United Adds Military Pet Shipping Exemption

Damage Controlman Fireman Anna Cornish, assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable, plays with a dog at Guam Animals in Need shelter during a community relations event in Yigo on Feb. 9, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Heather C. Wamsley)
Damage Controlman Fireman Anna Cornish, assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable, plays with a dog at Guam Animals in Need shelter during a community relations event in Yigo on Feb. 9, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Heather C. Wamsley)

UPDATE: Late Friday the Navy’s Chief of Personnel Facebook page removed the post containing a statement from United.

“We apologize for the confusion from today’s earlier post on United’s pet policy. We are getting further clarification and will update when we have obtained more information,” officials with the page wrote in a statement. United has yet to make a public statement clarifying the policy.

Troops and active-duty families moving to and from overseas duty stations will still be able to ship their pets on United Airlines after the carrier announced a special military policy exemption Friday.

United on Tuesday temporarily suspended its PetSafe cargo pet transport program, sparking panic among military families stationed on Guam.

As first reported by Military.com, the airline had been the only service shipping pets on and off the island, and families feared that the suspension would force them to abandon their animals during upcoming moves.

But United on Friday announced a special exemption for active-duty military on orders and State Department foreign service officers.

"Active-duty U.S. military personnel on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and their spouses, along with State Department Foreign Service Personnel (FSP) and their spouses may transport their pet dogs and cats when traveling on assignment to and from international destinations," says the statement, which was posted to the Navy's Chief of Personnel Facebook page and United's website. "Active-duty U.S. military not on orders, conducting personal travel with a pet, would be restricted in accordance to airline policy."

The program suspension had been sparked by a series of recent pet transport disasters, including animals being delivered to the wrong families and the death of a small dog in an aircraft cabin.

All PetSafe reservations made before March 20, including those for non-PCS moves, will be honored under the original policy, officials said.

-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

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