Delta introduces premium pet tracker service

Pet owners who travel can buy some extra reassurance when flying Delta. The Atlanta-based airline plans to offer a pet-tracking device for owners who need to leave their furry friends in the cargo hold while flying, reports Bloomberg.

Starting today, passengers can monitor pets in real time—even receive data on surrounding compartment temperature and whether their animal is sitting at a strange angle or oriented upright.

Developed by Sendem Wireless Corp, the PT300 gadget will cost customers $50 per flight from 10 specified airports in the U.S.

Though useful for monitoring animals, the unique device also has capabilities beyond helping anxious pet owners. It can be used to keep a close watch on temperature sensitive cargo like organ transplants.

“When things go wrong with a pet, it often goes horribly wrong,” Neel Jones Shah, an airline adviser to Sendum and former Delta cargo executive, told Bloomberg.

The number of animal deaths and incidents of loss has been declining in past few years. But Delta has experienced the most reported animal deaths among U.S. carriers in the past five years with 51, according to information from the Department of transportation. The airline claims the new tracker device is not in direct response to its track record. Last year, all major carriers reported 45 incidents of animal death, loss or injury.

Though not a guarantee, the new device will help assure pet owners that dogs and large felines are not overheating in the back of the aircraft.

But the biggest drawback of the system is due to restrictions on cellular communications in air, the device can only send alerts before or after a flight. But Shah said most pet-related incidents regarding air travel happen at the airport, not while airborne.