Pet Airways — certainly an interesting concept

This is one of the most unique concepts I’ve seen in a very long time. Check out Pet Airways, an airline just for pets. Before I go any further, also take a look at their commercial along with an interview with the co-founder:

I give this idea a month at most. C’mon now, is this serious?

In the interview the co-founder talks about how stressful traveling with a pet is. Are you telling me it’s any less stressful to drop off your dog at a different airport (since they fly out of small airports), drive to a different airport so you can fly to your destination, and then 24 hours later pick up your dog at a different airport?

While the idea is creative, this seems a bit inhumane to me (no pun intended). One can book a ticket between New York and Los Angeles for a pet, and it looks to me like Pet Airways operates Beechcraft 1900’s. That’s gonna be one hell of a long (and loud) journey coast-to-coast, overnight no less!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my dogs, but this seems worse than just putting them in a cargo hold for a couple of hours (although I would never fly with my pets to begin with).

Also, I have to laugh at the concept of a pet attendant. Can you picture the atmosphere on that flight, with two pilots and a pet attendant? It seems like the pet attendant doesn’t have all that much of an incentive to do his/her job. Some flight attendants go on enough power trips with passengers, let alone pets that don’t have the ability to give out “Going the Extra Mile” certificates or write complaint letters requesting compawsation (sorry, I couldn’t resist). 😉

Comments

  1. “It seems like the pet attendant doesn’t have all that much of an incentive to do his/her job”

    Wow – are they hiring directly from Untied? I’m not sure how happy that golden retriever will be when he rings his flight attendant call button for a bowl of water and the FA is simply reading a magazine in the galley.

  2. Ouch! Unfair attacks on the flight attendants: ) I thought it was a ridiculous idea myself until I realized the airfare is comparable to flying your pet in cargo. I think it may be successful…if I were moving across country and had a large dog I would absolutely use this airline vs. shipping my pet in cargo.

    theflyingpinto

  3. You’re absolutely right about the price, Sara, but keep in mind this is an introductory sale. I’m sure they’ll be hoping for more than $149 to transport Fefe from New York to Los Angeles.

    The idea sounds nice in theory, but actually filling every schedule flight with dozens of dogs just doesn’t seem that realistic to me.

    By the way, I love your blog!

  4. I hear you…..but I’m rooting for them!

    I hope they pay the “attendant” well….I wouldn’t want that job!

    And, Thank you!!

  5. Other than the so-called pet attendant and their questionable inflight service (I guess if you turbo-pro across the country, you may actually need to provide drinks every so often given the length of the flight), is it really a huge difference for the dog whether they are in a box in the cabin vs. the cargo hold? In either case it’s a noisy and unfamiliar environment.

    This is just not going to work. No way, no how.

  6. > Are you telling me it’s any less stressful to drop off your dog at a different airport (since they fly out of small airports), drive to a different airport so you can fly to your destination, and then 24 hours later pick up your dog at a different airport?

    > is it really a huge difference for the dog whether they are in a box in the cabin vs. the cargo hold?

    In a word, yes to both, especially when you consider how badly airlines treat pets in the cargo hold.

    > While the idea is creative, this seems a bit inhumane to me

    Putting a pet in a cargo hold that is not climate controlled is far less
    humane. Some excerpts from http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/travel.html

    1% of all animals transferred in airliner cargo holds are lost, killed, or injured.

    There is no heat or air conditioning in cargo holds.

    There is no oxygen supply or ventilation either. Once the animals use up the O2, they die.

    Baggage handlers are known to treat crates holding animals as badly as luggage.

    If I had to move a pet a long distance, an airline that caters to animals would be my first choice.

    (A disclaimer: I’ve moved two pets with no incident on a total of 6 flights. This was well before I’d understood the risks. My boss was moving from CA to TX one summer and told me the airline didn’t recommend transfering his dog via cargo because of the heat. After that, the last time I moved a pet, it was by car.)

    I hope Pet Airways is a success.

  7. I hope Pet Airways is a success as well. While our dogs are small and can go under the seat, it’s still a pain and they’re trapped in the small sherpa (brand of pet carrier) from the entire time they get to the airport until you’re outside after you arrive. You have to plan pretty carefully to make sure they have appropriate bathroom breaks, etc. If I could drop a pet off and know they’re well taken care of, then pick them up after I have rental car, bags, etc it sounds great! And most airlines have jacked up their pet fees so much this sounds reasonable…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *