Delta Airlines Just Made It So Much Easier to Fly with Your Pets

Because your animals deserve first-class flight service, too.

It can be stressful traveling with your four-legged friends—either they’re in the cabin as you hope they don’t cause a ruckus, or they’re stuck in the cargo hold as you pray they’re comfortable, happy, and safe. Traveling by car? Make sure you have these 15 products that will keep your pup safe on a road trip.

Luckily, Delta has just made it significantly easier to travel with pets, introducing an exclusive long-term partnership with pet carrier company CarePod to give owners revolutionary real-time updates to dogs and cats flying in cargo—the only airline to offer a high-tech pet safety solution.

More than a pet carrier

One of the marquee features of the CarePod is insulated, industrial-strength walls designed to protect animals against temperature fluctuations, making sure animals stay safe in transport, regardless of the conditions. Thanks to multi-layered windows and doors, including specially angled blinds, animals enjoy a calmer environment and are shielded from visual stress. There’s also a built-in hydration system—the world’s first offered for a pet travel carrier—with up to a liter of auto-replenishing water into a spill-proof bowl. Dehydration can easily affect dogs, so make sure you’re up to date with these summer safety tips.

Equally exciting for owners: the ability to track their furry friends’ location on their mobile phones thanks to GPS monitoring, linked to the Delta Cargo Control Center and managed 24/7, with ground staff ready to check pets as necessary. Want to keep your pets safe on the ground? These are the best pet GPS trackers.

With more than 2 million live animals flying annually, according to the Department of Transportation—not to mention 24 animals reportedly dying in cargo transit in 2017 alone—the safety of pets in the air is a significant one. Delta’s exclusive CarePod partnership ensures, at least for the time being, their status as the optimal choice for pet parents. (Love your pet so much you’re beginning to look alike? Check out these hilarious pictures of people who look just like their pets.)

CarePod was developed following five years of research and development, as well as a two-month trial, and is now exclusively available at eight locations in the United States: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, San Francisco, and West Palm Beach. Delta has plans to eventually roll out CarePod across its U.S. network.

IATA compliant, the CarePod is made with non-toxic UV and antibacterial-treated human grade materials, is designed for dogs and cats up to 50 pounds, and can be booked between three and thirteen days before departure by visiting deltacargo.com.

The catch? CarePod costs $850 per flight—a hefty price to pay ensuring Fido and Fluffy stay safe, comfy and cozy en route.

Inspired to take a trip with your pet? Check out one of these 15 most dog-friendly hotels in America.

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Nadine Jolie Courtney
Nadine Jolie Courtney is a Virtuoso travel advisor and regular contributor to Reader's Digest, covering travel, culture, and health. A former magazine editor based in Santa Monica, she also covers lifestyle and parenting, with regular outlets including The Healthy, Oprah Mag, Town & Country, Business Insider, and many other publications. Courtney is the author of four books, including ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL, a Kirkus Best Book of 2019. Follow her on Instagram @nadinejoliecourtney