Pets now fly first class

Flying a pet has always been stressful for the owners and especially the pet. There has always been two options, check them as luggage, or drive. But, the days of watching your cold and scared dog or cat being loaded in to the cargo hold of a plane are gone. Now pet owners have a safer way for their pets of all sizes to travel by air. It is a new airline exclusively for pets called Pet Airways. The only humans that are allowed on board is the flight crew.

I can’t imagine being put into this loud, cold, dark space in the plane for hours. I would say that is borderline cruelty. The animals that travel by air are treated like a piece of luggage. We have all seen what happens to your bag. Your dog or cat has the same chance of getting lost as any other baggage. The death of your baggage isn’t an issue, but the death of your pet IS. Did you know that over 100 pets died during traditional air transit as cargo in 2005?

Another great thing about Pet Airways is that the Pet Attendants are trained specifically to care for your pet in flight. When you check your pet in as luggage on even the best of airlines, you get baggage handlers that may know little or nothing about caring for animals.

Here is what happens when you fly your pet on Pet Airways:

  1. Drop your pet off at the Pet Lounge
  2. Check in your pet no less than 2 hours before departure. You can check in as far out as 72 hours before departure. Your pet will be boarded at the PAWS Lodge until the flight.

  3. Potty breaks
  4. When you fly your pet traditionally, they often must hold themselves for a very long time. A potty break is given to your pet within 2 hours of departure and the time since the last potty break is monitored. The trained Pet Attendants will be sure to give regular potty breaks along the way.

  5. Pets board the plane
  6. The trained Pet Attendants make sure that they are comfortable and their carriers are secure in the fresh air cooled cabin. You don’t have to provide your own carrier, that is included for free. After takeoff, you can even monitor your pet’s flight.

  7. A trained Pet Attendant monitors your pet during flight
  8. Your pet is checked every 15 minutes during the flight. After landing, all pets are given a potty break and moved into the Pet Lounge for pickup.

  9. Pick up your pet at the Pet Lounge
  10. Now that your pet has traveled safely and comfortablely, it is time for pickup. If you can’t pick up your pet right away, it’s OK, your pet will be boarded overnight at the PAWS Lodge.

I have to say that this is a huge leap for us as pet owners. We now have the freedom to travel without stress and worry about what our pets are going through. Finally, a company that understands how important the comfort of our pets are to us.

The airline’s first departure will happen on July 14, 2009 and serve New York, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Denver. They will add service to other cities as they grow. The introductory price will be $149 one-way. The price will increase to $249 at some point. I will definitely fly my pets on Pet Airways the next time I travel with them.