Airlines to introduce app that will allow you to track pets on flights
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Airlines to introduce app that will allow you to track pets on flights

The app, Digi-pet, to enable owners to interact with their pets during air travel via smartphones or other devices, was launched in Mumbai on February 20. The service is expected to start soon.

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2018 09:54 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,airlines,dogs
The app, Digi-pet, to enable owners to interact with their pets during air travel via smartphones or other devices, was launched in Mumbai on February 20. The service is expected to start soon. (Hindustan Times)

To reduce the chances of pets going missing or getting harmed while being transferred by flight, a company plans to introduce an app that will allow pet owners to keep track of the animals.

The app, Digi-pet, to enable owners to interact with their pets during air travel via smartphones or other devices, was launched in Mumbai on February 20. The service is expected to start soon.

Airline officials said they are free to charge additional amount for the service.

Currently two airlines, national carrier Air India and low-cost carrier SpiceJet allow pet transfers. Earlier, Jet Airways, too, provided the service, but discontinued it after two animal deaths during transit.

An airline official said pet transfers are on the rise in India and are a sensitive matter for both owners and the airline.” The official also said Jet Airways plans to relaunch the pet transfer service.

In a recent incident reported in HT, a couple from Mumbai lost one of their two cats before taking off from Mumbai to Bangalore. The pet owners were moving out of the city and were to travel by Air India AI 609 on February 5. The couple got permission from the airline authorities to search the cargo area of the city airport’s terminal 2, but the cat was not found.

Digi-Pet will allow owners to even get automatic alerts if a situation requires immediate action. “This will not only help in knowing if the pet is experiencing discomfort, but will also de-stress the owner during the travel period,” said an official from Unisys, which made the app.

Digi-Pet uses Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology via smart sensors attached to the pet’s crate to monitor and transmit key metrics such as temperature, oxygen levels, vibration and light.

Devyani Jadhav, co-founder of PAWsome, a pet relocation agency, said, “I am yet to know details of the service. We have contacted the company for more information on Digi-Pet, so we can help pet-owners use the service.”

Venkatesh Pazhyanur, senior industry director of freight solutions for Unisys, said,”355 pets had died while in transit between 2005 and 2017 while being carried by 21 US-based airlines. During this period, 201 pets were injured and 54 were lost. India is a nascent market and pet transit via airlines is low in India. Having said that we are seeing a surge in this trend and it is bound to pick up traction in the coming years owing to changing pet owner’s mindset.”

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 09:54 IST