the U.S. Pets are not permitted on flights to, from or through Australia, Hawaii or Micronesia (including Guam). Please note that advance reservations for pet travel in the cabin is required. Please call 1-800-864-8331 directly to make these reservations. Reservations are made on a space-available basis. In-cabin pet kennels are also available at some United check-in counters for $60. Purchases may be made with cash or check and are subject to availability. Customers should contact the United Customer Contact Center to confirm kennel availability at specific locations. Passengers traveling with pets must check in at the airline ticket counter. Curbside or self-service check-in is not available. Please allow extra time for the check-in process when traveling with pets.

Checked Bagage/Cargo Policy:

United Airlines' PetSafe Program offers airport-to-airport delivery for animals and features a 24-hour live animal desk, the ability to track pets from origin to destination and more. Dogs, cats, household birds, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs may be accepted as cargo on United Airlines flights. Pets travel within United's specially designed plane compartments that are pressurized in the same way as passenger cabins. The cost to ship your pet depends on the combined weight of your pet plus the weight of your kennel. Please contact the United Airlines PetSafe Desk at 1-800-575-3335. International fees may vary. Please note that United Airlines does not accept certain short-nosed dog breeds in cargo during the summer months of each year (June 1 through September 30) due to extreme temperatures that may exist in the cargo area of planes. Also, United Airlines reserves the right to restrict all pet travel in cargo when extreme temperatures are anticipated. Please visit United Airlines' website for more information. When checking pets into cargo, arrive at the airport early. However, please note that you cannot check in your pet more than three hours before your flight.

Carrier Guidelines:

A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times. The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm). The maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm). Note that a pet carrier counts as either a passenger's carry-on bag or personal item. For pets traveling in cargo, pets must be kept in approved containers. The carrier must be sturdy, properly ventilated, and large enough for your pet to stand, lie down, and turn around freely. The carrier must close securely with a mechanism that requires no special tools to operate. Only one adult cat or dog is allowed in each kennel. Two puppies or kittens may travel together if they are younger than six months of age, less than 20 pounds each and of compatible size and weight. For more information on approved carriers, please visit United Airlines' website.

Pet Reservations:

Advance reservations for pet travel in the cabin is required. Please call 1-800-864-8331 directly to make these reservations. Reservations are made on a space-available basis. For cargo pet transport, please contact the United Airlines PetSafe Desk at 1-800-575-3335 to make arrangements.
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Average Rating:
The United Airlines is rated # among airlines based on 56 guest reviews.
Review
Rating
Breeders choice
Cathy in Palm beach
I purchased a puppy outside of cleveland 2 dats prior to Super Bowl weekend. My small pup traveled from cleveland to Newark with a 2 hour layover then to palm beach airport. My breeder only uses United she tolld me because they are caring and very pet friendly and ships puppies across the country. Super Bowl was at the meadowlands and thought this was crazy. Nervous Mom waited at palm beach ap office for him to arrive. He was hand carried into the office and tge gentleman was even talking to him. He put tge small crate on the high counter and the desk person talked to him too. I was soooooo impressed, my 7 month puppy and I are using united in August 2014 to see my brother. I can't say enough about the love and care.
 
Awesome experience
Naty in Ottawa
I never write reviews but decided that this experience deserved to be rated somewhere. I have flown with my boston terrier on united from ottawa, canada to miami with a layover in washington and had a great experience. I read these reviews before flying before because I was worried about my dog being too tall to fit in the carrier. She could move inside the carrier but couln''t stand. I was very positively surprised with the staff from united from the moment I checked in until the time we landed in miami. They did look at the carrier when I was checking in but didn't bother to check dimensions or anything probably because it was a sherpa carrier and that was guaranteed onboad. They looked at the dog only to say how cute it was and didn't test if she could stand (the dog was sleeping tight at that time). During take-off I could see my dog was having trouble breathing and as soon as the plane was stable in the air I asked to put the dog on my lap and the attendant politely agreed and asked if the puppy needed water. I kept her on my lap for the whole flight. That made me feel safe and comfortable. During layover in washington we had a potty break and on the second flight I kept the carrier on my lap until the time of landing, when they asked me to put the carrier under the front seat. The whole trip was great and I am very glad I chose united! I would certainly do that again if i needed to transport my pet. It might have been luck, but i crossed with many people that day and everyone was very nice and helpful. If you are flying with your pet make sure you don't read lots of reviews. They only scared me. If you have all the documents and if your dog is healthy and can move inside the carrier, you should be fine. :)
 
Awesome experience
Kelly in Flagstaff
Our dog is a special case as we had to leave her back in Alabama while we drove across the country to northern Arizona for graduate school. When we got settled was when our friend would get her on a plane. The problem is our dog was an abused puppy so she's extremely skiddish. The whole experience from start to finish was calming and easy to get through. The customer service center for booking her flight was very helpful and gave me numbers of both the departure cargo hold and the arrival hold. When we got to Phoenix to pick her up, the man who works at the desk (Greg) was so kind and explained everything. We got there almost 4 hours early so he gave us some local tips for places to hang out while we wait. When Izzy got to Phoenix she was calm and had enough water through out her journey that she wasn't thirsty. Their handling of the crate was kind so when I went back to see her, she wasn't crying or anything. In fact, our skiddish dog was wagging her tail. I will recommend United Petsafe to anyone who needs pet travel. I will definitely use them again if we need to fly somewhere with a dog.
 
hesitant!
Chris Conner in Hilo
I recently moved from Palm Springs, CA to Hilo, HI. I have a 10 year old Border Collie mix.. I was very hesitant in shipping her but I had no choice.. I could have given her to someone, but would YOU give your daughter away.. I chose pet-safe to fly her to Kona as they do the direct release.. One of the biggest mistakes I did was reading these reviews.. they scared the crap out of me.. but when you read bad reviews, you also have to take in account that the owners admit no part of their own.. anyhow.. Don't read reviews.. just know they do this every day and bad things can happen.. hell, they can happen to us.. Rozie, my dog and I arrived in Kona yesterday and PET SAFE was AWESOME!! They took great care of Rozie.. they were very sweet when I checked her in, took her and her kennel to the plane in a van, check your airports though, not all of them do that.. and for god sakes.. do a direct flight.. that's what we did.. could have stopped in Honolulu but decided a direct flight, even though more expensive was better for Rozie.. She was the last one loaded and first one off.. She got to cargo before we did and Kona Vet service was there waiting for us. Should you use Pet Safe?? if you MUST fly them, I say YES!! Make sure your dog's health is up to it first.. It was a very scary thing for her and I but we both made it through..
 
First time--Great
Tammy in Kaneohe, HI
This was my first experience flying a dog. First of all, I'd say, if you don't have to fly your dog, don't. It is way too much hassle and the risk of the pet dying. Having read all the reviews and horror stories, I had mentally prepared for the worst with my dog. Needless to say, based on my 5 bone rating, the worst did not happen. The gentleman at the United cargo office at Dulles was great! He showed me exactly what would happen to my dog through every step. He eased my fears and let me walk my dog up to 30 minutes before his flight. He made sure to provide some water for my dog and assured me that the dog would be kept in the air conditioned warehouse until just before he was loaded, after all the baggage. My dog had a 10 hour flight from DC to Honolulu. I flew the next day, so I was able to check on his progress. Within 20 minutes of landing at Honolulu, he was marked as received by the Hawaii Animal Quarantine. One tip I'd give to those flying to Hawaii is that the airport animal quarantine is staffed 24/7 so you can call them any time to check that your dog is safe (give about an hour after the plane lands). I ended up calling the next day to hear that he had arrived safely and was being his usual calm self in the kennel awaiting my arrival. My main tips to other first timers: 1) Don't fly your pet if you can avoid it at all 2) Book at least 2 months in advance and check your booking (via waybill number) through Unitedcargo.com. 3) Have your pet sleep in the crate with the door closed. My dog loved his crate so much that as soon as I put him in it in the cargo office, he laid down right away--the shipping office told me that the dogs who have problems are the ones who are high strung--they tend to throw themselves against the crates causing injury. The shipper really can't do anything if your pet his hurting himself. 3) Ask them to put water in your pets bowl while he is waiting in the shipping office. They may have to remove it for him to get evaluated by security, but at least he'll have some up to that point. 4) Read and pay attention to what the professional websites say to do. I followed all the advice from the experts (which is generally the same across the board) and had no problems. 5) Flying a dog is a risk--but the risk is minimal. Hundreds of thousands of dogs fly a year and very few are injured or killed. There are horror stories out there that are repeated time and again, don't let those stories get you down if you must ship your pet. If you are, like me, moving to a place where driving is not possible, your other option is to give away your pet. Weigh the options. To me, giving away a dog I rescued was not an option. And now, he is sitting comfortably in my new home in paradise and we are loving life. United did an excellent job and I would definitely choose them again (only mistake was in cost estimate which was in error due to failing to figure in the weight of the crate).
 
