August 06, 2022 08:18
Demand is growing for travel with pets on holiday, straining the limited places available on airlines that are slow to catch up with the trend.
Low-cost carriers have been quicker off the mark, offering discounts on pet airfare to attract more customers. A total of 33,000 pets flew on T'way Air, Jeju Air and Air Busan in the first half of this year, which averages 5,500 a month, compared to 28,200 or 2,350 two years ago.
"The number of travelers flying with their pets this year surged more than 120 percent compared to last year, especially since April when lockdown ended," a Jin Air staffer said.
But some travelers feel they have to change their plans because there are too many restrictions on pet travel.
Kim Hyun-soo (58), who has a medium-sized dog, gave up plans last month to travel to Vietnam with it. Domestic carriers still require pets weighing more than 7 kg to be transported in the cargo hold. "I just couldn't put my dog in the hold," Kim said.
Lee Hye-won (28), who flew to Paris with her Labrador in the cargo hold, said, "I was worried all the way the flight about my dog." Many pet owners feel the weight cutoff is too low.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have no weight limitation at all, while American Airlines allows passengers to carry pets weighing up to 9 kg in the cabin.
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