Airlines are increasingly tending to ban short-nosed species such as bulldogs, pugs, dwarf rabbits, or flat-faced Persian cats from air transport. The carriers’ rebuttal is due to numerous deaths occurred during flight and blamed on the airline by infuriated pet owners, damaging the company’s reputation. So, hard times ahead for owners of bulldogs, cocker spaniels or terriers wanting to put their beloved but health-risked pets on a plane.
The number of carriers deciding to refuse the transport of brachycephalic breeds in their fleet’s lower deck holds is increasing rapidly. Austrian Airlines, Air France-KLM, Qantas, American
Airlines, Swiss International - these are only some names that have excluded the transport of dogs, rabbits or cats belonging to snub-nosed breeds.
They do this to protect the life of those particular species and avoid claims by owners of the animals in case of fatality during flight.
Result of doubtful breeding practices
What makes air transportation so hazardous for the brachycephalic breeds is their specific respiratory system with nostrils that are narrower than average and other unfavorable physical characteristics. This makes breathing generally difficult but even more, if they are in a difficult respiratory environment, putting them at high risk. If traveling by air in a kennel stowed in the holds of a jetliner, the animal’s breathing capability is further worsened by stress, heat, humidity, and noise.
LH joins the bandwagon
These problems common to short-nosed breeds are referred to by German carrier Lufthansa in its announcement to stop the air transport of brachycephalic animals in the lower decks of passenger aircraft. Thus, Lufthansa is the latest airline to join the bandwagon so far. “Dogs and cats belonging to snub-nosed breeds have anatomically restricted airways with the accompanying difficulty in breathing. The stress caused by transportation and/or high temperatures at the departure, transfer and destination airports can cause circulatory issues that may result in breathing problems. As a result, your pet could suffer serious health problems or even die during the journey.”
Peacock was forbidden to board
The carrier’s statement further reads: “Lufthansa will therefore no longer be transporting these breeds in the cargo hold.” Conversely, the airline basically still tolerates passengers eager to take an emotional support animal into the cabin to feel comforted during the flight, including snub-nosed species.
However, it is more than doubtful whether this concession is also valid for those wishing to take a peacock into the cabin, as a passenger wanting to board a domestic flight in the USA recently demanded. Despite her protests and massive complaints, her request was finally turned down by the carrier. She and her peacock had to stay on the ground.
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