Another great PetSafe flight
rob in scottsdale
Our 2 year old mini-Aussie had his second United/PetSafe flight a week ago. It went seamlessly. First, I could park right next to the PetSafe office at EWR free-of-charge as they checked in my dog. Next, they let me board in zone 4 instead of zone 7, so I wouldn't have to check a bag, then upgraded me to business economy, even though I have no points status. The PetSafe van pulled up next to my window after I was seated and stayed there until just before they loaded my dog and we took off. A flight attendant came over and told me that my dog had been boarded and that the pilot was aware. On landing, before any human got off the plane, a PetSafe van raced to the side of the plane and my dog was taken off the plane. After I got off the plane, I went immediately to the cargo area where my tired but calm dog awaited. The only tips I would give are (a) don't check bags, (b) ask for confirmation that your pet has boarded if they don't do it on their own, and (c) TAKE THE SAME FLIGHT AS YOUR PET! If you get confirmation that your pet is on the plane, you're good to go. If not, someone is going to ask around so your pet is not sitting on the tarmac or in a cargo area somewhere, missing the flight. It's commonsense, but necessary. Our recent flight was returning from a lengthy stay back East and the trip there was equally seamless.
 
Dog flew as cargo
Debbie in Orlando
I had to relocate a 4 year old Japanese Chin from Michigan to New Jersey, I live in Florida, I contacted Uniteds Toll free number 18005753335, several times, every person I spoke to was very knowledgable. The dog flew from Saginaw to Chicago, and then from Chicago to Newark, and actually arrived 25 minutes early. When we went to pick him up in Newark, he was exactly where I was told he would be. If you have to fly a pet alone, I would strongly recommend United Airlines Petsafe program. Thank you for caring about the safety of animals.
 
Mari410
Linda in Falcon, Co
We have flown many times on United with our very little Chihuahua girl, and she loves to go! She has frequently slept in my arms wrapped in her pink baby blanket except for take off and landing when we have to put her in her carrier under the seat in font of us. I wish for small dogs like her she could be held on her leash in our arms the whole trip. She is quieter than most babies carried on for sure!
 
Awesome!!
Emily in Phoenix
We are a military family, and moving with our dogs is common. We flew United from Seattle to Frankfurt, Germany(via Chicago) and I cannot say enough good things about United and their staff. They made sure Newmie was on the plane, at least 10 times and the co-pilot even took a picture of him with his cell:) They gave him water in Chicago and even talked to him while waiting to load. I absolutely recommend them!
 
Dog
Sandon in Stockton, CA
We traveled with our Irish Setter from San Francisco to San Diego and back. Process went very well (As described on UA's Website) We were given confromation that our dog was onboard (brought to our seat) Dog reached baggage claim before we did. The service exceeded our expectations!
 
Rio de Janeiro to San Francisco
Amy in Berkeley
Our 1 yr and 4 month mini schnauzer recently traveled from Rio to SFO via PetSafe, and overall, we were pleased with the service. The cost seemed reasonable (~$280) which included their kennel service on her layover in Houston. It's impossible to say what level of care she received during her travel (obviously - she doesn't talk!), and the fact that she arrived covered in her own urine told us that she was terrified as one would expect (she is a generally nervous pup and was never crate-trained, plus plane noises are incredibly loud for dogs, so it must have been very scary). I only gave them 4 stars for a couple of reasons: 1) when we picked her up at SFO, we found that her leash and collar had been placed inside her crate with her, which seemed strange (shouldn't it be attached to the outside of the crate for her safety? what if she had chewed on it out of nervousness and choked on the buckle?); and 2) United re-booked her on an earlier flight out of Houston and DID notify me of the change via e-mail, which was appreciated, but I had to change my plans for the day and miss work unexpectedly due to the change (it’s not problem for a human to arrive early, but a dog is just going to sit in the crate until it is picked up, so I would rather she have stayed at the Houston kennel a little longer to stretch her legs before the flight to SFO). I wasn’t expecting her flight to change, so I called PetSafe to confirm this. The customer service woman who answered my call did not seem entirely clear on my dogs' itinerary and did not instill much confidence when she responded to my questions, so we went to the airport in time for the earlier flight, which she did arrive on. It was all fine in the end; she arrived safely and that's the priority; however, it would be nice if you could call and get some update on the condition of your dog in the connecting city. I didn’t ask this question because of the lack of confidence I had in the woman who answered my call, but it would be great if they could connect you with a representative in Houston, just so that someone who is physically with your dog can tell you “yes they made it and they are doing okay.” Hopefully she never needs to fly again, but if she does, we would feel safe using PetSafe again.
 
Easy flight with cat
Cailey in Des Moines
I've flown three times with my cat, all United, and I was very satisfied with each experience. I had no problems with security, check-in, or boarding. All flight attendants and other airline staff were very friendly, many asking about my cat's travel experience or remarking on her appearance (as viewed through the carrier). The pet reservation must be made over the phone, which is cumbersome and my reason for not giving a 5-bone rating. NOTE: this page says that the pet carrier counts as a personal item, which was not my experience. I have brought a carry-on bag (usually gate-checked), backpack, and pet carrier without any problems. Indeed, the one time a boarding attendant asked me to consolidate my items into two bags, I explained that my third bag was a pet carrier and she actually apologized before scanning my ticket and letting me board. I'd call the airline to double check their policy.
 
Good experience.
Mary in Philippines
Had my poodle shipped as cargo from Philippines to Atlanta, total of 4 day transit which is suppose to be just 3 days,Flights were delayed but he had too much lay over time to catch his next flights. We talked to the cargo supervisor in Houston airport where the dog was held and she was very helpful she even instruct us to file for a refund to the united cargo for not making it to the contract. She also assured us that my dog was in good condition. My dog was fed and walked, Didn't even peed on his bed. But he is traumatized from the long flight. Travelling is never easy for pet he never wants to go inside his kennel again. When you travel your pet make sure your pet breed is capable of being in long flights otherwise you are sending your pet to its death. And It depends which airports holds the pet. Some airports treat animals better while some not. We payed 1000usd for less than 30kgs pet. Hopefully we get the refund soon. I would recommend this program for owners who are desperate to be with their pets like me.. Because it can be a 50/50 chance that you'll be with your pet again.
 
lax to Hartford CT
Irene in Springfield MA
Very nervous to send our 20lb dog in a kennel across the US. one hour lay over in Washington Dulles. Getting out of LAX was delayed 1.5 hours so i called Petsafe to find out what would happen as it looked like our dog would miss the connection. they assured me they would kennel off site and ship first flight next morning. Gave me the flight info for the next day. Got a call from the same person i spoke to at Petsafe. the connection got delayed so my dog did make the flight and we were able to pick up that night (at midnight) Seemed like they were in complete control and every counter person i had contact with from the Petsafe 800 number to the baggage pick up in CT were very nice and extremely helpful.
 
Cost!!
Snicker in IND
I think the service is great. I do not understand why it costes so much for something so small, on the floor as a carryon, to cost so much extra. My lap top weights more. Also sometimes the fare is more for her than myself..Could I buy her a seat? At least get puppie] miles.
 
flying with my poodle on United
Patti in Massachusetts
I flew with my 6 lb. toy poodle. She is a very calm dog and sat on my lap throughout the flight. The attendants were wonderful. My only complaint was I paid what I thought was somewhat of a high amount of $$ to have her fly with me ($165.00). And I was charged a lesser fee for the flight home. Other than that it was a wonderful experience.
 
