I absolutely refuse to use Delta. If you research shipping procedures and reviews from people who ship a LOT of animals and look at how many Delta has killed or LOST (oh, they've lost a lot more than they've killed!) it becomes much more clear.
I broke my rule ONCE and used them and it was nothing short of a nightmare.
I think some misunderstood the stats. If Continental flew 550,000 and had 58 incidents (and an incident is any injury or loss, even temporary, not just a death), that percentage of problems is 0.0001. The stories mention how many PEOPLE passengers the other airlines fly. ALL except Continental have heat embargoes, so they are the ONLY ones flying during those months. They also have the market cornered, as stated previously, and ship far more animals alone than the other airlines.
I don't see how any airline can be held responsible people's poor judgment in flying animals who don't have the temperamental and physical strength to handle it.
Nervebags who freak out in a thunderstorm, for example, have no business on an airplane. When I picked one of mine up at Lufthansa cargo, the guys asked me if my dog was GSD like all the others, "how come my dog wasn't schizo"? Kind of funny, but kind of sad. The others were freaking out, spinning, had peed and pooped in their crates, salivating, shaking...nervous wrecks. Capri was sitting there quietly, looking around with a happy look, bone dry and clean.
I have (knock on wood) never had an incident with an animal not handling a flight well. If I flew a dog w/a health issue OR questionable/weak temperament, I would have only myself to blame for their death.
Hint: if your dog needs a Thundershirt, you'd better take the car.