As part of its merger with Continental Airlines, United Airlines has announced that on March 3 it will drop its current flat rate for pets that are checked as excess baggage and instead require all animals to be shipped as cargo. For those changing duty stations in the Pacific, the change could mean paying about $1,440 to $3,869 to fly with an animal back to the United States, depending on its size. Currently, United charges $283 for most pets, according to estimates provided Tuesday by Continental customer service.
This is a huge blow to many military families with pets. A lot of families will be forced to either abandon their pet, or accrue a large debt in order to keep a beloved member of their family. This is an ill advised decision to those at Continental/United Airlines.
This will also cause a ripple effect on international relations. Think of the amount of families who will be left with no choice but to abandon their pets in countries our servicemembers are stationed such as Korea, Japan, Italy and Germany just to name a few. Is it really fair to not just the families, but the pets as well for this to happen? It will put America in a bad light to countries that host our military when we are the cause of a stray dog problem.
Also, military families have been dealing with separation for the past twelve years with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now this will cause families to be further separated from their loved ones when they receive orders for such overseas destinations as Korea or even Hawaii or Alaska. Haven't our military families spent enough time apart without something as small as how much it cost to fly a dog to cause it to happen once again? Our servicemembers and their families sacrifice enough as it is, yet we dare to ask them to sacrifice even more?
I ask today that you know how much your pet would do for you, now what are you willing to do for your pet? Take a stand against Continental/United today and sign the petition! Don't forget to share with your friends and fellow pet lovers!
This is to address the issue of your plan to raise pet fees for military personnel that use your airlines for the purpose of PCS moves. I hope you will reconsider your stance on the issue when you see how many military families you will adversely effect with your ill advised actions and lack of thought put into the results of your decision making.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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