Frequent Flyer
Camilla in Dublin Ca
I ship dogs frequently and base my airline choice on the most direct flight available on behalf of the dog. I find that United nearly always has 30+ minute wait times just to book your flight and once you are at the shipping counter, the rules change depending on which counter personnel you are dealing with. Once the dog is actually on the plane, the service has been fairly reliable and the price is reasonable when compared with other airlines. I do not understand why their pricing is different than Continental (the company with which they have merged ) If they are merged, their prices should be the same.
 
Plane "too small"
Jessica in Sacramento
I have always flown United and have never had a problem up until today. I have a two year old Maltipoo is less than 10lbs, and can fit in my purse. Today I was told that not all "segments" of my trip accept in cabin animals. Basically, the guy told me that the plane is too small. TOO SMALL??? He's 10lbs and smaller than my purse!!! i dont understand...so now I can't take him with me back home to Montana and he's my baby. Anyone with a pet understands the way Im feeling...very frustrated!!!!
 
Procedure has changed!!!!!!
Susan in Palo Alto
Due to United's merger with Continental their pet travel policy has changed and no longer can a pet fly as checked baggage. It must go as cargo which means a separate stop at the air cargo location to drop the pet off when you leave and a separate stop at air cargo to pick the pet up when you arrive. We are having to deal with this soon when we take our cat back from Hawaii to California this weekend. There's lots more paperwork. The cargo people here on Maui are swamped and have started asking people to come in early to pre check their animals. I just did that today. They are doing the best they can but it is extremely inconvenient. Plus it is hard on our cat. We're hoping for changes soon or we won't be flying United anymore, at least not with a pet! So sad. They used to be wonderful.
 
Frequent Flyer Fido
Natasha in Los Angeles & Zurich
I take my 20 pound min Pin back & forth from LA to Zurich often on United. he is too big to fit under the seat in front of me and has seizures when he becomes very upset so I do nto want to check him in as corgo. I've circumvented this issue in the past by purchasing myself 2 economy seats (as an obese person would do) and placing him on the seat next to me in his carrier. At first, the United crew always tell me to put him on the floor until they realize I have bought both seats. They are always suprised but let me keep him next to me. He loves being with me and is happy as long as I am there. he makes no noise and sleeps the entire 22 hours, even during transit. However, I now booked a First class seat thinking I could put him on my lap and United said I have to check him in! I believe if I pay $15000 for a ticket, I should be able to show up naked with a pet monkey if I want :( I am getting a letter from my vet saying he shouldn't be checked in for rist of seizure. I hope that does the trick. If not, I won't be able to fly United anymore and will have to switch to an alterntive airline which permits pets on International flights in cabin.
 
What Happened United?
jacquelyn in Huffman, TX
When Continental ran the program it was great. I have shipped dogs with them for many years. Since United took over it has gone down hill. They are slow, rude, and lazy. They used to help me carry crates, had the dogs off the plane and in the pick up area quickly, and were very friendly. Since United took over they are always late, rude, and never offer help. The only reason I still use them is because they are the only ones that have climate controlled shipping.
 
What you should know about transporting pets in the U.S.
Judith in Richmond
I have read all of your stories about transporting pets on various American airlines. I would like to add this consumer alert to all pet lovers. First of all, there is no way your pet's whereabouts can be tracked during flights. This is just a ploy to justify the outrageous charges. Also, many of the so-called "agents" have no experience with animals nor do they care. I highly urge you to visit this website to be aware of all the scams and new policies in the U.S. that have resulted in less than adequate accommodations/care for your pets. Go to www.actionpetexpress.com and pass it on to your friends. Do you also know that whether you pay "cargo" status or "extra baggage" status (the latter being less expensive), that your pet is in the same holding area as all others? You are paying for a service that simply does not exist. I would never fly a pet unaccompanied in the U.S. The new guidelines have put animals in more danger than before. Third party agents could care less. They are not experts in handling pets at all. BEWARE!
 
In cabin rate
J in Columbus
I would like to know why it costs me $125 to carry my dog on the plane with me where I will care for it myself and not require anything from the airline but you can take a child under 2 years old as a lap child and its free...I find it ridiculous since it will cost us $250 (for the round trip) which is more than I am paying for the dog itself! This is just a stupid way get money out of people
 
incorrect information
Sandy in Bozeman
We called the number on the united web site to arrange a reservation for out bassett to travel alone to Vermont from Montana. We had the confirmation number we were given but when we got to the airport they had no clue how to check the dog in or anything about it or where the confirmation number came from. We waited over an hour and a half for them to figure it out. Once they did they weighed the kennel and the dog and it was 110 lbs. So they would not take him they said 100lbs was the limit. (just how do shepherds and maltese etc get shipped) He flew from Vermont to Bozeman in the exact same kennel and the exact same weight a month before. I called the phone number again, they said they did not have a reservation for him and had not given out any confirmation numbers I never got the number back from the airline which I should have. They said the airline should have been able to take up to 250lbs. but that his kennel was too big, even though that is what he flew to montana in. The airline people at the airport did not question the size of the kennel or measure it or in any way relay to us the kenell was too big. It was a big disappointment and so much misinformation. I still have not found a way to fly him to Vermont. Either he weighs too much or the kenell is too big etc. It is just really frustrating because that is what he had flown in a month prior.
 
Worst experience EVER
SaltyDog in Bozeman
United's Petsafe is in the hands of a bunch of in competent cargo agents. The people that handle your dog are not trained in handling live animals but see them as cargo. We called and talked to a pet safe rep before booking our flights her advise was DEAD WRONG. This started a chain reaction of errors mistake after mistake. Each time we talked to a petsafe agent we simply got a different story. At the end they could not even fly our dog on the same flight as us. They ended up flying her on a different set of flights to a different city (160 miles away) and we had to drive to pick her up. The additional cost we had to foot the bill. They initially quoted a fee of $390 our final out of pocket expense was $808 out of pocket. And now there is no one that we can talk to. United simply does not care. DO NOT FLY YOUR DOG WITH UNITED. PETSAFE is a JOKE ( and I am being polite). Even if another airline is more expensive at the end it will be cheaper then United. Incompetence after incompetence. JUST DONT FLY UNITED with your DOG.
 
mrs
jackie in san tan valley
after reading all the horror stories on the awful way united airlines treats pets i will never fly with them again shame on those heartless peoples i would love to do the same to them and see how they like it
 
Scam
Peter K in San francisco
I would sue United if I had the energy after my move from DC to SF. From the moment i had to drop off my dog at DCA with two clerks arguing with each other over the paperwork, to one of them complaining of back problems so she could not transport my pet (I had to load him myself onto a platform cart), to having to pick up my dog at a hanger way out of SFO, unloaded along with machinery and other dogs amidst construction going on in the hangar. I will never forget the sight of my dog Benji being dumped in the midst of hell, with him barking his lungs out in bewilderment from the transportation, the construction, the dust - and on and on. You are a scam, and I fully intend to expose you in all corners of the internet. I will never fly united again.
 
Don't fly your puppy as cargo
Gloria in Portland, OR
United delivered my puppy with him and his crate covered in vomit and pee. Even the inside and outside of the top of the crate and sideseams were permeated with vomit which would indicate that the crate was upside down at one point or a very large dog had vomited on my puppy's crate. I've had days of grief and hundreds of dollars of medical care to stop the vomiting and diarrhea. I'll never ship a pet again. I paid for extra care and kenneling services. The breeder was promised "the best place" in the pet area. It ended up being inhumane and I'm so sorry I put my pup through this
 
