Dog Days

These may be tough times for airlines large and small, with lower fees, fewer routes and contracting service, but there’s one airline that stands out (and sits, and rolls over) as an exception. Pet Airways announced today the expansion of service, with a new route beginning in December between New York and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., presumably for all those short-hair dogs shivering through a Northeast winter. The airline also serves four other cities: Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

Pet Airways pet airline airlift travel
Pet Airways Founders Dan, Zoe and Alysa.

Launched in July, flights have been sold out two months in advance, as owners look for alternatives to the often traumatic experience of commercial air travel for animals. Pet Airways caters exclusively to pets and their owners who don’t want to see Snowball crammed into cargo. Instead, “pawsengers” enjoy a comfortable and safe ride in the main cabin, though so far there has been no separation of service into first class (or business class, for the working breeds).

Pet Airways pet airline airlift travel
   Beechcraft 1900 ready to fly pets.
Small pets are sometimes allowed to travel with their owner on regular flights, as long as they’re stowed under the seat. But medium and large dogs (or the currently popular miniature pig) are out of luck. Commercial airlines are often cited and fined for the mishandling of pets in cargo, with lack of oxygen and temperature control—a common cause of animal deaths. So, not only are pets out of harms way, but pawsenger complaints have been rumored to be reduced to a few ruffs and a threatening growl.

Images courtesy of Pet Airways.