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Coming and Going: Pet Airways Takes Flight, RentaBikeNow.com

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION

A Pet Project

Pet Airways, the first airline just for pets, is scheduled to start service July 14 out of several airports, including BWI Marshall.

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The airline initially will cater to dogs and cats (birds, reptiles, pigs and others are being considered for future expansion). The animals will be individually loaded by pet attendants onto Beechcraft 1900 turboprops (with seats and overhead bins removed) and then placed in secured kennels. Attendants will accompany the flights.

Owners may drop off their pets up to 72 hours before flight time or leave them overnight at the arrival city, at the airline's Paws Lodges.

Pet Airways will offer flights between BWI and regional airports in the New York, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles areas.

Introductory fares are $149 each way between all destinations. On airlines that cater to humans, in-cabin fares for pets typically range from $200 to $300 round trip. Fees for larger animals that must go in cargo holds are even more expensive, starting at about $300 round trip.

Owner Alysa Binder said she and her husband, Dan Wiesel, created the company after they had to ship their Jack Russell terrier, Zoe, in a cargo hold during a cross-country move. According to Department of Transportation statistics, 30 pets died during air transit in 2008.

For reservations and more information, visit http://www.petairways.com.

CELESTIAL EVENT

Eclipse Exclusives

On July 22, the longest total solar eclipse of this century, lasting more than six minutes, will be best viewed from Tokara Village, a group of 12 tiny islands off Kyushu Island in southern Japan. But access to this remote outpost with little infrastructure will be very limited and pricey. To apply for either a three-day cruise, starting at $6,113 per person double, or a land visit, starting at $3,485 for five days, go to http://www.knt.co.jp/eclipse/index_e.html.

TRAVEL TICKER

Travelers who prefer to explore an area by bike have an easier way to find a rental shop. RentaBikeNow.com matches bikers with stores in 144 cities in the United States and Canada. The site lets you choose your preferred dates and location, as well as bike type, size and accessories. The list of options includes rates per length of rental. From there, you can reserve and pay. Just be aware that the site charges a "convenience" fee (from $5 for one bike) for the, er, convenience. . . . With Orbitz's new Total Price feature, you don't have to wait until the final step to learn the real cost of a hotel room. Now, the full room price appears on the initial search page, with a clear breakdown of the base rate, taxes and fees. The site has also lowered its hotel booking fees on reservations made by July 15. Savings vary by property. Info: http://www.orbitz.com.

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK

Air France has launched a sale for summer travel to Europe. For example, round-trip fare from Washington Dulles to Madrid starts at $659, including $107 taxes. Other airlines are matching. Depart May 27-Aug. 31; purchase tickets by May 1 at http://www.airfrance.us. A surcharge of $28 each way applies to Friday-Sunday flights. Restrictions include a minimum stay of Sunday night and a maximum stay of one month.

Reporting: Carol Sottili, Andrea Sachs

Help feed CoGo. Send travel news, road reports and juicy tattles to: cogo@washpost.com. By fax: 202-912-3609. By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.


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