Lack of concern!
Jenni and Holly in Glen Allen, VA
We have been waiting for 10 long weeks to get our beautiful little kitten from the breeder in Canada. We were assured that everything would go off without any issues.....well, let's just say that did not happen! Flight from Canada to ORD was delayed but landed with over 40 minutes to transfer this tiny baby 3 gates down! Instead they rescheduled her flight for 24 hours later and were taking her to a Kennel! Let me also say that we drove 2 1/2 hours and got a hotel near BWI so we could pick her up at a pet friendly airport. I saw that her airbill had been changed and got on the phone immediately! The woman on the phone seemed less than concerned over my anxiety and I would even go as far to say that she thought it was funny how upset I was! I told her that I did NOT want her in a kennel as she was such a small cat, never been around any other animals and only handled by her breeder, her response was "well it is a kennel, like she was at a vets!" Needless to say she didn't understand. I asked her if there were any earlier flights rather than waiting 24 hours, having to book another night at the hotel and worrying about my other cat at home, NO, is there another airport nearby, she said LaGuardia, in NY, has a flight that we might be able to get her on?!?! Oh, and you can't change it anyway because you aren't the shipper. I was so upset I think I hung up on her. Called the breeder, she is now upset and calling them. She was hung up on with the first phone call. The second phone call she found out that there was a flight coming into Dulles at 12:11 am (about an hour away from Baltimore)...we'll take it! So, run down to front desk, try to find a hotel near Dulles, check out and hit the road in the rain at 10:20 PM. Oh and let me just say that the employees at the Double Tree at BWI went out of the way to help us and get us a discounted rate at the new hotel!!! Drive in DC traffic, late at night and in the rain, arrive at the new hotel. Wait, Wait, Wait, go to the airport, arrive at the Cargo pickup....pitch black...no one is there :-( Called Petsafe and were told to wait 30-40 minutes longer and someone should come and let us in....wait, wait, wait, worry, cry, worry, 45 minutes later still nothing....another phone call....hold...hold...hold..."oh, hang on a few minutes more....we need to see where she is, there is a chance she might still be in Chicago!" Tears won't stop at this point, I am on the verge of hysterics!!! Suddenly this amazing young man comes up to the window and asks if he can help us, he can see I am crying, puts his hand on my arm and says that he just saw our cat... Ok, she is here...breathe....next step to get her...oh, did you know that they aren't supposed to release the animals until the supervisor comes in at 4:00 am...but he can see that we are upset and gets us our Cleo! She was so upset, clawing at her cage, water spilled all over the place, her fur soaked, food expanded due to sitting in water for so long and her voice was hoarse from crying so much! I cannot begin to describe the amount of anxiety we were put through. I can assure you that if we ever have another animal that needs to fly, we will make the trip and pay for an in cabin flight....animals deserve more and a company like Petsafe should make sure they have empathetic employees who understand animal lovers.
 
United almost killed my Greyhound
Janet in Arlington
United PetSafe almost killed my Greyhound on July 3, 2013 on our flights from San Diego to Boston. My dog and my cat were never allowed out of their crates, even though I had paid extra for a "Safety Stop" in Houston. They were never given water nor food, nor allowed to relieve themselves for 12.5 hours! They were NOT transported in an air conditioned PetSafe van, as promised in United's marketing materials and as promised on the phone and at the airport. The baggage handler kicked my Greyhound's crate, as she tumbled around in the crate, across the tarmac six times, to push her under the wing of the plane and they left my dog and cat under the wing of the plane in Houston's stifling heat. I have video and pictures proving this. The temperature on my phone was 91 degrees in Houston, it had to be at least 100 degrees on that tarmac. My pets were finally put in the cargo where they sat for more than one hour as work crews tried to fix a seat belt problem and then an air-conditioning problem. The cargo door was open allowing the brutal heat to cook my animals. We had to change planes because of the faulty air-conditioning and I never saw the PetSafe van take my animals out of the cargo. I was informed that I had to get off the plane immediately. My animals were still in cargo. Upon arrival in Boston the cargo employee stated, "This is animal cruelty" while looking at my Greyhound and her crate. Her crate was covered in blood, feces and urine. My cat's crate was covered in feces and vomit. My Greyhound suffered severe dehydration and heat stroke. She needed to be hospitalized in intensive care for 3 days; her kidneys were failing due to heatstroke, and her liver was struggling. She was urinating and defecating blood. My vet bill was more than $2700. I detailed everything to United Airlines and asked to be reimbursed for the vet bills. Their offer to me was $1000, and that was to be given to me only if I signed a 4 page non-disclosure agreement. United claims she had a pre-existing condition and they refuse to tell me what this "pre-existing condition" is. I have a letter from our vet in California indicating she was in perfect health and had NO pre-existing condition. The vet who treated her in Massachusetts has written a letter indicating that her medical problems were brought upon by her mistreatment by United, resulting in heat stroke. DO NOT FLY YOUR PETS IN CARGO WITH UNITED. They have taken absolutely no responsibility for the brutal and neglectful manner in which my animals were treated. They killed Maggie Rizer's dog and Michael Jarboe's dog last year. Google their stories. In all of our cases they refuse to take responsibility and blame it on a "pre-existing condition." I only wish I had read about what they did to Maggie and Michael's dogs before I ever entrusted my animals to them. Please share this with your associates, friends and family. DO NOT TRUST PETSAFE. Your animals are NOT SAFE and United will take NO responsibility, whether they injure them or kill them!
 
August 2013
Lorelei in Prescott
I have a 6 lb Maltese. I booked myself and 2 friends (paying for all of us) for my move to Panama. When I made the reservation, the agent said I could not take him in cabin. She could not tell me why. I asked if it was a United rule or Panama rule. She did not know. I asked her to check and see if he could fly in cabin to France....yes. So I said that must be a Panama law then. I made the reservation for the 3 of us and for him to be send via cargo. Reservations told me to check with PetSafe to see if he could fly in cargo on the flights I wanted to book. I called PetSafe; they checked, I was told yes. So I booked our flights. The following day via e-mail PetSafe informs me that a 2 hr layover is not enough. PetSafe gives me a choice of 2 flights to choose from both have over a 13 hour layover. I chose one went back to reservations and they changed the flights. I then booked a nonrefundable hotel room in Houston for myself and friends. I then researched on line the carrier needed for United cargo. Purchased with all the special components at $150.00. Meantime I an already thurougly stressed with all the things needed for this move but cannot stop worrying about my little dog and wondering if what I am doing is right. The other day decided to check on the internet to find out why Panama does not accept pets in cabin. I found nothing. I then called Delta. Yes he can fly in cabin. I called American. Yes he can fly in cabin. I call Uniited back and talked to them about a cancellation. I get dinged $200/ticket. And the rest is in the form of a credit which cannot be used by me (even though I purchased with my $) but the credit for the 2 friends goes to them and must be used within a year. I am still trying to figure out now what I am going to do and truly traumatized about the whole thing.
 
August 2013
Lorelei in Prescott
I have a 6 lb Maltese. I booked myself and 2 friends (paying for all of us) for my move to Panama. When I made the reservation, the agent said I could not take him in cabin. She could not tell me why. I asked if it was a United rule or Panama rule. She did not know. I asked her to check and see if he could fly in cabin to France....yes. So I said that must be a Panama law then. I made the reservation for the 3 of us and for him to be send via cargo. Reservations told me to check with PetSafe to see if he could fly in cargo on the flights I wanted to book. I called PetSafe; they checked, I was told yes. So I booked our flights. The following day via e-mail PetSafe informs me that a 2 hr layover is not enough. PetSafe gives me a choice of 2 flights to choose from both have over a 13 hour layover. I chose one went back to reservations and they changed the flights. I then booked a nonrefundable hotel room in Houston for myself and friends. I then researched on line the carrier needed for United cargo. Purchased with all the special components at $150.00. Meantime I an already thurougly stressed with all the things needed for this move but cannot stop worrying about my little dog and wondering if what I am doing is right. The other day decided to check on the internet to find out why Panama does not accept pets in cabin. I found nothing. I then called Delta. Yes he can fly in cabin. I called American. Yes he can fly in cabin. I call Uniited back and talked to them about a cancellation. I get dinged $200/ticket. And the rest is in the form of a credit which cannot be used by me (even though I purchased with my $) but the credit for the 2 friends goes to them and must be used within a year. I am still trying to figure out now what I am going to do and truly traumatized about the whole thing.
 
The worst Pet travel program ever.
Brenda in Summerville
We moved to SC from Anchorage, AK on July 25th 2013, The flight reservation for my dogs was made over a month in advance, my 2 dogs left Anchorage without issue. We had things set up so the dogs would arrive 6 hours after we did which would give us time to drive from Summerville to Charlotte NC to pick up our dogs, when we arrived in Charlotte we were informed that our dogs were bumped from the flight and they would be in at 9:30 pm so we waited for them, at 9 pm the cargo place in Charlotte got a phone call saying that the dogs would have to stay in Chicago until the next Mon,they were stranded in Chicago for 4 days. I am looking into an Attorney to sue United and Petsafe for the money we spent on their fare and emotional distress on my dogs and ourselves, also the cost of gas for the drive and my fiancées missed time from work on Monday when we had to drive 3 1/2 hours once again to go pick up our dogs, This is the worst experience I have ever had shipping pets. I DO NOT RECOMMEND using this service. If you can fly with Alaska Airlines do it they one of the best pet care policies out there, If you can't find another way to ship your pets.
 
