Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:54 PM
Flying your pets isn't fun. A few airlines allow small pets on airplanes if they fit under the seat. But most of the time they're stuck in the cargo hold and come with the rest of the baggage. The one time I flew my dog Laguna she arrived in Seattle shaking and covered in her own feces. Must have been a blast for her.
If you are rich enough you can bring them on your own private jet. Another trick is to have your animal certified as a "service animal," (you can even do this online) and I hear you can then take them just about anywhere. It's a loophole that is sure to be plugged once too many people take advantage of it.
Enter Pet Airways, a new startup launching next month that flies pets and only pets: "With Pet Airways your pet will be safe and comfortable, flying in the main cabin, not in cargo. From check-in at our Pet Lounge, and throughout the flight, our Pet Attendants will be caring and catering to all your pet's needs. You can even monitor how your pet is doing." Fees start at $150. Sadly, only your pet can fly, not you (they won't even put you in the cargo area of the plane).
Flights will be limited to start, basically from Los Angeles to the East coast with stops in Denver and Chicago.
The company says they're funded but aren't giving details yet. Each flight has a pet attendant on board at all times, and the airline will start with a fleet of twenty planes, ranging from twin props to 727s.
I have no idea if this airline is going to be a commercial success, but I'm hopeful. If they start flying from San Francisco to Seattle, Laguna will be a regular customer. And I'd pay a lot more than $150.