The airline business has to the dogs. Literally. On Pet Airways, the world’s first animal-only airline, pets fly in the main cabin and not in the cargo hold.
What’s it like on a Pet Airways flight? If you are imagining a Boeing 747 with dogs and cats curled up in business-class seats while watching Lassie on their personal television screens as flight attendants stroll the isles with carts of chewy treats and catnip . . . well, you are a little off. Pet Airways isn’t some bad Disney movie. But it is a very cool service. Here’s how it works:
You drop little Fido or Fifi off at the Pet Airways airport lounge up to 72 hours before their flight. From that point on the airline will tend to your passenger—or “pawsenger,” in Pet Airways parlance—until handing them off to a designated human at the arrival airport.
Each pawsenger is fed prior to the flight. (Serving airline food to dogs sounds about right to us). Then, shortly before boarding, Fido is taken for a walk, Fifi’s given a few whacks at a feather on the end of a string, and everyone is given a potty break. Pawsengers are then escorted onto the Pet Airways plane, a Beechcraft 1900. All the animals fly in pet carriers especially design to keep them safe in the event the plane encounters some, um, purr-bulence.
On other airlines pets over 7 kg (15 pounds) have to fly in the cargo hold. On Pet Airways all pawsengers fly in the main cabin. The climate and pressure controlled cabin is filled with a scent animals find soothing (really) and are accompanied by a human pet attendant for the entire flight.
Sadly, Pet Airways flies only within the United States. They began with flights between five cities—New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles—and have added Phoenix, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Omaha (?) since. Fares start at $99 one way, which is a real barkain considering human-oriented airlines often charge more to fly your pet in their cargo holds.
Pet Airways: definitely Best in Show for the pet-loving traveler.
50% off Airfare Sale
For a limited time, Pet Airways are discounting tickets purchased well in advance. Book at least 60 days out and get half off the regular price. 30 days in advance will still save you 20%.
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Pet Airways is NOT like this . . .
. . . or this . . .
. . . but rather like this: