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JoAnna Lou
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First Class Flights for Pets
Pet Airways opens reservations for inaugural flights.
Pet Airways was founded by Dan Wiesel and Alysa Binder, dog owners who were frustrated by limited travel options.

My idea of vacation is hanging out with my dogs, preferably on the beach. I once drove 20 hours to Florida to avoid putting my pets in airplane cargo. The horror stories of limited oxygen and careless handling have reduced the trips I choose to take. And the U.S. Department of Transportation’s required reporting on animal deaths hasn’t exactly allayed my fears.

Recently, my dogs qualified for USDAA agility nationals in Scottsdale, Ariz. I would love to participate, but it’s too far for me to drive and I’m not sure I want to take the risk of putting them in cargo. The travel industry leaves dog lovers with few alternatives.

So I was excited to hear about the launch of Pet Airways, an airline dedicated to safe travel for animals. Pets fly in the main cabin of their modified 19-passenger airplane. The seats have been replaced with space for secured crates. Worried owners can track their pets online and rest assured that flight attendants are checking on their furry family members every 15 minutes.

Pet Airways’ inaugural flights will be in July out of New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. For a limited time, introductory fares are only $149 each way.

I dream of the day when I can buy a ticket for my dog to sit beside me on a plane, but for now I’m glad to see safer transportation options.

What has been your experience traveling with pets?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
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