Pet Airlines has opened for business serving New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Instead of putting your pet in the cargo hold the airline places the animals in the seat free plane into carrying cases.
The animals may be without their owners on the flight but they have “pet attendants” who are with them at all times. Before they board their plane they get to hang out in a special animal lounge.
The pet owners drop their pets off at a smaller airport on the way to their own flights. Animal flights are made to coincide with their owner’s flight schedules. After the owner has gone through their flight they pick up Fido or Spot from a lounge.
Zoo Too reports:
“You don’t have to worry about missed flights or connections,” Binder said. “Someone will be with your pet at all times, until you are there to collect them.
“This is about the safety and comfort of your pet. We can’t stress that enough. We are pet lovers, we are our own audience.”
The planes can carry as many as 50 pets at a time.
While the company is just starting down the runaway it’s been in the works since 2005.
Pet Airlines is working in conjunction with Suburban Air flight, Inc. using Beechcraft 1900’s. The planes are climate-controlled.
Zoo Too reports:
“Within the last 20 years, there has been a great deal of concern and care over the welfare of pets, and airlines are now very restricted for where they can keep the animals, the temperature of the environment, the length of the flight, and things like that,” said Greg Hammer, DVM, of Dover, Del.
“I think they do a very nice job of taking care of the animals — they have to.”
The $150 flight costs are comparable with other airlines. American Airlines charges $150 for pets in the cargo area and $100 for the pet to travel in the main cabin. Continental is a lot cheaper for cargoed pets at $55. If you want your pet with you on Continental is will cost you $125. Delta is more expensive at $150 for an animal flying beside you or $275 in cargo. Some airlines like Southwest Airlines refuse to allow any animal on its planes.
Putting a pet in the cargo hold comes with risk. Of the two million pets that traveled that way last year about 5,000 were injured on route.
At this time the Pet Airlines site has had too much travel and is off-line.
According to one comment on their Facebook page the company is hoping to cater to the show dog crowd as they grow.
Their first flight is due to take off on July 14th.