Man Escaping Hurricane Irma Denied Plane Ride Because No Pet Carrier

Posted by Jason Sarna
hurricane irma dog
Screenshot via CNN

No pet carrier = no plane ride. But there’s a category five hurricane headed right for us! Again, no pet carrier = no plane ride.

A resident of Kendall, Florida, Matt Varga, was unable to evacuate via plane due to Hurricane Irma because he didn’t have a pet carrier for his dog, Meeka.

The airlines were kind enough to waive the pet fee for those evacuating, but they would not budge on the pet carrier.

Varga told CNN’s Randi Kaye that he had visited 10 stores attempting to find a carrier, but all were sold out.

According to the HuffPost, Federal regulations are strict about how pets can be transported on planes, which include having an approved carrier for the animal.

Varga’s sister, Anne-Marie Varga, went to Facebook and had this to say about the incident:

“My brother Matt Varga had a ticket to evacuate Irma and was denied boarding because he didn’t have a standard pet carrier. Glad that American Airlines has a heart for people (and their precious puppies) in Miami.”


In 2006, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act. The bipartisan bill mandates the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure that evacuation plans in federal disasters include pets. However, the PETS Act does not require private companies like hotels to make special accommodations for pets. It also doesn’t change regulations around air travel.

With no other options, Varga returned to his home in Kendall to ride out the storm with Meeka.

Do you agree with the no pet carrier = no plane ride equation? Or do you think the airlines should have made an exception? Let us know in the comments section below!

WATCH NOW: How to Prepare Your Pet for an Emergency

 


Man Escaping Hurricane Irma Denied Plane Ride Because No Pet Carrier