Pet Friendly Airline Series: Continental Airlines by the Numbers

As pet travel becomes increasingly popular (just check the results of our recent 2011 Summer Pet Travel Survey), it makes sense that businesses of all kinds are stepping up to provide an array of pet-friendly amenities. This trend has also inspired us to take a look at some of the top pet-friendly airlines, and today we continue our examination of Continental.

Continental Airlines has become a popular service provider for pet travelers, as they advertise a more comprehensive menu of offerings than many other airlines. Check out a Behind the Scenes look at Continental's pet program, and boost your knowledge with these quick facts:

plane/sun-Continental was originally founded in 1934 in Pueblo, CO.

-The airline has a fleet size of 346 (excluding subsidiaries) and flies to 140 mainline destinations.

-Continental was named the #1 Pet-Friendly Airline in 2009 by PetFinder.org.

-If pets are older than 7.5 years, Continental recommends they receive a more extensive than normal health examination before flying.

-For pets traveling as cargo, a 24-hour Live Animal Desk is available for assistance.

-If a pet runs the chance of being exposed to temperatures exceeding 85 degrees for more than 45 minutes, a climate-controlled vehicle and personal handler will be used to transport the pet.

-"Comfort Stops" are mandated for pets traveling more than 18 hours.

-The in-cabin pet fee is $125 USD each way ($250 USD round trip).

-If you follow airline news you've seen that Continental recently merged with United Airlines. They're working on aligning their rules and regulations into one cohesive set of standards, and full integration is expected to be complete by the middle of 2012.

-Comparing the two airlines has revealed over 700 differences in procedure that must be reconciled; as far as pets are concerned, the only major change involves how the pets are boarded. Continental loads kennels facing the plane, and United sends them up the belt loader facing away from the plane. The United method will now take effect.

-In-cabin pet kennels may be available at the check-in counter for $60. Dimensions for these are 18" L x 11" W x 11" H (46 cm L x 28 cm W x 28 cm H).

As always, please contact us with any questions or comments, and we wish you all the safest of travels!

(Photo by Kossy@FINEDAYS via Flickr)

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PetRelo Airline
SpotlightPetRelocation.com's Pet Friendly Airline Spotlight Series will feature one airline each week during the month of May.  Check back each Monday through Thursday this month for more information about the various pet programs and tips for booking pet-friendly flights, and use #PetReloAS on Twitter to follow and join the conversation!

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