Delta Dogma

We made it to Connecticut by way of New York City and courtesy of Delta Airlines. We chose Delta because they are willing to transport pets. The logistics of a cross-country move are complicated by the needs of our four-legged friends. Jetblue has a great nonstop flight to JFK airport but they don't allow pets. Some airlines that allow pets don't have a nonstop flight. So Delta was the one. I read everything I could online and gathered all the information I could find and then called the Delta customer service line.
I explained our situation: one dog, one cat, two kids and a mom moving from one side of the continent to the other, in need of air transportation. Andy had already booked the humans on the red eye for Sunday night so I needed to get the pets on board. 
The cat was welcome to hang out with us in the cabin of the plane--for a not-so-small fee. She had to fit in a carrier that would fit under the seat in front of us. No problem. 

Then there was Gunner. It seems Delta has an "embargo" on pets traveling in the baggage compartment from May to September. This is understandable as the weather can be very hot and there can be delays that would leave a pet sweltering in there with the suitcases. If our move had been better timed, we could have treated him like checked baggage and paid a nominal fee to get him to our new home. But our move was poorly timed and I was told that I could call Delta Cargo and they would ship a live animal for me. So I did that. The very helpful service person with a lovely, charming southern accent told me they would be happy to  ship my mutt with their other cargo. She told me about "Delta Dash" a wonderful, special cargo program wherein live animals and fresh food and the like are whisked across the country lickety-split so they stay fresh and/or alive. I knew by now that this was my only option. I had exhausted all avenues of travel for Gunner except the "Hobo Plan": giving him a knapsack on a stick and telling him to hop a freight train.

So, when she gave me the price for the "Delta Dash" I choked and sputtered and expressed some shock and awe. I told her we loved our dog but he was a dumpster mutt. How could it cost more to ship a dog to New York than to fly a human? She sympathized charmingly in her sweet southern accent and I told her we would purchase a one-way ticket for our dog on the Delta Dash--we had no other option. I asked her if at that price, the dogs would be getting sparkling cider and finger towels. Perhaps an in-flight movie (Old Yeller? Too depressing. Maybe Lassie or Benji). Then, she gave me his flight information.
He was traveling on our flight. On the same plane.  
Wait a minute.
 This whole "Delta Dash" was a sham for squeezing more money out of dog owners in the summertime. Ours was a nonstop, night flight so heat was not an issue. That's some very clever marketing Delta. 


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