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United bans dozens of pet breeds from traveling in cargo

Only certain cats and dogs will be allowed after several animal-related accidents and one death.
/ Source: TODAY

United Airlines will restrict dozens of dog and cat breeds from its cargo hold under a new pet travel policy that goes into effect next month.

The overhaul of its rules were prompted in part by the highly publicized death of one dog, and several mix-ups of other pets, in March.

United Airline changes pet travel policy
Dozens of dog and cat breeds will be affected by United's new pet travel policy.Shutterstock

Under the new policy that takes effect June 18, United will prohibit short-nosed dog breeds including pugs and bulldogs, as well as “strong-jawed” breeds such as American pit bull terriers. The rules will also affect large dog breeds including a variety of mastiffs.

Passengers will still be allowed to bring small pets into the main cabin, however.

United said it is working with the animal welfare organization American Humane to improve its pet travel policies.

The full list of pets restricted by United are:

List of dog and cat breeds affected by United Airline's new pet travel policy

The airline halted transporting pets in March after one dog died in an overhead bin and several other dogs were loaded onto the wrong planes.

In the case of the dog that died, the family that owned a French bulldog claimed it followed the airline's policy of placing the dog in a carrier beneath the seat. But a flight attendant told them the case needed to be placed in the overhead bin.

In the other cases, one dog was accidentally sent to Japan instead of Kansas City and another a dog at bound for Akron, Ohio, was accidentally loaded onto a flight to St. Louis.

United also will limit reservations for pets during hotter months to certain locations. The airline will not accept cats and dogs in the cargo hold between May 1 to Sept. 30 to or from Las Vegas, Palm Springs, California, or Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona.

United's restrictions to its pet travel policy will put the airlines more in line with its competitors Delta and American, which also have specific restrictions on what breeds may go in its cargo hold, as well as timing of when pets can fly.