While cats and small dogs may be brought onboard flights (for a fee) on major airlines, larger animals are relegated to the bottom of the plane … or cannot fly at all. Cathay Pacific was the most recent airline to ban flat-faced animals flying as cargo -- a hefty price tag and the sheer uncertainty of what happens under the plane grounds many would-be furry fliers.
That's where Pet Airways enters, an airline with a fleet of planes specially equipped with kennels in the cabin. No humans allowed, save the attendants monitoring the furry passengers every 15 minutes during flight. People reserve the properly-sized crate for their dog or cat (or even guinea pig or rat) for vacation or relocation.
The airline serves regional airports in cities across the country including Chicago, Fort Lauderdale and Denver. Each participating airport has a special Pet Lounge for furry friends.
Animals must arrive to the airport at least one hour before takeoff and are not waiting alone in a cargo hold or by the gate inside a carrier. Records are kept regarding the last meal and last bathroom break to minimize accidents. Beloved pets reunite with owners in the corresponding lounge at the destination airport.
Customers should check the Pet Airways website for required shots then schedule a vet visit for a check-up and a signed health certificate within two weeks of travel.
To take off, grab this 50%-off deal on Pet Airways flights, starting at $49 on the East Coast (between NYC or Baltimore) and $79 on the West Coast (between LA and Phoenix).