When Lisa and I moved to Atlanta from Albany, NY we decided to drive because we couldn’t stand the thought of putting Bo on a plane. There was no way we would let him be stuck in the cold cargo area, terrified and alone.
Nope, instead we drove the nineteen hours with Bo and our cat Moose, who meowed for pretty much the entire ride. I was just reading about a brand new airline, Pet Airways, that has literally gone to the dogs. If they were around when we moved it’s something we definitely would have considered.
Pet Airways, which begins flights next month between five cities, is exactly what it sounds like: an airline just for pets. But before boa constrictor fans get any ideas, passengers are currently limited to dogs and cats.
Nobody flies in cargo on Pet Airways — it’s first class all the way for Fluffy and Buddy in the cabin of the airlines’ Beechcraft 1900. The plane normally seats 19 humans, but there are no seats for pets, just straps to hold animal carriers (supplied by the airline). The plane holds about 50 average-sized animals, two pilots and one pet attendant. Mind you, the pet need not be “average-sized.” Back in April, the Pet Airways people told me how thrilled they were to get their first reservation for a Great Dane.
Initially, the airline will fly between seven major cities mostly in the Northeast to Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.
Animal lover and Pet Airways co-founder Alysa Binder says, the comfort and safety of pets is all that matters to them. “Pets will enjoy all the amenities we do,” she said, laughing, “except for cocktails!”
I’ve read about other small airlines where you could fly with your pet, the downside, a $5,000 ticket. While Pet Airways is priced higher than if you were to bring Fido with you on a commercial flight, it’s still relatively inexpensive for what you get. Flights start as low as $149 each way from New York to Chicago. Your pup will be monitored by a pet attendant, travels in the main cabin of the plane, and gets potty breaks.
Dog flight NY to Chicago: $298
Human flight NY to Chicago: $155
Knowing Fido’s safe: priceless