Even though many airlines dropped their pet fees in order to help Floridians evacuate the state with their pets ahead of Hurricane Irma, Matt Varga of Kendall, Florida was denied access to his flight because he didn’t have a carrier for his dog, Meeka. Varga had been to 10 different stores in order to try to buy a carrier, but they were all sold out.
In 2006, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which requires federal evacuation plans to include pets. Unfortunately, this law doesn’t require private companies, such as airlines and hotels, to alter their rules in order to assist with evacuations. In this instance, the airlines chose to follow previously established laws that require pets to be in carriers on planes.
— CNN (@CNN) September 8, 2017
Varga told Randi Kaye of CNN:
“I waited an hour in line at the agent office, and I don’t have a pet carrier and they won’t let me on without a pet carrier.”
Unable to get on a flight out of Florida, Varga said he would return to his home in Kendall to ride out the storm with Meeka since he refused to leave her behind.
We hope that Varga, Meeka, and everybody else in the path of Hurricane Irma stay safe!