Cluster Flipping Service
Cynthia in Baton Rouge
After reading all the previous horror stories on this site, I guess I am glad that the flight this morning did not happen. Up until now, I've always flown pets via Continental's Quick-Pac and in 15 years never had a single issue. Now things seem to have changed dramatically since the merger with United. Just trying to book a flght for one of my Abyssinian queens was an exercize in futility and ineptness that took hours on hold and about 1/2 dozen calls at that. She was booked on a 6:40 AM flight out of New Orleans. However, the cargo office does not open till 5:30 AM and the New Orleans airport requires check in 90 minutes prior and not a minute less. So, the flight should NEVER have been booked. To complicate things, I had to drive almost and hour and a half into New Orleans, leaving my house at 4 AM, only to have the surly Cargo Office employees tell the cat was not going to make the flight and it should have NEVER been booked. When I called to complain, the supervisor told me of the next flight, which connected in chicago, arriving in Portlan (destination) at 8:30 PM!!!! ARGH!!!! By this time, my cat had been in the carrier since 4AM and this "supervisor" is suggesting a flight that would make her stay in the carrier 16 1/2 hours!!!! When I exclaimed that borders on animal abuse, she curtly told me that if I was not going to accept the next flight out, there was nothing more she could do for me. Now I am out a half a tank of gas and 3 hours of wasted time, all because some numb-nuts at the call center did not know what they were doing. If my friend in Portland wants this girl, she will have to fly here and return with the cat in the cabin. After my ordeal this morning and reading all the horrible thing on this site, I would say I probably dodged a bullet.
 
Worst flight experience for my dogs
Donna in Columbia
I have had two interactions with United and Petsafe in the last month. I guarantee they will be my last. Two weeks ago we flew a six month old puppy from Charlotte, NC to Portland, OR with a layover in Chicago. The puppy made it to Chicago fine but with a delay of about 45 minutes. This left only thirty minutes layover before her connecting flight. Upon calling to check on her I was told there was no issue because there was a 5 hour layover. Petsafe had made a typographical error when entering her information and had her scheduled to be loaded onto flight 1680 instead of flight 1608. The confirmation that I was e-mailed was correct. The mistake was made internally after she was checked in. If I hadn't called to check up on her there's no telling what might have happened. This week we flew another dog on the same route, Charlotte, NC to Portland, OR via Chicago. Again things were fine from Charlotte to Chicago. Once he hit Chicago it was a disaster! The person who was to receive the dog in Portland was called by Petsafe saying the dog had been delayed in Newark. (The dog was never, nor was he supposed to be, in Newark). This set off a flurry of phone calls by me trying to find the dog. After checking on United's website there was originally a 12 minute delay on the flight taking off. I called Petsafe to make sure he had been loaded on the plane and was informed that the layover had been extended. It ended up being 3 hours. Over the next 4 hours I received multiple stories about the dog's whereabouts. (1) He had never been loaded on the plane, which means that if the plane had taken off on time he would have missed his flight. (2) He had been loaded on the plane, but then offloaded to another plane. They then changed their minds about putting him on a different flight and putting him BACK on the original plane. (3) He was not going to be offloaded from the plane because they weren't sure how long the delay would be and might not get loaded back on the flight in time. (4) He was offloaded and held in a "ready room" while waiting on the repairs. (5) That he was offloaded and kept in an air conditioned van while waiting. Each of these phone calls required at least a 20 minute hold time to even speak to someone at Petsafe and then a hold of about the same time while they called someone at the Chicago terminal to check on the dog. Needless to say I was pretty sure they had no idea where the dog was and what his condition might be. I was even told by one Petsafe employee "what difference does it make if he's left in the cargo hold. It's not like it's 95 degrees." I finally was transferred to someone physically in the Chicago airport. While I could not talk directly to the person who handled the dog, supposedly she was talking to him via radio. First I was told that around 7:00 pm he was fed, given a treat, taken out of his crate and walked and given ice water. As we had included no food I wanted to know what he was fed. Then I was told he was not fed or given a treat, just given water but he was walked at 1:25 pm and 3:00 pm and his bedding was changed because it was soiled. Eventually the dog did arrive safely. His original bedding was in his crate, unsoiled. Either they were describing some completely random dog to me or just making things up off of the top of their heads. After hours on the phone with Petsafe, United and Chicago Terminal personnel over the next two days I came to the conclusion that they had no idea what was going on. They were in the process of contracting with a company called Spot to take care of the animals. But they only drop the off at the plane. If there is a delay it's up to cargo handlers to deal with them. Supposedly they have a tracking system to know where any animal is at anytime but it did not appear to me to be in effect since they obviously had no idea where my dog was.. Regardless, I found employees of all 3 areas to be not at all helpful, more interested in getting together to come up with a story I might find acceptable instead of actually worrying about the welfare of my dog. They chalked it up to a misunderstanding about procedure and terminology between the new contractors and their employees. I think it's just incompetence..
 
