Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pet Airways (For Puppy Passengers!)

Pet Airways is the firstever airline for pets! YAY! Instead of getting packed away and locked up in the spooky, stuffy back with all those crates & boxes and things, pet travelers get to curl up cozy and safe inside the main cabin :)

Don and Alysa Binder started the new airline because of their own dog, Zoe. Like many pet owners, the Binder's love to travel, but they never liked the thought of their furry loved one flying in the cargo hold. As they talked to friends and neighbors who felt the same way, they saw a market for this new, exciting airline.

According to Alysa, "On Pet Airways, your pets aren't packages!" and all pet handling procedures are conducted under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Here's the process:

1. Drop your pet off at the Pet lounge in the airport a minimum of 2 hours before take off .

2. A Pet Attendant monitors the last time your pet had a potty break and makes sure they get regular breaks along the way (anyone who's struggled getting their pup housebroken knows how priceless that is...)

3. Pets board the plane and cozy-up in their custom-sized carrier.

4. Pets are monitored every 15 minutes during the flight. Once they land, pets are escorted off the plane, given a potty break and taken to the Pet Lounge.

5. Your pet will be waiting for you at the Pet Lounge at your destination airport. If your travel times don't line up exactly, your pet can stay overnight at the PAWS Lodge until you arrive.

Pet Airways sounds like a wonderful option for dogs who are too large to fly with you as carry-ons (and what a lovely, new way for breeders* to start making the transporting process a little less stressful for pups, too...)

Right now they're offering an introductory price of $149 each way for all flights, and they serve these cities: Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (including New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia) and the Washington DC/Baltimore area. Flights from East to West are on Tuesdays, West to East on Thursdays. Woohoo!

* A quick word about out-of-state breeders: Unless you know the breeder, or have a direct personal reference, I always recommend clients get their purebreds from a breeder they are willing and able to actually visit. To avoid problems with health and temperament, it's important to see your breeder's facilities, practices, and parent pooches for yourself before bringing a new pup into your home (and heart!)

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