Putting your pet in checked luggage will no longer be allowed on Delta Air Lines starting 1 March 2016, according to the company’s website.

Small dogs may eventually be allowed on some Ryanair flights.

Dogs will no longer be allowed to be checked as luggage on Delta Air Lines. Image by Jim Winstead / CC BY 2.0

Small animals will still be allowed to fly in the cabin of the planes for a fee and larger animals can be sent via Delta Cargo, where animals will be monitored and in temperature-controlled areas. However, according to a Delta Cargo document on shipping live animals, between 1 October and 31 March 2016, the cheapest shipment for an animal in an extra-small kennel is $193, while costs can go up to $1,481 to ship a giant kennel long distances.

There are some exemptions to the new rule, such as for service animals.

Addressing the issue of travelling with pets is something many airlines and travel companies are grappling with, and while Delta is moving away from offering the service, others are looking into ways to help people fly with their pets.

American Airlines has started a first-class kennel section for small pups and JFK airport in New York is in the process of building a special terminal to accommodate animal travellers.

Even Irish budget airline Ryanair is mulling allowing small dogs on some of its shorter European flights.

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