Second try, still no success with pet safe
Andrea in San Francisco
OK so now for our return flight. See my other posting for our first dreadful flight (petsafe is not safe). Having already purchased the return tickets, we figured we would try again with our dog...Having had the previous troubles flying with our dog, we went out of our way to make sure EVERYTHING was done correctly for the return. Weeks before our travel date, our pet was booked for cargo passage. We printed a copy of his confirmation and confirmed it the night before our flight. We left quite early to ensure a timely arrival at the airport. We arrived at the airport three and a half hours before our flight, and checked our bags with United Airlines, then drove our rental car with our dog to the cargo office near the airport. At that point we were 2 hours and 45 minutes before our flight. The United cargo website suggests arriving only two hours before your flight, but we wanted to make sure there were no problems. Upon arriving at cargo, we brought our dog and his crate inside to check in. They weighed him and his crate and determined the total weight to be 110 pounds. The woman at the counter filled out some paperwork while we waited, but after several minutes, realized she had filled out the wrong paperwork, since the dog weighed over 100 pounds. She said she would fill out the “right” paperwork, and told us to take the dog outside for a walk, and return 90 minutes before the flight. We did as we were told, and returned. At that point we had received an email notification from United airlines that our flight was departing a half hour late. So although we did bring the dog back to cargo 90 minutes before the scheduled departure, he actually had two hours to get to the plane, as there was a flight delay. When we arrived back at the counter, the woman at the desk was still filling out paperwork, and realized that she had AGAIN filled out the wrong paperwork. She was also waiting for some kind of phone authorization to send a dog over 100 pounds. I stood by and waited for her to get the authorization, then waited for her to tape the paperwork to his crate so that he would get to the flight on time. I did not want to leave until the paperwork was on his crate, as there were other dogs in the office and I did not want him to get mixed up with others. She assured me that there was plenty of time (now one hour before scheduled departure), and that the dog would make the flight. We then returned our rental car, and got in the long line at security. While in line, we received a call and email from United airlines that the flight was no longer delayed, it was going to be “on time,” as scheduled. We made it through security and to the gate with just minutes to spare. When we got on the plane, I asked the flight attendant to let me know if our dog had made the flight. I gave her our last name, and a description of the dog. A few moments later, she told me that the captain had received word that “the animals are on board,” with no specifics. So I settled in for our flight to San Francisco. Upon landing in San Francisco, I checked my phone, and had a voicemail and an email from United, explaining that the dog had missed the flight because of a paperwork mixup. Needless to say, I was extremely distraught. We were told that the dog would be on a later flight, and would land three hours after us. So we collected our bags, drove our children home, and then returned to the airport to collect the dog In the only good news of the day, he WAS on the second flight as promised. Next time we travel with our dog it will be on another airline for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
PET"SAFE" IS NOT SAFE AT ALL!!!
Andrea in San Francisco CA
We had a horrible experience flying with our dog on United. We purchased tickets in February 2012 for travel in June 2012, before United had instituted its "petsafe" policy. When I booked the reservation, I spoke to a reservation agent to reserve a spot for our dog in cargo (a golden retriever). I was told that he would be "excess baggage" and we should just pay for him at the airport. What I did not know at the time was that in early March, United would change its pet policy, and no longer ship dogs as excess baggage. So in June, we arrived at SFO two and a half hours early for our flight with the dog. We went to check in with our bags and the dog, and my first question to the agents was "where do we go with the dog?" They told me to go downstairs to freight, near the baggage claim, but to check the bags first. We did so, and when we got to freight, there was a complicated shipment in line ahead of us, and I was told to wait. The TSA checked the dog's crate, and we placed the dog in the crate. Still, I was told to wait. I told the United freight representative that I had a flight, and he said not to worry, the dog would go as scheduled. I waited for my turn in freight for over an hour. Meanwhile, my two daughters were getting anxious about the flight, so I sent them ahead to the gate, and I stayed behind with the dog and cat (carry on) to assure that the dog made the flight. When I was finally helped by the freight representative, my flight was just 45 minutes away. He could not find a reservation for my dog, but I told him that when I booked the ticket, I was told to just come with the dog and pay at the airport. The freight rep put me on the phone with United baggage, who explained that I had to go to the cargo building outside the airport, and that United no longer took dogs as excess baggage. My first question to you: WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME THAT EARLIER? WHY DID THAT MAN MAKE ME WAIT AN HOUR AND A HALF TO TELL ME THIS? So after this bad news was delivered, United baggage told me via phone that there was a Continental flight an hour and a half after my scheduled United flight, and there was room for my dog on that flight. I would, however, have to leave the airport and take the dog to the Cargo building. I figured I could make it if I hurried. But the problem was that the rest of my family had already boarded the United flight. I called their cell phone and asked them if they were comfortable flying without me. They said that it was not the ideal situation but they were already on the plane, and what could they do, and as long as I would be there an hour and a half after them, they would wait for me in baggage. I was concerned, but I had no choice. So then I had to figure out how to get my dog to cargo. I was told that it was “300 yards from the end of the airport.” So I put the large dog crate, with the dog inside, on a cart, put the cat carrier over my shoulder, and my carry-on bag on my other shoulder, and started pushing the cart and running. I made it pretty far until it was clear that I was lost. So I backtracked and hailed a cab, who took me to cargo. He had never heard of it and we drove around for 15 minutes until we finally found it. He dropped me near the building, and I dragged the 100 pound dog crate, with the cat carrier on one shoulder and my other bag on my other shoulder, past a bunch of staring United employees who did not offer to help. When I got inside, the Continental cargo employee processed the dog on the Continental flight. Only then did I learn that the flight was to HOUSTON, and was not a nonstop flight to Boston. I would have to connect in Houston, as would my dog, for a delay of six hours, and six extra hours in the kennel for my dog. This also meant my family would be sitting in the Boston airport for six hours. There was nothing I could do, so I checked the dog, called United Customer Service to try to get me a seat on the Houston flight, connecting to Boston. Although the dog was all set, it seems the Houston flight was full and there was no room for me. I made my way back to the terminal, and explained my plight to a United representative. She panicked me further by telling me that the dog couldn’t go on the flight because I did not have a confirmed reservation. She tried for 20 minutes to get me on standby, could not figure out how to do it, and finally her supervisor walked over, pushed a button on the screen, said “you forgot to do that,” and got me on standby. So then I made my way with the cat carrier and my carry on, to the farthest possible gate at SFO and explained my plight again to the United representative. Unbelievably, I made it onto the flight on standby. I told the flight attendant to please check on my dog for me, and she did assure me that he had made the flight. Then I hopped on a rental car bus to get a rental car, since I could not pick up my dog in baggage claim as had been the case for the past several years I had travelled with the dog. After waiting in a long line, I got the rental car, and drove to United cargo, outside the airport. After maneuvering my car around dozens of tractor trailers, I found the door to United, and was at last reunited with my dog. AND THEY CALL THIS SYSTEM "Pet Safe?????"
 
Dec 20, 2012 Most HORRIBLE!!
Bruce in Los Angeles
Dear fellow Pet Owner, If you are considering using United/Continental's PetSafe program to transport your beloved companion, I would strongly advise you to NOT do it based on my first and last experience with them! I had wanted to believe that it would be a positive experience, but it was so far from that. This Petsafe group was the most inept group of individuals I've ever dealt with in my 45 years. I made a reservation with them to travel with my 5 year old Westie/Jack Russel terrier over the Christmas holiday from LAX to Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV. After talking to a Petsafe Agent and telling him where I was traveling to he sent me an itineray that was completely wrong with an incorrect destination. After telling him that it was wrong, he said, "oh yea, that is wrong," He made another reservation with the flights for my dog that went from LAX to Newark to Dulles and then to Charleston's Yeager airport. He said that was the only way to get her into Charleston. He didn't cancel the first reservation blunder which caused more headaches which I won't even get into because that was the least of the problems. You will have to wait at least 30-45 minutes on average to speak to anyone at the helpdesk. When I finally got someone on the phone she was so clueless and could not even comprehend my questions and I finally had to ask to speak to someone else...so another 30 minute wait on hold. Then I was told that my dog that was supposed to be on a 10:45pm flight had not been put on. No good reason was given to me other than" there was no one to do it". I found this out after I landed in Charleston. So my dog sat in the Continental Cargo hold from 8:30pm until 9:30 the next morning. The next agent I spoke with told me she should never have been booked on the flight to Newark and now had her going to Dulles. She finally arrived in Charleston at midnght nearly 27 hours later and was never walked or given food. She had of course urinated in her kennel and did not eat normally again for 4 days with an upset stomach. On our return, back to Los Angeles, we get to the United desk at Yeager Airport to be told that they don't ship dogs.. That there is an embargo until Jan. 1st. Why did they not tell me this when I booked her ticket? How can they not know this? Luckily I was able to get her on a Delta flight thanks to a very nice gentleman who was some kind of airport supervisor...but just barely. And instead of the $267 that it was supposed to cost to fly her back on United I had to pay $460. I had no other choice and was just lucky that there was a plane leaving that would take dogs. She ended up flying back through Atlanta. She was physically fine and is a tough little dog but I will never take a chance again with flying with my dog in Cargo on any plane unless it would be a dire emergency or absolute necessity. I plan on contacting customer service at United and then the Better Business Bureau because this division of United should be closed down. Save yourself the major stress and risk of hurting your best friend and putting a major dent in what should be a time of joy and fun. United/Continental should be ashamed of operating such a horrible operation.
 
HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE!!!
Bruce in Los Angeles
Dear fellow Pet Owner, If you are considering using United/Continental's PetSafe program to transport your beloved companion, I would strongly advise you to NOT do it based on my first and last experience with them! I had wanted to believe that it would be a positive experience, but it was so far from that. This Petsafe group was the most inept group of individuals I've ever dealt with in my 45 years. I made a reservation with them to travel with my 5 year old Westie/Jack Russel terrier over the Christmas holiday from LAX to Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV. After talking to a Petsafe Agent and telling him where I was traveling to he sent me an itineray that was completely wrong with an incorrect destination. After telling him that it was wrong, he said, "oh yea, that is wrong," He made another reservation with the flights for my dog that went from LAX to Newark to Dulles and then to Charleston's Yeager airport. He said that was the only way to get her into Charleston. He didn't cancel the first reservation blunder which caused more headaches which I won't even get into because that was the least of the problems. You will have to wait at least 30-45 minutes on average to speak to anyone at the helpdesk. When I finally got someone on the phone she was so clueless and could not even comprehend my questions and I finally had to ask to speak to someone else...so another 30 minute wait on hold. Then I was told that my dog that was supposed to be on a 10:45pm flight had not been put on. No good reason was given to me other than" there was no one to do it". I found this out after I landed in Charleston. So my dog sat in the Continental Cargo hold from 8:30pm until 9:30 the next morning. The next agent I spoke with told me she should never have been booked on the flight to Newark and now had her going to Dulles. She finally arrived in Charleston at midnght nearly 27 hours later and was never walked or given food. She had of course urinated in her kennel and did not eat normally again for 4 days with an upset stomach. On our return, back to Los Angeles, we get to the United desk at Yeager Airport to be told that they don't ship dogs.. That there is an embargo until Jan. 1st. Why did they not tell me this when I booked her ticket? How can they not know this? Luckily I was able to get her on a Delta flight thanks to a very nice gentleman who was some kind of airport supervisor...but just barely. And instead of the $267 that it was supposed to cost to fly her back on United I had to pay $460. I had no other choice and was just lucky that there was a plane leaving that would take dogs. She ended up flying back through Atlanta. She was physically fine and is a tough little dog but I will never take a chance again with flying with my dog in Cargo on any plane unless it would be a dire emergency or absolute necessity. I plan on contacting customer service at United and then the Better Business Bureau because this division of United should be closed down. Save yourself the major stress and risk of hurting your best friend and putting a major dent in what should be a time of joy and fun. United/Continental should be ashamed of operating such a horrible operation.
 
