U.S. Military Service Member Faces Hefty Fare To Bring Dog Home

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The aftermath of United Airlines pausing its pet transport policy is hitting U.S. military service members particularly hard, as many are left with few options for getting their furry family members to and from their duty stations.

A U.S. Coast Guard service member is facing up over $30,000 in fare to transport her 221-pound English mastiff George from Japan to the United States, now that United Airlines has put its pet transport program on hold since it’s had a string of incidents that included the death of a 10-week-old puppy.

Related: Dog Dies After United Flight Attendant Insists It Be Stowed In Overhead Bin

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Jennifer McKay paid $3,200 in 2016 to fly her 221-pound English Mastiff in 2016. She’s stationed in Tokyo and United was the only affordable option to get her dog back to the U.S. where she starts her new assignment in Washington, D.C. this June.

As United has halted its transport while they review their pet transport policies and procedures, it could cost McKay $31,000 to get her furry family member home with her.

United has stated they plan to have made their final reviews by May 1, but that may or may not happen and may be too late for McKay. Her dog and the 100-pound carrier he requires are too heavy for most airlines and the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command doesn’t take pets who weigh more than 150 pounds, including their carriers. UPS and FedEx are not options either.

Related: United Airlines Flubs Again; Mistakenly Sends Family Dog To Japan

McKay’s only ‘feasible’ option for getting him home is to fly him on an All Nippon Airways on a direct flight, which will cost the single mom $31,000 and so isn’t really feasible after all. She says her dog is family, and she just wants to get home to the country she serves.

So at a time when many swear they’d never fly their dogs on United ever again, this military service member is hoping that United will reinstate the PetSafe program quickly…and help make sure no dog is left behind.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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