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New United Airlines Pet Policy Bans 21 Dog Breeds From Flight

Pets News Airports + Flying
by Tim Wenger May 9, 2018

The past few months have been rough for the PR department at United Airlines. The in-flight death of a flyer’s dog after being placed in an overhead storage bin, among other incidents, prompted the airline to bring much-needed change its pet policy. The updates appear to demonstrate a commitment by United to prevent future mishaps before they happen. But the airline is now much more stringent about exactly which breeds of dogs and cats are able to fly.

The bulk of the new policy focuses on dogs, with a particular focus on which breeds will be allowed to fly. According to United’s website, restrictions have been placed on strong-jawed dog breeds as well as dogs and cats with short or snub noses and others, “out of concern for higher adverse health risks.” The airline will ban other “household pets” from its planes including rats, snakes, and others deemed not fit for flight.

The following dog breeds are now banned from flying:

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Bully
  • American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull
  • American Staffordshire Terrier/”Amstaff”
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog
    • American Bulldog
    • English Bulldog
    • French Bulldog
    • Old English Bulldogges
    • Shorty Bulldogs
    • Spanish Alano/Spanish Bulldog/Alano Espanol
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chow Chow
  • English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff
    • American Mastiff
    • Boerboel/South African Mastiff
    • Bullmastiff
    • Ca de Bou/Mallorquin Mastiff
    • Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff
    • Dogo Argentino/Argentinian Mastiff
    • Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff
    • English Mastiff
    • Fila Brasileiro/Brazilian Mastiff/Cao de Fila
    • Indian Mastiff/Alangu
    • Kangal/Turkish Kangal
    • Neapolitan Mastiff/Mastino Napoletano
    • Pakistani Mastiff/Bully Kutta
    • Pyrenean Mastiff
    • Presa Canario/Perro de Presa Canario/Dogo Canario/Canary Mastiff
    • Spanish Mastiff / Mastin Espanol
    • Tibetan Mastiff
    • Tosa/Tosa Ken/Tosa Inu/Japanese Mastiff/Japanese Tosa
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
    • Dutch Pug
    • Japanese Pug
  • Shar-Pei/Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Shih-Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier/”Staffys”
  • Tibetan Spaniel

Additionally, the following cat breeds are now banned:

  • Burmese
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Himalayan
  • Persian

Animal rights advocacy group American Humane worked with United to craft this policy, which takes effect on June 18 for pets traveling with a human companion and July 16 for animals traveling alone. Reservations for pets must be made no earlier than 30 days in advance and no later than 5 days in advance of a trip, and the airline will more freely change course due to weather fluctuations when pets are on board.

Additionally, you’ll no longer be able to fly your pets into airports that the airline deems too hot for animal safety, namely Phoenix, Tucson, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas, and you’ll be required to bring a number of documents including veterinary records, photos, and crate information.

The policy strikes at two clear goals for the airline: avoiding future mishaps and ensuring their flights are “humane.” United will also shift a bit more responsibility to pet owners, as you’ll now have to bring your own crate; the airline will stop selling animal crates at check-in.

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