Travel to Hawaii
Neil in Ames, Iowa
In 2008 and 2009 we traveled from the Mainland to Kona, Hawaii with our pet cat in cabin. However, in 2010, we were told that the state of Hawaii requires the last leg to be in luggage. I told United, sent the information by e-mail and cited United to Hawaii regulations (and Hawaii's website) that the policy of the State of Hawaii had changed in 2007 and no longer requires all pets to go through quarantine in Honolulu and no longer requires that pets arrive in luggage. The then-new "direct release"program allows direct flights into four Hawaiian cities with a minimum of red tape and does not require that the pets arrive in luggage and has not since August of 2007. I am extremely dissatisfied with United's policy and even though I was a 1K before retirement and have flown more than 1.8 million miles with United I am totally frustrated with United's policy (which involves only flights to Hawaii, by the way).
 
Never use this terrible excuse for a company.
Shelly in Aberdeen, SD
**DO NOT USE PETSAFE** PetSafe is a TERRIBLE company! I have never before witnessed such utter incompetence! I recently moved from the U.S. to Germany and had intended to bring two cats with me, whom my boyfriend and I had spent 6+ months and several hundred dollars prepping for the trip (vaccinations, health certificates, microchips, etc., etc.) and due to finding a cheap flight with United, we opted to go with PetSafe to transport our pets for us. Between the two of us, we contacted PetSafe via phone & email 6 or 7 times getting confirmation numbers and making sure that everything would go smoothly... They set us up with two completely invalid flights for our pets. The airport they were to be shipped from did not even deal with pets, and I found out later that they didn't even ship internationally!! In talking with 7 different people, not a single one of them brought this information up. Instead, we were just constantly assured that everything was as it needed to be. So now our cats are stranded in the States and a lot of the vaccinations and paperwork will need to be completely redone due to deadlines and such... We're out nearly $500 because of their mistakes! And to make matters worse, they are completely refusing to take responsibility and correct the issue. Instead, we have been ignored by them for almost a month and have now resorted to going through the BBB to attempt to get some kind of closure on this deal. This has been the absolute worst customer service I have ever received. I worked in the customer service industry for 5+ years and if any one of us had acted the way this company collectively is acting, we'd have been fired!
 
Horrible Experience
Nancy in Broad Brook, CT
A reservation was made for the cat’s travel on 12/4/2012 ). The cat was scheduled to depart Bradley on 12/9/2012 at 9:05 a.m., Flight # 1689. He was then scheduled to leave Chicago on Flight # 6256 to Tulsa to his new home. I arrived at the airport at 7:30 a.m. and went to the United Reservations Area. I told the female employee about the reservation. She was very nice and had to call another employee to assist in the process. After completing all necessary paperwork, the woman was going to bring the cat downstairs at the airport for the next step in processing to get him onto the plane. I was told that I could not accompany her downstairs. The time was about 8:20 a.m. at that point and I asked if there was enough time to get the cat on the plane and she said yes. I watched her take him in his crate and I also saw her come back upstairs with no crate as she had obviously brought the cat downstairs. I thanked her again and left the airport. When I checked United’s tracking system online before noon, it stated that my cat had arrived in Chicago. At approximately 2 p.m. EST, the person to whom the cat was going received a call from United stating that the cat had not gone onto Flight 1689. He was now rebooked on Flight 3535 to Dulles and then on to Tulsa on Flight # 3630. The cat finally arrived in Tulsa that night. One of our rescues group’s volunteers did speak with a supervisor Sunday afternoon. Apparently, this supervisor called Bradley and was told that when the second shift employees came in, they saw the crate with the cat in it and let the proper personnel know. 1) Why didn’t someone from United at Bradley call me as I live 10 miles from Bradley to tell me that the cat did not make it on the original flight? I would have simply come back to the airport, brought the cat home and then back again to the airport for the new flight. 2) Where was the cat for those six hours in between flights?? I went back to the airport Sunday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. and went downstairs to the Baggage area. There is a small office there and I spoke with two female employees. One of them said she heard that the cat did not make it on the flight due to time constraints. I was told that morning there was enough time. It is more than clear to me that the poor cat was left sitting around somewhere for six hours unattended and unnoticed until the second shift folks came in. Where did the second shift folks find the cat???? 3) Why did United’s website show that Picasso landed in Chicago? As a side note, I also tried calling the toll free PetSafe phone number Sunday afternoon. I was on hold for 18 minutes and that was disconnected and never got to speak with anyone. I tried again Monday morning, 12/10/12, to contact PetSafe to voice my complaint. I was on hold for 20 minutes. I spoke with a team leader who was less than helpful. All she could tell me is that she was not working yesterday and did not know what happened. She made absolutely no effort to try to find out what happened. That is terrible customer service. I did get her to transfer me to the voicemail of whom I was told is the General Manager for United Airlines at Bradley. I left a message with him and asked him to call me at his earliest convenience to give the details of what transpired Sunday. As of the writing of this review, I have not received a call back from him. I would NEVER recommend United's PetSafe Program. I cannot express how disappointed and concerned I am over United Airlines handling of these travel arrangements.
 
Double Charged, Forgot Food and Lost Our Dog
Kristine in Grand Rapids
The week of Thanksgiving my family and I were in a serious car accident and rolled our car down a 100 foot cliff. After then finding out thieves had looted the crash site while we were in the hospital and had stolen all of my daughters Christmas gifts that we had just received from family we were vising in California. With my 4 year old daughter, husband and dog inmiles from home I did my homework and researched the car as well, they were showing serious signs of PTSD. I tried to ensure I got the best possible trip home for them given the situation. Being over 2000 airlines and their pet travel, which lead me to book our ticket home with United. We paid thousands of dollars to be over changed, have mechanical/electrical issues on 2 flights, have a flight cancelled, to ride standby with a 4 year old, not sit together, have our dog lost for over 5 hours, have our dogs food forgotten at a United Cargo Facility and overall increased the fear already beset upon a 4 year old and her dog. United has done nothing to show us they are sorry. Not even a sorry has come out of their mouths. Also note that everytime you call PetSafe you have to wait on hold for approx 30 minutes. Finally after 10+ calls while they were trying to locate our dog the supervisor gave me her cell number to by pass the system. Its a joke!
 
expensive, horrible service
Dan in Divonne
We used frequent flier miles to book a flight on UNITED from Geneva Switzerland to Newark in October 2012. We filled out the UNITED form, and were advised by email to contact a number in Switzerland. It was the wrong number. After several calls, we learned that our dog would need to travel as cargo, and it would cost over $900 one way! This is twice as much as it cost to fly with him from JFK to Geneva a few months earlier, and about the same price as a round trip ticket for a human in economic class. This, despite info on the UNITED website indicating that the cost of flying with a pet on international flights ranges from $250 to $500, depending on the size of the animal. That is very misleading. Our dog weighs about 22lbs (10kgs) and uses a medium sized cage. No one in Geneva or on the plane gave us accurate information about where we could pick up our pet. On the ground we were directed to the PetSafe office, which told us we needed to go to a customs office located miles away, not in any of the terminals. (When we flew with Swiss in the spring, we were able to check him in right where we checked in ourselves. And pay with a credit card - the freight company UNITED referred us to required payment in cash.) In the end, it took us more than an hour to get our pet back after clearing customs and immigration. So for an 8 hour flight, he spent more than 12 hours in his cage. NEVER AGAIN!
 
