US carrier Delta Air Lines has upgraded its travel option for pets with the launch of an advanced travel carrier.

Launched in partnership with CarePod, Delta’s new pet carrier can provide real-time updates for customers throughout the journey.

The pet travel carrier is built with robust and insulated walls to withstand temperature fluctuations and features multi-layered windows and doors with blinds.

Additional features include a built-in hydration system, enterprise-level GPS tracking and monitoring system, and non-toxic, UV and antibacterial treated human grade materials.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) compliant CarePod pet travel can accommodate dogs and cats permitted in a 300 series crate or smaller.

The production of the carrier involved five years of research, development and testing, and an additional two-month trial.

The technology will be launched exclusively at eight US locations, including Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York (JFK and LaGuardia), San Francisco and West Palm Beach.

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This will be followed by a phased launch across its US network.

Delta Cargo vice-president Shawn Cole said: “Continuous innovation is in Delta’s DNA and the launch of the CarePod pet travel carrier, an industry first, is an example of us seeking out innovative partnerships and looking at ways to improve the customer experience throughout all parts of their journey.

“As the only airline to offer this premium pet travel solution, it represents a significant improvement for the millions of people who want to travel with their four-legged family members.”

In a separate development, the US Department of Transportation has requested a public opinion on the proposal made to amend the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the air transportation of service animals.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) has sought to amend the definition of a service animal and allow airlines to reduce the pet travel on aircraft.

It also seeks to prevent passengers from falsely claiming their pets as service animals.