Military families on the move from Guam this spring now have a way to get their large pets off the island, thanks to a United Airlines policy change announced Tuesday.

The airline stopped taking reservations for shipping large pets via its PetSafe program last month, pending a program review not scheduled for completion until May 1. That presented a problem for military families planning a permanent change-of-station or other move off of Guam; as first reported by Military.com, United is the lone private carrier for the island, and Andersen Passenger Terminal had no other pet-shipping options available.

On Tuesday, the carrier updated its website to include an exception to its no-large-pets rule “for members of the military and their spouses, and State Department Foreign Service personnel and their spouses, who wish to travel with or ship their pets out of Guam between April 1 and April 30.”

The program review does not affect pets that travel with their owners in the cabin.

The airline made headlines in mid-March when a French bulldog died after being placed in the overhead compartment by its owner, who followed the instructions of a United flight attendant, and after shipping a German shepherd to Japan instead of sending it with its family to their new home in Kansas City.

Military families on Guam rely on United as the only airline that flies out or into the island. (Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Air Force)
Military families on Guam rely on United as the only airline that flies out or into the island. (Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Air Force)

Move.mil includes more details on planning a PCS with pets here. Get some other PCS details, including links and prep tips, here.