Lonely Planet Writer

Keep track of your pet during a flight with this new technology

Pets are not just animals, but beloved members of the family. And anyone who has ever flown with one in stowage knows the headaches and worries that can come with the whole process. With that in mind, a brand new piece of travel technology has just been announced that allows pet-owners to keep a close eye on their furry companions throughout a flight, offering peace of mind and a stress-free travel experience.

Dog with Plane
Pet owners can rest easy knowing that they can check in on their furry friends. Image by Joel Hawkins

Created by Unisys, the Digi-Pet service utilises special sensors that continuously monitor the comfort of the animals, and provides automated alerts, live video streaming and voice chat capabilities. The sensors are attached to the pet’s kennel or carry case and transmit data related to temperature, oxygen levels, vibration and light. They can automatically alert the pet owner and airline staff if anything requires action, and pet owners can use the video and photo streaming service through a dedicated app on their smart phone or tablet.

Currently, 20 global carriers that transport more than 180,000 animals annually are subscribed to Unisys services, and the Digi-Pet technology enables them to comply with the International Air Transport Association Live Animals Regulations that ensure animals are transported safely and humanely around the world. In addition to transporting domestic pets, the service can be used by shippers and carriers that transport other animal cargo such as horses, day-old chicks or hatching eggs, which require consistent heat, oxygen and light.

Dog waits in its carry-on container at airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
While smaller animals can be carried on certain flights, airport restrictions on larger pets means that they must travel in storage. Image by Robert Mooney

“We are emotionally attached to our pets and it can be distressing to be separated from them when traveling by air,” said Venkatesh Pazhyanur, Senior Industry Director of Freight Solutions at Unisys. “Large pets – whether accompanied or not – must travel in the cargo hold. Unisys Digi-Pet uses IoT sensors to provide pet owners with full visibility of their pet’s comfort and the environmental conditions, as well as enabling them to talk to their pet – calming both the pet and owner.”

To find out if an airline offers the service, pet owners can contact the airline passenger division of the airport they wish to depart from.

More information on the Digi-Pet is available at the official Unisys website.