PET TRAUMATIZED !!
Sabrina in Italy
Let me start off by saying I will NEVER trust this airline with any pet unless its in cabin with me. My dog was not fed properly nor walked. When a friend finally received him he was in POOR condition! His flight was delayed twice then finally cancelled which was suppose to connect with mine later that day in Baltimore to fly overseas(military)..Our layer over was 10 hrs with plenty of time to connect with our flight... And when asked when he would be in the office area of CARGO told me and my friend the next morning! She called that morning(as I had to leave on orders overseas and couldnt just cancel this flight that has been booked 2 months in advance)to check if he was coming in, they told her yes. Upon arrival to pick him up he was not even on the plane!! Our friend called us furious and found out that they had lied to her and then said he would be in on a night flight. She doesn't exactly live around the corner to be driving back and forth, taking time off work and picking up our dog. Thankfully she did come back and when she FINALLY recieved our dog he was in such poor condition he couldn't even wait to go to the bathroom and relieved himself in the parking lot!!! The kennel stunk of urine and when she finally got to feed him he nearly devoured her hand in the process!! I had only given them 2 servings at the airport cargo area in tampa so how they fed him IDK!! Our dog has never behaved this way and has NEVER urinated in a kennel. He is housebroken which tells me they NEVER WALKED HIM !!! Now we have to sell him because we don't have the means to get him recertified with Health certs/USDA approval papers for overseas travel, which is an hour and half away from our friends Baltimore residence to VIRGINIA and a $1800 flight booked through a pet cargo IPATA member!! This is a NIGHTMARE and its sad that I haven't even heard anything back from this company. They don't care about your pet as long as they get your money!!! My husband(who is in military) and I have called and talked with several employees who says "oh talk to the refund department" "Its the employees word against yours of when hour dog would be in" Um our friend wouldn't have driven ALL that way for nothing if she'd known he wasn't on the plane!!! Got some real genius' working over there in Baltimore!! And I've even called and emailed the company with no reply and its been over a week since this incident occurred!! The lady Joselyn from refund department (if that is her real name)who we spoke with concerning the matter stated she would be getting back in touch with us. SHAME on this company for pretending they are on top of things when they are not OR that our dog was in great hands when now I know this flight has traumatized him. He ate our friends couch from being locked in a kennel for 2 days!! I will continue to fight for my refund EVEN if it means contacting the BBB and President of UNITED!! I will not be silenced!!!! Sincerely, Distraught pet owner
 
Horrible Program - Fraud
Terry in San Pedro, Belize
This is a terrible program, administered by poor employees and silly bosses. They will NOT answer phone calls, so don't bother. They email, but each time it is a different answer. They told me specifically which kennel to buy, but when arriving to drop off the dog, they then demanded a larger kennel. With no time to go off-site to get one, they charged over 2 times what the kennel would cost in a store. This after they specifically told me which kennel to get based on my pets size measurements (which were accurate.) They have you over a barrel, so they know they can screw you over. Shame on Petsafe, Shame on United for having them, and I have cancelled my frequent mileage program with United and will not fly them ever again due to their horrible treatment of animals. Fly your pet at your own risk...they have a history of losing pets and having them arrive doa. Lots of horror stories, so I guess my story of the fraud and theft is minor by comparison.
 
Our Dog was left in Denver
Angela in Kansas City
I would never use United PetSafe again. Our new dog was booked from Sacramento to Kansas City. My cousin book our dog on the plane and he was to have a layover in Denver. The Denver pilot refused to allow our new dog on the plane, he was left in the terminal without being let out or water for over two hours. We were lied to, saying he was already at a local kennel being taken care of. We were given the number, called, and was told by the kennel they didn't have our dog and hadn't heard about him. Through many people and phone calls we FINALLY located our dog Buster...he was still at the terminal. :-( so upsetting, very disappointed, horrible service, DO not use PetSafe
 
United's new pet travel policy for large animals is TERRIBLE
Cindy in San Francisco, CA
Ever since their merger with Continental, United has changed their policies making it very difficult for people to travel with their beloved pets who can't fly in the main cabin. They make you go through PetSafe which is unreliable, confusing, and expensive. I used to use United to travel home for the holidays and long vacations where I did not want to leave my large dog behind for a significant period of time. Unless they change their pet policy soon, I will NEVER fly United again -- with or without my pet (and I travel A LOT!) If you've had a similar experience with United recently, or if you think you might ever want to travel with your own beloved pet, please sign the petition below and let's help them see that a change must happen soon! http://www.change.org/petitions/united-airlines-jeff-smisek-change-united-s-new-policy-for-pets-traveling-as-cargo?share_id=iNZQgwXYbL
 
international pets checked baggage!
Carol in Michigan
United is not accepting pets as checked baggage! OnlY military pets are allowed as checked baggage. Cargo is the only option for pet travel with United. Choose another airline. Website needs to be updated with their rules which were changed in March, 2012.
 
very disappointed
leslie in new york city
I am a 1K and my husband an I fly 4 times a year from NYC to lax in business class with our 2 small cavalier spaniels. We were trying to book our flights and were told there few planes that can accomodate us and we would have to fly economy . With all of the international travel I do for business on a regular basis I am planning on switching carriers!
 
Worst Ever
Chris in Chenoa, Kentucky
The whole process of attempting to bring my dog to the US from Honduras was completly bungled by United Cargo. First we were given incorrect e-mail address and telephone numbers for the cargo office in Honduras. Do they speak in English there? No they do not! Nor do they apparently know anything about transporting pets. Ultimatly two days before travel they inform us that they do not serve our airport, this after an initial conversation confirming that they serve my airport. We are either out a dog or out some $1500 so that we can get a new ticket with Delta. In this case we can't pay. We are out a great and faithful dog. And no, she will not enjoy Honduras.
 
Liers
Ryan in Fargo
I was going to fly my dog to charleston with me so when i moved there he wouldnt have to ride in a car for 24 hours i get him to the airport and then im told that he is to big. I had confirmed taking him and im told that they can change the airplane size as they want. So then the plane was to small. I was not impressed at all
 
Very nervous--needing reassurance!
Morghan in Watertown
Although my husband and I don't plan to fly our little kitten, Nala for another couple of months, we are already nervous wrecks. Within the last two days we have called United Airlines a total of eight times and gotten both yes and no answers from different people on whether or not we could have her in the cabin. Maybe this isn't a very good reason to freak out yet, but after reading some of these bad reviews, I am terrified for my baby. We are military so we think we don't have much of a choice of who we fly with, but United is not who I would prefer. Cost isn't an issue considering she's like a child to us, we would pay anything, as long as she is safe. I'm unsure of what to do, and not thinking United knows much of what they're doing especially when it comes to pets!
 
April 2012 Misleading information?
Wentz in Veracruz
Procedure has changed!!!!!! Re: What Susan in Palo Alto said - "Due to United's merger with Continental their pet travel policy has changed and no longer can a pet fly as checked baggage..." I believe Susan's situation has to do with restrictions to and from Hawaii, rather than the merger. I've just (April 2012) read several web-sites regarding United's pet policy - travelling from Mexico to Canada, and suggest others do the same. Unless there are changes not yet published on these websites, I will indeed be allowed to carry my pet in-cabin with me. Of course I will be calling the airline to confirm. I'd also like to recommend that all reviews be dated.
 
Put on wrong plane
Gail in MA
We flew from MA to CA with our dog in the hold. when we changed plans in mn they put her on the wrong plane but thankfully she got there hours before we did and was in the care of an agent at baggage. on the return flight she seemed very woozey when we took her out of her kennell. like she was bounced around.
 
Dog kept waiting in cold at Incheon
Natalie in Seoul
I flew my goldendoodle from San Francisco to Korea in 2010, as checked baggage. United in SFO was great-- they let me walk him in the airport until right before they had to check him in. However United in Incheon was another story. Although I flew business class and he was considered "priority" luggage (and in fact, he was a living dog so should have been priority in any case) they refused to deplane him until they had unloaded all the baggage from the plane. Even after that I waited around for half an hour before they finally brought him to me, cold and shivering. This was February in Korea. Very cold. Koreans can be extremely indifferent to dogs, but they should uphold the United company standards for treatment of pets (ie reducing their exposure to extreme temperatures) and United should force their Korean employees to comply. I have to fly him again to return to states and am really concerned about the treatment he will receive at Incheon.
 
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