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Pets: Guaranteed on Board Program

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You may have heard of a new airline program which claims that pets are guaranteed boarding or you get your money back. Sounds great, but there are some things to be aware of.

The Guaranteed On-Board Program is a partnership between eight U.S. airlines and The Sherpa Pet Group.

Pet owners fill out a form and if a participating airline denies boarding because of your pet carrier, you’ll be reimbursed the cost of airline ticket and the pet travel fee.

The reasoning is logical: There are many types of pet carriers, and no standardization between airlines.

Even if a carrier is labeled “airline approved,” a gate agent can still deny boarding.

But read the fine print. This guarantee only applies for pets flying in the cabin, not in the cargo hold.

And along with your flight details and pet’s information, you also have to specify which Sherpa-brand carrier you’re using.

That’s right, using any other branded pet carrier voids the entire deal. American Airlines and Delta even created their own Sherpa-brand carriers with their logos. Hey, if you like it, great.

But don’t let a promotion force you into buying a product.

Instead, do your due diligence by calling the airline to get the exact dimensions and specifications allowed on board.

And always keep a paper trail of who you spoke with and what they promised.

Find more tips in our Pet Travel section.

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