All dog owners, particularly those of bulldog-type dogs, should be aware of shipping these animals through the air. In "DVM Newsmagazine" (September 2010) the article, 'Short-nosed dog breeds more likely to die in flight' by Rachael Whitcomb, says, "Half of all dogs that died on commercial fights over the last five years were short-nosed breeds, like pugs and English bulldogs, according to the Department of Transportation."
Here's more information from that article: In a study running from 2006 to 2008, Continental Airlines had the highest number of animal deaths (53 deaths) followed by Alaska Airlines (31 deaths) and then American Airlines (23 deaths).
Two million pets are transported by air in the US each year, and in 2005, for the first time, airlines were required to file monthly pet mortality and injury reports. From 2005 to 2009 122 dog deaths occurred. Out of those 122 dog deaths, 25 were English Bulldogs and 11 were pugs. It appears that breathing problems and other genetic problems may have contributed to the Bulldogs' and pugs' dying. One should note that most of those deaths occurred while the animals were in the cargo hold rather than in the passenger cabin.
The Department of Transportation advises anyone who wishes to fly their pets to first get the animal checked out by a veterinarian.
Since Continental's 53 dog deaths, the airline had put an embargo on carrying bulldogs, pitbulls, and American Staffordshire Terriers. However, in 2009, Continental is allowing puppies of those breeds to fly in temperatures below 85 degrees.
People thinking of flying their pets should also check out Animal Airways, which offers in-flight vet services, and the average cost is $99 each way. Not too bad to insure the well-being and safety of the animal.