Military members moving off Guam will be able to ship their pets on United Airlines over April thanks to an exception to policy announced late today.
United had suspended its PetSafe pet shipping service after a series of transport disasters, including the death of a dog in an aircraft cabin and animals shipped to wrong locations. Officials said they would not be taking new reservations until they complete their review in early May, but would honor those made before March 20.
But because the carrier is the only way military members can ship pets on or off the island, families feared without the service they would be forced to abandon their animals during upcoming PCS moves.
United officials said they will make a limited exception for families moving off Guam during April.
"After careful review and listening closely to feedback from our customers, we have made an exception to the suspension of new reservations for our PetSafe service. We will allow new reservations for members of the military and their spouses, and State Department Foreign Service Personnel and their spouses, traveling with or shipping their pets out of Guam between April 3 and April 30," Charles Hobart, a United spokesman, told Military.com in an email. "We understand that our PetSafe program provides an important service to military families. As the only major carrier in Guam, for U.S. military returning from assignments in Guam, United is often the only way for them to fly their pets home."
Last month, Navy officials had to walk back a statement incorrectly announcing a policy exception for Guam-based troops. At the time, United had made no such decision.
United officials said they still expect their program review to be completed by May 1. In 2017 the carrier shipped more than 3,000 military family pets, Hobart said.
-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.