United Airlines Enforcing Breed Specific Legislation
Ariel WulffMarch 12, 2012
United Airlines has built their reputation on the slogan “Fly the friendly skies of United,” but things at United have gotten a lot less friendly this week; especially if you are a dog.
While communities around the country have been on the move to change breed specific legislation (BSL) that discriminates against pit bulls and breeds that look like them, United is putting BSL firmly in place.
United’s website says: “United is committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for all of our customers, including pets. Because we share our customers’ concern that their pets’ flights are stress-free, we have enhanced our animal acceptance policy to transport pets as both baggage (accompanying a passenger on the same plane) and cargo. Our program is called PetSafe®.”
The program offers the options of tracking animals that are traveling as cargo, and accepting small pets and service animals for travel in cabin.
All dogs that travel via the cargo area must meet certain requirements. They must be housed in a kennel that is one size larger than normally required, and it must have ventilation on four sides. Kennels cannot contain food, but must contain water. Pets must be at least 10 weeks of age and weigh at least 1 pound. Dogs traveling internationally must have proper permits and documentation.
The rules however, take a sharp and unfriendly turn as their guidelines now stipulate the dog must not be one of the nine breeds that United Airlines considers “dangerous”:
•Pit Bull Terriers
•American Staffordshire Terriers
•Perro de Presa Canario
•Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
•Ca de Bou
United will not accept any dogs of these breeds or mixes of these breeds, once they have reached either 6 months of age or 20 pounds (9 kg) in weight (whichever comes first).
United Airlines adopted the discriminatory policy last week when the company merged with Continental Airlines. It is now the world’s largest air carrier and the only US-based airline that has BSL rules.
One pet owner started a petition on change.org, when she tried to book a flight and was told that she couldn’t travel with her ten-year-old pit bull. The petition underscores that each dog is an individual with his own unique personality and should be judged based on temperament, not on appearance or breed.
Sign this petition to let United know how you feel as because of the merger, they are listening to customer feedback at this time as they complete their merger with Continental.