Pet Airways Takes Flight
The first-ever all-pet airline will fly between five major cities - New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. The $250 one-way fare is comparable to pet fees at the largest U.S. airlines.
Pet Airways employees load their pet passengers onto a plane in East Farmingdale, N.Y. The airline is the first-ever all-pet airline. For owners the big difference is service. Dogs and cats will fly in the main cabin of a Suburban Air Freight plane, retooled and lined with carriers in place of seats. Pets (about 50 on each flight) will be escorted to the plane by attendants that will check on the animals every 15 minutes during flight.
Dan Wiesel, CEO of Pet Airways, cuddles a canine passenger. Wiesel and his wife Alysa Binder started the airline in 2005 because they felt that owners needed a better option to get their pets from one city to another.
Pet Airways Co-founder Alysa Binder's dog, Zoe, walks by one of the airline's aircraft in Omaha, Neb.
A dog trains in preparation for flying on the airline in Omaha, Neb. All commercial airlines allow a limited number of small pets to fly in the cabin. Others must travel as checked bags or in the cargo hold - a dark and sometimes dangerous place where temperatures can vary wildly.
Pet Airways co-founder Alysa Binder holds her dog, Zoe, in front a plane. Binder and her husband Dan Wiesel used their consulting backgrounds and business savvy to start the airline. The last four years have been spent designing their fleet of five planes according to new four-legged requirements, dealing with FAA regulations and setting up airport schedules.
Airline employee Alyse Tognotti prepares a canine passenger for his flight. The company will operate out of smaller, regional airports in the five launch cities, which will mean an extra trip for most owners dropping off their pets if they are flying too. Stops in cities along the way means the pets will take longer to reach a destination than their owners.
Alyse Tognotti checks on a passengers during a training session in Omaha, Neb. Among the big U.S. carriers that offer pet services, AirTran, Spirit, Southwest and JetBlue only allow pets to fly in the cabin. Most U.S. airlines charge between $100 and $125, but Delta and Northwest charge $150 for cabin trips. AirTran is the cheapest among big carriers at $69.
Article: Paws up: All-pet airline hits skies
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