Just when I’d given up hope of the airlines ever again showing signs of intelligent life, Delta Airlines has ruled that bulldogs can no longer travel on any Delta or Delta Connections flights.
According to the airline’s website, “Delta will no longer accept the American, English or French bulldogs for transport regardless of their age and/or weight on any Delta or Delta Connection flights.”
But Delta’s new rule has nothing to do with breed-specific legislation. The decision was based on a recent study that revealed that out of the 16 dogs who died in Delta care during 2010, six were bully breeds.
With their short noses and long palates, bulldogs are prone to contracting brachycephalic syndrome, a condition affecting squashed-faced breeds like Boston terriers, pugs and pekineses.
Their shortened facial structure affects their ability to breathe, which is why your English bulldog snores so loudly and your Frenchie constantly snorts. The tissue around his face can become inflamed, which narrows his airways and makes it even more difficult to breathe.
The most commons triggers for a brachycephalic attack are heat and stress, concepts all but synonymous with air travel these days. Although it’s not as likely that brachycephalic dogs will experience breathing problems if they fly in the cabin, according to existing airline provisions, Delta isn’t taking any risks.
Although the airline has only placed restrictions on bulldogs, its website also cautions against shipping or checking other breeds of snub-nosed dogs in hot weather, including:
- American Staffordshire terrier
- American pit bull terrier
- Boston terrier
- Brussels griffin
- Chinese pug
- Chow chow
- Dutch pug
- English toy spaniel
- Lhasa apso
- Japanese boxer
- Japanese pug
- Japanese spaniel (chin)
- Pit bull
- Shar pei
- Shih tzu
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Tibetan spaniel
Delta also warns against bringing brachycephalic cats aboard, including Himalayans, Burmese and Persians.
Also participating in the ban is American Airlines, who changed its pet travel restrictions in January 2011.
Have you ever traveled with your pet? Did you check him, ship him or bring him on board? Tell me about your experiences in the comments section below.