More pets died on Delta than any other air carrier last year, according to an Air Travel Consumer Report released by the U. S. Department of Transportation earlier this week.
The report, available online, confirms that 19 of last year's 35 in-flight pet deaths happened on Delta planes. That's up from 16 in 2010. The second most deadly airline for pets was American, with 5 deaths. Delta also led the pack in terms of pet injury, with 5 out of 9 total incidents occurring on Delta flights.
All deaths occurred in the checked baggage cargo hold.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that a Delta spokesman explained the numbers by stating that Delta carries more pets than many other airlines. The number of pets who were injured or died on the airline was less than 0.2 percent of animals carried.
Last December, in an effort to improve its numbers, the Grim Reaper of Airlines stopped accepting snub-nosed dogs or cats (that sounds meaner than it is) as checked items. Delta had previously also banned American, English and French bulldogs from flying, as these breeds are particularly susceptible to respiratory problems.
The silver lining on Delta's dark death storm cloud: they did manage not to lose any pets. Alaska and American Airlines both reported losses of one animal each.
So, fly Delta, and your dog will probably end up where you intend. But it might be dead.